Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University Data & Information Overview

Want the scoop on Pacific Lutheran University? We’ve put together a comprehensive report on the school that covers what majors PLU offers, how the school ranks, how diverse it is, and much more. Want to know more about a specific stat? Just click on its tile, and you’ll go to a page that goes more in-depth on that subject. You can also use the links below to go directly to any section on this page.

How Well Is Pacific Lutheran University Ranked?

2023 Rankings

College Factual analyzes over 2,000 colleges and universities in its annual rankings and ranks them in a variety of ways, including most diverse, best overall quality, best for non-traditional students, and much more.

Pacific Lutheran University was awarded 90 badges in the 2023 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is teacher development and methodology.

Overall Quality

PLU landed the #587 spot in College Factual's 2023 ranking of best overall colleges in the United States. The higher ed experts analyzed 2,241 colleges and universities across the nation to determine this ranking.

PLU is also ranked #13 out of 51 schools in Washington.

See all of the rankings for Pacific Lutheran University.

Is It Hard to Get Into PLU?

Acceptance Rate

With an acceptance rate of 86%, PLU has a fairly liberal admissions policy. However, don't just assume you'll get in! Put together a good application and make sure you include all requested documents and materials.

Learn more about Pacific Lutheran University admissions.

Pacific Lutheran University Faculty

Student to Faculty Ratio

At PLU, the student to faculty ratio is an excellent 12 to 1. That's much better than the national average of 15 to 1. This indicates that many classes will probably be small, and students will have ample opportunites to work closely with their professors and classmates.

Percent of Full-Time Faculty

Another measure that is often used to estimate how much access students will have to their professors is how many faculty members are full-time. The idea here is that part-time faculty tend to spend less time on campus, so they may not be as available to students as full-timers.

The full-time faculty percentage at Pacific Lutheran University is 70%. This is higher than the national average of 47%.

Full-Time Faculty Percent  70 out of 100

Retention and Graduation Rates at Pacific Lutheran University

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 80% tells us that most first-year, full-time students like Pacific Lutheran University enough to come back for another year. This is a fair bit higher than the national average of 68%. That's certainly something to check off in the good column about the school.

Freshmen Retention Rate  80 out of 100

Graduation Rate

Students are considered to have graduated on time if they finish their studies within four years. At PLU the on-time graduation rate of first-time, full-time students is 58%. That is great when compared to the national average of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  58 out of 100

Find out more about the retention and graduation rates at Pacific Lutheran University.

Pacific Lutheran University Undergraduate Student Diversity

During the 2017-2018 academic year, there were 2,544 undergraduates at PLU with 2,486 being full-time and 58 being part-time.

How Much Does Pacific Lutheran University Cost?

The overall average net price of PLU is $23,024. The affordability of the school largely depends on your financial need since net price varies by income group. See the table below for the net price for different income groups.

Net Price by Income Group for PLU

$0-30 K $30K-48K $48-75 $75-110K $110K +
$14,532 $15,500 $21,062 $28,190 $28,832

The net price is calculated by adding tuition, room, board and other costs and subtracting financial aid.Note that the net price is typically less than the published for a school. For more information on the sticker price of PLU, see our tuition and fees and room and board pages.

Student Loan Debt

It's not uncommon for college students to take out loans to pay for school. In fact, almost 66% of students nationwide depend at least partially on loans. At PLU, approximately 59% of students took out student loans averaging $7,307 a year. That adds up to $29,228 over four years for those students.

The student loan default rate at PLU is 2.7%. This is significantly lower than the national default rate of 10.1%, which is a good sign that you'll be able to pay back your student loans.

Get more details about paying for Pacific Lutheran University.

How Much Money Do PLU Graduates Make?

Although some majors pay more than others, students who graduate from PLU with a bachelor's degree go on to jobs where they make an average salary of $57,049 in their early years. This is good news for future PLU graduates since it is 34% more than the average college graduate's salary of $42,485 per year.


See which majors at Pacific Lutheran University make the most money.

Location of Pacific Lutheran University

Located in Tacoma, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University is a private not-for-profit institution. PLU is located in a safe and convenient suburb.

Get more details about the location of Pacific Lutheran University.


Contact details for PLU are given below.

Contact Details
Address: 12180 Park Ave South, Tacoma, WA 98447-0003
Phone: 253-535-8145

Pacific Lutheran University Majors

During the most recent year for which we have data, students from 38 majors graduated from Pacific Lutheran University. Of these students, 602 received undergraduate degrees and 172 graduated with a master's or doctor's degree. The following table lists the most popular undergraduate majors along with the average salary graduates from those majors make.

Most Popular Majors Bachelor’s Degrees Average Salary of Graduates
Nursing 94 $69,659
Business Administration & Management 65 $41,050
General Biology 44 $27,895
Health & Physical Education 42 $27,207
Teacher Education Grade Specific 32 $51,494
Communication & Media Studies 26 $33,589
Computer Information Systems 22 $67,051
General Psychology 22 $28,221
Chemistry 17 $39,943
Economics 15 NA

Learn more about the majors offered at Pacific Lutheran University along with which ones have the highest average starting salaries.

Online Learning at PLU

Online learning is becoming popular at even the oldest colleges and universities in the United States. Not only are online classes great for returning adults with busy schedules, they are also frequented by a growing number of traditional students.

In 2019-2020, 2,855 students took at least one online class at Pacific Lutheran University. This is an increase from the 0 students who took online classes the previous year.

Year Took at Least One Online Class Took All Classes Online
2019-2020 2,855 1,319
2018-2019 0 0
2017-2018 0 0
2016-2017 0 0
2015-2016 0 0

Learn more about online learning at Pacific Lutheran University.

If you’re considering Pacific Lutheran University, here are some more schools you may be interested in knowing more about.

Curious on how these schools stack up against PLU? Pit them head to head with College Combat, our free interactive tool that lets you compare college on the features that matter most to you!

Notes and References


*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.


More about our data sources and methodologies.

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