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Pacific Seminar I

Pacific Seminar 1 takes place in the first semester and introduces students to the question: "What is a Good Society?"

PACS 1 develops skills students will need to succeed in any field of study at the University and beyond. The course represents an introduction to general education in the best sense of the term: education for self-examination and engaged citizenship. Such grounding will help students develop the agency and flexibility necessary to navigate a rapidly changing political, social, and economic environment.

Student Learning Outcomes

In PACS 1, students will work to become stronger:

  • Writers -able to write concisely and cogently for a given audience.
  • Critical thinkers -sharp, nimble, inclined to search for evidence, and skilled at appraising it.
  • Readers -able to reflect upon and apply an author's main and supporting ideas and perspective.

Pacific Seminar 1 allows all Freshman to share common intellectual experiences such as common readings and lectures, and an art experience.


PACS General Sessions

David Kung Performance 
" Mind Bending Math Paradoxes & the Possibility of Changing Your Mind"

David Kung, Professor of Mathematics from St. Mary's College in Maryland, spoke to a full house of PACS 1 students on October 12, 2017 in Faye Spanos Concert Hall.

  Watch the entire PACS 1 General Session


All On Stage 2017 
"2nd Annual PACS 1 Poetry Slam"
Slam Poet Sam Pierstorff returned and emceed the 2nd Annual PACS 1 Poetry Slam on November 27, 2018 in Faye Spanos Concert Hall. Guest Queen D and 25 PACS 1 students delivered their poems to a crowd of 600+ students.  The audience participated with finger snaps, cheers, and scorecards.  All 25 students were winners--but the top three went home with prizes.  The winners were...

1st place - Arshita Sandhiparthi (Professor Kris Alexanderson)
2 nd place - Michael Vue (Professor Judith Javier-Casillas)
3rd place - Duo team of Zauna Nuru-Bates and Gigi Aponte both from (Professor Judith Javier-Casillas)



Check out the common syllabus template (may vary by section)
Readings in PACS 1 include the following books:


  50 Essays 5th Edition


The Happiness Hypothosis

Freshmen in Pacific Seminar 1 read essays from an anthology called "50 Essays" edited by Samuel Cohen.  The collection contains great classic and contemporary readings on a variety of issues related to "What is a Good Society?"  The diverse readings deal with race, gender, age, political diversity, social injustice, the environment, etc.  They provide a great foundation to discuss and examine differing points of views and help students to become open and curious learners. Table of Contents

"The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom" by Jonathan Haidt. The book explores where happiness comes from, how civilizations in the past have understood happiness, and how this applies to our modern lives. The author also examines other concepts such as virtue, reciprocity, love and attachment. This book is a great way to start thinking about larger intellectual questions and their meaning for our own actions and beliefs.