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Pacific University

Pacific University Rating: 3.6/5 (9 votes)

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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.


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


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. <http://www.pacificu.edu>.

Information Summary

Ranks 8th in Oregon and 389th overall
See the entire top 2,000 colleges and universities list

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

Campus Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault N/A N/A
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape N/A N/A
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson 1 0.03
Burglary 4 0.12
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 3 0.09
Arrest 7 0.21

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 28 0.13
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter 2 0.01
Forcible Rape 15 0.07
Robbery 7 0.03
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 83 0.39
Larceny 464 2.18
Vehicle theft 26 0.12

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2073rd for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Oregon.

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Forest Grove, OR 97116
Surrounding communityLarge suburb (inside urban area but outside city, pop. over 250,000)
Total Population20,985 (17,868 urban / 3,117 rural)
Households7,429 (2.70 people per house)
Median Household Income$43,671
Families5,043 (3.23 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateBalanced arts & sciences/professions, some graduate coexistence
GraduateDoctoral, professional dominant
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, lower transfer-in
EnrollmentMajority graduate/professional
Size & SettingSmall four-year, highly residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District4101

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 248th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $36,184 $36,184 $36,184
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $840 $840 $840
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $1,508 $1,508 $1,508
FT Graduate Tuition $27,712 $27,712 $27,712
FT Graduate Required Fees $325 $325 $325
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $763 $763 $763
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $50,486 $50,486 $50,486
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $50,486 $50,486 $50,486
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $39,694 $39,694 $39,694

Student Tuition Costs for Professional Fields

  In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Optometry Degree — Tuition $34,572 $34,572
Optometry Degree — Required Fees $47 $47
Pharmacology Degree — Tuition $42,960 $42,960
Pharmacology Degree — Required Fees $972 $972

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $33,612 $35,260 $33,612 $35,260 $33,612 $35,260
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,000 $1,050
On-Campus – Room & Board $9,208 $9,992
On-Campus – Other Expenses $1,590 $1,620
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $9,208 $9,992
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $1,590 $1,620
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $1,590 $1,620

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$40
Graduate Application Fee$34
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 2,658 (1,242 male / 1,416 female)
Admitted 2,291 (1,032 male / 1,259 female)
Admission rate 86%
First-time Enrollment 421 (168 male / 253 female)
FT Enrollment 421 (168 male / 253 female)
PT Enrollment N/A (N/A male / N/A female)
Total Enrollment3,583

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Northwest Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Northwest Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Northwest Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Northwest Conference

ACT Test Admission

381st for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 47%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 0 / 0
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 21 / 27

SAT Test Admission

424th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 87%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 490 / 600
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 500 / 610
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 990 / 1210

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity1,096
Meals per Week19
Room Fee$5,518
Board Fee$5,274

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1078th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $73,798 ($77,000 male / $62,861 female)
Number of FT Faculty 267 (134 male / 133 female)
Number of PT Faculty 426
FT Faculty Ratio 0.6 : 1
Total Benefits $5,888,764

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2043 College Way
Forest Grove, OR 97116
p. 877-722-8648
w. www.pacificu.edu

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