Gonzaga University is situated on more than 150 acres along Washington's Spokane River, about half a mile from downtown Spokane. With just under 5,000 undergraduates and a total enrollment of about 7,400, Gonzaga is a mid-sized school where students get a level of academic attention more commonly found at smaller colleges. The average class size is 23 students.

The school is named after the 16th-century Jesuit Saint Aloysius Gonzaga and follows the Jesuit tradition of educating the whole individual — mind, body and spirit. Professors emphasize personal relationships with students and are said to be so committed to student success that many take daily attendance and require class participation (students' grades often depend on it).

The student body is fairly homogeneous, largely religious and relatively conservative, and roughly half come from Washington state. Gonzaga students can take their pick of more than 150 of student organizations, among them the ski and snowboard club, the iZAG internet radio station, and a Dungeons and Dragons club. Bulldogs Division I basketball is a major draw for students and alumni alike — the school went to its first Final Four ever in 2017, and qualified again in 2021.