Undergraduate Experience

Personal. Life Changing. Path Making.


Undergraduates at Pacific’s beautiful residential Forest Grove Campus benefit from caring faculty, stimulating classes, intellectual challenges, and a choice of more than 40 academic majors and almost as many minors. But the real magic of a residential liberal arts education at Pacific occurs at the intersections of coursework and the almost unbounded opportunities beyond the classroom. The most diverse student body in the Pacific Northwest becomes a family, working together to explore great ideas and build global community. Experiences ignite connections, connections open to new insights and unanticipated futures. Even those students who come in knowing exactly where they want to arrive will be surprised by where else they go.

Personal and Personally Challenging

Small classes and close faculty-student relationships create an inherently personal education. Faculty members know their students by name and provide substantial individual guidance and feedback in and out of the classroom. That closeness also means that faculty members challenge each student, individually, to meet high standards and achieve great intellectual and personal growth. Mentored by a faculty advisor, students synthesize their learning and demonstrate their achievement through a rigorous senior project, presented to their peers and the public on Senior Projects Day. At Pacific, students are challenged to achieve even more than they thought they could, and they are given the support to meet the challenge.

Hands On

At Pacific, education is experiential both in and out of the classroom. While students will sometimes enjoy exhilarating lectures, more often they will learn by doing.

  • Analyzing texts
  • Conducting research
  • Solving problems
  • Debating ideas
  • Putting knowledge into practice in real world contexts

Those real-world contexts occur through research, field work, civic engagement, internships and performances. Pacific students don’t just learn the facts; they learn how to learn, as well as how to apply what they learn to new situations. Consider the examples of environmental programs, Workshop Physics and applied theatre.


It is no accident that Pacific draws students who care about their communities and feel compelled to make a positive difference in the world. Since its 1849 founding, Pacific has lived its heritage of serving the underserved. That heritage is realized today through Pacific’s themes of diversity, civic engagement, global citizenship, sustainability and justice. Undergraduates develop their understanding and leadership capacities as they serve the global good, through a required civic engagement experience, intercultural and international study, and a wealth of cocurricular activities that make Pacific a home linked inextricably to the wider world.

Future Focused

A rigorous core curriculum provides crucial foundations; academic programs provide rich options for developing specialized knowledge and skills. But students at Pacific also benefit from superior advising and a host of supplemental experiences intentionally designed to help them plan and prepare for focused yet flexible futures. For instance, our Advantage Scholars Program provides special pathways for students pursuing health professions careers. The Career Development Center assigns a career counselor to every student and provides rich programming designed to help students discover their career interests, pursue internships, develop resume and interview skills, and connect the dots between their education and their dreams. At Pacific, preparation for a life well lived is also preparation for professional success.


The vast majority of our undergraduate students and the undergraduate programs we offer at Pacific University are in the College of Arts & Sciences, with some students also in the Colleges of Education, Business and Health Professions.

College of Arts & Sciences Mission

The College of Arts & Sciences provides a rigorous liberal arts education grounded in inquiry and invigorated by innovative thinking and a commitment to active, enlightened citizenship. Students prepare to live fulfilling lives, to become leaders in their chosen fields, and to cultivate a just and sustainable world.

Guiding Themes

Student-centered discovery and creativity | A dedication first and foremost to helping students discover their interests, develop and share their talents, and achieve excellence in their chosen fields

Integration and application | An emphasis on opportunities to connect and integrate learning experiences and to put knowledge into practice in new situations and environments

Intercultural knowledge and global citizenship | A focus on providing international and diverse perspectives paired with collaborative engagement and responsible participation in local and global communities

Well-being and sustainable practices | A commitment to the broader well being of individuals, communities and the planet

Future focus and demonstrated achievement | A commitment to providing structured, guided pathways to achievement and success in college and beyond