University of Washington Tacoma

UW Tacoma is an urban-serving university providing access to students in a way that transforms families and communities. We impact and inform economic development through community-engaged students and faculty. We conduct research that is of direct use to our community and region. And, most importantly, we seek to be connected to our community’s needs and aspirations.


The University of Washington Tacoma is accredited as a unit of the University of Washington by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. Learn more about accreditation.

The UW connection

UW Tacoma is one of three campuses that make up the University of Washington: the 158-year-old Seattle campus, and the Tacoma and Bothell campuses, both founded in 1990. We offer many of the same educational qualities as our sister universities — a vibrant campus setting; top-drawer faculty known for their teaching ability; a rigorous, interdisciplinary curriculum; and high standards of social responsibility.


UW Tacoma’s diverse student body includes a broad range of ethnic and family backgrounds, ages, interests and experience. More than 80 percent of students transfer to UW Tacoma from one of the many community colleges in the area or from other universities. Freshmen from high schools all over the Puget Sound and beyond make up a growing portion of students. Add to the mix students who are returning to school after years away, military personnel and their families, and professionals working on new career goals. Our students create a kaleidoscope of perspectives crucial to learning.


Education at UW Tacoma happens both in and out of the classroom. Our size means students have the opportunity to work one on one with faculty on research and service projects. This approach helps reinforce key concepts and provides students with practical experience they need to launch their careers.


UW Tacoma is an urban-serving university, closely linked with Tacoma and the South Puget Sound. We’re a member of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities, a network of public, urban, research universities committed to creating an educated workforce, building strong communities and improving the health of diverse populations.


The 46-acre campus footprint is located on a hillside overlooking the Port of Tacoma and Mount Rainier, on the southern edge of downtown Tacoma, next to museums and the beautifully reconstructed Union Station. Within walking distance are an array of restaurants, attractions, businesses, shops, parks, museums and historic architecture.

Land Acknowledgement

The UW Tacoma community acknowledges that we learn, teach, work and live on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people. In particular, our campus is situated on traditional lands of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians.

We recognize that this is a difficult and painful history, and we understand we must play an active role in remembering, not just what happened to Indigenous communities’ post settlement, but also the rich history that existed long before colonization. This land acknowledgement is one small act in an ongoing process of honoring the past while working together with local Tribes to build a more inclusive and thoughtful community.

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