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

What can I major in at PLNU? 

PLNU offers more than 50 majors, ranging from accounting to writing. 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 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.    

 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.

 How do I receive credit for Advanced Placement?

catalog codeStudents who have completed an Advanced Placement exam at the high school level should have their official, sealed score report sent to PLNU Records Office by July. If you listed PLNU as a receiving school on your AP exam, the scores will be sent automatically. Verify with the College Board if uncertain or request your scores by visiting the College Board website. Details regarding other placement issues are discussed in the current online university catalog.

The 2016-17 Undergraduate Catalog will be available in early summer at or at on your smart phone.

Do I have to take math or the Math Placement Test?

All new students are required to take a one hour online mathematics test, prior to attending fall 2017 classes. All students who attend PLNU have a general education mathematics requirements. Students who have passed the AP Calculus AB exam or BC exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 and have already satisfied the requirement. To avoid students enrolling in a course they have already mastered, we require each student who has not passed an AP Calculus exam to take a one-hour mathematics exam.  


The results of this exam will be used by academic advisors to place students in the appropriate mathematics course for their program of study. Calculators are allowed on this exam. Further information about this exam can be found at


What is PLNU's writing requirement?

 PLNU requires four units of composition as the standard writing component of the general education curriculum. Most freshmen will be scheduled to take WRI110 College Composition. WRI 110 is a four-unit, one-semester course that covers both essay and research writing. Students scoring 470 or less on the SAT Writing and/or 19 or less in the ACT English will co-enroll in WRI097 tutorial and WRI110.   

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.

academicsWhat 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.

Course Management Tools

PLNU faculty utilize technology to deliver and collect course related information and materials. Canvas is used 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 prior to arrival. (Check your PLNU email for a unique registration URL sent from For more information, visit and