Core Graduation Requirements

The Core is a broad set of courses that lay the foundation for a liberal arts education. The Core is designed to sharpen your academic skills and allows you to explore the various modes of inquiry in the liberal arts. Your faculty adviser will help you to select appropriate courses. We suggest that you try to complete your Core requirements (with the exception of the Senior Capstone) by the end of your junior year.

First Year Seminars in the FYE Program

FYE is the First-Year Experience. The transition to college life is challenging, but also a lot of fun. FYE is designed to ensure a smooth transition. Before school starts, you'll have the chance to have some fun and meet new friends on an outdoor adventure in the Voyages program. During Orientation, you'll be introduced to both the academic and social life that will be yours for the next four years.Then your first course in the Core will be the First-Year Seminar. At Pacific, the First-Year Seminar is more than an introduction to the College and its resources; Humanities 100 is taught by experienced professors who will challenge you to think and re-think some of your basic values and how to apply them to contemporary issues.

Foundational Skills

These courses ensure a foundation in math, writing, and foreign language

Modes of Inquiry

The Core requires you to take at least one course in each of four areas of study: Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences.


The Pacific Cornerstones are four building blocks of the Core that reflect the basic values of Pacific University and its mission. Pacific Cornerstones include: Civic Engagement, International and Diverse Perspectives, Research and Creative Achievement, and Future Focus.

Focal Studies

Each student must complete two interdisciplinary focal studies. A focal study is a set of three related courses. You will be able to compare how different disciplines approach the same issue. Many options are available in the catalog, such as "Environmental Stewardship," "Science and the Philosophy of the World," "The Landscape of Self-Identity," "Analysis of Creative Expressions," and more.

Senior Capstone

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.