Pacific University

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Private not-for-profit, 4-year or above
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Pacific University, a private 4-year school located in Forest Grove, OR, sits just 25 miles west of Portland. Compressed into 55 acres of suburban campus, there is an abundance of trees and green space on the grounds. The architecture is a blend of classic and contemporary styles, mostly comprised of traditional collegiate red brick. Old College Hall, serving as the school’s museum, is the oldest educational building west of the Mississippi. Pacific University was founded as Tualatin Academy in 1849 by the United Church of Christ. It was renamed Pacific University in 1854. The school also maintains satellite campuses in Eugene (a single building used for the College of Education), Hillsboro (host to primarily post-graduate programs) and Woodburn (used almost exclusively by the College of Education). The town of Forest Grove serves as a bedroom community for the city of Portland and has a suburban/small town feel.

Academic Programs

Pacific University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and offers Bachelor’s Degrees, post-baccalaureate Certificates, Master’s Degrees and Doctorates in over 70 fields of study. The school is noted for several health-related programs, including Pharmacy, Dental Hygiene, Optometry, Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy as well as Music, Speech and Teacher Education. The largest undergraduate programs are in Healthcare fields and Business. Pacific University is comprised of five colleges: College of Arts & Sciences, College of Business, College of Education, College of Health Professions and College of Optometry. There are also over a dozen Centers and Institutes on campus for specialized coursework and research. The university also offers a robust study abroad program; there are few online courses, one undergraduate degree and few graduate degrees available online. Per the Mission statement, “A diverse and sustainable community dedicated to discovery and excellence in teaching, scholarship and practice, Pacific University inspires students to think, care, create, and pursue justice in our world.”

Student Life

There are over 1800 undergraduate student enrolled in Pacific University, many of whom live on campus in one of several residence halls ranging from traditional dormitories to apartment-style housing. There are Greek options as well. The university sponsors dozens of clubs and student organizations including club sports and intramurals. For the varsity athlete, the red and black Boxers field teams in 13 sports and participate in NCAA Division III competition. Among the campus traditions are an annual Lu’au and performing arts series. There is also the legend of the school mascot, Boxer, a gift from an 1890’s graduate which was a Chinese statuette. Over the years, students engaged in “Boxer Tosses” where the statue of the mascot was fought over – the original statue disappeared in 1969. Since then, pieces have been recovered by the school – presently, an ear, hoof and tail are back on campus. At Pacific University, students learn to embrace discovery as an essential characteristic of teaching, learning, scholarship, practice and creative expression. The school embraces a rich diversity of ideas, peoples and cultures.

Ready to start your journey?

Ready to start your journey?