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Founded on the new Applegate Trail in 1846 by emigrant Tabitha Brown, Pacific University is a private four-year Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with the United Church of Christ. Each year, Pacific enrolls around 1,700 undergraduates and 1,600 post-graduates across its five academic colleges. Pacific University occupies a main 55-acre suburban campus in Forest Grove, Oregon, within just 25 miles west of Portland. Satellite locations are operated in Eugene, Hillsboro, and Woodburn. Following the motto “For Christ and His Kingdom,” Pacific strives to provide faith-based education in over 65 undergraduate majors and 40 graduate programs.
According to the U.S. News, Pacific University is ranked the 25th best regional college in the West. Forbes magazine named Pacific the 236th best private university in America with a financial grade of C. For several consecutive years, Pacific has been included in the Princeton Review’s “Best in the West.” Washington Monthly magazine lauded Pacific University as the 19th best master’s-level institution for civic engagement nationally. Pacific has joined the President’s Community Service Honor Roll. Pacific University’s Psi Chi Honor Society was also designated a “Model Chapter” and granted the 2014 Mamie Phipps Award.
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Pacific University Accreditation Details
Pacific University is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Pacific is properly licensed by the State of Oregon Office of Degree Authorization (ODA) for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. In particular, the Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs in clinical psychology are approved by the American Psychological Association Commission on Accreditation (APA-COA). Any classes on aging also meet the standards of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (AGHE).
Pacific University Application Requirements
With an acceptance rate of 80 percent, Pacific University has a selective admissions process requiring certain criteria. New freshmen must be graduating with a high school diploma or passing the GED test. Following a college-prep curriculum with four years of English and four years of mathematics is preferred. Admitted students have an average high school GPA of 3.62. Nearly all rank in the top 50 percent of their class. On average, freshmen score between 21 and 26 on the ACT. Transfer students who have finished at least one college-level course at a regionally accredited school can be accepted. Incoming transfers must have a minimum GPA of 2.7.
Graduate applicants to Pacific’s psychology programs must already hold a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or foreign equivalent. Having prerequisites in introductory psychology, quantitative methods, and statistics is required. Prior experience in research or clinical areas is strongly recommended. Master’s students must carry a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of their bachelor’s program. Ph.D. and Psy.D. candidates need a 3.3 GPA. Passing the GRE or MAT exam within five years is necessary. A background check and drug screening is required before clinical placement.
Anyone wishing to enroll at Pacific University should submit the following:
• Completed departmental application
• Official academic transcript(s)
• Two letters of recommendation
• Entrance exam scores (ACT, SAT, GRE, or MAT)
• Resume or curriculum vitae
• One to two-page statement of interest
• $50 non-refundable application fee
Tuition and Financial Aid
Regardless of state residence, full-time undergraduate students at Pacific can expect to pay $39,858 in tuition and fees annually. Room and board costs an additional $11,448 per academic year. The total cost of attendance is estimated at $51,033 each year. The M.A./M.S. in Applied Psychological Science program costs $22,962 in tuition per academic year. Master’s students must also pay $150 in fees, $3,767 for books/supplies, and $2,000 for a laptop. Ph.D. and Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology students are billed $31,857 per year in tuition. Books, supplies, and a computer will cost around $6,000 extra.
100 percent of beginning full-time Pacific University students receive financial aid. If qualified on the FAFSA form, student can borrow Federal Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized or Grad PLUS loans. Alternative loans are available from private lenders. Certain students can obtain free federal aid through the Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, SMART Grant, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. In-state residents should apply for the Oregon Opportunity Grant (OOG) and/or Chafee Education and Training Grant. Veterans and dependents can receive aid from the VA Yellow Ribbon Program. Scholarships are also numerous, including the Pacesetter Scholarship, Founders Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, Boxer Spirit Award, and McCall Scholarship.
Psychology and Counseling Degrees
Within the College of Health Professions, the School of Professional Psychology offers four degree options to choose from. There’s a student-faculty ratio of 11:1 for personalized learning attention. Students benefit from internships at sites like the OHSU Primate Center, Oregon Traumatic Brain Injury Association, LifeWorks Northwest, or Portland VA Medical Center. Counselors can also provide services to the public at Pacific’s Psychology & Comprehensive Health Clinic too. Programs to consider include:
Bachelor’s in Psychology
Focused on the human brain, mind, and behavior, the Bachelor’s in Psychology program at Pacific gives undergrad students the chance to learn key findings in modern psychological science. Available at the Eugene, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, or Woodburn campus, the four-year program consists of 122 credits of major, elective, and seminar courses. All seniors complete an independent research project with faculty mentorship.
M.A./M.S. in Applied Psychological Science
The M.A./M.S. in Applied Psychological Science program allows Pacific University graduate students to further develop their research skills in studying psychological phenomena. Two specializations are offered in Psychological Research and Clinical Psychology. Within the 66-credit program, students can complete applied field practicum (M.A.) or thesis research (M.S.). The Clinical Psychology focus qualifies graduates for pursuing the Licensed Psychological Associate (LPA) credential in Oregon.
Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology
Following an scientist-practitioner model, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program prepares Pacific graduates to integrate the science and practice of psychology. Requiring 119 credits beyond the bachelor’s level, the Ph.D. includes courses in research design, statistics, psychopathology, clinical assessment, lifespan development, neuroscience, neuropscyhopharmacology, and human diversity before the dissertation. All students receive a $5,000 research assistantship stipend during their first two years.
Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology
Accredited by the APA since 1990, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program utilizes the practitioner-scholar model to deliver rigorous training for aspiring psychologists to deliver competent mental health treatment. Six tracks are available in Adult, Child & Adolescent, Forensic, Health, Latino/Bilingual, and Neuropsychology. The 137-credit program spans over five years with three practicum terms and a culminating year-long internship. After leaving Pacific University, Psy.D. graduates are eligible for licensed clinical practice.
With advice from our contributors, this page guides you through the process of beginning a private practice and can function as a starting-a-private-practice-in-counseling checklist.
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When choosing between a Psy.D. and a Ph.D., psychology students can find help from this guide. The best path hinges on interests and career goals.