The Student Experience

Main page content

The University of Washington Tacoma learning experience focuses on interdisciplinary, interactive, and collaborative engagement among all members of the learning community. Programs are designed to serve the diverse needs of all learners in the greater South Puget Sound region.

On this page:


Student Learning Objectives

UW Tacoma desires to offer students receiving a degree from the university an educational experience that conveys an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the discipline in which they major, as well as a deeper knowledge of how to be a complete citizen of the community. Our five learning objectives are offered as expectations for achieving this important quality.

1. Global Perspective

Students will develop an awareness of the interrelationships among personal, local, and global entities, as well as gain understanding of issues of well-being and sustainability. Students will also learn about the importance of the social, cultural, economic, scientific, and environmental differences that mark world regions.

2. Inquiry and Critical Thinking

Students will acquire skills and familiarity with modes of inquiry and examination from diverse disciplinary perspectives, enabling them to access, interpret, analyze, quantitatively reason and synthesize information critically.

3. Diversity

Students will gain an understanding of the multiplicity of human experience and the roles that culture, environment, historical processes, and differential treatment play in shaping the diverse experiences of groups in society.

4. Civic Engagement

Students will define their roles and responsibilities as members of a broader community and develop an understanding of how they can contribute to that community for the greater good. They will have opportunities for service learning and other forms of active involvement such as undergraduate research.

5. Communication/Self-Expression

Students will gain experience with oral, written, symbolic, and artistic forms of communication and the ability to communicate with diverse audiences. They will also have the opportunity to increase their understanding

The First-Year Experience

Academic Affairs realizes the importance of a successful first year of studies. It establishes the grounding necessary to understanding the challenges ahead and the skills and confidence required to meet them. First-year students take courses as part of a close-knit community of students — a cohort — who take their first-year Core courses together. The Core is an interdisciplinary approach to learning that deepens student understanding of the world and how it works. Through this small learning community, students truly get to know their professors and classmates. Visit the links below selected from various campus resources to learn more about the freshman experience at UW Tacoma.

Freshman Admissions
Find assistance with the application process and review a FAQ that answers your basic questions about admission.

Freshman Core Curriculum
Find additional information about how the core works and see an examples of core courses.

Important Dates
Find more details about admission requirements with specific application deadlines for things like financial aid.

Undergraduate Education

Undergraduate education at UW Tacoma consists of the first-year Core, undergraduate learning objectives, general education requirements, and accomplishment of a major. Faculty and staff at UW Tacoma provide a smooth pathway for all students in this well-rounded, interdisciplinary experience.


Transfer Students

From its beginning, UW Tacoma was established to provide south sound residents an opportunity to complete their higher-education studies by attaining a bachelors degree. About two-thirds of the students at UW Tacoma come through a path that includes community college or another four-year college. The Office of Academic Affairs supports our professional recruiting, admissions, advising, and orientation staff as they help students make this transition smoothly. For more detailed information visit the Admissions: Transfer Student information page. Following are some links to additional information.

Tacoma Community College Dual Enrollment
Information about how the program works and who is able to participate.

Transfer Student Admission Requirements
Find information about the College Academic Distribution Requirements (CADR) and admission to a degree program

Direct Transfer Agreement (DTA)
View details about approved transfer degrees and guaranteed general admission to UW Tacoma

Important Dates
View transfer admission application deadlines organized by program

Graduate Studies

Graduate education at UW Tacoma promotes deepening of one's knowledge, often toward career advancement in specific fields. Applicants at the graduate level must apply to both a UW Tacoma degree program as well as the UW Graduate School. Requirements vary by program; visit the academic department website for the degree that you are seeking to pursue.

Graduate Program Night
Join other prospective graduate students and meet with graduate program advisers. Each UW Tacoma graduate program will explain admissions and other student services.

Prepare for Graduate School
Review helpful tips on preparing for graduate studies including a checklist of “key factors” to consider as well as a strategy for managing a somewhat lengthy application process.

International Graduate Students
Find a list of graduate programs that accept international F-1 students with links to more program information.