Free Course for Incoming Undergraduate Students

Pacific University's College of Arts and Sciences invites all incoming Fall 2021 students (first-year and transfer undergraduates) to participate in this free, one-credit academic course before college even starts!

PACU 155 Streetwise, Book Smart, and In-Between: What Does Being Intelligent Mean? is a FREE online course, and it will count toward the general elective requirement. This course should be a meaningful introduction to liberal arts thinking and to Pacific University. It is not meant to be rigorous or demanding.


What do the humanities, arts, social sciences, and natural sciences tell us about what it means to be intelligent? Are there different types of intelligence? How did contemporary notions of intelligence come about? Who is privileged by these notions and who is left out? This special topics course will feature Pacific professors from a variety of disciplines who will answer these questions and many more.

Prerequisites: None

Iilea am Dr. Ramona Ilea, and I will be your host professor for PACU 155. This is a course that will meet via Zoom and will include breakout sessions facilitated by Discussion Leaders.

Once you have completed this course, you will be able to: (1) summarize different ways of understanding what being intelligent means; (2) describe some of the controversial aspects of intelligence such as how to assess it and who is left out; (3) identify a few connections between different conceptions of intelligence and historical, ethical, cultural, and political structures; and (4) express yourself orally with more clarity and confidence than when you first joined the class.

Pacific is a small school fueled by the close relationships between faculty, staff, and students.  We are a caring collectivity eager to get to know our newest members at a time when we are all feeling disconnected from our usual networks and routines.  I hope this course will give you a small taste of how a quality college education can help you find meaning and a sense of purpose in your world.

Class Meeting Dates & Times

The course begins on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. We will meet on Zoom once a week every Tuesday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Oregon time for five weeks. 

Enrolling in the course is free for all admitted first-year and transfer students starting at Pacific University this Fall 2021. All readings and other materials will be provided free of cost. Students will need access to the internet in order to stream the lectures and discussion groups via Zoom.

Best of all, the course credits can be applied toward your total credits needed to graduate from Pacific University!

How to Register for this Class

Please complete the Academic Interest Survey by June 14, 2021 at 12:00 noon to register for PACU 155. You will only complete one depending on how you are entering Pacific University:

Meet Pacific Faculty & Students

You will get the chance to see Pacific professors in action. A few returning Pacific students have been selected to lead breakout discussions after faculty presentations. We know you’re going to enjoy getting to know some Pacific professors and students before the semester even begins.  

Professor Ramona Ilea, PhD will introduce the faculty and be your discussant. 

The speakers of this course will be (in the order they'll speak in):

Stress-Free College Credit

If that’s not enough to get your blood pumping, you should also know there is only one short out-of-class assignment, the class is pass/no pass (no letter grade assigned), and you can drop the course without penalty.

We know this is a hectic time for many students, which is why we designed this course to be engaging and important, yet stress-free.

Contact Us

Mike Shingle | Director, Academic & Career Advising