Northwest School

Fast Facts

  • School Size

    Medium

  • Cost of Attendance

    $35,000—$40,000 Year

  • Affiliation

    Private

  • Type of School

    Secondary/Boarding

  • Student Body Gender

    Co-ed

  • Religious Affiliation

    No Affiliation

  • Scholarships for International Students

    No

  • Conditional Admission Available

    No

  • Setting

    City

  • Type of Housing

    Dormitory

  • Social Media

The Northwest School (NWS) is a middle and high school with a student population of about 500 students. Located in downtown Seattle, The Northwest School offers a unique college preparatory experience, thriving arts and athletic programs, and a friendly and supportive environment. Graduates of The Northwest School attend some of the top universities in the nation and overseas. The school has a national reputation as a vibrant intellectual community and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. The Northwest School is the only school in Seattle with a coeducational international boarding program. Its great location allows international students to not only gain an excellent education, but to also experience many aspects of American culture and life.

Location 

The Northwest School campus is anchored in the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, one of the most beautiful American cities and home to Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, Amazon, Expedia, Costco, and many other world renowned companies. The city has a friendly and highly educated population, world leading universities, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and top athletic teams. The school’s urban campus is surrounded by many art studios, museums, concert halls and theaters. The campus is just a few minutes’ walk from the shore of the Pacific Ocean, famous Pike Place Market, the first Starbucks coffee shop, the Paramount Theater, the Pacific Science Center, the Space Needle and many other cultural landmarks and recreational activities that offer students ample opportunity to learn and enjoy themselves while studying in the U.S.  

High School (9-12 grades) Curriculum

The Northwest School offers a unique interdisciplinary program of studies, consisting of an integrated humanities program, applied mathematics, science, language study, visual and performing arts experiences, and athletic competition.

  • The humanities program combines the study of History, English, Philosophy, Art History, and Literature into one three-year integrated double-credit course.  Classes meet nine times each week in lectures, small-group discussions, and regular writing tutorials with three to four students. 
  • A broad spectrum of Mathematics classes includes courses in Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Math Analysis, Calculus, Statistics, and Advanced Calculus. Students may elect to take the AP Calculus exam to earn college credit.  The most advanced students are invited to sit for the American Invitation Mathematics Examination.
  • The Science program consists of courses in Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry, Primate Biology, Advanced Chemistry, and Physics. Opportunities for field research in Primate Biology and Chemistry are provided.
  • The arts program offers 57 art courses taught by professional artists in Dance, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts. Students take 2 year-long arts classes.

The school fields 30 teams in Basketball, Soccer, Volleyball, Cross Country, Track and Field, and Ultimate Frisbee. The school also supports highly competitive athletes in extramural city and regional teams in such sports as golf, crew, and kayaking. 

College Counseling and Matriculation

The school’s College Counseling Department works with juniors and seniors on the college search and application process. 

Graduates of The Northwest School attend some of the top universities in the nation and abroad. Every year representatives from more than 100 colleges and universities from across the United States visit the school to recruit NWS students.  All NWS students are admitted to universities and colleges.  The class of 2015 middle 50% SAT score was 1760-2050. The complete list of schools attended by NWS graduates can be found on the school’s website.

Campus and Facilities

The Northwest School campus occupies one city block.  The main school building was built in 1905 and is a registered National Historic Landmark. In addition to classrooms and offices, the main building hosts art, ceramic, and dance studios, a common area, the library, a black-box theater, and a photo lab. Adjacent to the main building is the newly-built school complex that contains a dining hall, a 175-seat theatre, and a regulation-size gymnasium with a basketball / volleyball court, and fitness mezzanine. On the roof of the building, is a sport field and sky lab. 

Dormitory and Residential Life

The school’s dormitory is located on campus and houses approximately 60 high school students on gender-specific floors. Students typically live two to a room. Common areas include lounges where students can relax, watch TV, or play ping pong and foosball; a kitchen; laundry facilities; a computer lab; and a study room.  Dorm students have access to indoor basketball and volleyball courts and the fitness mezzanine.  Residential advisors are always present in the dorm to help ensure a safe and happy student body. The dorm students enjoy full housing amenities, weekend outings, in-school celebrations throughout the year, and are provided nutritious meals in the new cafeteria. 

Students are actively engaged in sports, the arts, community projects, and outdoor activities.  The Northwest School provides many opportunities for students to experience the natural environment beyond the city, through sea kayaking, rock climbing, skiing, hiking, biking and camping. The Outdoor Program offers a schedule of day and weekend-long trips throughout the year. 

Northwest School Fan Night Highlights from Northwest School on Vimeo.

Northwest School


1415 Summit Ave
Seattle WA 98122
P: 206 6827309
For more information: Northwest School