Skip to Content

General Education

All accredited universities require that students complete not only a major but also a program of general education to broaden their education. At Pacific, the general education program exposes students to areas of study outside of their major, and it develops essential knowledge and skills that are transferable to students’ other courses at Pacific as well as to their personal and public lives. It is thus the liberal arts foundation of a Pacific undergraduate education.

The general education program has three main components: the Pacific seminars, the breadth program, and fundamental skills. Refer to the general education section for additional information.

The Pacific Seminars

All students who enter the University as freshman must complete the three Pacific Seminars.  Freshmen are required to take PACS 001 and PACS 002 in their first year, and PACS 003 in their last year.  Students who enter Pacific having completed 28 or more units of transferable, classroom college work that appear on a college transcript, are exempt from taking PACS 001 and PACS 002 but must complete PACS 003.  Students participating in the Freshman honors program should complete the honors section of PACS 001 regardless of the number of college units completed.

Students are not allowed to drop PACS 001 or PACS 002 for any reason, even if they plan to transfer to another college or university.  Students who would benefit from special attention to writing skills or who place into WRIT 001 are deferred from the Pacific Seminar sequence until their sophomore year.

If students fail PACS 002, they can repeat a different PACS 002 course.  However, students must pass PACS 001 and PACS 002 in order to graduate.  There are no substitutions.  The Pacific Seminars cannot be repeated if students earn a “D” or higher and they must be taken for a letter grade.

PACS 003 must be taken in the senior year, which means students must have completed 92 or more units to take the course.  Students in accelerated programs must take PACS 003 in their last year as undergraduates.

Transfer and Post Baccalaureate students must complete PACS 003.

The Breadth Program

In addition to the Pacific Seminars, students must complete between six to nine courses in the breadth program. Students should check with their school or college dean’s office for specific breadth program requirements. With the guidance of their advisor, students select courses from the categories below:

  1. Social and Behavioral Sciences
    1. Individual and Interpersonal Behavior
    2. U.S. Studies
    3. Global Studies
  2. Arts and Humanities
    1. Language and Literature
    2. Worldviews and Ethics
    3. Visual and Performing Arts
  3. Natural Sciences and Mathematics
    1. Natural Sciences
    2. Mathematics and Formal Logic
    3. Science, Technology and Society

Students can take a maximum of two courses from a single department (as defined by subject code, e.g., HIST or ENGL or MPER) to satisfy the breadth requirement; however, there is an exception for area IIC since students may take three 1-unit courses in the same discipline of applied music or dance to meet the requirement. All bachelor’s and first professional degree students on the Stockton campus must complete a minimum of two courses in each category. All students must complete a course in categories IIIA and IIIB.  Independent study courses cannot be used to satisfy general education requirements.

Catalog year determines degree requirements; however, general education (GE) courses and transfer course articulations are subject to change. It is the responsibility of the student to be informed of any GE or transfer course articulation changes.

Fundamental Skills

The University evaluates students to identify those with deficiencies in written expression and quantitative skills. These students are required to take courses designed to improve their understanding and performance in these areas. The writing and quantitative skills requirements are part of the University-wide general education program that must be met before a student graduates with a bachelor’s degree or a first professional degree.

Elective Courses

Students in most academic programs at the University find that in addition to the courses required for their major and for general education they have space in their schedules for a number of elective courses. The diversity of academic fields and specialties represented on the Stockton campus provides the student with a wide choice in the selection of electives. The University’s policy is to allow students in any program to take courses in any other school or college on campus, Some students use this freedom primarily to explore unfamiliar academic areas, some to pursue a variety of secondary intellectual interests, and some to develop another area of emphasis as an academic minor or even a formal second major.

Accelerated Programs

The University offers joint-degree programs between liberal studies, graduate and professional programs that result in accelerated learning. Requirements include varying degrees of demands on the student to take certain courses and maintain grade point averages. This educational linking is offered through the School of Engineering and Computer Science with a blended BS/MSES program, the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a Pre-Pharmacy Advantage Program, the School of Dentistry offers a Pre-Dental/DDS. accelerated program, and the McGeorge School of Law offers a Bachelor’s/JD or a Four-Year JD/MBA. Details on these programs are found in each school’s section later in this publication. Graduate program details are found in the Graduate Catalog