Academic Distinction

The PLU Experience

At PLU you will be challenged to achieve at the peak of your ability, given support to meet that challenge and, as a result, find success both in college and in your chosen career.

Challenge means rigorous academic classes that are small and taught by professors, not assistants. A PLU education means you receive individual attention – you are challenged to explore beyond the textbooks, to seek life’s purpose.

With 3,100 students PLU offers more classes, more majors and more opportunities than most liberal arts colleges. PLU provides the type of support that can only come from a close-knit community. Professors are mentors who encourage you to consider new ways of thinking, to take risks and grow. The result is PLU graduates are well equipped to find a career and succeed in the working world.

But we define success as more than a career. We will provide you the tools to excel in life – regardless of what the future holds. You will be prepared to lead and to make a difference in the world. And that is what’s truly important. It’s a special kind of success – a success that is defined beyond the bottom line.

Challenge. Support. Success. They are the PLU experience. It’s all made possible by the people in our community – faculty, students, staff and alumni – they’re people just like you.

A distinctive approach to learning

What does it mean to go to a Lutheran university? At PLU, we believe in authentically engaging, questioning, serving and caring for our communities and the world.

Where the classes are hard. And the issues? Harder.

Students are taught to ask the big questions, from many angles, in PLU’s challenging International Honors Program.

Science happens (And so much more!)

Of the numerous student-faculty research projects that take place at PLU each year, there is the science. But that is only the beginning.

Your First Year

Academically it’s not going to be easy. You’ll find that some of your courses are more difficult than you imagined. But from the moment you arrive on campus, PLU has a special support system in place to make certain you have every chance to succeed. We call it the First-Year Experience. It’s a year-long program that helps build a strong foundation for your college years – and the years beyond.

The First-Year Experience Program consists of courses, seminars, excursions and retreats that will help you make the transition to college-level study. The two main required classes are the Writing Seminar and the First-Year Inquiry Seminar.

The program is structured to provide a nurturing, supportive learning environment to help students adjust to the rigors of college and find direction for life after college. And, as is always the case at PLU, the classes are small, providing maximum interaction with professors and classmates.

First-Year Writing Seminars are focused on compelling themes – such as “Dreams,” “Vanished Peoples and Lost Civilizations” and “Sustainability: Balancing Self, Community, Environment.” The Inquiry Seminars will help you transfer the skills you’ve developed into a specific academic discipline, such as history, chemistry or communication.

Most universities don’t place this much emphasis on educating the whole student. That’s just one of the many ways PLU is different – we know that it is not enough to train you for a job, we prepare you for life.