Pacific’s focus on student success leads to rise in national rankings

students walk across campus

University of the Pacific is gaining national recognition for student success, social mobility, educational value and the overall college experience, according to a series of new college rankings.

In a rating of overall student experience by The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse, Pacific ranked in the Top 100 nationally and first among schools in the West Coast Conference—the academically rigorous athletic conference that includes Pacific, Gonzaga University, Loyola Marymount University, Pepperdine University, Santa Clara University, St. Mary’s College, University of Portland, University of San Diego and University of San Francisco.

The Journal, Forbes and Washington Monthly placed Pacific third overall among the WCC schools in their new college rankings.

Pacific scored particularly well on social mobility—No. 1 among the WCC schools by both the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News and World Report—and second lowest in average student debt, according to the Forbes study.

Additionally, a New York Times analysis of economic diversity among students at the nation’s most selective universities found that Pacific was No. 23 nationally, No. 3 in California and first among the WCC schools, according to the Times’ College-Access Index.

Pacific lagged behind other WCC schools in the overall US News ranking, which relies in part on subjective values such as reputation, but Pacific was the only WCC university to rise in the US News overall scores this year.

Additionally, US News ranked Pacific No. 44 in the nation and No. 4 in California for Best Value—the best among the WCC schools—and in the Top 100 nationally for Best Colleges for Veterans.

Earlier this year, Money magazine ranked Pacific as one of the nation’s best universities, with a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Only Stanford University and Cal Tech ranked higher among the state’s private universities.

“We take pride in providing a superior, personalized education that provides tremendous value to our students and alumni,” said President Christopher Callahan. “Our faculty are laser focused on the success of our students both at Pacific and throughout their careers.”

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Gretchen Edwalds-Gilbert pointed to Pacific’s robust array of academic resources to ensure students are successful, including free one-on-one tutoring at the General Academic Tutoring Center, the Math and Bio Hubs and the Writing Center. The Career Services Center sets students up for success when they graduate by providing career advising, job and internship help, graduate school planning and more.

“Pacific is mission driven to be the best student-centric comprehensive school in the country,” the provost said. “We are continually looking for ways to engage students and help them develop crucial critical thinking skills that will set them up for success in any field.”

Founded in 1851, Pacific is California’s first and oldest university with campuses in Stockton, Sacramento and San Francisco. Pacific has more than 6,600 students enrolled in its undergraduate, graduate and professional programs.

More than 80 undergraduate programs are available in the university’s nine schools and colleges and there are more than 40 graduate programs.