Frequently Asked Questions
Still searching for the answers to your questions? Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions just for that purpose. Check out the questions below to see if your questions made the list! As always, you can always give us a call at 209.946.2211 or contact us.
Questions About Pacific
Is Pacific a public or private university?| TOP
Pacific is an independent university. This means that anyone who qualifies can attend, but we do not receive direct funding from the government.
What’s the difference between a college, a school, and a university?| TOP
A college usually is comprised of several different departments and grants bachelor’s degrees in liberal arts or science or both. A school gives instruction in a specialized field and usually grants a degree particular to its field. A university includes several schools and colleges, and grants bachelor’s degrees, as well as master’s degrees and sometimes, doctoral degrees.
What type of university is Pacific?| TOP
Pacific is a national doctoral university with three campuses and eleven schools and colleges. Eight of our schools and colleges provide undergraduate education on the Stockton campus, including a college of liberal arts and sciences (College of the Pacific). The Stockton campus also has a graduate school. The other two campuses are the McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento and the School of Dentistry in San Francisco.
What is Pacific known for?| TOP
We are known for our excellence in the strength of the undergraduate education and the relationships between our faculty and students. The variety of academic and co-curricular choices, our small class size, our long-standing reputation for innovation and the beauty of our campus are also characteristics of which we are proud.
Is Pacific a religious or church-related university?| TOP
No. Pacific was founded by the Methodist Church. We do have a chapel, a full-time chaplain and a number of religious-oriented clubs. Our academic department of religious studies also offers a major in religion for students who wish to learn more about it.
How big is the campus?| TOP
The Stockton campus (including South Campus and the area north of the river) is 175 acres. We have more than 75 academic and residential buildings.
How old is Pacific?| TOP
We became California’s first chartered institution of higher education in 1851. We were also the first co-ed university (the first graduating class had five men and five women). We celebrated our sesquicentennial year (150th Anniversary) in 2001.
Is Pacific accredited?| TOP
Pacific is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Many of our academic programs also have additional accreditation by appropriate professional organizations as well.
Who is the President of Pacific?| TOP
Pamela A. Eibeck became the 24th President of University of the Pacific on July 1, 2009. She is Pacific's sixth President since the University moved to Stockton in 1924. Her Presidency follows a distinguished career as a researcher, teacher, educational reformer, and university administrator.
Questions About Student Life
How many students go to Pacific and where are they from?| TOP
The Stockton campus has about 5,200 students (3,810 undergraduates, 635 professional pharmacy students, and 781 graduate students, mostly in Education and Business). Approximately 87% are from California, the rest are from 27 other states and 31 other countries.
What is the ethnic breakdown of the student body?| TOP
44% of our undergraduates are from ethnic and racially under-represented American minorities, and another 4% are from other countries. (eight percent did not state ethnicity.)
Asian/Pacific Islander 35%
Native American 1%
What’s there to do on campus for fun?| TOP
A lot! There are more than 100 student organizations and dozens of athletic activities. There are social, academic, athletic, ethnic, political, religious, service and special interest clubs. There’s a great Theatre Arts department which produces five to seven shows a year, including plays, musicals, and dance — and all students are encouraged to try-out and participate. The Conservatory of Music presents more than 100 performances each year. There are 25 intramural sports, 8 club sports and 16 Division I intercollegiate sports. There are Residence Hall Associations and Student Government groups for both the University as a whole and for each school or college. There are social and professional sororities and fraternities. (And lots of other things too!)
Do most students stay on campus during weekends?| TOP
Most students stay on campus during the weekends, although some will leave. It depends on the time of year. We are close to many great recreational areas, which students can easily get to on a weekend.
Are students able to get housing?| TOP
More than 60% of students live on campus. The University of the Pacific requires all students of freshmen and sophomore class standing who are under the age of 23 to live on-campus. Students are exempted from the residency requirement if the student lives with their parents/guardians in their permanent residence within 50 miles of the University of the Pacific’s Stockton campus. Students must submit the living@home form along with any proper documentation to support their request.
What kind of housing is available? Is there a freshman dorm?| TOP
There are residence halls, apartment complexes, suite-style learning communities and housing for sororities and fraternities. There is no “freshman dorm,” although all freshmen live in a residence hall. Upper class students can live in any of the on-campus environments they wish to or they may move off campus.
What are the residence halls like? Which one is the best?| TOP
One of the great things about the residence halls is the variety of sizes and themes. There is no best residence hall — it depends on what you want. If a student wants to live in a big or small hall, one with a theme or one without, we have them all.
Do residence halls have Internet access?| TOP
All of the residence halls have direct broadband access to the Internet.
Do I need a computer?| TOP
Well, you will probably want a computer. But University of the Pacific does have many computer laboratories on campus where you can go to use a computer, printer or access the Internet.
Will I have a roommate? How are roommates matched?| TOP
Almost all freshmen will be assigned roommates. This matching is done using the information the incoming student provides during the summer. It’s very important to fill out this housing information card accurately and honestly. Entering students can indicate a preference of roommate.
Do you have sororities and fraternities? How big is the Greek System? What role do social fraternities and sororities play at Pacific?| TOP
Between 20% and 22% of undergraduates join the social or multicultural Greek system. So it’s large enough to be active, but not so big that it’s overwhelming. If a student wants to be involved, it’s available. If not, it’s not the only social life on campus. Students can’t join a social or multicultural sorority or fraternity at Pacific until the spring semester of their freshmen year (it’s called “deferred rush”), so students can learn about the Greek system before deciding whether or not to join. Pacific has 14 social or multicultural Greek houses.
Should I bring a car to campus?| TOP
Most students agree that a car makes it easy to get around. Stockton, like most cities in California, is quite spread out. City buses regularly leave campus, so it is up to the student to decide if the responsibility of having a car on campus is worth the convenience.
How’s the parking on campus? How many students have cars?| TOP
Any student can have a car on campus. Cars must be registered and have a parking permit. Parking is available around campus. A “reasonable” estimate is that about 50% of our undergraduate students have cars.
How safe is campus?| TOP
Campus is very safe, but you still need to pay attention to what’s going on around you. The University has an excellent safety record and is very proactive in making campus as safe as possible. Our Department of Public Safety is a trained police force that patrols campus 24 hours a day. There are also approximately 60 emergency “blue light” phones around campus connecting you immediately to Public Safety.
Is there an escort service?| TOP
Public Safety will provide an escort for anyone who requests it.
What is the alcohol policy? Do students drink on campus? Is there an alcohol problem on campus? Is Pacific a “dry” campus?| TOP
Here’s the basic policy. State law stipulates that only persons 21 and older may possess and consume alcohol. It is the student’s responsibility to comply with the law. Possession and consumption of alcohol on campus is permitted in several areas designated for events and gatherings. The University has several programs to educate students and provide alternatives to alcohol.
What is Stockton like?| TOP
Stockton is the 11th largest city in California and the 74th largest city in the United States. The population is close to 290,000. Stockton has many of the advantages of a large city: lots of restaurants, several shopping malls, movie and civic theaters, a symphony, museums and recreational activities. But it is small enough so you won’t get overwhelmed. It has been a multicultural city since 1850, where people from all ethnic groups work well together. It is a great place to learn about community. Stockton is on the San Joaquin Delta, a 1,000-mile waterway, where you can water ski, jet ski, wind surf, sail, etc.
What about outside of Stockton?| TOP
Stockton has the good fortune to be located in a position to take advantage of all that Northern California has to offer. We are 45 minutes south of Sacramento, 90 minutes east of San Francisco, Napa or San Jose, only 2 hours from Santa Cruz or Yosemite National Park, and less than 3 hours from Lake Tahoe.
What is the weather like?| TOP
Stockton’s climate is very nice. We are far enough north that we get all four seasons, but none of them are extreme. The annual temperature ranges from 37 degrees in January to 94 degrees in July. Yes, some summer days are hotter, but it usually cools off in the evening thanks to breezes off the Delta. Our winters are warmer than the northeastern and mid-western parts of our country (no snow), but it is a bit cooler than Southern California. Our occasional, famous “thick winter fog” (known as “tule fog”) isn’t quite as much fun as playing in the snow, but it does resemble the weather in San Francisco or London.
What types of sports does Pacific have?| TOP
We have three types: Intercollegiate, Club and Intramural. Our Intercollegiate sports compete in NCAA Division 1A mostly in the Big West Conference. Our club sports all have coaches and travel to compete against other colleges and universities in northern and central California. Intramurals are sports, in which students at Pacific create their own teams and then compete against other Pacific student teams. Some examples of intramurals include: softball, basketball, volleyball, indoor soccer and inner tube water polo.
Are athletic scholarships offered?| TOP
Yes. All Division I intercollegiate teams have scholarships available. If a student is interested in information, she or he should contact the specific coach directly.
Didn’t Pacific have varsity football? What happened?| TOP
Yes, we did have a football team for many years but the costs of running a Division 1A team prohibited the continuation of the program at that level.
Questions About Academics
How many majors are there?| TOP
There are over 80 majors in eight different undergraduate schools and colleges. Students may enroll in classes offered at any of the University’s undergraduate schools or colleges — a Psychology student can take Business classes, or an International Studies student can take Conservatory classes.
What are the largest/most popular majors?| TOP
33% of our undergraduates are students in the arts and sciences (College of the Pacific), but they are majoring in almost 40 different subjects. The largest programs throughout the University are business, pre-pharmacy, biology, international studies, sports sciences, and engineering.
What’s the student/faculty ratio?| TOP
14:1. This means that we have one faculty member for every 14 students on campus.
What is the average class size?| TOP
Our average class size is 20 students, and over 80% have fewer than 30 students. Some classes are as small five to eight students, and very few have more than 50 students.
How many faculty members are there and what are their qualifications?| TOP
There are 437 highly qualified faculty members, 94% hold a doctorate or the highest degree in their field. Most faculty members are involved in research, but their primary responsibility is to teach undergraduate students.
Are classes taught by professors or graduate students?| TOP
Almost every class is taught by a professor. Some labs or discussions may be led by a Teaching Assistant.
What kind of advising program is available?| TOP
All faculty members serve as advisers. Every entering student is assigned both a faculty and student adviser at orientation.
Can you graduate in four years?| TOP
That’s the plan. University of the Pacific is the first university in the nation to guarantee that a student could graduate in four years if they are enrolled in a four-year program.
When can students take classes in their major?| TOP
Students can start taking classes in their major in any program as early as freshman year.
How many students are in the school/college or major I’m interested in?| TOP
The College of the Pacific is the arts and sciences division, and has about 1400 undergraduates enrolled in 40 different majors. The largest majors are Biology, Sport Sciences, Communication and Psychology. Many students start out as Exploratory (our term for undeclared).
The Conservatory of Music has about 170 undergraduates in six majors: Music Performance, Music Composition, Music Education, Music History, Music Management and Music Therapy.
The Eberhardt School of Business has about 550 undergraduates who all have the same major: Business Administration. There are, however 11 different concentrations to choose from: Accounting, Arts & Entertainment Management (in Music, Visual Arts or Theatre Arts), Business Law, Entrepreneurship, Economics, Finance, General Business, Human Resources, International Business, Marketing, Management Information Systems, and Real Estate.
The School of Engineering and Computer Science has over 500 undergraduates in nine majors: Bioengineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Physics, Engineering Management, Computer Science, and Computer Information Systems.
Benerd School of Education has 170 undergraduates studying to be elementary school teachers, works with another 200 from other majors who are pursuing secondary teaching credentials, and has 300 credential and/or graduate students.
The School of International Studies has about 150 undergraduates in four majors: International Relations, Global Economic Relations, International Environmental Policy, and International and Regional Studies.
The Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences includes the largest single major, Pharmacy. There are about 900 total students in Pharmacy, about 415 pre-pharmacy undergraduates and about 620 PharmD professional students. This School also includes our graduate program in Physical Therapy, undergraduate program in Dental Hygiene and both our undergraduate and graduate programs in Speech and Language Pathology.
Center for Professional and Continuing Education, Pacific’s adult re-entry division offers an evening degree program in Organizational Behavior that enrolls 20 students.
Questions About Admission and Financial Aid
What does the Office of Admission look for in an applicant?| TOP
An applicant’s achievements and accomplishments will be personally reviewed to determine if they are prepared to succeed at Pacific. Primary consideration is given to an applicant’s academic course selection and achievement. We do not use formulas or indexes in admission decisions. Successful applicants are expected to have completed a college preparatory program, including English (4 years), Math (3 or 4 years), Lab Science (2 or 3 years), Foreign Language (2 years of same language), History or Government (1 year), Fine or Performing Arts (1 year), and academic electives (1 to 3 years). These requirements are similar to the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) A-G requirements.
What is the difference between Early Action and Regular Admission?| TOP
Pacific has two different dates for you to apply. Our Early Action date is November 15. Early Action provides students an opportunity to apply to Pacific before the Regular Admission Deadline of January 15. Students who apply in Early Action will typically receive a decision on their file by January 15. If the Office of Admission does not accept you during Early Action, your file will automatically be reconsidered during Regular Admission. Students who apply under Regular Admission or who have been deferred to Regular Admission, will receive their decision by March 15.
Is Early Action Binding?| TOP
No. If a student applies to Pacific as an Early Action candidate, they are under no obligation to attend the University if they are admitted. Once a student has been admitted, they have until May 1 to confirm with Pacific.
When is the Application deadline for your accelerated Pre-Pharmacy and Pre-Dentistry programs?| TOP
Students considering the accelerated Pre-Pharmacy and Pre-Dentistry programs as major options must apply by November 15 to be considered as on time.
What if I missed the deadline or apply late?| TOP
We encourage you to apply, even if your application will be late. Priority of review and Admission goes to students who have applied by the appropriate deadlines.
Which Standardized tests do I need to take?| TOP
You must take either the SAT or ACT in order to apply to Pacific. When we review your application we will take the highest individual scores from any two tests.
Subject Tests are NOT required to complete an admission application or to be admitted. The following SAT Subject Tests are, however, strongly recommended for the indicated groups because they will be used for placement purposes if a student enrolls.
- All Students should take either of the SAT Subject Tests in Mathematics
- Students applying for the following majors should take the SAT Subject Test in Chemistry:
Biological Sciences, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Chemistry, Chemistry-Biology, Civil Engineering, Dental Hygiene, Dental/Pre-Dental, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Engineering Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Pre-Pharmacy
I didn't send my score until the deadline; how long will it take you to receive them?
Because Pacific receives your test information electronically, it should only take one week for your scores to arrive after you have designated University of the Pacific to receive them. In most cases, there is no need to "rush" your scores to us.
Are you using the SAT Writing Section or ACT Writing Section for admission evaluation?| TOP
While Pacific will receive your scores from the writing section of the SAT or ACT, those scores will not be used for your admission evaluation. Data about how to use these scores will be collected and researched to determine its best use in for future groups of applicants.
I’ve been taking college courses while in high school, will they transfer?
Pacific encourages its students to take college classes, as long as they feel that they can complete them successfully. To get an idea if a class you have taken will transfer look at the list of colleges provided. Simply scroll down the list of colleges and select the school where the course was taken. Once you have selected the school you will see a list of the course numbers that we accept from that institution. If a college course appears on your high school’s official transcript it will be included in your GPA computation. You must send us an official transcript from every institution from which you have taken a college course.
What is the difference between a “weighted” and “unweighted” GPA?
A weighted GPA means that the Honors/ AP/ and IB classes you have taken have a maximum value of 5.0 (for an A), as compared to a “normal” 4.0. When Pacific reviews your application we take out the extra points for your Honors/ AP/ and IB classes and base your GPA on a 4.0 system.
Should I take AP/Honors classes even though you do not take a weighted GPA?
YES! We encourage you to take the most rigorous course schedule possible. A more competitive course load will make your application and chances for admission more favorable. In addition to increasing the likelihood that you will perform more strongly on standardized tests, the personal nature of our application review process means that we are reviewing your file individually and with great detail. The classes you have taken and your successes in those classes are two of the strongest factors of the application review.
What scores from AP/IB exams do you accept for credit?
College credit (four units per examination) may be granted to students who achieve scores of 4 or higher on Advanced Placement examinations and/or scores of 5 or higher on International Baccalaureate exams taken at the higher level.
Is there a special admission process for students with learning differences?
There is no special application review process for students with learning differences. We do recommend that you send either an essay or a letter of recommendation that informs us that you have a learning difference and may be seeking accommodations. To receive accommodations, once admitted, students at University of the Pacific must forward appropriate documentation to the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities in the Educational Resource Center.
Does Pacific accept home-schooled students?
Pacific encourages all variations of home schooled and individually educated students to apply. If a student does not have a transcript proving that they are registered with a school district then a student must take either the GED or High School Proficiency Exam. While we will accept “narrative” assessments of subject performance, for application review, Pacific strongly suggests that students send in a grade report or transcript that shows a graded assessment of course work, so that a GPA can be established. You must have a GPA if you wish to receive or be eligible for Merit Based Scholarships for Pacific. In all cases, home schooled students must take standardized tests.
How do you apply for financial aid?| TOP
We require only the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), a form you can pick up from your high school guidance counselor, download online, or submit online. First time applicants are required to send the Office of Financial Aid a copy of the student and the parents’ current year’s income tax return.
How much financial aid will I get?| TOP
That depends on a lot of factors including family income, number of students in college, assets, savings, etc. Your parents’ retirement funds and equity in the family home are not taken into consideration.
What types of financial aid are available?| TOP
There are three types of financial aid: scholarships or grants, loans and employment.