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Congratulations on confirming to the Pacific School of Engineering and Computer Science!  We are looking forward to your joining us.  We are already doing many things to prepare especially for you.

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School of Engineering and Computer Science
Chambers Technology Center
Olivia Villarreal
Recruitment and Retention Specialist
CTC 103
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211


School of Engineering and Computer Science
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

What next??

The purpose of this website is to help you transition as smoothly and effectively to Pacific as possible.  Take your time and slowly read through each step. If you have any questions about anything here, just call us.  For New Student Orientation information including detailed Course Placement Information, visit the Tiger Tracks website.Tiger Tracks Orientation

Course Placement

In order for you to have the best possible experience at Pacific, we take extensive measures to make sure your math and chemistry knowledge matches your initial course placements.  Pacific (like most universities) also has a minimum writing skills requirement.

Review the following information to determine which placement exams you should complete. The placement exams for mathematics, chemistry and foreign languages are available on-line and should be taken before your orientation session. You can complete these placement exams through Pacific's Canvas learning management system by logging into InsidePacific - Academics - Academics Links - on your computer. (Complete instructions will be sent to you by University admissions.)

The results from these placement tests along with your high school transcripts and other information that you provide will help us pre-schedule your first semester classes. This schedule will be ready for you when you arrive for orientation.

  • Math Placement 

    Getting started in the correct mathematics course is important for getting a good start in engineering and computer science. We want to ensure that you get started in the highest level of mathematics at which you are prepared to succeed. The University provides engineering and computer science students with access to a system called ALEKS, which provides both placement exams and training modules for refreshing your knowledge. Using ALEKS, you can test your knowledge, identify gaps in your knowledge, study to refresh your knowledge and then retest.

    All students should plan to use ALEKS to determine their mathematics placement. You do not need to use ALEKS if:
         - You took pre-calculus or calculus at a community college or four-year college and earned at least a C.
         - In your junior year, you took AP Calculus AB and scored at least a 3, or AP Calculus BC and scored at least a 4.

    If you are taking AP Calculus in your senior year, you should use ALEKS for placement. Since AP Calculus scores come to us late in the summer, ALEKS will be helpful in determining your matematics placement. If we later receive AP scores that place you higher than your ALEKS scores, we will disregard the ALEKS scores.

  • Chemistry Placement 

    Most of our engineering students take chemistry.  Most of our computer science students do not take chemistry.  Of the students who do take chemistry, most take a 4-unit class called, "Fundamentals of Chemistry."  It includes the aspects of chemistry that are most typically needed by engineers.

    An exception is that bioengineering majors must take two five-unit chemistry courses:  CHEM 25 and CHEM 27.

    Some students must take a chemistry placement test to get into their respective chemistry course.  The following students do NOT need to take the chemistry placement test:
         - If you did not take chemistry in high school.  You will be automatically placed into CHEM 23 - Elements of Chemistry.
         - If you took chemistry in high school and got a grade equal to or higher than a B both semesters (this rule does not apply to bioengineering majors).
         - If you took the Chemistry Subject Placement Test and scored 550 or higher.
         - If you took the AP Chemistry test before your senior year and you got a 2 or higher.
         - If you are majoring in computer science and are quite certain you do not want to take chemistry for your lab science requirement.    (Most students take physics or geology.)

  • Writing Placement 

    If you scored a minimum of 550 on your SAT Writing exam, or 22 on your ACT English/Writing exam, then you have met the fundamental skills in writing. If not, we will place you in a writing course which will be appropriate to advance your writing skills to the appropriate level.

    If you happen to have taken a writing course at a community college or some other college, you can check the following ROAR website to see if that might serve to satisfy your fundamental writing skills requirement at Pacific.

  • Language Placement 

    Engineering and computer science students are not required to take a foreign language course.  However, many students want to.  If you do want to take foreign language courses, there is a good chance they could satisfy one or two General Education requirements.

    You will have opportunities before the New Student Orientation, and again at the New Student Orientation to take a Modern Language Placement exam.  If you have taken a foreign language, and if you think there is any chance you might want to take a class at Pacific in this same language, you should go ahead and take this exam.

Purchasing a Computer

As students are preparing to move to Pacific, they frequently contact us asking for guidelines towards the purchase of a new computer.  In general:

  • The School of Engineering and Computer Science is a Microsoft Windows based school.
  • Windows 10 Professional 64 bit. Recommended 16 GB of Memory (RAM). 
  • CPU speed of 2.6 GHz or higher. Intel Core i7 recommended.
  • Minimum Hard Disk Space of 500GB. A SSD is highly encouraged.
  • Dedicated graphics (GPU) to handle engineering applications. Graphical RAM (GRAM) of 2 GB or above.
  • Apple Computers meet some of the requirements above, but have compatibility issues with some engineering software due to software constraints and operating system differences.
  • The school provides computer labs which are available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. These labs are equipped with all software required for engineering and computer science courses. These is always somewhere to complete your courswork, even if your personal computer does not support a particular program.
  • The SOECS and the University of the Pacific cannot endorse a brand or model of computer or where to purchase.  

What are your plans for this summer?

We have some recommendations:

1.     Have you ever had a job before?  If not, we strongly encourage obtaining some work experience.  Besides strengthening your character in many ways, it will be very important in your future CO-OP search. CO-OP employers have a strong hiring preference for students who have had experience being responsible and accountable on a regular basis to an employer.

2.     Summer School  Many students have the energy and motivation to go ahead and take another step forward towards their degree during the summer right out of high school.  It can serve as a bit of a "bridge" experience for the subsequent fall. What course should you take?

a. If you are not ready for Calculus yet, it would be GREAT to take your next math course this summer.  This will open up your schedule, making you eligible to enroll in other courses sooner.  Even if you are ready for Calculus, you still might like to go ahead and take your next Calculus course, just expediting your curriculum pre-requisites that much more.  

b. Or complete your chemistry requirement. This can be a big relief.

c. Or complete one of your general education requirements.

You can take courses at a local community college; or Pacific has a heavily discounted summer rate.  Be sure to confer with your faculty advisor on which course to take. 

If you are a new transfer student coming in....

If you don't live too far away, we would encourage you to go ahead and meet with your faculty advisor once you have confirmed at Pacific. It is not necessary, but you will enjoy getting to know them a little bit ahead of time, and it may make your orientation session a little bit smoother.  They will help you start creating an ed plan for yourself, so that you can see which classes you will be taking each semester.  The sooner you do, the sooner they can give you advisement that could save you much time and optimize your overall educational experience.  To do this, contact your respective Chair.   

For more information, also visit our Transfer Student page.

Awards, scholarships, and financial aid....

You've been accepted to Pacific.  Now we expect you to do great things, and be recognized for them.  We will help you.  You can qualify for distinctions, new scholarships, and new financial aid as early as immediately.  Check out this page!

Working while in school....
This is a common question, "Should students work while in college?"  While opinions vary widely on this, a few comments that might help include:

1. If you need to work in order to help make ends meet, know that many students across the country are in this same situation.
2. Most students are not capable of working more than a total of 10-15 hours per week.  Many engineering/computer science students will spend upwards to 45 hours per week attending class and doing their homework.  So if they try to take on employment beyond ten to fifteen hours per week, their grades can suffer seriously.  Also, remember that for sustained high academic performance, students must allocate time in their week for rest and for exercise. 

If you do decide you want a job, visit our on-campus job search by visiting Tiger Jobs. For more information visit Student Employment & Work-Study FAQ'S