University of the Pacific


The west coast is famed for its high profile post-secondary schools. One of the most reputable, however, is located in Stockton, California. The University of the Pacific was founded in the mid-1850s in Santa Clara, California. Originally named the California Wesleyan College, it relocated several times before finally ending up in Stockton.

The University of the Pacific was the first university of California. Today it is associated with the United Methodist Church and exists mostly as a liberal arts university. While a great number of the students at the University of the Pacific pursue liberal arts degrees in music, business, education, and the arts, the school also has three affiliate locations that operate three very different professional schools.

Students who attend these schools can either study Dentistry in San Francisco, California; Pharmacy at the main campus in Stockton; or Law at the affiliate campus located in Sacramento. These schools were absorbed by the university years after its charter and make the structure of the University of the Pacific unique in that it has both a liberal arts educational structure as well as professional education options.

Information Summary

Ranks 27th in California and 312th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 90.1
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $66,971
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 30 / 1350
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 13 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 82% / 50%
Enrollment Total (all students) 6,493


Although the school is relatively small, with a total student population that has never exceeded ten thousand, it surprisingly offers degree opportunities from a total of eight different professional schools of study. In fact, it is the only school in the United States with this distinction. Students can choose form over a hundred different undergraduate majors as well as a wide array of graduate level studies courses.

The bachelor’s programs offered at the University of the Pacific are some of the most numerous in the state of California. Students can pursue of Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or a Bachelor of Music degree. Many students pair their major with a minor, and others take the opportunity to enroll in one of the University of the Pacific’s numerous double major programs. These programs provide the graduating student with two degrees and can often be completed in only four years or eight total semesters.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of the Pacific, many students opt to continue their education at this school. Students can transfer easily to the graduate programs offered at the Stockton campus or relocate to San Francisco or Sacramento to pursue either Law or Dentistry, respectively.

Most Popular Fields of Study


University Bldg, Stockton :: University of the Pacific
University Campus :: University of the Pacific

Unique Programs

The School of International Studies at the University of the Pacific offers a unique West Coast experience in international curriculum. The courses are all taught by prominent anthropologists and historians. There are only six International Studies colleges that offer undergraduate degree programs in the nation, and the University of the Pacific operates the only school in the Western United States.

Students can receive a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in several different programs of study within the School of International Studies. The school also features an online program of study which can be completed at a pace set by a student. The online format of this degree program allows students to pursue a degree in international studies while still maintaining a full-time job.


Because of the prominence of this institution in the state of California, admission to the University of the Pacific is very competitive. Students are encouraged to apply early because spots fill up quickly in the university. The campus is only able to accommodate so many students, and once this quota has been filled, students who have delayed in the application process must be turned away.

Immediately after a student completes his or her junior year of high school, he or she should begin the application process for admittance into the University of the Pacific. This application process requires several distinct steps. To begin, the student should fill out the application online at the university’s official website. This method of application is the easiest for both the student and the admissions board and is preferred by the university.

Students should include in their application an official copy of their high school transcript, an official copy of their standardized test scores such as the ACT or SAT, and a well-written essay that follows the essay guidelines listed on the application. Students may optionally include one or two letters of recommendation from academic or personal references.

Financial Aid

Tuition at the University of the Pacific is considerably less for residents of the state of California. Many out-of-state individuals who choose to enroll at the University of the Pacific opt to establish in-state residency before applying to the university. Whether a student is from California or from out of state, he or she has a wealth of financial aid opportunities available.

The Financial Aid Office at the University of the Pacific is well-equipped to assist students in securing the needed financial aid to offset the cost of tuition. Students are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid Office in person to meet with a staff member. The staff will assist a student in filling out the government form called the FAFSA. This free application for federal student aid allows the government to estimate a student’s cost of attendance and expected family contribution. These estimations will allow the government to determine how much federal aid should be awarded.

After the student is provided with the results of the FAFSA, the Financial Aid Office on campus will assist the student in securing additional financial aid if needed. Over seventy percent of the students at the University of the Pacific receive some form of financial aid. Students may choose to apply for private scholarships or secure private loans.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 4126th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in California.


The Pacific Tigers are the varsity athletic teams of the University of the Pacific. These teams all compete in the NCAA Division I conference. In the Big West Conference, in which most of the Pacific Tigers compete, the University of the Pacific is the only private institution. The men’s basketball program is the most reputable varsity team at the University of the Pacific. With an incredible win history including three consecutive wins in the NCAA tournament in the years 2004-2006, the men’s basketball team has gained considerable notoriety amidst the Big West Conference.

Students turn out in droves to cheer on the Pacific Tigers in a variety of different sporting events. Donning the traditional orange and black school colors, students can watch their fellow classmates compete in basketball, track and field, cross country, soccer and much more.


  • The California State Colleges: Their History, Organization, Purposes, and Programs; [selections] from [the Periodical] California Schools, Jan.-Dec., 1954. Sacramento: California State Dept. of Education, 1955. Print.
  • Residence Hall Association. University of the Pacific. Web. 20 May 2011. <>.
  • University of the Pacific. Pacific. Web. 18 May 2011. <>.

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