Alaska Pacific University is a small, private, coeducational, liberal arts college affiliated with the Methodist church, located in Anchorage, Alaska. Chartered in 1957 as the Alaska Methodist University, the university’s first classes were offered in 1960 with Frederick P. McGinnis serving as the institution’s first president. In 1978 the school was renamed Alaska Pacific University. Emphasizing experiential and active learning, Alaska Pacific University is a member of the Eco League, a consortium of several United States liberal arts colleges and universities which was launched in 2003 and is dedicated to providing education in sustainability across their curriculums, facilities and operations.
Academic ProgramsAlaska Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and has been so since 1981. The University’s mission is to be “a small private liberal arts and sciences university providing personalized, experiential, hands-on instruction ‘in the field’ with Alaska as its primary classroom.” A number of degrees ranging from undergraduate to the graduate-level are offered, including Bachelor of Arts with majors in the areas of Liberal Studies, Sustainability Studies, Outdoor Studies, Counseling Psychology, Alaska Native Governance, and Creative & Professional Writing; and Bachelor of Science in the areas of Earth Science, Marine Biology, and Environmental Science. Alaska Pacific University’s graduate degrees include Master of Arts; MBA, and an Executive MBA with concentrations in Information & Communication and Technology and Strategic Leadership; Counseling Psychology (MS); Environmental Science (MS); and Outdoor and Environmental Education (MS).
Emphasizing a hands-on learning approach, Alaska Pacific University’s faculty instruct students in both a traditional classroom setting and on field courses, which are designed to enhance the educational experience which the University has to offer. In addition to its traditional degree programs, Alaska Pacific University also offers Professional Studies programs for adults and an Early Honors Duel Credit program for high school seniors.
Student LifeAlaska Pacific University has a total enrollment figure of nearly 600, including more than 300 undergraduate students. Student housing is offered through the University’s traditional on-campus residence halls, in the University Village, or in off-campus housing options. Alaska Pacific University’s Dining Services seek to incorporate sustainable, local-grown foods and organic products in order to provide students with a variety of home-cooked and healthy meal choices; in addition the Dining Services also offer a weekly ‘Farmer’s Market’ to students.
Situated on a 175 acre campus, Alaska Pacific University is tucked back in the forest among Anchorage’s trail system, on the parameter of an intellectually vibrant section of town. Alaska Pacific University also operates a remote educational center on a 900-acre private farm. The University’s on-campus recreational facilities include a gymnasium, pool, weight room & climbing wall, disc golf course, the Jim Mahaffey Trail System, and Soccer Fields. Alaska Pacific University’s Outdoor Programs offers students the chance to explore Alaska’s wilderness with activities geared toward every skill level, beginner to experienced, including sea kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, ice climbing, backpacking, skiing and more.