Current Students prior to 2018 | Core Requirements

The undergraduate core curriculum was updated in 2018 for all students who will begin their Pacific education in the fall of the 2018-2019 academic year. Current students can choose to stay on the pre-2018 core or move to the new core and are encouraged to contact their academic advisor or the advising center for help in making this decision.

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.

If you started at Pacific in an earlier year, it will be more helpful if the catalog of your year is used.

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
  • A focal study must include at least three courses and at least 10 credits
  • Among all of a student's focal studies courses, no more than 8 credits may come from the same disciplinary prefix
  • The same course may not be taken for credit towards more than one of a student's focal studies


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.