Pacific launches online graduate programs designed to advance working professionals’ careers

Two people sit at a table looking at a computer

University of the Pacific is launching four online graduate programs for working professionals and students, degree programs that provide maximum flexibility for participants to learn around their own schedules.

A program offering doctorates in medical science and health science begins in January. A master’s degree in cybersecurity launches in the summer while an MBA and master’s in business law will start in the fall. 

“These programs provide learners with a high-quality education on their own schedule,” said Nader Nadershahi, vice provost for the San Francisco Campus and dean of the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry. “Participants also will have the opportunity to capitalize on networking opportunities to further their learning experience and careers.”

Master of Business Administration

Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business will train emerging business leaders in a flexible online format, with concentrations available in business analytics, finance and health care.

“Our students will be trained in the newest theories and practice of business to develop effective leaders who can meet the needs of today’s workforce,” said Eberhardt Dean Charles Moses. “The flexible format allows working professionals to further their opportunities without putting their careers on hold.”

The program can be completed in as little as 18 months with students admitted into the program in the fall and spring. Students will participate in two weekend residences on Pacific’s San Francisco Campus to meet with business professionals. 

Master of Science in Cybersecurity

The School of Engineering and Computer Science’s cybersecurity program will focus on cyber operations, a highly technical blend of computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering.

The program will prepare students—with and without an undergraduate degree in computer science—for in-demand jobs such as software security engineer and digital forensic examiner. It can be completed in one to two years.

“The demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing rapidly,” said Elizabeth Orwin, dean of the School for Engineering and Computer Science. “The increase in data breaches in recent years has proven how vital it is for companies and agencies to have robust security systems in place. Our program gives students industry-ready skills to fill that need from day one.”

Market analysis nationwide found the number of cybersecurity job openings grew by 43% through the 12-month period ending in April 2022, with only 66 qualified workers available for every 100 cybersecurity jobs.

Courses will be online with optional in-person activities on the San Francisco Campus, including community-building events and technical skill-building competitions.

A bootcamp course is available for students with undergraduate degrees outside of computer science and engineering to learn the necessary foundational skills. Students will gain the hands-on technical skills needed to succeed in areas such as the fundamentals of cybersecurity, computer networking and assembling programming.

Master of Science in Law Concentration in Business Law

The McGeorge School of Law’s master’s program teaches the foundations of law to professionals who regularly interact with lawyers or manage legal issues in their work but do not need a law degree. 

“A thorough understanding of legal matters is a critical part of many people’s jobs, even if they are not lawyers,” said McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz. “This program is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the law as it relates to business for business professionals, health care professionals, entrepreneurs and many others.”

The program prepares students to be leaders in their fields by sharpening critical thinking and communication skills while ensuring that students know when they need legal assistance.

The flexible online program is designed for working professionals and can be completed in one to two years, depending on whether they are part-time or full-time. Students have the option to network with business leaders and lawyers in person at the San Francisco Campus. 

The program can be started in both the fall and spring semesters.

McGeorge was named one of the top 25 most innovative law schools in the United States by preLaw magazine earlier this year.

Doctor of Medical Science and Doctor of Health Science

A program offering two new doctoral degrees in the School of Health Sciences prepares clinicians for leadership roles in health care or positions in academia. Only one joint program currently exists in the country, placing Pacific at the leading edge of interprofessional health education.

While the degrees are part of the same program, the degree designation is based on the credentials students have when they enter the program.

The Doctor of Medical Science degree is for physician assistants, while the Doctor of Health Science degree is for health science professionals, such as audiologists and occupational therapists.

“Both are delivered online for those who are practicing in clinics or teaching,” said School of Health Sciences Dean Nicoleta Bugnariu. “It’s designed for health care professionals who are employed and are doing this in addition to their job.”

The inaugural class, which begins in January, represents the diversity of today’s health care teams and includes physical therapists, physician assistants, speech-language pathologists and social workers. 

Students will have the option of two tracks—clinical leadership or education. The program is approximately 12 to 15 months, depending on a student’s prior coursework.