Mission, values and vision


The University of Washington Tacoma educates diverse learners and transforms communities by expanding the boundaries of knowledge and discovery.


Our fundamental purpose is to educate students for life as global citizens. UW Tacoma is a distinctive expression of the University of Washington that provides access to an exceptional education for citizens who choose to live and learn in the South Puget Sound region.

We recognize that an excellent education connects knowledge across disciplines. At UW Tacoma, excellence is founded on integrity, dedication and collaboration. We believe that learning is a vehicle that advances students toward fulfilling lives and meaningful careers.

Our community of learners is strengthened by a diversity of voices. Listening to the UW Tacoma community, we have identified four core values that guide us: Excellence, Community, Diversity and Innovation. We share these values and strive to live by them.


UW Tacoma…

  • commits to excellence in teaching, scholarship, research and service;
  • offers a curriculum that balances core knowledge and skills with responsiveness to student and community need;
  • embraces an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge that instills problem-solving and critical thinking skills for meaningful lives;
  • engages minds by connecting knowledge with experience, fostering wisdom;
  • infuses global and local awareness into its thinking and actions;
  • encourages student-faculty-staff interaction and a reciprocal exchange of knowledge;
  • nurtures a community of learners and develops the whole person by offering opportunities to learn and grow both inside and outside the classroom;
  • provides an environment where students can succeed.


UW Tacoma…

  • celebrates the success of its people;
  • fosters an atmosphere in which individuals work together to make their best contributions;
  • preserves a culture of connection and collaboration as it grows;
  • partners with communities to improve the human condition;
  • cultivates mutually supportive relations with educational partners;
  • contributes knowledge that serves diverse communities;
  • honors the cultural and civic heritage of its community;
  • serves as a catalyst for economic, technological and community development.


UW Tacoma …

  • promotes an environment where diverse perspectives and experiences are expected;
  • seeks out and supports individuals who may experience barriers in gaining access to college;
  • stimulates a vibrant learning community by presenting lectures, events and performances that inspire new views;
  • encourages and rewards intercultural competence;
  • aligns its values with its actions in support of justice and fairness;
  • attracts and retains a community of people and ideas representing diverse cultures and experiences.


UW Tacoma…

  • generates new knowledge and embraces varied ways of knowing;
  • perpetuates the pioneering spirit of UW Tacoma’s beginnings;
  • seeks new ways to create opportunity;
  • inspires creative ways of seeing and solving problems;
  • expands resources and makes thoughtful use of existing ones;
  • lives in harmony with the environment and is a wise steward of natural resources;
  • grows stronger through the collective wisdom of its community.


Within the next ten years, UW Tacoma will become a more comprehensive institution that will respond with distinction to the needs of the region, state, nation and the world. UW Tacoma will achieve distinctiveness as an urban campus of the University of Washington through its commitment to three principles:

  • Access to an exceptional university education;
  • An interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and discovery in the 21st century;
  • A strong and mutually supportive relationship between the campus and its surrounding communities.

As the campus grows, UW Tacoma will strengthen its learning culture, research, institutional structures, and academic and co-curricular programs necessary to embody these three commitments and to uphold the standards of excellence, shared governance and academic freedom that are hallmarks of the University of Washington. It will also develop and implement assessment plans that serve as measurable benchmarks for institutional progress.

The core values of the institution — excellence, community, diversity and innovation — will shape the specific goals and methods UW Tacoma chooses to address these commitments and build its distinction as a campus.