Pacific Priority Provides Path To Guaranteed Grad School Admission

Pacific University's Old College HallPacific University is easing the path to a successful college and professional career, implementing an innovative program that provides guaranteed graduate school admissions at the same time as undergraduate admission.

Part of the Pacific Priority program, guaranteed grad school admission allows students to “save a seat” in a Pacific University graduate program before they even begin their first year of college.

Incoming students can apply for grad school as soon as they commit to Pacific, and current undergraduates and transfer students can apply as juniors. Students are then guaranteed a spot in the graduate program of their choice, provided that they meet specific academic and admissions benchmarks throughout their undergraduate studies.

The program is available now for students entering Pacific in 2024-2025 and also will be available to current Pacific undergraduate students.

The guarantee applies to 10 different graduate programs, including three doctoral programs, four disciplines in the health professions, and three master’s programs in education:  

Doctor of Occupational Therapy
Doctor of Optometry
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Master of Science in Athletic Training
Master of Business Administration
Master of Nonprofit Leadership
Master of Social Work
Master of Education
Master of Arts in Teaching
Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology

While many Pacific Priority students choose to begin graduate classes upon completion of their undergraduate studies, some programs will allow for accelerated dual admission or allow students to take graduate classes during the fourth year of their undergraduate career. Some programs will also allow students to take a break between graduation and the beginning of graduate school.

“Students often choose Pacific with a clear sense of purpose. Many are planning on careers in healthcare or education, and the Pacific Priority program gives them a clear path to achieving those goals,” said Pacific University President Jenny Coyle.  “Our students are passionate about serving their communities and uplifting others through their careers, and we are here to empower them in that vision.”

About 13% of all Pacific University alumni hold at least two degrees from the university, most in the education and health profession fields.

The Pacific Priority program also includes the university’s longstanding four-year graduation guarantee. And it introduces a similar two-year graduation guarantee, which assures transfer students who have earned associate degrees from schools in Oregon, Washington, California or Hawaiʻi the chance to graduate in two years for most undergraduate majors.

Both the four-year and two-year graduation guarantees assure that Pacific will provide all of the courses needed to graduate within those periods. If the university fails to offer a required course, Pacific will authorize a substitute, waive the requirement, or cover the tuition costs to take the required course(s) at Pacific the next semester that it is offered.

“College is an investment for our students and their families, and they want to know that it is one that will pay off,” said Sarah Phillips, interim vice president of enrollment management and student affairs. “These programs assure students that they can graduate on time and have a direct pathway to the next step in their lives.”

For more on Pacific Priority, visit the Pacific Priority website at

Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024