UW Tacoma is first and foremost a change agent for our region, 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 150-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 — an urban campus setting; top-drawer faculty known for their teaching ability; a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum; and high standards of social responsibility.
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.
At UW Tacoma, faculty members engage students in interdisciplinary programs. Students learn in small classes, getting to know their teachers while participating in research and service projects.
Freshmen take our 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. Core students are grouped into cohorts, spending their first year as part of a close-knit learning community.
Transfer students take advantage of degree programs and course schedules designed to accommodate busy lives. Graduate students work closely with faculty in an intimate academic environment.
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.
Set in the historic Warehouse 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 stately 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.
The campus's 46-acre 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. The Link, a 1.6-mile light rail streetcar, stops right in front of campus and offers free rides to the center of downtown or the Tacoma Dome. You can catch a bus right in front of campus. There’s even an express bus to take you from here to the UW Seattle campus.