It was founded in 1891 as the School of the Immaculate Conception by Father Victor Garrand and Father Adrian Sweere in Downtown Seattle. Two years later construction began on the First Hill campus. There was a name change to Seattle College in 1898, and 11 years later the college awarded its first BAs. Seattle College became Seattle University in 1948.
The university includes the College of Arts and Sciences, the Albers School of Business and Economics, the School of Education, the School of Law, Matteo Ricci College, the School of Nursing, the School of Science and Engineering, and the School of Theology and Ministry, and awards bachelor's, master's, and J.D. degrees.
The School of Law was founded in 1972 as part of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Twenty-one years later UPS and Seattle University agreed on a transfer of the law school to Seattle University; in August 1994 the transfer was completed, and the school physically moved to Seattle a few years later.