At UW Tacoma, we have designed our Core curriculum to be an intellectually stimulating experience that will help students make connections within their learning community and between academic disciplines.
Freshmen take courses as part of a close-knit community of students — a cohort — who take their first-year Core courses together. In the Core curriculum's small learning community, students truly get to know their professors and classmates. Our Core courses promote an interdisciplinary approach to learning that deepens student understanding of the world and how it works.
The Core is a series of courses designed to help students develop critical thinking and writing skills as well as understanding of a wide variety of subjects. Students may earn credit in art and economics one quarter, history and sociology the next. Discussion, lectures, reading, writing and projects help first-year students engage topics in ways that broaden their perspective and encourage inquiry.
Freshmen may also take TCORE 100, a 2-credit course designed to assist students in preparing for academic writing at the college level.
In addition to registering for your core classes, full-time students also choose electives. As part of the Core learning community, academic advisors assist students in educational planning. That includes identifying prerequisites — such as science and math courses — that must be taken prior to application to a major. Academic advisors also help students find academic and co-curricular support they may need as they adjust to college life.
The Core program prepares students for success at the upper division level by focusing on campus-wide learning goals: communication and self-expression, civic engagement, critical inquiry, global perspectives, diverse cultural views and the ability to solve problems. The program is a coordinated series of courses representing the various disciplines in the university. Students take four courses that fulfill a portion of the university's general education requirements, one course in each of the three areas of knowledge plus Composition.
The courses are designed to challenge first-year students to develop critical thinking, writing, research and analytical skills while they engage socially relevant topics. Students participating in the Core program are part of a learning community that involves students, faculty and staff. Each Core class is capped at 25 students, and Composition courses are capped at 20. The small class sizes foster a sense of community and engaged learning. Students complete the Core requirements over the course of their first year (Autumn, Winter, and Spring Quarters).
Summer Advising and Registration Workshops for Core Students
The Office of Undergraduate Education was delighted to partner with the Academic Advising Center to deliver a series of advising and registration workshops for incoming first-year students during Summer 2014. These workshops were a great opportunity for students to make connections, get registered for classes, and hear from a variety of people - faculty, staff, and fellow students - who are here to help as they take the first steps of their college journey! We also scheduled Math Placement testing to coincide with the dates of these workshops. We look forward to offering similar workshops again next summer!
Core Student Learning Goals
Inquiry and Critical Thinking
- inquiry & problem solving: collect, evaluate, and analyze information and resources to solve problems or answer questions.
- research methods & application: approach complex issues by taking a large question and breaking it down into manageable pieces.
- synthesis & context: make meaningful connections among assignments and readings in order to develop a sense of the ‘big picture.’
- argumentation: formulate an original thesis-driven argument and sustain it in both written and verbal communication.
- analysis: identify, analyze, and summarize/represent the key elements of a text.
- disciplinary awareness: enter/place themselves into an existing dialogue (intellectual, political, etc.).
- expression of ideas: express ideas clearly in writing and speaking in order to synthesize and evaluate information before presenting it.
Global Perspective-Diversity-Civic Engagement
- disciplinary perspective: understand events and processes as ‘disciplinarily’ situated.
- global perspective: interact with concepts, ideas, and processes related to the interdependences between personal, local, and global relationships.
- diversity: think outside of cultural norms and values, including their own perspectives, to critically engage the larger world.
- civic engagement: interact with concepts, ideas, and processes related to civic engagement.
- Use quantitative evidence (including statistics, graphs, etc.) in support of an argument.
- Analyze and evaluate a chart or graph and interpret it (through discussion, a written assignment, etc.)
- Find quantitative data to support an argument.
General Education Requirements
The University of Washington Tacoma has established minimum general education and basic skills requirements for baccalaureate degrees. Each academic program and major meets or exceeds these minimum requirements.
- Cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 for all work done in residence at the university.
- 180 academic credits minimum to include:
- 15 credits in writing to include no fewer than 5 credits in English composition [C] (with a minimum 2.0 grade) and 10 additional credits in writing-intensive [W] courses
- 5 credits in reasoning [RSN]
(Students who first enrolled in college prior to 1985 are exempt from this requirement.)
- 3 credits minimum in diversity coursework; designated courses which focus on the sociocultural, political and economic diversity of human experience and help students develop an understanding of the complexities of living in increasingly diverse and interconnected societies. For students admitted as of Autumn 2014.
- 40 credits of areas of inquiry courses including no fewer than 10 credits in each area of study:
- Natural Sciences [NSc]
- Social Sciences [SSc]
- Arts and Humanities [A&H]
Courses taken to fulfill the writing [W], reasoning [RSN] and academic major requirements may apply as appropriate to the Areas of Knowledge requirement.
Arts and Humanities [A&H]
Courses in this area focus on the history, interpretation, criticism and practice of the arts. The requirement is meant to help you develop a personal appreciation of the creative process. Some of the courses that fall in this area address the arts, communication, film, foreign languages, history, literature, philosophy and writing.
Social Sciences [SSc]
This area includes a wide variety of options for the study of human beings and societies. Courses focus on the history, development, and dynamics of human behavior, as well as social and cultural institutions and practices. Some of the courses that fall in this area address the arts, communication, economics, history, non-profit public affairs, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology and women studies.
The Natural Science [NSs]
Courses in this area focus on the disciplined, scientific study of the natural world. The area can be divided into three broad categories: the mathematical sciences, the physical sciences, and the biological sciences. Some of the courses that fall in this area address business, environmental science, urban studies and mathematics.
World Language Admission Deficiency. If admitted with an admission deficiency in world language, this must be completed prior to graduation. This may be satisfied with two year of a single language in high school, completion of college level coursework through 102, or by proficiency exam or CLEP.
World Language Admission Deficiency: World Language Admission Deficiency. If admitted with an admission deficiency in world language, this must be completed prior to graduation. This may be satisfied with two years of a single language in high school, completion of college-level coursework through 102, or by proficiency exam or CLEP.
More information on general university graduation requirements for undergraduate students.
Undergraduate Education offers courses with the 'TCORE' and 'TUNIV' prefixes. Follow the links below to browse the complete list of courses within each prefix. Additional quarterly schedule information is available in the UW Tacoma Registration Guide.
OUE courses by prefix
Core Course Schedule with Descriptions
THE CORE PROGRAM at UW TACOMA
The Core Program prepares students for success at the upper division level by focusing on campus-wide learning goals: communication and self-expression, civic engagement, critical inquiry, global perspectives, diverse cultural views and the ability to solve problems. This program is a coordinated series of courses representing the various disciplines in the university. You will take four courses that fulfill a portion of the university's general education requirements. The courses are designed to challenge you to develop critical thinking, writing, research and analytical skills. Each CORE class is capped at 25 students, and Composition courses are capped at 20. The small class size fosters a sense of community and engaged learning. See your advisor to enroll in these courses.
Descriptions from past quarters:
- Spring 2016 Core Course schedule with descriptions
- Winter 2016 Core Course schedule with descriptions
- Autumn 2015 Core Course schedule with descriptions
- Spring 2015 Core Course schedule with descriptions
- Winter 2015 Core Course schedule with descriptions
- Autumn 2014 Core Course schedule with descriptions
Current course titles and descriptions are available in the note section of the TCORE Time Schedule.
Declaring a major
If you have not yet applied to a major — For example psychology, communications, business administration or social welfare — you are considered an undeclared student. Undeclared students can be first-year students, sophomores, juniors or — in very rare instances — seniors.
As an undeclared student, you can learn more about academic advising on the University Academic Advising Center website. While most students declare a major by the end of their second year, it is also normal for students to change their major several times before graduation. UW Tacoma has many majors to choose from. Some majors are capacity-constrained — there are only a certain number of seats available and students need to apply — others don't require prerequisites.
What is the Summer Bridge program?
The Summer Bridge program provides incoming freshmen with tools for success as they navigate a new academic environment and face the personal and academic challenges of being a first-year student. Students will develop these tools for success by attending and successfully completing their first university course and taking advantage of the orientations and the personal, academic and financial aid support and counseling available through Summer Bridge.