See what students say:


A liberal arts school near Tacoma, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University “offers [a] well-rounded education and encourages students to be active participants in the world” by encouraging students to lead “lives of thoughtful inquiry, service, leadership and [to] care for other people, their communities, and their planet.” Students say that the school emphasizes “sustainability and social justice” and “provides various opportunities to learn about community, culture, their importance, and our impact on them.” Students say that PLU provides them “with [a] quality education” and a curriculum that “seeks to educate their students in thoughtful and diverse discussions while teaching [them] to be thoughtful of our environment and community.” They say that through this “distinctive education [PLU] sets itself apart from other colleges.” Students find their professors to be “kind, understanding, [and] very knowledgeable and interested in their subject.” PLU professors “genuinely enjoy educating” and “are capable of holding interest as well as teaching in a functional way” because they are “engaging and passionate about their subject matter.” Students enjoy the typical PLU teaching style that places a greater emphasis on discussion and group activities, explaining that “discussion and activity time make learning much more exciting.” Some PLU students said that their professors “are not afraid to challenge us,” and while some students were “overwhelmed at first,” all agree that the majority of the faculty “are accessible and friendly and obviously care about their students.” Many students complain that the school needs to “become more diverse in its student and faculty population.”

Student Body

The typical PLU student is “engaged in the on-campus community and interested in the surrounding community,” “passionate about their major,” “but often [focused] even more on social justice and community service.” Students say that “it takes a couple weeks to adjust to the new scenery and structure,” but because the “students are welcoming and there are many ways and places to get involved on campus,” “it is easy to reach out to find who you will really fit in with.” Many students stressed to us that “every student is unique, and . . . weirdness is encouraged.” PLU students value “an understanding of larger global issues,” but some criticize the student body as being “privileged, with no concept of life outside of privilege.” Indeed, many agree that the student body skews demographically towards “white, middle-upper middle class” “heterosexual female Lutheran[s]” from the Pacific Northwest and that the school would benefit from greater diversity. But students who “don’t fit with all of those” categories say they “always feel welcome and feel like I fit in.”

Campus Life

Living on campus is obligatory for all students “the first two years or until they turn 20, then most people live either within a few blocks . . . or move into the campus-owned apartment buildings, which are really nice.” Despite “a large commuter population,” “there is still a lively community of students that live near campus.” PLU doesn’t have a Greek system, “but there are still “party houses” and there are open parties around campus every weekend.” On campus students can choose from “a lot of different groups to join, . . . and because of our proximity to mountains and other outdoor activities there is a huge community of outdoorsy people” who “love to hike around here on different trails or mountains.” In fact the school’s “Outdoor Recreation takes trips of students for low costs to amazing things like rock climbing, kayaking, hiking, [and] snowshoeing.” Students also “love to go to concerts for a wide variety of music” and enjoy “in-depth talks about current issues.”

Contact & Visit

Campus Visits Contact

Emily McCann
Director of Admission Marketing & Communication

Office of Admission
Tacoma, WA 98447



Experience College Life

Most Popular Places On Campus
Morken Center for Learning and Technology
Rieke Science Center
Mary Baker Russell Music Center
Wekell Art Gallery
Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Keck Observatory, Scandinavian Cultural Center, Names Fitness Center

Most Popular Places Off Campus
Mount Rainier National Park
Museum of Glass, Tacoma
Washington State History Museum, Tacoma
Tacoma Water Front
NW Trek Wildlife Park
Point Defiance Park and Zoo, Tacoma Art Museum

Campus Tours

Campus Visiting Center
Monday-Friday in the morning and afternoon, and on select Saturdays in the morning
Start times 10:00am & 2:00pm

Campus Tours
Appointment Required: Yes
Dates: Year-round
Times: Varies
Average Length: 1 hour

On Campus Interview

Campus Interviews

Information Sessions
Not Available


Faculty and Coach Visits

Dates/Times Available

Contact Admissions Office

Advance Notice
1 week

Contact Email Address for Visit

Class Visits

Dates/Times Available
Academic Year

Contact Admissions Office

Overnight Dorm Stays

Overnight Dorm Stays

Contact Admissions Office

During academic year, Monday - Thursday


Types of Transportation Available to Campus
Seatac Airport Amtrack Greyhound City Bus Service Taxi Shuttle from the Airport

Driving Instructions to Campus
From Interstate 5: Take exit 127, East Hwy 512 (Puyallup and Mt Rainier exit). From Hwy 512 take the Pacific Avenue exit (Hwy 7), turning right at the light. Travel South to Garfield Street, turn right. Go to Park Avenue, turn right. Go to 121st Street, turn left. The Hauge Administration Building is the 2nd building on the left.

Local Accommodations
DeVoe Mansion, Parkland Holiday Inn Express, Puyallup Holiday Inn Express, Tacoma Best Western Park Plaza, Puyallup Best Western, Tacoma Silvercloud Inn, Tacoma Chinaberry Hill B&B, Tacoma Marriott Courtyard Downtown, Tacoma Shilo Inn, Tacoma King Oscar Inn, Tacoma Best Western Lakewood Motor Inn, Lakewood


Applicants: 3,968
Acceptance Rate: 80%
Average HS GPA: 3.70



Tuition & Aid

Student Body

Campus Life

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