Current Students: Catalog 2010+


The Core is a broad set of courses that lays the foundation for a liberal arts education. The Core is designed to sharpen your academic skills and allow you to explore the various modes of inquiry in the liberal arts. Please reference your appropriate catalog year for a summary list of the Core requirements.

Catalog Year 2011-2012

Catalog Year 2010-2011

If you started at Pacific in an earlier year, return to the main menu and click on Current Students: Catalog Prior to 2010.

Your faculty adviser will help you to select appropriate courses. Except for your senior project, it is best to focus on your core requirements during your first two years and then complete them by the end of your junior year.

FYE Program

First Year Experience includes a number of elements:

A Voyages course is an outdoor adventure with other new students before school starts, combined with a skills-for-success seminar offered during the first few weeks of the fall term.

First-Year Seminar (HUM 100) provides a common learning experience for the entire freshman first-year class. It is a writing intensive course.

Intersections is the campus-wide theme for the year. Various opportunities and programming will be available.

Liberal Arts

One portion of the Core includes courses to ensure foundational skills in math, writing, and foreign language. For the writing requirement you must take Engw 201 or 202. Further details on the math and language requirements may be found in the "Mathematics" and "World Languages" sections of the advising handbook.

The liberal arts areas of study consist of four divisions: the Arts, the Humanities, the Natural Sciences and the Social Sciences. The Core requires you to take at least one course in each of these areas. Courses that fulfill these requirements can be found at Divisional Core Requirements.

Focal Studies

Each student must complete two interdisciplinary focal studies. Each focal study offers you a set of about 8-12 courses centered on a given topic. To complete a focal study you must complete three courses from the set for a total of at least ten credits. Many focal study sets are available on a variety of topics. If you would like to explore your focal study options, use the focal study course finder.

Restrictions on focal studies include


The Pacific Cornerstones are four building blocks of the Core that reflect basic values of Pacific University and its mission

Civic Engagement: complete a CE course or project

International and Diverse Perspectives: complete an IP or DP course

Research and Creative Achievement: prepare for and complete your senior project

Future Focus: special advising and programs to help shape your post-graduation plans


Your last Core requirement in your senior year is the Capstone project. For this project you will work closely with your professors in your major field of study. You will integrate what you have learned in the last four years into a high quality written paper, artistic performance, or creative work that you will present to a live audience on Senior Projects Day.