Pacific Lutheran University is a school proud of its heritage. From its Scandinavian founders looking to establish a school in the Pacific Northwest, to its strong Lutheran base and values, often referring to the school’s middle name (“Lutheran”) as a point of pride and distinction from other schools, PLU is a university that celebrates its past.
Established in 1890 in an area that would one day become the Parkland suburb of Tacoma, Washington, Pacific Lutheran celebrates the message of its Lutheran heritage in all that they do, as “by definition, [it is] a call for a commitment to academic excellence, academic freedom, and a learning atmosphere where all perspectives on faith and reason are expressed openly”. PLU brings in about 3600 students to this environment of integration and understanding, with many diverse religions represented, enabling their 146 acre campus to become not just an academic learning site, but one that engenders conversation and a challenge to grow in your own faith.
Academic programs at Pacific Lutheran offer degree options for both Bachelor and Master seekers, with over 30 majors to choose from, as well as dual-majors and minor options for any area of study, but with no distance learning option. There are four professional schools, offering renowned programs of study in typical areas of business, education, and nursing, with great facilities and a 15:1 student faculty ratio, but with many other programs offered outside the norm.
Recognized programs are here found in many of the Fine Arts such as Music (with the state-of-the-art Mary Baker Russell Music Center, offering incredible rehearsal/performance facilities and is “an architectural and aesthetic jewel…amid majestic trees”, holding 140+ student concerts annually), as well as many electronic arts (including one of the only completely student run tv stations in Washington, KCNS). There are Pre-law and Pre-med programs that are always spoken highly of and their International exchanges became noticed when PLU was the first American university to have students studying on all seven continents.
Internship opportunities abound at PLU, part of their commitment to ensuring graduates have the “tools to excel in life” and are “well equipped for the working world”, with connections to Microsoft (headquartered in nearby Redmond, Washington), Starbucks (Seattle headquarters), and the Seattle Mariners baseball franchise. Their award winning MediaLab internship was begun in 2007 and provides experiential opportunities for all forms of media studies from advertising to online media to videography.
Though there may not be a distance learning environment, that doesn’t mean PLU isn’t technologically sound, with cutting edge facilities across all majors and eservices including complete access to the Mortvedt Library, advanced computer and technology labs, email and wireless access throughout campus, and advisement/registration services through the Web. The Digital Media Center provides computers designed for work on “digital web, audio and video technologies…[as well as an]espresso cart, for a balance of comfort and technology”.
With ministry opportunities, a Lutheran dedication to free exchange of ideas and hands on education for all seekers, regardless of religious of ethnic background, Pacific Lutheran delivers B.A.s to M.B.A.s with high quality programs and a history of successfully educating a divers student body.