The official peer group that UW Tacoma uses for benchmarking institutional performance.
UW Tacoma Peer Group Institutions
The institutions listed below comprise the official peer group that UW Tacoma uses for benchmarking institutional performance, both on quantitative metrics and qualitative measures (e.g., best practices). Our first peer group was established after the creation of the University's Charting Our Course 2016-2021 strategic plan. This is our second round of identifying peer institutions.
It is difficult to find institutions that match UW Tacoma on all significant characteristics because the University occupies a very distinctive niche in higher education. Salient characteristics of UW Tacoma include:
A distinctive size range (approximately 4,400 undergraduates and 700 graduate students), which is larger than most traditional liberal arts colleges and is an important scaling factor for institutional complexity
A primary focus on undergraduate education in a commuter campus setting
A combination of traditional liberal arts with professional programs in engineering and technology, business, urban studies, education, social work and criminal justice, and nursing
An urban serving campus with strong community engagement
Master's degree programs in a range of disciplines
A highly diverse, highly first-generation, and high Pell Grant eligible student population
Each peer institution combines some but not all of these key characteristics. The peer list encompasses institutions of different Carnegie Classification types and different control, and includes both traditional peers and aspirant institutions.
The table below provides a link to the main website for each peer institution as well as the office at that institution which is best able to answer institutional data questions.
We surveyed UW Tacoma Data Fellows to determine relative weighting for each data point
We did a deviation analysis (absolute) from the UW Tacoma number for each data point
We compiled an aggregate score from the deviation analysis to determine schools that most closely match UW Tacoma
This methodology was developed by the UW Tacoma Institutional Research 2019 Data Fellows Cohort and presented to Data Fellows on April 9, 2022. It was then presented to the Administration on July 8, 2022 Feedback was incorporated at each level. Feedback on the next selection process will be accepted through the link at the bottom of this page.
Benchmarking - as a benchmark when comparing UW Tacoma and for reporting outcomes and metrics that require data from comparable institutions
Practice Comparison - for anecdotal comparison of practices, policies, and programs at institutions that are similar
While this list represents a statistical comparison of UW Tacoma as a campus, individual schools and units may decide to have their own peer groups that have a closer resemblance to the makeup and operations at their level.
Calendar for Next Peer Group Review
This peer group will be reviewed on a schedule that allows for consistency in peer group comparisons over multiple years of surveys and instruments. As needs change, the 15 IPEDS metrics can be reviewed for appropriateness and weighting. Our next review period will be Winter Quarter 2026. (Then 2030, 2034...) If you have thoughts about IPEDS data points that should be considered next time, their weighting, schools that should be considered, or other input, please let the next review committee know by providing feedback through the link provided below.