Pacific Lutheran University Reviews

  • 29 Reviews
  • Tacoma (WA)
  • Annual Tuition: $50,928
80% of 29 students said this degree improved their career prospects
79% of 29 students said they would recommend this school to others
Start Your Online College Search:

Student & Graduate Reviews

Former Student
  • Reviewed: 9/14/2020
  • Degree: Nursing
"PROS: The nursing dept has a good reputation. Many undergrads are hired before graduation and most pass NCLEX on the first attempt. Some professors go above and beyond and take on more than required. They deserve so much more recognition. This includes clinical instructors, who have stood up for students so they’re not penalized for factors out of their control. The BSN patho class is rigorous and extremely valuable; this professor should teach across all levels for consistency. Under normal circumstances, students get more clinical hours than required (600 required, >800 offered). This is what saved the class of 2020 when they pulled everyone from clinical. The campus is well maintained, and the cafeteria is good, albeit expensive. There are good volunteer and leadership opportunities. CONS: Disorganization and miscommunication. Later in the program, we kept hearing, "in nursing, you need to learn to adapt to change," but there’s a point where the organization needs to take accountability. Senior year theory is basically self-taught; it would make no difference if it were online or in person, other than saving a trip. Preceptorships need to be reorganized to where placements, contact info, and specific schedules are determined between the school and hospitals ahead of time. Students should NOT have to panic and grasp in the dark for info. Assignments should be graded in reasonable time; if students are expected to meet due dates, professors should too. A lot of papers weren’t returned until after final grades were due. Cost of attendance now exceeds $50k/year. You’ll likely owe thousands, even if you get tens of thousands in scholarships. There are some discrepancies in financial aid here too. Classmates on a 2nd bachelor's or didn't qualify for aid had to keep calling to ask why they suddenly owed more AFTER finalizing private loans. They had to scramble and run to the bank for even more loans. One former student literally had to start a GoFundMe so they could start the semester on time. Resources are distributed unevenly. The ads are attractive, saying 90-something percent of students receive aid. However, it doesn’t make sense that there are passionate, community-devoted, high-achieving students who applied for nursing scholarships and heard nothing. Then there was one student who continuously received numerous scholarships, as many as 5 or more new awards or endowments at a time, and made sure we all knew about it. The criteria or rationale for this was ambiguous and unclear. Finally, the university offered 2021 students tuition relief but offered no relief for the graduating class of 2020, despite a massive lack of support and decline in the quality of education from March to May 2020, which we will still be paying full price for. OVERALL: I worked hard for this degree and value my education. I value the professors who supported us, and the friends who supported each other. But, I can't ignore the cons, especially how expensive it is to go here. If I could do it all over again, I’d probably go the community college route and bridge up instead. I will be encouraging my family and friends to consider this perspective before making decisions on where to apply."
Run far far away
  • Reviewed: 2/7/2020
  • Degree: Nursing
"What can I say. The entry level MSN is a borderline scam to get you to prepare you to be a care and outcomes manager. Except no one really hires those. There are no practical skills learned through this program. It is the equivalent of doing a first year of a nurse practitioner doctorate and then dropping out. You get the "master's" degree title, but nothing to show for it. It's like a jack of all trades degree, master of none. It's definitely a fast track program for non-nurses to get a degree fast. But the program/curriculum sets you up to take a bunch of courses that have no relevance toward clinical practice. A lot of "fluff." The only practical classes in the master's portion is advanced patho and even that was poorly taught and crammed into 8 weeks. Medical doctors have to spend a good full year of pathophysiology and they expected you to master it in 8 weeks. Rubbish. They didn't even require advanced health assessment or advanced pharmacology..... the three bread and butter courses for ANY advanced practice nurse and they only offered 1 out of the 3. This program is just a big money grab. You get a useless CNL certification at the end of the program. Why not allow the students to end with an NP license or at least grandfather everyone who took this scam of a program to continue toward taking necessary classes to get the NP? I have no clue; but I have very high suspicions that it's fueled by money. After all, it is a liberal arts private christian school. It has no public funding; it doesn't pride itself as being a research based school. It doesn't offer much nor does it invest in their nursing students. It was one of the biggest regrets of my life going here. I could have spent 1/5 the cost and just went for an ABSN and then go for the DNP for a fraction of the cost elsewhere. If you don't want to feel like you were scammed, incompetent due to your education experience (literally had to self-study content outside of class and homework in order to even hope to pass the N-CLEX), and don't want to have 6-figure debt looming above your gravestone when you die, do not go here! RUN; JUST RUN!"
  • Reviewed: 6/18/2019
  • Degree: Nursing
"The university seems to be diverse online, on their online profile. Their nursing programs to include their graduate ELM and D.N.P programs are not very diverse. The minority ratio is 1 compared to their Caucasian population. If you are a minority of any sort, this may not be the school for you. If you apply and are accepted, you may not graduate from their programs. You are advised to do in depth research. Find other minorities who have been in the program and listen to their experiences."
  • Reviewed: 12/18/2018
  • Degree: History
"I started school at PLU in 1995, and then took a sabbatical my junior year. I returned and finished my degree in 2006. PLU is a traditional university. They offer very little in the way of flexibility for a non-traditional student. It is a great place for a traditional student after graduating high school, who will attend full time. It is a smaller private school, with a beautiful campus, and good instruction."
Plu rocks
  • Reviewed: 12/5/2017
  • Degree: Nursing
"This school is amazing. The instructors really get to know you, you get to know your classmates and make life long friends! The program is hard so expect to be studying a lot everyday to graduate with a good gpa but if you try hard you will be better prepared in your career to succeed. They have the most clinical hours of any other school around so hands on you'll feel prepared as well! I love this school and think everyone should consider going here!"
  • Reviewed: 7/7/2017
  • Degree: Psychology
"I loved my time at Pacific Lutheran University. The class sizes are smaller and you have many opportunities to get to know your professor; many of which are passionate about their chosen field and are willing to share their knowledge. As an undergraduate student I had the opportunity to conduct multiple independent research projects and present at a national convention; my professors and advisers were there supporting me every step of the way."
Michelle Lloyd
  • Reviewed: 3/27/2017
  • Degree: Fitness Trainer
"Pacific Lutheran University was the only undergraduate program I applied for while I was in high school. As a recent graduate, I am grateful to say that it was the right choice! I feel that PLU has helped me learn more about the world and how I can contribute to it. The academics are rigorous. Learning and the application of knowledge are emphasized. Beyond the coursework, PLU is a supportive community. As a military student, I always felt like PLU "had my six!" I spent time away from PLU for military reasons. During that time, I attended various online universities and a community colleges. Once I was able to return, PLU helped me make a smooth transition back. The remainder of my undergraduate studies made it clear that the other schools I attended could not compare to the value of PLU! The practicum, internship, and volunteer opportunities allowed me to grow my professional network. I look forward to building upon the foundation that PLU has laid for as I continue my education in graduate school."
  • Reviewed: 3/15/2017
  • Degree: Graphic Design
"Overall, I really enjoyed going to PLU. There is a good community atmosphere at the school, and I always felt like my professors were invested in my future. I got a Bachelor of Fine Arts here, and though it is a good degree, it hasn't been much help in my actual career path after leaving school. I feel like a lot of the projects we did were geared towards designing for ourselves, and that they didn't give us a real-life example of what designing in the real world is like. It has been hard to find a good paying job that can support the cost of attending the school, but it is possible. I would recommend the school if you are a self-starter and are committed to making things happen. There's not much hand-holding that goes on here."
  • Reviewed: 3/9/2017
  • Degree: Social Sciences
"Excellent instruction & community support. The school encourages studying away/abroad, yet can charge extra for living, even if the program already included room and board. As a "needy student" I was charged $6,980 above the program price and it was billed as room and board for campus living. I had never lived on campus, and this was entirely an administrative decision. Student loans I need not have taken out financed that extra bit of fluff. Caveat emptor!"
Jessica Joslin
  • Reviewed: 9/29/2016
  • Degree: Fine Arts
"Pacific Lutheran University was an excellent school to attend for those seeking smaller class sizes and one on one mentoring. Because of the smaller class sizes professors are able to maintain and establish relationships with the students in their degree program. Like any university, establishing connections professionally and personally will help you after graduation when seeking employment and academic opportunities; and it is with the environment the smaller classes provide, you are able to develop those long lasting connections that will aid you in your future endeavors. Although I am no longer using my degree, the skills I developed, through my degree program and through my general required courses, are skills I have used in my career in the fire service. The campus is beautiful, but if you do not like rain, then it may not be the best place for you."
Carli Snyder
  • Reviewed: 8/23/2016
  • Degree: History
"I have so enjoyed my time at Pacific Lutheran University. I was able to double major in History and Gender Studies and pursue a minor in Holcoaust and Genocide Studies as well. The Holocaust and Genocide studies program at my school was one of the first in the country, and I feel so fortunate to have taken part in it during my time at PLU. Pacific Lutheran also encourages studying away, which has been a huge part of my college experience. I studied in Amsterdam, the Netherlands last semester and this was the most transformative experience of my life. I cannot wait to get back to PLU campus and see all of my friends and professors and share my experiences with them. I have also had plenty of student-faculty research experience which is a unique, special opportunity that many students can find at PLU. The professors at this university go above and beyond to make sure you are having a positive experience and class sizes are small enough to cultivate good relationships with them. The athletics department at PLU is also outstanding and I am so proud to be a Lute. I have had a very well rounded experience at this university and I would recommend it to any future students."
  • Reviewed: 7/29/2016
  • Degree: Biology
"I attended Pacific Lutheran University and graduated with a dual degree (B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Hispanic Studies) and a minor in Chemistry. With the support of my academic advisor and program directors, I was able to graduate within four years and study abroad. PLU supported my growth as a student and world-engaged citizen. I chose PLU because of the financial aid, rigor in program and focus on preparing students for a purposeful life of contribution and responsibility."
  • Reviewed: 7/22/2016
  • Degree: Teaching
"The music program is very rigorous. They cater towards students that come from really good music programs. If you came from a weaker music program you have to work extra hard."
  • Reviewed: 5/31/2016
  • Degree: Elementary Education
"PLU is a great school. It's small size makes the education personal, and it's location means there is plenty to do in the Seattle metropolitan area. I loved my time at PLU and felt like each professor cared about me and the education I was receiving."
  • Reviewed: 10/13/2015
  • Degree: Political Science
"PLU is an academically rigorous liberal arts university. I was someone who utilized study abroad programs like most PLU alum and it was one of the best experiences of my academic career. It is a small but pretty campus with a great community feel."
  • Reviewed: 10/13/2015
  • Degree: Communications
"Not the best school for my degree. If I'd known going in that's what I wanted to do - I might've picked a different school. It's clear the school doesn't value Comms students."
  • Reviewed: 9/1/2015
  • Degree: Elementary Education
"PLU is a small liberal arts college that make intentional choices in order to create an atmosphere that is great for learning both academically and about ones self. Vocation is focused on throughout the four years. I loved my time at PLU. Go Lutes!!"
Paul Dawson
  • Reviewed: 5/18/2015
  • Degree: Marriage & Family Therapy
"The MFT program at PLU offers great benefits to students. Among the pros of the program are: the well prepared faculty who bring their experience into the classroom lecture and discussion; the ability to work in PLU's Couple and Family Clinic as well as internships in the community enable students to apply our classroom learning in the midst of the program and under caring supervision; and, the diverse, energetic, and committed student cohort who work and learn together, supporting and encouraging each other as we go through the program. A con is the building facilities in which the program is currently housed. We share an old school house with a private Lutheran High School and it can get a bit loud as their students are moving through the halls, etc.. Overall, this is a wonderful program preparing us to serve well those who, at times, need help to make sense of life's struggles and find health."
Bonnie Roberts
  • Reviewed: 4/8/2015
  • Degree: Early Childhood Education
"It was an amazing teaching program. I highly recommend this program for anyone looking to go into the teaching field. The campus is beautiful and easy to get to. The professors were knowledgeable with their material and especially knowledgeable with special education"
Christina Ake
  • Reviewed: 1/28/2015
  • Degree: Marriage & Family Therapy
"The pros of this graduate program are the faculty that teach us. They are well informed and work hard to make sure we are understanding the material and listen to any concerns we have. They work and listen to us effectively. The classes are designed to help prepare us before we see clients. The cons of the program are the location of the buildings. There are not many cons this program has been pretty great."