Special Academic Programs and Activities

Experiential Learning at Pacific

For decades universities have used experiential learning programs as a way to assist students in integrating their academic training with the practical side of the working world. These programs have allowed the students to gain hands-on experience in a relatively risk-free environment while being supervised and mentored by their faculty and the work site professional. As Pacific students prepare themselves for their own career journey, the value of work experience in each student’s field of interest has never been greater. Today’s employers are more likely to hire students who combine appropriate classroom training with meaningful experience in the working world.

Cooperative education, internship, and professional training programs have long been a hallmark of academic distinctiveness at the University of the Pacific. In 1999, Pacific’s Academic Council approved a revision to the experiential learning programs that will meet the needs of the students far into the 21st century. In addition to traditional internship, cooperative education, and clinical programs, Pacific has expanded offerings to include fieldwork, service learning, research, practicum and study abroad. Now there is virtually something for every major and every academic program. There has never been a more appropriate or easier time to get involved in an experiential learning program.

Pacific’s Career Resource Center urges all current and future students to consider adding an Experiential Learning Opportunity (ELO) to their academic pursuits. For additional information about ELO offerings, please contact the Career Resource Center (CRC) office at (209) 946-2361.

Undergraduate Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research supports research and creative activity for undergraduates.  In particular, it provides funding for student research projects and hosts the annual Pacific Undergraduate Research & Creativity Conference (PURCC).  In addition, it helps connect students with research and conference presentation opportunities both on and off campus. For more information, contact Dr. Lydia Fox at 209-946-2481.

Education Abroad

University of the Pacific offers students opportunities to study, intern or volunteer abroad for a semester or even an academic year through a global network of partners and providers. Students are encouraged to consider this option to enrich their lives, add an essential dimension to their studies, and prepare for career opportunities in an increasingly global world.

Most students choose to participate in their sophomore or junior year. However, interested students should begin investigating options as early as possible to ensure eligibility and fit. General requirements are sophomore standing and a 2.5 Pacific cumulative GPA. Foreign language requirements vary, but viable options exist for every major on campus. Some programs require course prerequisites and all require a minimum grade point average. Credit earned through Pacific-approved programs is awarded through Pacific and students pay Pacific tuition while still utilizing scholarships, loans, and aid.

Many education abroad programs offer a broad curriculum, although some have a specific academic focus such as business, ecology, studio arts, or music performance. Internships are also available. And all programs offer students the challenges and benefits of studying and immersing themselves in a culture different from their own.

A Cross-Cultural Training Course (INTL 151) is required for all students studying abroad for a semester or full year. A companion course (INTL 161) is also available to students returning from an education abroad experience.  Take both courses to meet your diversity requirement.

For more information on education abroad, please call (209) 946-2246, email edabroad@pacific.edu, or visit www.pacific.edu/ips.

Fellowship Office

The Fellowship Advisor is available to assist students across the university in pursuing national awards that support undergraduate research and graduate study. Scholarships and fellowships may fund tuition in the U.S. or study abroad, sponsor research projects or internships, and provide mentoring in the recipient’s chosen field of graduate study. Students considering graduate school or post-baccalaureate research projects abroad are encouraged to contact the Fellowship Advisor early in their academic careers, ideally at the beginning of sophomore year. For news and events, and to begin your search for fellowships and scholarships, see the Fellowship Office website: http://web.pacific.edu/x21104.xml.

For further information, email the Fellowship Advisor, Susan Weiner, at sweiner@pacific.edu, or call (209) 946-2406.


On March 25, 1854, a group of students interested in debating and oratory met and appointed a committee to draw up a constitution for a college organization.  A week later the Archanian Literary Society was formed.The purpose of the society was for students to “mutually [aid] each other in the acquirement of an easy, graceful, and impressive manner of speaking, as well as skill in the use of language . . .”  Thus, was born the development of forensics on the University of the Pacific campus. During the Civil War, a rival society, Rhizomia, was formed on the campus. It was not until the 1920s that the forensics team started to compete against other colleges and universities. Since that time, Pacific Forensics has had national champions in debate (1964), individual events (1979;1980;2017), season-long rankings (2020, 2022), and NPDA National Tournament Sweepstakes (2022). Students have also been named to the NPDA All-American Team (2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022, 2023) and have been named NPDA National Tournament Top Speaker (2022). 
Forensics students at Pacific typically travel to tournaments around the world throughout the academic year. They compete in Parliamentary Debate, NFA Lincoln-Douglas Debate, Persuasive (Advocacy) Speaking, Informative (Expository) Speaking, After Dinner Speaking, Impromptu Speaking, Extemporaneous Speaking, Dramatic Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Poetry Interpretation, and Prose Interpretation. Students qualifying for the NPTE (National Parliamentary Tournament of Excellence), the NPDA (National Parliamentary Debate Association) National Championship, and NFA (National Forensics Association) Nationals will compete at those tournaments.  Additionally, when the opportunity presents itself, the top members of the team travel to the World University Debate Championships (Xi’an, China 2005;Vancouver 2007; Ireland 2009;Shanghai 2011;Chennai, India 2013;Thessaloniki, Greece 2015). Scholarships and funding are available for all competitive members.


The Pacifican is an independent weekly newspaper, published by the university's Student Media Board. It is financed by the ASUOP fee and advertising. Student managed, this publication serves as a laboratory for those interested in journalism. The Pacifican Office is located on the first floor of Grace Covell Hall.

Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC)

Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps is available to University of the Pacific students through a program offered at California State University, Sacramento. The CSUS Department of Aerospace Studies offers three- and four-year programs leading to a commission in the United States Air Force. All coursework (16 semester units total) is completed on the CSUS campus. Leadership Laboratory is normally held during the day on Fridays, physical fitness training and lecture are normally offered during the early morning hours Monday through Friday. Field training is conducted during part of the summer at an active duty air force base, normally between the student’s sophomore and junior years.

Upon completion of the program and all requirements for a Bachelor’s degree, cadets are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force and serve a minimum of four years on active duty. Graduates who are qualified and are selected, may enter pilot or navigator training after graduation, or serve in a specialty consistent with their academic major, individual goals, and existing Air Force needs. Graduates may request a delay of entry to active duty to continue their education or may apply for Air Force-sponsored graduate study to begin immediately upon entry on active duty.

Air Force ROTC offers 3-year and 2-year scholarships to qualified students. Applications are accepted in any academic discipline; however, particular emphasis is usually given to applicants in the fields of engineering, computer science, mathematics, and physics.

Due to firm scheduling requirements for the Air Force ROTC program, students are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisors in planning this academic program. Application to the Air Force ROTC program should normally be no later than the first semester of a student’s sophomore year. Juniors, seniors and graduate students may also apply under certain conditions. Contact the unit recruiting officer in the Aerospace Studies Department at CSUS, telephone (916) 278-7783, for information on the program or the entry process.