About University of Washington Tacoma

UW Tacoma campus at sunset

UW Tacoma is an urban-serving university providing access to students in a way that transforms families and communities. We impact and inform economic development through community-engaged students and faculty. We conduct research that is of direct use to our community and region. And, most importantly, we seek to be connected to our community’s needs and aspirations.

The UW connection

UW Tacoma is one of three campuses that make up the University of Washington: the 152-year-old Seattle campus, and the Tacoma and Bothell campuses, both founded in 1990. We offer many of the same educational qualities as our sister universities — a vibrant campus setting; top-drawer faculty known for their teaching ability; a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum; and high standards of social responsibility.

Students

UW Tacoma’s diverse student body includes a broad range of ethnic and family backgrounds, ages, interests and experience. More than 80 percent of students transfer to UW Tacoma from one of the many community colleges in the area or from other universities. Freshmen from high schools all over the Puget Sound and beyond make up a growing portion of students. Add to the mix students who are returning to school after years away, military personnel and their families, and professionals working on new career goals. Our students create a kaleidoscope of perspectives crucial to learning.

Learning

At UW Tacoma, students learn in small classes, getting to know their faculty while participating in research and service projects. First-year students complete an innovative core curriculum, which blends different fields of study into interdisciplinary classes. Courses might mix art and ecology, or business and social science. The result is a rich learning environment where students are encouraged to challenge themselves. 

Community

UW Tacoma is an urban-serving university, closely linked with Tacoma and the South Puget Sound. We’re a member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, a network of public, urban, research universities committed to creating an educated workforce, building strong communities and improving the health of diverse populations.

Location

Set in the historic Union Station District, UW Tacoma owes its charm to century-old, brick buildings that were built to last by businesses that depended on the railroad in the late 1880s and early 1900s. The university has earned architectural awards for transforming these buildings into modern classrooms. In the design of its beautiful campus, UW Tacoma honors the traditions of the Northern Pacific Railroad and its part in establishing Tacoma as the City of Destiny.

Campus

The 46-acre campus footprint is located on a hillside overlooking the Port of Tacoma and Mount Rainier, on the southern edge of downtown Tacoma, next to museums and the beautifully reconstructed Union Station. Within walking distance are an array of restaurants, attractions, businesses, shops, parks, museums and historic architecture.