Degrees and Majors

Application for Degree

All degree candidates must submit an Application for Graduation to the Registrar's Office in order to have a degree conferred.  To receive a May degree or participate in May's Commencement ceremony, students must apply by January 15. To receive an August degree or participate in August's Commencement ceremony the Application for Graduation must be submitted by May 15.

Degree Conferral Dates

Degrees are conferred on the following dates throughout the year:

  • January 31
  • 3rd Saturday in May
  • June 30
  • 2nd Saturday in August
  • August 31
  • September 30

Formal university-wide commencement ceremonies are held in Forest Grove in May and August. The MFA in Writing program holds a ceremony in Forest Grove in June. 

Honors Associated with Certain Degrees

Students receiving an Arts & Sciences baccalaureate degree will be designated "cum laude" if they achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 to 3.69, "magna cum laude" if they achieve 3.70 to 3.90, and "summa cum laude" if they achieve 3.91 to 4.00.

Students receiving the doctor of optometry or master of science in physical therapy degrees will be designated "with distinction" if they achieve a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 or above.

Time Limit for Completion of Degrees

Unless otherwise noted within specific programs, all work for graduate degrees (including transferred credits, dissertation, examination, etc.) must be completed within a period of seven calendar years.

Degree Requirements

Degree requirements are detailed in the Pacific University Catalog. Please refer to the section of the catalog for the program that you are interested in.

Major/Minor Declaration (College of Arts & Sciences)

Every student must have a declared major, with a schedule approved by a faculty advisor in the major department, by the end of the sophomore year. Students are urged to plan wisely for a major program well before that time, in consultation with the faculty advisor. Minors may be combined with majors to satisfy interests and more effectively prepare for a profession.

Waiver of Departmental Requirements and Course Prerequisites

Upon formal request by the student, academic departments may waive requirements for a major or minor if faculty are satisfied that the student has already achieved the knowledge expected. Similarly, prerequisites may be waived at the discretion of the instructor. Course waivers do not reduce the number of credits needed for any requirements.

Academic Evaluation (Arts & Sciences)

Academic Evaluation, also referred to as "Degree Audit", analyzes the student's program from transcripted coursework and current registration. Coursework is distributed according to the way degree requirements and programs have been written. The Academic Evaluation Report displays this analysis and, along with the catalog, is a primary tool for academic advising. Students may access their program evaluation through their BoxerOnline account.

Academic Evaluation (Professional Programs)

Academic Evaluations for professional students are available only upon request. Please email our office at with your name, your program, and where you would like your evaluation sent.