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Pacific Seminar III

What is an Ethical Life?

Pacific Seminar 3 is the third and final PACS course.

Learn more about the cover art and student artist Binaypreet Singh.

Course Description:
In their senior year, students take Pacific Seminar 3:  What is an Ethical LIfe?  This course is a culminating general education experience and the final component of the university writing requirement.  Students learn about and analyze ethical concepts and theories to understand better their moral development, moral values, and behavior.  Students will analyze ethical issues in the contexts of family and friends, work, and political life.  Faculty use narrative media --such as film, biography, and literature -- to illustrate ethical issues.  Students write a personal narrative to reflect on their ethical development and anticipate ethical decisions they may encounter in their future roles as family members and friends, part of the workforce, and as citizens and members of local, national, and global communities.  Students must have completed 92 units to take PACS 3.  Students in accelerated programs take PACS 3 in their last year as undergraduates.

Student Learning Outcomes

In PACS 3, students will:

  • Understand important ethical concepts and issues.
  • Use such ethical concepts and issue to analyze ethically significant issues.
  • Employ film, biography, or other forms of narrative to describe and evaluate the moral choices.
  • Articulate one's own moral values and framework with reference to important ethical concepts and issues.
  • Explain, evaluate, articulate, and apply the above items in writing.

Students will engage the following university learning objectives:  Written communication and critical thinking.

This is what students are saying about the value of PACS 3:

"Hello Professor!  I just wanted to say hello.  I'm currently traveling Europe for three months on my own to celebrate graduation and you may be surprised (or not) about how much I've thought about the topics we talked about in PACS 3.  Lots of them have come up on my trip.  Not only am I periodically thinking about what I wrote in my autobiography, but being immersed in cultures other than my own and interacting with other travelers and natives has me reflecting specifically on the different schools of morality that we studied...Basically, I'm writing to let you know that I really enjoyed your class and it is useful when I'm learning and appreciating alternate ideas and people all over the world.  So thank you!

--Bri Prebilic Cole, University of the Pacific '16

Cover Artist PACS 3    "The World is Your Oyster" cover art was designed by Binaypreet Singh who is a University of the Pacific student who is currently studying Psychology and Graphic Design.  In her words, "This cover was created in Professor Brett DeBoer's Print Media Graphics course, during the Spring of 2014.  General education is a vital part of curriculum that allows students to go beyond the limits of their designated majors, and discover something more about themselves and the population as a whole.  Pacific Seminar 3 is the culmination of this learning, a place to reflect upon one's development of character.  The concept of my cover design focuses on the idea of the endless opportunities available to seniors after graduation.  I take the pearl's significance into account as not only a symbol of a reward for hard work, but also as a representation of the student over time, both mature to things of great value and beauty.  I present the image of the world on the pearl as a literal translation of the phrase, "the world is your oyster," where the hands offering the oyster are symbolic of Pacific Seminar 3 and its part in making students aware of their potential and depth of character.  A source of inspiration for this project is my relationship with Delta Delta Delta.  The pearl is representative of the new members and their process of transitioning into collegiate membership, much like PACS 3 serves to transition seniors into adulthood.  I am an optimist by nature and the idea of a class that goes to the depths of our characters, questioning our morality until we reach a deeper level of self-understanding, really resonates with me. The navy to green color gradient is reflective of that, because students must travel to the deepest, darkest parts of themselves before returning to the light and taking their place in the world."