The University of the Pacific is committed to educating students by offering baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and in professional education. Through studies devoted to comprehensive learning, specialized study, scholarly and creative activity and lifelong educational development, the University strives to provide a total educational environment for students – one that encourages maximum academic, personal and social development in an intellectual community of students, faculty and staff.
An undergraduate’s formal education at Pacific consists of three parts:
- The major program or area of specialization,
- The General Education Program, which consists of the Pacific Seminars and the Breadth Program, and
- Elective courses through which a student may pursue a variety of individual interests.
The departmental majors and professional degree programs are designed to give students either extended experience in an academic discipline or preparation for specific careers. The General Education Program is designed to provide undergraduate students with common intellectual experiences and breadth of knowledge, regardless of their areas of specialization. These goals are engendered through exposure to different ways of organizing knowledge and the development of competencies such as writing, critical and quantitative reasoning, retrieval of information, oral communication, understanding diversity, and working in groups. The University assumes its graduates will move into a changing world that will require of them the capacity to add to and to adapt their existing knowledge and professional skills. The General Education Program is a major factor in providing Pacific’s students with the basis for lifelong learning. The diversity of educational programs and the organizational structure of the University allow students a broad choice in the selection of elective courses beyond those required for their major programs and for general education. Students are encouraged to participate in service learning and in work-based learning such as internships.
The University’s main campus in Stockton combines many of the advantages of a larger university with those of a small liberal arts college. A variety of programs in the arts and sciences, plus a number of professional schools, provide students with a wide range of choices in selecting their majors and in pursuing other educational interests. Active graduate programs in a variety of disciplines contribute an additional dimension of academic richness for the undergraduate student.
Although about 85% of Pacific’s students are from California, the Stockton campus student body of approximately 5,200 is large enough to include a cosmopolitan mixture of students from throughout the United States and from many foreign countries. At the same time, the relatively small size of the student body and the fact that nearly 47% of undergraduate students live on campus creates the atmosphere of a small residential campus in which most students quickly begin to feel at home. Small classes, a faculty deeply committed to undergraduate teaching, and a wide variety of extracurricular organizations and activities further aid students in becoming an integral part of the University community both academically and socially.