Resources for High School Counselors

Profile of PLU

Pacific Lutheran University is located six miles south of Tacoma, Wash., in suburban Parkland, on a 156-acre woodland campus. PLU offers approximately 3,500 students a unique blend of academically rigorous liberal arts and professional programs. PLU was founded in 1890 by Scandinavian immigrants and remains affiliated with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

For more detail: PLU Profile


PLU offers a full range of liberal arts academic programs – such as psychology, history and the natural sciences – anchored by a college of arts and sciences. The university also provides students the opportunity for professional study in business, communication and arts, education, nursing, social work, and physical education. Each of these programs maintains a strong liberal arts emphasis at its core. There are 43 minors and 36 majors available to PLU students. PLU follows a 4-1-4 calendar that consists of two 15-week semesters bridged by a four-week January Term. Summer consists of two four-week terms.

A searchable list of available majors and minors: Majors & Minors

PLU General Catalog: Catalog

Student Profile

(2012-13 academic year)

Total: 3,473 students
Undergraduate: 3,166   Graduate: 307

  • 62 percent female, 38 percent male
  • 90 percent of first-year students enter PLU with 3.00 GPA or higher
  • 49 percent live in campus residence halls
  • 22 percent are students of color
  • 75 percent are from Washington state
  • 15 percent are age 25 and older
  • 20 percent are Lutheran
  • 4 percent are international students representing 25 countries
  • Average GPA for first-year students: 3.62
  • Average SAT (math and critical reading) for first-year students: 1097 composite
  • Average ACT for incoming for first-year students: 25 composite

More student data: Institutional Research


PLU participates in NCAA Division III athletics. More than 400 Lutes in all sports have been named first-team NCAA All- Americans.

  • Women’s intercollegiate sports: Soccer, cross-country, volleyball, basketball, swimming, track and field, tennis, crew, golf and softball.
  • Men’s intercollegiate sports: Soccer, football, cross-country, basketball, swimming, track and field, baseball, crew, golf and tennis.
  • Club Sports: Men’s and Women’s Ultimate Frisbee; Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse.

More about PLU athletics: Go Lutes!

Admission to PLU

PLU welcomes applications from students who exhibit capacities for success at the university level. Admission to PLU is competitive. Each application is reviewed based on grade point average, class rank, transcript patterns, standardized test scores, personal essay, and an academic recommendation.

PLU offers rolling admission – Students who complete all application materials by 15th of the month, October through February, will receive a response within four weeks. Applications received after February 15 are reviewed on a rolling basis.

There is no application fee if applying online. 

Complete information on applying to PLU: Apply to PLU

Official PLU Online Application: Apply


Tuition for the 2012-13 academic year:

Tuition and Fees: $32,800
Room and Meals: $9,620
Total: $42,420

Scholarship Opportunities

PLU offers numerous scholarships that are both merit and need-based. In 2010, the average student financial aid offer was approximately $26,900.

Financial Aid quick links:

Other important links

Visiting PLU

PLU encourages students to visit campus – it a great opportunity to meet a counselor, attend a class or sporting event, learn about financial aid or take a tour of campus. Appointments are recommended, but not required.

Contact PLU

PLU Office of Admission
Tacoma, WA 98447
Fax: 253-536-5136