Academic FAQs

What are PLNU's Institutional Learning Outcomes?

The Institutional Learning Outcomes (ILO) are institutional expectations for graduates. At PLNU, the three ILO are that each student experiences and demonstrates:
1. Learning, informed by our faith in Christ
2. Growing, in a Christ-centered faith community

3. Serving, in a context of Christian faith

How will I know what courses to take this fall?

PLNU uses a research-based prescriptive model of course registration for all incoming new students. Using the personal profile you submitted earlier this year, your interests and preferences were matched with the requirements for the academic major you have selected. Because the faculty has prescribed your first semester courses, you have the optimal schedule for completing educational goals and degree requirements in a timely manner. Later this fall, you will meet with your faculty advisor and plan your course schedule for the spring semester.    

mixing-meds.jpg When will I receive my class schedule?

 You will receive your class schedule, along with your Statement of Account, in the next NSO mailing around July 1. If you have any questions about your schedule, call the Academic Support Hotline at (619) 849-3333. You can also access your financial information and class schedule through your student portal.

 What can I major in at Point Loma?

PLNU offers more than 50 majors, ranging accounting to theology. Normally, students select a major no later than their sophomore year. During NSO, you will meet with faculty and students in your academics major. All students are encouraged to select a major in an area of study they plan to pursue or in which they have interest, even if their choice is tentative. Visit the  PLNU Catalog for a list of majors, minors and concentrations. 

 Can I earn a minor in a different academic program?

 Yes. Though not a requirement for the baccalaureate degree, academic minors are offered in several departments and schools. 

 What about special placement questions?

 PLNU requires students to meet minimum standards in mathematics, writing and foreign language, and also allows advancement in your program through the College Board's Advanced Placement (AP) program, the International Baccalaureate (IB) and the College-Level Examination Program (CLEP). More information is available at the PLNU Catalog. 

How do I receive credit for advanced placement?

Students who have completed an Advanced Placement exam at the high school level should request submission of these scores early so that appropriate decisions may be made for the first semester. Details regarding other placement issues are discussed in the current online university catalog.

The 2014-15 Undergraduate Catalog will be available in early summer at pointloma.edu/UndergraduateCatalog or at m.catalog.pointloma.edu on your smart phone.

Do I have to take math or the math placement exam?

All students who attend PLNU have a general education mathematics requirement. All new students are required to take a one hour online mathematics exam prior to attending fall 2014 classes. The only exception: students who have passed the AP Calculus AB exam or BC exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 and have sent the score to PLNU before August 1, 2014.

The PLNU Math Placement Exam is offered online August 12-14, 2014. The week of July 21, you will receive an email with instructions for registering for the online exam. You must complete the registration by August 1, in order to take the exam online.

On Monday, August 11, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access the exam. In order to take the exam you must use Internet Explorer or Firefox as your web browser, and you must have JavaScript and pop-ups enabled during the time you are taking the exam.

If a new student does not take the Math Placement Exam in August, he or she will take it Tuesday morning, September 2, prior to classes starting on Wednesday, September 3. A change in class schedule may occur based on a student's score on the exam.

It is strongly advised that students take this exam in August.  

The results of this exam will be used by academics advisors to place students in the appropriate mathematics course for their programs of study. Calculators are allowed on this exam. Further information about the exam can he found at: pointloma.edu/MathematicsPlacementExam.

What is Point Loma's writing requirement?

Most freshmen will be scheduled to take WRI 110, College Composition, which is a five-unit, one-semester course that covers both essay and research writing.  Students not placed in WRI 110 but placed in WRI 115, College Composition: Essay, fall semester will take WRI 116, College Composition: Research, spring semester to complete the five unit writing requirement. 

Students scoring less than 470 on the SAT B II Writing and/or 43 percent or lower on the ACT English or who qualify by virtue of their diagnostic essay exam score written the first week of class will co-enroll in WRI 097.  The cost for WRI 097 is $150.00.

Students with qualifying SAT B Writing scores of 670 or higher or ACT English scores of 94% or higher will be placed in the three unit WRI120, Honors in College Composition Writing and Research. If these students prefer to take five (5) units of WRI110 rather than three (3) units of WRI120, they may opt out of WRI120 and take WRI 110. Students may not take WRI115, College Composition, alone to replace WRI120, Writing Research.

Do I need a foreign language to graduate?

Yes, foreign language through the elementary level is required. Normally, students with two years of high school foreign language are placed at the elementary university level. Students with three or four years of study in high school should contact the Department of Literature, Journalism and Modern Languages for placement information.

Rus_and_Stu.jpgWhat does PLNU offer to help me with my studies?

The Tutorial Center collaborates with faculty to provide qualified tutors and offers a variety of services that assist students in their academic work, free of charge. Services include: tutoring by appointment, paper editing, review sessions, study skill aids, computers and assistive software, and scheduled workshops. To make an appointment, call (619) 849-2953.

For more information about academics at PLNU, including details about the General Education program, visit PLNU Catalog.

For Students with Disabilities

Disability Resource Center (DRC) serves students with disabilities. To determine eligibility for services and appropriate accommodations, current and comprehensive documentation of the disability from the diagnosing physician or other appropriate professional is required.

In order to facilitate a smooth transition into the university, new students disclosing a disability are encouraged to fill out and return the disability form by clicking here as soon as possible. A  Documentation Provider form that may be submitted by your healthy professional is available on our website at pointloma.edu/disability, along with other helpful information.

Course Management Tools

PLNU faculty utlize technology to deliver and collect course related inforamtion and materials. Canvas is ised to share course information such as the syllabus, assignments, grades, etc. In addition, LiveText is used to create ePortfolios, and also collect assessment data measuring the quality of academic programs. Please register your LiveText account (code available at my.pointloma.edu) prior to arrival. For more information, visit guides.instructure.com and www.pointloma.edu/livetext.