Crowds of people line campus walkways during 2023 Convocation at UW Tacoma.
Enrollment Turns the Corner on Pandemic Recovery
October 27, 2023
UW Tacoma enrolled 4,790 students at all levels in 2023, marking a shift that signals a post-pandemic recovery.
UW Tacoma has announced its autumn 2023 enrollment numbers. Total enrollment is essentially flat compared to last year, with 4,790 students at all levels in 2023 compared to 4,814 in 2022, a decline of less than .5%. This marks a positive shift from the previous two years, which saw enrollment declines averaging about 5% per year.
“It really feels like we are turning the corner on pandemic recovery,” said Chancellor Sheila Edwards Lange. “We have not seen the precipitous pandemic-induced declines in enrollment many of our peer institutions have seen, but we have not emerged unscathed.” Lange noted that enrollments on UW’s Seattle campus did not see a post-pandemic decline.
84% of all students on campus are undergraduates, with 16%, or more than 760, in graduate programs. 82% of students are full time. The top undergraduate majors are computer science, biomedical sciences, information science, psychology, accounting, finance, nursing, business administration and marketing. The top graduate programs are social work, computer science, accounting, education, business analytics, business administration, cybersecurity, nursing and community planning.
UW Tacoma continues to be the most diverse of the UW campuses, with 61% of undergraduates identifying as students of color. 51% of undergrads are the first in their families to go to college or will be the first to complete a four-year degree. 21% of all students have a military affiliation, meaning they are active duty or have veteran status, or are a spouse or child of someone in the military.
In 2017, UW Tacoma was awarded a designation as a minority-serving institution by the U.S. Department of Education, recognizing our enrollment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. More than 1,400, or 29% of all students, fall into these categories. The most populous cultures/ethnicities among the 33 represented on campus are Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Asian Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Cambodian, Guamanian/Chamorro and Samoan.
Rounding out the statistical look at the student body, 73% of them come to UW Tacoma from south Puget Sound, including south King County. Top feeder high schools for the newly arrived are Auburn Riverside, Kentwood Senior High and Auburn Mountainview in King County, and Puyallup Senior High and Curtis Senior High (University Place) in Pierce County. The top transfer institutions for the newly arrived are Pierce College, Tacoma Community College, Highline Community College, Green River College and South Puget Sound Community College.
Innovative systems in UW Tacoma's new Milgard Hall include custom-designed modular pods containing electrical, low-voltage, plumbing and mechanical systems such as lighting, fire detectors and sprinklers.
Former student Arabelis Wally has received a prestigious fellowship at Johns Hopkins University that will support her graduate work. The Thomas Scholarship is awarded to "exceptional students from ... minority-serving institutions to pursue PhDs in STEM fields ... ."