Cross-Disciplinary Majors and Programs

The College of the Pacific offers a variety of cross-disciplinary majors in which two areas of study are combined. The College also offers multi-disciplinary majors which draw upon the resources of several departments and programs. The cross-disciplinary programs are directed by faculty members from the cooperating departments. Students interested in one of the following programs should contact the directors of the program listed below for specific information.

 College-Wide Courses

COPD 010COP Exploratory Deans Seminar1

Geological and Environmental Sciences Major (BA)

Lydia K. Fox, Chair

The Bachelor of Arts in Geological and Environmental Sciences major is a liberal arts degree program that provides a interdisciplinary approach to studying environmental issues and concerns and geological problems that are a hallmark of the early 21st century. This major offers flexibility in course selection to allow for customization around student interests and focus areas. It may be especially useful to students who are already pursuing a major in one of the contributing fields or students who wish to pursue a professional degree (Law, Business, Public Policy, Education), but this degree may also appeal to students who simply wish to consider the Earth and its environments and its problems from a variety of perspectives.

See Geological and Environmental Sciences for degree requirements.

Ethnic Studies Minor

Marcia Hernandez, Director

Ethnic Studies is an interdisciplinary program. It provides students with multiple models of critical theories and methodologies for examining the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, culture, and class in the historical formations of the United States, with an emphasis on the experiences and perspectives of historically disenfranchised populations such as African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Incorporating courses offered in various schools and departments, its curriculum broadens students’ major fields of study, prepares students for interdisciplinary studies at the graduate level, and enhances students’ employment opportunities in law, education, business, medicine, government, communication, and social services, among other professions.

See ethnic studies program for minor requirements.

Gender Studies Minor

Marcia Hernandez, Director

The Gender Studies Program at Pacific is a thriving interdisciplinary consortium of faculty and students committed to both a curricular and cultural environment supportive of the study of gender. We are interested in how gender intersects with definitions of nationality, race, ethnicity, and class; and how gender identities are constantly redefined over time. By exploring the relationship between gender identity and cultural meaning, we prepare students to think comparatively, structurally, and critically about their experiences and impact on the world. The dialogue we foster among the liberal arts, natural sciences, and the professions enriches the intellectual life of Pacific’s students and faculty, as well as our surrounding community.

See gender studies program for minor requirements.

Latin American Studies Program

Marcia Hernandez, Director

website: see here

Latin American Studies

The mission of the Latin American Studies Program at Pacific is to create an academic environment that engages faculty and students in the interdisciplinary study of Latin America and Latinx culture, via invited lectures, films, workshops, round tables, and other cultural events as well as the minor in Latin American Studies. The interdisciplinary minor is intended to provide students with cultural competencies that will develop their knowledge of the region and provide a competitive advantage in any profession.

Minors Offered

Latin American/U.S. Latin@ Studies

Latin American/U.S. Latin@ Studies is an interdisciplinary minor designed to provide cultural and linguistic competencies that deepen the intellectual experience and provide a competitive edge in the job market. Students in the minor will examine the present and past cultures of Latin America, develop communicative competence in at least one of the languages of Latin America, explore the conception of diverse communities and engage in the challenges of the future of the region in a global context.  The minor is open to majors in all schools and disciplines. Students may choose a concentration in Latin American or U.S. Latin@ Studies suited to individual academic interests and professional goals.

See Modern Language and Literature for minor requirements.

Pre-Law Program

Cynthia Ostberg, Director

The Political Science Department offers a Pre-Law Program to assist students preparing for law school. The program includes a Pre-Law minor, meetings and programs to provide information about applying to law schools and the Law School Admissions Test, and an advisor for all students preparing for law school. Since law schools prefer that students major in a regular field, the Pre-Law minor is designed to complement the student’s major with coursework that helps prepare for the law school admissions test, and which also strengthens students’ skills in areas they need in law school.

See political science department for minor requirements.

Pacific Legal Scholars Program

Daniel Croxall, Director

Website: See Here

The Pacific Legal Scholars Program offers students interested in pursuing a career in law the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree and a JD degree in an abbreviated period of time. The program offers both a 3+3 and 4+3 track, each with specific admissions requirements. Qualified students complete all major and general education course requirements, 3 seminar classes for law school preparation, 1 upper division law course, 5 off-campus law-related activities, and 4 on-campus law-related activities. Common majors for students in the program include Political Science, Business, International Relations, English, Communications, Psychology, History, Sociology, and Economics.

See the program director for degree and program requirements in Political Science.

Self-Designed Major (BA)

Cynthia Dobbs, Associate Dean

A unique opportunity for students who have special academic or career objectives not directly met by existing majors is the “self-designed’’ major. Students may pursue either an interdisciplinary program or a discipline specific program of study as part of the self-designed major. In this program a student works with several faculty members to construct a major organized around a particular theme or interdisciplinary course of study or around a specific discipline offered in the College which does not have a regular major program. All self-designed majors must be approved by the Associate Dean of the College.

See the College Academic Affairs Office (WPC 113) for degree requirements.

Thematic Minor

Cynthia Dobbs, Associate Dean

Students interested in designing their own minor program around a specific area of interest or field of study offered in the College may do so by declaring a Thematic Minor. The student with a declared major and a minimum 2.65 grade point average may select the Thematic Minor so long as it does not duplicate or closely parallel an existing major or minor. The Thematic Minor must contain at least 20 units, normally five courses. No course may count for both the student’s major and the Thematic Minor, and no more than one course may be completed outside the University. Some advanced courses must be included.

See the College Academic Affairs Office (WPC 113) for minor requirements.

Major Programs for Students Seeking a Teaching Credential

College of the Pacific students can pursue a preliminary Single Subject (SS) teaching credential for:

  • Art,
  • English,
  • Mathematics,
  • Biology,
  • Chemistry,
  • Physics,
  • Geoscience,
  • Spanish,
  • Social Science, and
  • Music Education (Conservatory of Music).

The department major programs recommended for the Single Subject areas are described in the departmental sections of this catalog. Students may also check with the Academic Affairs Office of the College of the Pacific (WPC 111) to learn more about departments that offer majors for the single subject credential.

Teaching Credential Requirements

A student in the College of the Pacific who seeks a Single Subject (SS) preliminary credential through the University of the Pacific must complete the following:

  • earn a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree,
  • meet the Basic Skills Requirement or pass the CBEST exam,
  • pass the California Subject Examinations (CSET) for the teaching area,
  • pass a course or test on the Constitution of the United States,
  • pass the edTPA portfolio requirement, and
  • pass specified professional preparation courses offered by Benerd College.
Information on Degree

A student in the College of the Pacific who seeks a credential may complete any major program. However, the College of the Pacific offers specified baccalaureate degree programs that fulfill the degree requirements and support CSET preparation.

Information about curriculum and credential courses in Benerd College required for teacher preparation as well as state requirements is available in room 111 – Student and Credential Services (the Hive) of the Benerd College building (Gladys L. Benerd School of Education).

Information on Exams and Other Requirements

The Basic Skills Requirement and CSET must be passed before a candidate can student teach or intern. CSET examinations in Single Subject fields, except for Music, are required. The Department of Music Education (Conservatory of Music) provides a state-approved subject matter program that waives the need to take the Music CSET. Information on the Basic Skills

CPR Certification is also required for a preliminary credential (see the section on Benerd College in this catalog for information on the Basic Skills Requirement).

Students who seek entry into Teacher Education Credential Candidacy need a minimum GPA of 2.5 in undergraduate coursework.

Social Sciences Major (BA)

Jennifer Helgren, Adviser

The Social Sciences major is an interdisciplinary program that provides training in History, Political Science, Sociology, Economics and Geography.  Social Sciences students learn both qualitative and quantitative methodologies in their exploration of human society.  Graduates may pursue careers such as business administration, government, law, law enforcement, human resources, and public policy.  The major is also designed for students interested in high school teaching and coaching.  The major is aligned with the Social Science subject matter exam on the California Subject Examination for Teachers (CSET).    Prospective teachers must earn a passing score on the the Social Sciences CSET exam to be certified as teachers.  Students completing the Social Sciences major in the College of the Pacific may also concurrently complete the Single Subject Credential through the Benerd School of Education.

The major is housed in the History department and shares learning outcomes with the History major.   See the history department for degree requirements.

Programs in the Health Professions*

C. Vierra (Biology), Chair
J. Lin-Cereghino (Biology), Assistant Chair

Pre-Health Professions Committee

Pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy, pre-nursing and medical technology students may major in any academic subject they prefer as long as they also fulfill the entrance requirements for the medical, dental, nursing schools, or physical therapy programs, or medical technology programs to which they plan to apply.

The University does not list a pre-medical, pre-dental, pre-physical therapy or pre-nursing major. A student in any of these programs must declare an academic major prior to graduation in order to be a candidate for a baccalaureate degree in the College of the Pacific.

Details of these and other programs appear in this catalog under the section describing the departmental majors and cross-disciplinary majors of the College of the Pacific and the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (Pre-physical therapy Advantage Program).

Pre-Medical Program*

Advisors: D. Maxwell (Biology), C. Vierra (Biology), A. Franz (Chemistry)

The following courses are suggested as only a minimum preparation for medical school: one year of general chemistry; one year of organic chemistry; one year of beginning biology plus an additional three to five courses in biology; one year of physics; one semester each of calculus and statistics; and additional coursework in English (one year), behavioral and social sciences and humanities.

Pre-Dental Program*

Advisors include all faculty in the Department of Biological Sciences.  Dr. Marcos Gridi-Papp is the Pre-Dental Program Advisor for the College of the Pacific.

The following courses are suggested as only a minimum preparation for most dental schools: one year of general chemistry; one year of organic chemistry; four semesters of biology; one year of general physics (all with lab); and one year of English which includes one course in composition. Note: One year in English requirement can be met by Pacific Seminar I and II.

Publications on Admissions Requirements

Medical School Requirements, USA and Canada, Association of American Medical Schools, One Dupont Circle NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Admission Requirements of U.S. and Canadian Dental Schools, American Association of Dental Schools, 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036-2212.


Correspondence regarding the Pre-Dental Program should be directed to L. Wrischnik, Department of Biological Sciences. Correspondence regarding the Pre-Medical Program should be directed to D. Maxwell, Department of Biological Sciences. Correspondence regarding the other programs in the Pre-Health Professions should be directed to D. Maxwell, Department of Biological Sciences.


College of the Pacific Courses

COPD 010. COP Exploratory Deans Seminar. 1 Unit.

This is a general introduction to make a successful transition to college. Emphasis is on styles of learning, research, writing and presentation skills, collaborative learning, critical thinking and self-assessment. This course also provides a format for COP Exploratory students to gain exposure to a variety of disciplines within and outside of The College. Recommended for all COP Exploratory first year students. Offered only in the Fall.

COPD 093. Special Topics. 4 Units.

COPD 193. Special Topics. 1-4 Units.