New online graduate programs provide flexibility with personalized experience

a student sits at a desk looking at a computer

University of the Pacific is expanding its online graduate programs to accommodate working professionals who want to advance their careers while experiencing the personalized education for which Pacific is known.

The university launched a doctoral program in medical science and health science in January. Master’s programs in education, cybersecurity, business administration and business law will begin later this year.

Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Health Science

Pacific’s new doctoral program in the School of Health Sciences prepares clinicians for leadership roles in health care or positions in academia.

“There's such a shortage nationally of healthcare educators,” said Program Director Lindsay Gietzen. “It's important that those who have a proven history working in the field take that experience and put the educational theory behind it so they can become educators and train the next generation.” 

Students in the inaugural cohort reside in eight states and come from a wide variety of health professions, including pharmacy, social work, nursing, physical therapy, speech-language pathology and physician assistant.

The unique interprofessional approach—designed to maximize patient outcomes—was one of the draws for Jocelin Friedman, a physical therapist in southern California.

“So often in health care we can work in silos and not pay attention to what’s happening in other fields,” Friedman said. “To get minds together from different backgrounds, different parts of the country and different types of careers—I'm so excited to network and learn from them.”

Gietzen already sees the impact as students interact in online discussion boards.

“The discussion is so rich because you're pulling in experts not only from different professions, but also from different stages in their careers. We have some who have been practicing for 30 years, and some have been practicing for three weeks,” she said.

Jason Prevelige, a physician assistant in Connecticut, also has found something he wasn’t expecting in an online program—a strong connection to faculty.

“The faculty has been really engaged and hands-on, and the program director is making great efforts to get to know each of us individually,” Prevelige said. “I already feel that personal connection.”

The 15-month program can be completed in 12 months if students qualify for advanced standing by previously graduating from an accredited clinical education program.

Applications are open for the next cohort, which begins Jan. 2024. 

Master of Arts in Education, Learning, Innovation and Design

Educators, consultants, coaches and others looking to develop innovative teaching and learning methods can enroll in a new master’s program offered through Benerd College in Learning, Innovation and Design.
“This program is designed not only for people who work in K-12 education but those teaching in any capacity,” said Karen Sarafian, program lead and assistant professor of practice. “Students will collaborate to develop new ways of thinking—considering how we might shift from ‘out of the box’ to ‘beyond the box.’”

The two-year program will begin in the fall of 2023. Classes are entirely online with live, weekly, virtual sessions in the evenings to accommodate working professionals. During the cohort-based program, students will build community and learn from and with each other. 

Two certificate options—Design for Innovation in Education and Teaching, Innovation and Design—are available to students seeking to develop new skills without committing to the full master’s degree. 

Those who earn a certificate are eligible to apply units toward a future Master of Arts in Education, Learning, Innovation and Design.

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

Pacific’s new master’s program in cybersecurity launches summer 2023 to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals.

With a focus on cyber operations (a blend of computer science and computer and electrical engineering), students are prepared for jobs such as software security engineer and digital forensic examiner.

Students do not need undergraduate degrees in computer science or engineering to enroll; an introductory bootcamp course provides the necessary technical skills.

The program can be completed in one to two years and is entirely online with options to attend community-building activities on the San Francisco Campus.

Master of Science in Law Concentration in Business Law

Entrepreneurs, business professionals and anyone who regularly manages legal issues or interacts with lawyers can advance their careers with McGeorge School of Law’s new online program.

The master’s degree program with a concentration in business law provides a comprehensive understanding of legal matters for professionals who do not need to be lawyers.

The program will launch in the fall and can be completed in one to two years, depending on whether a student is part-time or full-time. 

Master of Business Administration

The Eberhardt School of Business will offer three unique concentrations in its master’s program: health care, business analytics and finance. 

The program launches in fall 2023 and can be completed in as little as 18 months. The flexible, online format includes two weekend residences on Pacific’s San Francisco Campus, providing valuable networking opportunities for students.

Webinars for all new online programs are held regularly for interested students.