University of Washington (UW), commonly referred to as Washington or informally UDub, is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, UW is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. The university ranked 16th among the world top 500 universities by Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) and ranked 24th in the world among the 100 world best universities by Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
The university has three campuses: the largest in the University District (Seattle) and two others in Tacoma and Bothell. Its operating expenses and research budget for fiscal year 2012 totaled more than US$ 7.2 billion The UW occupies over 500 buildings, with over 20 million gross square footage of space, including the latest University of Washington Plaza consisting of the 325 ft UW Tower and conference center.
The University of Washington has been called a Public Ivy institution and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. University of Washington has been ranked in the top 20 worldwide since 2003 and the university's research budget is among the highest in the United States. In athletics, the university competes in the NCAA Division I Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12).