Western Oregon University (WOU), a leading comprehensive public liberal arts institution, is committed to changing lives, strengthening communities and transforming our world. Located in the Monmouth-Independence area, the heart of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley, WOU is about 20 minutes from Salem, the state’s capital and about 75 minutes from Portland, the state’s cultural hub.
WOU, the oldest institution in the Oregon University system, has continued to adapt and transform itself to respond to the needs of society and our changing world. From its origins as a normal school, WOU grew to become a nationally recognized leader in teacher preparation. In the seventies, WOU expanded its offerings with broad-based liberal education programs. Since then, the university has continued to be a leading comprehensive public liberal arts institution, with approximately two-thirds of its students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the rest in the College of Education.