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 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 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?

small_mobile_bar_code_for_Catalog.pngStudents 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 2015-16 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 students who attend PLNU have a general education mathematics requirement.  Students who have passed the AP Calculus AB exam or BC exam with a score of 3, 4, or 5 have already satisfied this 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 online 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 the exam can be found at

What is PLNU's writing requirement?

PLNU requires five units of composition as the standard writing composition of the general education curriculum. Most freshman 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 less than 470 on the SAT B II Writing and/or 43 percent or lower on the ACT English will co-enroll in WRI097 and WRI110.  

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 four (4) units of WRI110 rather than three (3) units of WRI120, they may opt out of WRI120 and take WRI 110. 

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.

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 after July 1. Please register your LiveText account (code available at prior to arrival. For more information, visit and