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About Western Oregon University

Steadily emerging

Western Oregon University (WOU), steadily emerging as 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.


Students relaxing in front of WOU library

Student body

Our student body of about 6,200 undergraduates and 400 graduates enjoys a vibrant and close-knit intellectual community comparable to the environment in a small liberal arts college. As a public-serving institution dedicated to strengthening our region and Oregon, WOU is home to the nationally-renowned Teaching Research Institute, the Regional Resource Center on Deafness and the Rainbow Dance Theatre. In addition to teaching excellence, WOU’s faculty members are engaged in wide-ranging scholarship as well as community-based projects, including many faculty-student collaborations. Our picturesque, award-winning campus blends welcoming traditional features with 21st century convenience, including many multimedia classrooms, extensive wireless web access and a state-of-the-art library.


Student walking to college class at Western Oregon UniversityFounded in 1856,

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 emerge as 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.



WOU is 20 minutes from the state capital, Salem, and a little more than an hour from Portland for city life. We’re a short drive from the Oregon coast, mountains and other scenic areas. Nature lovers and outdoor adventurers can travel in any direction to find their favorite spot, from the ski slopes of Mt. Hood to the Columbia River Gorge for wind-surfing or whale-watching in Depoe Bay.  
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Maps and Directions


Equal Opportunity Statement

Western Oregon University, a member of the Oregon University System, prohibits discrimination based on race, marital status, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation or national origin. This policy implements various federal and state laws, executive orders, Title IX and its regulations and applies to employment, admission, education and facilities.


Office of the President


Office of the Provost
Phone: 503-838-8271
Fax: 503-838-8116
email -


Office of Admissions
503-838-8211  v/tty
503-838-8067  fax
877-877-1593 ext. 1  toll-free


University Accreditation

Western Oregon University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE), National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE), and Oregon State Teacher Standards and Practices Commission (TSPC). Students may review accreditation documents in the Office of the Provost or the Library.


Web site resources  503-838-8925 | or e-mail: