On the day I visited the University of the Pacific with a large group of high school students, about a week before Halloween, the campus was abuzz with neighborhood children, dressed in costume, trick-or-treating through the dorms and fraternity houses – and many of the college students were dressed in costume as well.
While certainly not a typical day at Pacific, I will say that the students with whom I visited loved this campus, for reasons not necessarily connected to the fun atmosphere on the day we were there. The grounds are beautiful, well-maintained, and it feels like a college. Many of the buildings on the 175-acre campus are ivy-covered brick, and some are very modern.
There are just under 4,000 undergraduate students on the main campus, and several thousand graduate students. Students are required to live on campus for 2 years, and many live in the fraternity and sorority houses situated in the middle of campus (which our tour guide told us was a less expensive housing option).
Pacific is known for the health sciences, and has a top graduate dental school. It is also known for the Eberhard School of Business and McGeorge Law School, which is in Sacramento. Many of the undergraduate majors offer 5-year Master’s degree programs, and students can design their own majors. All first-year students take Pacific Seminar, a “shared intellectual experience” that helps to introduce freshmen to the college experience.
The high schoolers I visited with told me one of the things they liked about the feel of the campus was that our tour guide seemed to know a number of the people we passed on our tour – and all of them cheerfully greeted her as we passed. They called the look and feel of the campus “old fashioned, vintage, eclectic,” reflecting the old and new structures. We returned to our bus with handfuls of “fun size” candy bars and a good feeling about the University of the Pacific.