Advantage Scholars Program


The Pacific University Advantage Program offers students rigorous preparation for careers in the health professions through a combination of coursework, advising, observational hours, experiential learning opportunities and assistance with the application process.

In addition, students in the Advantage Program may apply for an early decision for admission to Pacific’s health professions programs during their junior year. Advantage Scholars who successfully complete all program requirements will be offered one guaranteed interview with the Pacific University Graduate or Professional Program of their choice.

Successful early-decision applicants will thus be able to complete their senior year with the knowledge that they have a space held for them in one of Pacific’s graduate or professional programs, provided they continue to perform well in their coursework and meet standards.

All early acceptances will be provisional, in that accepted juniors will have to meet requirements during the year leading up to admission, including receiving an undergraduate degree from Pacific University, and fulfilling requirements set by the program.

Program Highlights

  • Early exposure to various healthcare careers, including pathways to prepare to enter these careers. Guest speakers will discuss opportunities and challenges, as well as educational and other requirements for various healthcare careers.
  • A hands-on learning approach: Advantage Scholars are encouraged to gain experience through observational hours, internships, and research opportunities obtained by the students with assistance from the Career Development Center.
  • Pre-professional advising through in-depth guidance from a pre-health professions faculty advisor and Pathways career advisor including assistance in developing academic plans consistent with student goals.
  • Assistance with professional program applications from the Career Development Center and Pathways career advisor. Get advice and support with preparation of resumes, applications, admissions essays, and requests for scholarships, assistantships, and grants for graduate school.
  • A strong, academically competitive liberal arts education. Pacific’s core curriculum offers the advantages of a broad-based education. This enhances a student’s ability to relate to patients and helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills which will prepare the student academically for the rigors of professional school.

Testimonials From Past Students

"As an undergraduate at Pacific, I knew that I wanted to enter the Optometry profession. I formed important bonds with Optometry faculty early on. I owe a lot of my success to those early interactions with the professors in undergraduate and graduate school."

—Dr. Fraser Horn, '00, OD '04
Assistant Professor of Optometry