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First for the Future

Willamette University was founded as the first university in the West, with a bold vision of educating the Northwest’s leaders. Almost 175 years later, our robust and respected global alumni community has brought that vision to life.

Whether you’re looking for a premiere undergraduate program, a respected law school to prepare you for a life in the law, or an MBA program to catapult your management career, you can find your educational home at Willamette.


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Willamette’s Undergraduate Programs:

Willamette is a place where stellar professors create learning experiences in and out of the classroom to help students translate knowledge into action. With over 36 majors and minors, students have the freedom to explore their passions and take on society's complex challenges. This helped Willamette earn its place as one of 40 "Colleges That Change Lives."

Other Willamette Firsts:

  • The first (and only) program in Oregon with 11 of the past 24 Oregon Professors of the Year
  • The first private college in Oregon with its own 305-acre forest for study, research and exploration
  • A global orientation strengthened by a 50 year relationship with Tokyo International University, co-located on our Salem campus

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Willamette’s College of Law:

As the only law school in the country associated with one of the Colleges That Change Lives, Willamette College of Law offers a unique environment for pursuing your JD, LLM or Master of Legal Studies (MLS) degree. Our faculty, externship program, legal clinics, and specialty certificate programs prepare students to excel in the law and the job market. We are proud to count among our alumni three recent Chief Justices of the Oregon Supreme Court, a sitting United States Senator and Representative, a state governor, and a community of outstanding legal practitioners.

Other Law School Firsts:

  • The first law school in the Pacific Northwest, founded in 1883 and accredited by the American Bar Association since 1938
  • First in the Northwest and first in Oregon for the past three years for career placement in JD-preferred/JD-required jobs
  • First and only in the Northwest to offer a one-year Master of Legal Studies program

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Willamette’s MBA Programs:

As the first program in the world to hold dual accreditation by the AACSB International (for business) and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (for public management), the Willamette MBA prepares graduates for careers in business, government and not-for-profit management.

Other MBA Firsts:

  • First ranked MBA program in Oregon by Bloomberg Businessweek
  • One of the first full-time MBA programs in the country uniquely designed for students early in their careers
  • First (and only) MBA program in Portland’s Pearl District with an evening format designed for working professionals

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