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Pacific Lutheran University Data & Information Overview

100 awards Ranking Badges
Great Price Value for Your Money
88% Acceptance Rate
Find out more about how Pacific Lutheran University ranks, how diverse it is, what majors it offers, and other essential facts below.
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How Well Is Pacific Lutheran University Ranked?

#688 Best Colleges in Nation
#15 Best Colleges in WA
Registered Nursing Highest Ranked Major

2024 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 100 badges in the 2024 rankings. The highest ranked major at the school is registered nursing.

Explore Best Ranked Schools for You

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Overall Quality

College Factual ranked PLU as #688 out of 2,217 colleges and universities in the country on its 2024 Best Colleges list.

PLU also holds the #15 spot on the Best Colleges in Washington ranking.

See all of the rankings for Pacific Lutheran University.

Is It Hard to Get Into PLU?

88% Acceptance Rate
61% Of Accepted Are Women
11% Submit SAT Scores

Acceptance Rate

Because it has a high acceptance rate of 88%, some consider PLU to be a safety school. But don't just assume that admittance is in the bag. Make sure to spend enough time on your application so that it is in tip-top shape.

Average Test Scores

About 11% of students accepted to PLU submitted their SAT scores. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing scores ranged between 570 and 693. Math scores were between 580 and 683.

SAT Reading and Writing Scores for Pacific Lutheran University  ( 570 to 693 )

SAT Math Scores for Pacific Lutheran University  ( 580 to 683 )
PLU received ACT scores from 6% of accepted students. When looking at the 25th through the 75th percentile, ACT Composite scores ranged between 22 and 28.

ACT Composite Scores for Pacific Lutheran University  ( 22 to 28 )

Learn more about Pacific Lutheran University admissions.

Pacific Lutheran University Faculty

11 to 1 Student to Faculty
70% Full Time Teachers

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio at PLU is an impressive 11 to 1. That's quite good when you compare it to the national average of 15 to 1. This is a good sign that students at the school will have more opportunities for one-on-one interactions with their professors.

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

79% Freshmen Retention
59% On-Time Graduation Rate

Freshmen Retention Rate

The freshmen retention rate of 79% 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  79 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 59%. That is great when compared to the national average of 33.3%

On-Time Graduation Rate  59 out of 100

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

Pacific Lutheran University Undergraduate Student Diversity

2,486 Full-Time Undergraduates
40.6% Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
64.4% Percent Women

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?

$23,024 Net Price
47% Take Out Loans
$27,684 Total Student Loans
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 +

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 47% of students took out student loans averaging $6,921 a year. That adds up to $27,684 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?

$57,049 Avg Salary of Grads
High Earnings Boost
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

Washington State
2,486 Full-Time Undergraduates
Suburb Campus Setting
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

Pacific Lutheran University Majors

38 Majors With Completions
602 Undergraduate Degrees
172 Graduate Degrees
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 MajorsBachelor’s DegreesAverage Salary of Graduates
Business Administration & Management65$41,050
General Biology44$27,895
Health & Physical Education42$27,207
Teacher Education Grade Specific32$51,494
Communication & Media Studies26$33,589
Computer Information Systems22$67,051
General Psychology22$28,221

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

Online Learning at PLU

5% Take At Least One Class Online
2% Take All Classes Online

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 2020-2021, 128 students took at least one online class at Pacific Lutheran University. This is a decrease from the 2,855 students who took online classes the previous year.

YearTook at Least One Online ClassTook All Classes Online

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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