Washington State University Tri-Cities

Washington State University Tri-Cities is one of four WSU Campuses that make up one of the nation’s leading research universities. The university provides students with a polytechnic, hands-on education that ensures graduates are career-ready by graduation. Students benefit from project-based courses that are founded in the five STEAM disciplines: science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. 

The Tri-Cities campus began as the Joint Center for Graduate Study in July 1958 as a collaborative effort among WSU, the University of Washington and Oregon State University. In 1967, the Richland School District donated 84 acres to provide a permanent home for the facility. Construction began on the campus’ East Building in July 1967. The building was finished in one year, and in the fall of 1968, the first classes were taught by 79 adjunct faculty members to 380 students. 

WSU Tri-Cities now serves more than 1,500 students and is the most diverse campus in the WSU system. WSU Tri-Cities has an ethnic diversity rate of 35.5 percent and a veteran rate of 8 percent. Approximately 55.6 percent of the students are female and 42.1 percent are male. The university has 90 faculty members, more than 200 adjunct faculty members and 85 academic and administrative staff. WSU Tri-Cities offers 19 undergraduate degrees and 20 graduate degree programs. 

WSU Tri-Cities strives to offer opportunities for dynamic student engagement, dynamic research experiences, and dynamic community engagement. The university values quality, innovation, experiential learning, community collaborations and a facility rich in diversity. WSU Tri-Cities offers personalized undergraduate and graduate education with faculty, staff and students engaged in research, outreach and community service founded in the University’s land-grant mission. 

Innovative Employer-Driven Pathways 

To ensure that students are successful and career-prepared by graduation, Washington State University Tri-Cities partners with a variety of local world-class institutions to provide students with direct connections to hands-on, project-based learning in the science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) fields. 

At WSU Tri-Cities, students conduct research and complete projects while working with and learning from nationally and world-renowned professors who have ties to a variety of world-class organizations in the local Tri-Cities community. WSU Tri-Cities partners with the same organizations, some of which include Pacific Northwest Laboratory, the Hanford Site, ConAgra Foods and Energy Northwest, to provide students with opportunities for internships, co-ops and other extracurricular learning opportunities. These opportunities provide students with the career skills they need to supplement their education, as well as ensure they are career-ready by graduation. 

Through the Million Women Mentors program, WSU Tri-Cities works with professionals from a variety of STEM agencies to pair them up with current female students studying the same fields. Students and their mentors dedicate approximately 20 hours during the school year in meeting and working with their mentors. 

Through WSU Tri-Cities’ Executive in Residence program, existing or retired executives mentor students and/or assist with research and design projects, while increasing public and private partnerships that will produce highly skilled graduates with job-ready experiences. 

Students are also connected to community service-learning opportunities through the university’s Cougs in the Community program. Currently, students, faculty, staff and community members work with Tri-County Partners Habitat for Humanity to manage and contribute to the fundraising and construction for a “Tri-Cities Coug House.” 

This year, WSU Tri-Cities also held their first Nonprofit Summit through Cougs in the Community, an experience that welcomed 70 nonprofit professionals, stakeholders and community leaders to discuss means where all could partner with the university to provide direct, hands-on service learning opportunities for students, staff, faculty and community members. 

Key STEAM Programs 

Providing students with an education based in the STEAM fields is a priority at WSU Tri-Cities as university officials believe it is the key to the nation’s future. 

Washington state has a greater percentage of people working in the STEM fields when compared with 11 peer states. Approximately 9.2 percent of jobs in Washington are STEM-related. In California, 7.6 percent of jobs are STEM-related, while 5.1 percent are STEM-related in New York. The Tri-Cities was also recently ranked the sixth-best place in the nation for STEM graduates by NerdWallet, a financial literacy website. 

WSU Tri-Cities partners with Kadlec Regional Medical Center for opportunities in nursing and health science. This year, Kadlec presented WSU Tri-Cities with a landmark $18 million endowment, creating five new nursing faculty positions on the university campus. 

WSU Tri-Cities is the home to the Ste. Michelle Wine Estates WSU Wine Science Center, which was made possible through generous community contributions and partnerships with private and public wineries and other institutions. The university partners with the local wineries, grape growers and more to provide additional opportunities for students in the viticulture and enology industry while students learn from world-class faculty based directly at the Wine Science Center at WSU Tri-Cities. From having opportunities to study vineyard planting to utilizing their expertise in wine making process, students learn directly from the professionals, themselves, who continue to make history for the Washington wine industry. 

WSU Tri-Cities is the home to the Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, where world-renowned professors are working to create jet fuel and other bioproducts from simple materials such as wood, fungus and more. Students work alongside these professors and scientists who have secured millions of dollars in funding to conduct groundbreaking research in the biofuels industry that will supply the future jet airplanes and other vehicles with alternative, carbon-neutral fuels. 

WSU professors and researchers are partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to develop and test new modeling and statistical framework that will assess the potential risk of severe storms and floods to existing DoD installations as a result of climate change. WSU is testing their approach at 13 DoD installations including Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash. The university also partners with the Hanford Site and its affiliates to provide students with career opportunities in the nuclear and energy sector, which ranges from engineering to computer science to the sciences. 

WSU is also developing a “CreateSpace,” which will allow students to work with one another to draft, experiment, build and innovate on projects ranging from engineering to fine arts. Students will work in a laboratory outfitted with machine shop tools, crafting and rafting tables, computers and an art studio to create innovative designs pertaining to course work, personal ventures and projects relating to internships and co-ops. Faculty and staff will be encouraged to provide instructional support and consultation, conduct safety training and maintain material oversight of the space.


Communications and social media:

Jeffrey Dennison, director of marketing and communication at WSU Tri-Cities

Office - 509-372-7319

Cell - 360-649-2292



Maegan Murray, public relations specialist at WSU Tri-Cities

Office - 509-372-7333

Cell – 619-403-3617






Hash tags:





2710 Crimson Way
Richland, WA 99354
United States
(509) 372-7250