Pacific University


Pacific University, a private university in Oregon, was established in 1854. The school itself began many years earlier when Tabitha Brown made the difficult journey from Massachusetts to Oregon and founded a small school for children. The original school was built to function as an educational orphanage for the children whose parents lost their lives on the Applegate Trail. As the number of students grew, the school also grew to accommodate them.

With the assistance of members of the United Church of Christ as well as other Protestant churches, the school grew into an academy for children and young adults. With the donation of many acres of land, the school eventually became accredited as Pacific University and is one of the oldest universities on the west coast of the United States.

Pacific University today has four distinct campuses located all across the state of Oregon. One of these campuses is in Portland. The largest campus is the original campus in Forest Grove, Oregon. Located on over two hundred acres of beautiful land, the Forest Grove campus attracts thousands of prospective students each year who are looking for an educational institution in the Pacific Northwest.

In the past twenty years, the campuses of Pacific University have expanded by constructing several new buildings, residence halls, and resources for students and faculty. A large, brand new library was constructed in 2005, and a new residence hall known as Burlingham Hall was finished in late 2006. The school has also constructed new buildings for its Education, Business, and Computer Departments.

Information Summary

Ranks 8th in Oregon and 426th overall. See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list
Overall Score (about) 87.8
Total Cost On-Campus Attendance $59,490
Admission Success rate N/A
ACT / SAT 75%ile scores 27 / 1250
Student Ratio Students-to-Faculty 13 : 1
Retention (full-time / part-time) 78% / N/A
Enrollment Total (all students) 3,938


Pacific University is a private liberal arts university offering a wide selection of majors for bachelor’s degree level students and a more limited number of master’s degree program subject areas. Most of the students who attend Pacific University seek a bachelor’s degree in its College of Arts and Sciences. Students can receive a bachelor’s degree in all the major scientific fields as well as mathematics, art, history, language, education, music, and more.

Of all the different master’s programs offered at Pacific University, the Graduate College of Optometry is probably its most notable. Students who hope to receive advanced degrees in optometry or become licensed optometrists can begin their education at Pacific University. The university also offers other master’s options in a variety of additional health science fields as well as master’s degrees in educational fields such as special education and curriculum development.

Pacific University also offers a Master of Fine Arts degree program in writing. In recent years, this degree program has gained considerable notoriety when Edward J. Delaney, a writer for the Atlantic Monthly, named it as one of the top five graduate writing programs in the United States.

Most Popular Fields of Study


College Building :: Pacific University
College PresidentDr Phill creighton :: Pacific University


The admission process at Pacific University is made easy by the online application available for students on the school’s official webpage. Students who complete their application online are not required to pay a processing fee. Students who opt, instead, to mail or fax a printed copy of their application to the school are often required to pay a small processing fee.

The application process requires students to arrange for their official high school transcripts to be sent to the university. In addition to these transcripts, students are also required to take either the SAT or ACT in order to be considered for admission. Students can arrange to have their test scores sent directly to the school by entering the Pacific University code on their testing forms.

The admission application requires a student to submit an essay. Essay topics are provided within the application. Students who write meaningful, engaging and grammatically correct essays will receive greater consideration than those whose essays do not fulfill these requirements. Students should express their desire to attend the school and provide examples of why Pacific is a good fit for them academically and socially.


Pacific University is unique in that all of its Greek Fraternities and Sororities are individual and are not associated with any national groups. Social clubs at Pacific University are all student led and student created. There are seven different social clubs at Pacific University and a large percentage of the student body is involved with clubs.

Students at Pacific University are actively involved in other clubs, organizations, societies, and activity groups. Sports groups such as the Soccer Club or the Rock Climbing Club give students the chance to be active with other students. Social outreach clubs promote volunteerism and community involvement.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


The Pacific University mascot has an interesting origin story. While the mascot is known as a Boxer, it looks more like a strange dragon-dog hybrid than any kind of dog breed in existence. In fact, the mascot was inspired by a Chinese statue that was donated to the university by an alumnus. This statue was inherited from a Chinese family who used the interesting creature as its coat of arms. Today, the Pacific University Boxers compete in a variety of varsity athletics, and their snarling mascot is revered by all Pacific University students.

The Pacific University Boxers compete in the Northwest Conference of the NCAA Division III. Pacific University was one of the first colleges to join the Northwest Conference of college athletics. Men and women compete in over twenty distinct sports and sporting events including soccer, baseball, volleyball, track and field, and cross country.

Local Community

Pacific University’s campuses are spread across the state of Oregon. Oregon is known for its beautiful vistas, extensive forests and national parks, and wet winter season. While students will encounter a great deal of rain during the fall semester, the community is beautiful and very accessible during the spring.

Students at Pacific University can travel to Portland, Oregon with relative ease. Portland is considered to be one of the largest cultural centers of the United States. With hundreds of bookstores, shopping malls, museums, art galleries, city parks, golf courses, live music venues, theaters and more, Portland is a great place for students to expand their horizons and learn more about the world.


  • Carey, Charles Henry. History of Oregon,. Chicago: Pioneer Historical Pub., 1922. 340+. Print.
  • Horner, John B. Oregon, Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature,. Portland, Or.: J.K. Gill, 1921. 159-60. Print.
  • Pacific University – Forest Grove, Oregon. Pacific University, 2011. Web. 15 May 2011. <>.

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