10 Coolest Classes at Pacific Lutheran University

Located in Parkland, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University is a private, 4-year institution that offers many courses of study and majors for students interested in nearly everything. From Anthropology to Theater Studies, PLU students can explore new hobbies, cultivate unique passions, and find lifelong careers. For all those looking to expand their horizons, here are ten of the coolest courses at Pacific Lutheran University.

1. ANTH 104 – Intro to Language in Society

different ways to say hello from different languages in different coloured speech bubbles

Language is all around us, every day, even if we take it for granted oftentimes. Many of us can read, write, and use sounds to communicate – some even in multiple different languages and dialects. It’s hard to realize, but this wasn’t always the case in the history of humanity. In ANTH 104, students will track and understand the spread of language from the earliest human civilizations’ pictograms to the thousands of languages in the modern world.

2. ARTD 230 – Ceramics 1

A person forms a vase on a pottery wheel

Although much of college takes place in lecture halls, classrooms, and laboratories, this unique art design course will take students straight into the studio. Using hand-built and wheel-thrown methods of creating pottery and other ceramic works, students will gain a great introduction to the art of ceramics!

3. ARTD 110 – Graphic Design

Graphic Designer surrounded by color palettes and drawing tablet as he designs.

Graphic Design is a major career field, especially in the world of online businesses, with new technologies and companies popping up every day. ARTD 110 goes over the basics of color theory and composition. For students who are interested in art and design, this introductory course to the topic is a great way to explore this potential career path!

4. ASLS 102 – American Sign Language

Hands spelling out ASL in American Sign Language.

American Sign Language is an incredibly useful skill that allows hearing people to communicate with the Deaf community and hard of hearing people. For students looking for a unique language to learn – one that involves motion and visual cues instead of spoken words – ASLS 102 offers a great introduction. Students will learn vocabulary, grammar usage, and the basics of culturally appropriate behavior when using sign.

5. BIOL 369 – Marine Biology

Diver swimming above a large whale.

Marine biology is the study of the living organisms, including both plants and animals, that live in ocean ecosystems. In BIOL 369, students will be able to take field trips to the ocean and participate in labs about the topics they learn in lecture. From sea turtles and urchins in the reef to the magnificent whales off the coast, students will get a close-up understanding of the creatures in the deep blue.

6. COMA 212 – Public Speaking

A close-up photo of a microphone in front of a crowd

It’s something we all have to do at one point or another – no matter how horrible we feel about it. Let’s face it – public speaking is one of the most common fears in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Thankfully, COMA 212 helps students tackle those fears head-on, covering topics of speechmaking, audience analysis, and delivery.

7. CLAS 326 – A History of Medicine

Historical drawing of a European plague doctor

If you broke a bone, caught the flu, or had chronic pain in Ancient Egypt, what would the doctor treat you with? Although there was no such thing as Aspirin back then, you might be surprised to know that you could receive a prescription for willow bark, the natural plant containing acetylsalicylic acid (the active ingredient in aspirin). CLAS 326 reveals the fascinating journey of human knowledge in healing and medicine, from Egyptian herbology, Hippocrates’ theories, and French plague doctors all the way to the golden age of science during the European Renaissance.

8. DANC 251 – Ballet 1

a ballerina in pointe shoes

If sitting in a lecture hall for hours on end doesn’t interest you anymore, consider taking a dance class! Ballet, a Russian art form that tells stories through orchestral music and dance, is a beautiful and athletic dance to learn. In DANC 251, students will learn the basic technique, vocabulary, and traditions of ballet. Don’t let the grace of a prima ballerina fool you, however – ballet is rigorous and athletically challenging!

9. ENGL 227 – Intro to Poetry and Fiction

Bookshelves filled with multicolored books.

Calling all budding writers! Whether you want to be the next J.K Rowling or Dr. Seuss, Intro to Poetry and Fiction is a perfect starting point. In ENGL 227, students will participate in a workshop-style course where techniques of fiction and poetry writing will be taught. Feedback from peers and instructors will also be offered, but don’t worry – beginners are definitely welcomed.

10. PHED 225 – Ballroom Dance

Silhouette of a couple dancing.

Want to impress at the next wedding you go to? This increasingly forgotten, yet classically beautiful skill is great to have under your belt! In PHED 225, students will learn the basics of ballroom dance with a partner, learn different styles of dance, and have fun in a supportive environment. So ditch that awkward sidestep, put on your dancing shoes, and head onto the dance floor with an air of confidence.

10 Hardest Courses at Pacific Lutheran University

Located in Parkland, Washington, Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) is a private Lutheran University that offers a perfect learning environment for its students. PLU offers 44 majors and 54 minors in a wide array of disciplines. Below is a list showing some of the hardest courses offered at the institution.

1. BIOL 444 – Neurobiology

A computer-generated image of the human brain

This course examines the structure and function of the nervous system and its relationship to behavior and disease. Students find this course hard because of the complex and technical topics they have to study. They will need to dedicate more study time to grasp the concepts and excel in the course.

2. PHYS 356 – Mathematical Physics II

A poster written Mathematical Physics

This advanced course in Physics involves mathematical calculations that are developed and illustrated through applications in physics. Students find this course hard because they will learn very complex formulas and theories throughout the course and solve a series of problems in physics.

3. MATH 433 – Abstract Algebra

Abstract Algebra calculations

Most courses are considered very difficult because of the complex calculations involved. This course is no different as it focuses on algebraic equations and theories. Students will throughout the course solve a series of algebraic equations. This course is recommended for students that wish to pursue a major in math.

4. CHEM 440 – Advanced Organic Chemistry

Equations related to Organic Chemistry

Students in this course will discuss a variety of organic reaction mechanisms and advanced applications of instrumentation in organic chemistry. The course is considered hard because it comprises of very technical and complex concepts. Students will throughout the course formulate a series of organic equations.  

5. STAT 348 – Statistical Computing and Consulting

An image of computer-generated pie chart and bar graphs

This is an advanced course in statistics that involves the use of R statistical software to visualize data and to conduct, present, and interpret statistical analyses. Students find this course hard because of the technicality of the topics in the course. This course is recommended for statistics majors.

6. GEOS 336 – Geochemistry

An image of the world inside a round-bottomed flask

This course discusses the fundamental geochemistry principles that focus on the investigations that seek to understand a wide range of earth and atmospheric processes and systems. Students find this course hard because it involves the analysis and interpretation of student-collected and published field and lab data meaning that students need to engage in a series of physically engaging field and lab sessions.

7. CSCI 390 – Objects and Design

Binary digits printed on a colored poster

This course discusses object-oriented programming techniques, tools, and best practices for dealing with large programs. Learning the concepts related to programming languages are challenging to comprehend for many students. This course is recommended for computer science majors.

8. ECON 344 – Econometrics

Econometrics calculations and graph

This is an advanced course in economics that discusses the methods and tools of econometrics and how they are applied in the research in economics. Students will study various complex and technical equations, formulas and graphs throughout the course. This course is recommended for economics majors.

9. BUSA 427 – Tax Accounting

A calculator, a pair of spectacles, a pen and financial records.

Tax accounting is an advanced course in Accounting that focuses on concepts related to income tax concepts, regulation, and tax planning principles. Students find this course hard because they will have to study very technical theories, formulas, and methods related to Tax Accounting. They will also throughout the course solve real-life problems related to Tax Accounting.

10. ARTD 310 – Graphics Design 3

A poster written Graphic Design

This course focuses on the design and execution of printed materials and emphases on technical procedures and problems related to design. Students find this course hard because they have to learn very technical and time-consuming concepts. They will also be subjected to a series of practical sessions where they will have to create their own designs.  

10 Library Resources at PLU You Should Know

Pacific Lutheran University is a private university located in Parkland, Washington. The university requires a large amount of library resources to support the education of its nearly 3,000 undergraduates enrolled in its liberal arts and professional school programs. Here are 10 library resources at Pacific Lutheran University that you should check out.

1. Research Guides

Pacific Lutheran University offers research guides on a variety of subjects to students beginning or in the process of conducting research. Research guides are available for 39 subjects ranging from anthropology to biographies to social work. This is a great place for students to begin research. Librarians are available for further assistance.

A conglomeration of the subjects covered by research guides.

2. Archives and Special Collections

This is the official repository of all primary and secondary materials pertaining to Pacific Lutheran University, the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience, the Lutheran Church, and Northwest history. Students can look to this resource for research materials, or simply for their own enjoyment and enrichment. Many interesting university records are stored here. Ask a librarian for further assistance.

Archives containing special documents needed for research.

3. Naxos Music Library

This is a collection of over 800,000 tracks of classical music, jazz, folk music, and popular music. Besides the complete Naxos and Marco Polo catalogs, NML includes music from almost 400 other record labels. Also included are work analyses, and even opera synopses and libretti. This is the perfect resource for students conducting music research.

The Naxos Music Library logo.

4. Academic Video Online

This resource allows students to explore academic videos on a variety of topics from Alexander Street Press. Especially noteworthy are the Counseling and Therapy, and Ethnography packages. These academic videos can be used in research, as part of a classroom presentation, or as assigned viewing given to students by faculty. Students can ask librarians for further information.

The Academic Video Online logo.

5. Naxos Music Online

This resource allows students to search for music by composer, artist, title, or genre. Users can create playlists to share with others. They can also listen online from anywhere in the world. Normally only available through subscription, Pacific Lutheran University students gain access to this resource for free.

The Naxos Music Online logo.

6. MIT World

This is an archive of presentations on a wide range of topics by MIT faculty and guests who have spoken at MIT since 2001. Some of what can be found here includes MIT World events, student videos, MIT Media Lab, artistic performances, and lectures on subjects like engineering, robotics, and physics. This is a great research tool. Students can ask librarians for more information.

The logo for MIT World.

7. Springer

A collection of science and technology e-Books published by Springer. Subjects covered include computer science, engineering, mathematics, life sciences, and a sprinkling of humanities. This is a great research resource for students. Librarians are available for additional help with access.

The logo for the Springer service.

8. Oxford Scholarship Online

This is an online library of scholarly books from Oxford University Press. PLU students have access to not all, but many, of these materials. This is a great research tool. Librarians are available for those who need help accessing this resource.

The Oxford Scholarship Online logo.

9. Credo

This is a collection of background research resources. This includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, source books, and almanacs. These resources are meant to help students get started on their research. Research guides are also available through here.

The logo for the Credo service.

10. Safari

This is an online collection of technology books and videos from a wide range of publishers. Some of these publishers include O’Reilly, Pearson, Que, Microsoft Press, PeachPit Press, and Sams. Topics covered by these resources include programming, web development, IT, networking, security, system administration, databases, and Office software. Librarians are available for further information and assistance.

The logo for the Safari service.

Libraries at Pacific Lutheran University

1. Mortvedt Library

This is the main library located on campus. It is also the most frequented by students. All of the above resources can be accessed here. The library is open 7 days a week, but students need to present their PLU ID after 9 p.m. in order to enter.

The interior of Mortvedt Library.

2. Tacoma Public Library Moore Branch

This is a public library available to members of the community. Students can come here for further resources. However, they must open an account with the library in order to check out materials. The library is closed on Sundays.

The Tacoma Public Library Moore Branch exterior.

3. Tacoma Public Library Main Branch

This is a public library available to members of the Tacoma community. Students can come here for further research tools as they need them. Quiet study spaces can also be found here. The library is closed on Sundays.

The Tacoma Public Library Main Branch exterior.

4. Tacoma Public Library Swasey Branch

This is a public library in Tacoma, not far from the university. Students can gain access to additional research materials by opening an account. Quiet study spaces are also available. The library is open on all days of the weeks except Sunday.

The Tacoma Public Library Swasey Branch exterior.

5. University of Washington Tacoma Library

This library belongs to the University of Washington, but PLU students can still come here looking for additional resources. Quiet study spaces, printers, and photocopiers are also available. PLU students may have limited access to resources as compared to University of Washington students. The library is open 7 days a week.

The University of Washington Tacoma Library interior.

10 Coolest Clubs at PLU

Pacific Lutheran University has successfully integrated the arts and professionalism to create a distinctive, admirable place for students. You can be sure to join a cool club, meet new people and attend amazing events at PLU. Here are our favourite clubs and must-attend events this year.

1. Anime Club

Join fellow anime fans at the Anime Club at PLU.
Picture: Pixabay

Are you interested in the wonderful Japanese animations? You’re not alone. Join your peers in a friendly discussion about anime, the storytelling techniques, your feelings and your own interpretations.

2. Dance Club

Practise, rehearse and perform with the Dance Club.
Picture: Pixabay

Join PLU’s dance club and find your muse. This club performs a range of different dance styles; jazz, hip hop, funk, synchronized…you name it. This is your chance to rehearse, enhance your skills and perform both on and off campus. By joining this club you get to make new friends whilst practising your passion.

3. Feminist Student Union

The Feminist Club allows students to practise activism on campus.
Picture: Pixabay

You’re more than likely aware of feminism and its goals. This Feminist Student Union allows all students to be an activist, working towards gender equality, giving students a voice and opportunity. Who knows that you could achieve with this club?

4. Garden Club

Help run the campus garden and grow produce.
Picture: Pixabay

The PLU has a wonderful student-run garden. This garden contributes to the Parkland community by providing them with fresh produce. This is the perfect club for anybody who has a green thumb…or just loves gardening.

5. HERmonic

Picture: Pixabay

HERmonic is a female A’Capella group, providing the campus with music and entertainment in a creative way. If you’ve always wanted to join an A’Capella group, why not try to join this one? They label themselves as “sassy, brassy, and classy.” What more could you want?

6. K-Pop Club

KDance and attend concerts with fellow K-Pop fans.
Picture: Pixabay

K-Pop’s popularity has blown up in recent years, there’s no surprise that a PLU has a club dedicated to it. If you’re a fan, join this club and meet like-minded people, attend festivals, watch videos, dance and play games.

7. Opera Club

Opera singers and opera fans need to join this club.
Picture: Pixabay

The Opera Club has a couple missions. Number one, to encourage the interest in Opera for both vocalists and those who just want to experience something new. Number two, they attend operatic productions. They also have PJ Pizza Opera nights which sounds like bliss.

8. Psi Chi

A club for all those psychology lovers with a meaningful platform.
Picture: Pixabay

An academic club for you to join, the Psi Chi club allows members to contribute to science, psychology and society. This is an amazing club that teaches students about social responsibility and gives them a meaningful platform.

9. The Mark Creative Writing Club

Write novels, poems, short stories and articles at the creative writing club.
Picture: Pixabay

Do you love writing? Are you studying a writing-based course? Do you want to improve your writing skill? Join the Mark Creative Writing Club. This will allow you to embrace your creative ideas, whether that’s through poetry, novels, fiction, fantasy, articles or short stories. They also provide tea and hot chocolate.

10. Young Life College Club

Meet new people, socialise and have fun.
Picture: Pixabay

If you’re just looking for a club where you can simply just meet new people, have fun and have a sense of community, the Young Life College Club is exactly that. Everybody is welcome to this.

The top events this year

1. A Christmas Carol by Catherine Hogarth

Start December right with the Christmas Carol.
Picture: Pixabay

Get into the Christmas spirit with A Christmas Carol, directed by Joy Ghigleri. This will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at the Phillips Center. The iconic play will be sure to start your Christmas countdown in the best way.

2. Clay Crow Workshop

This improv workshop is for anybody and everybody.
Picture: Pixabay

The Clay Crows will be starting their weekly improv workshop at Black Box Theatre. This gives everybody, beginner or not, to start a new hobby or develop their skill. Join them at 5:45pm on January 4th.

3. Men’s Basketball vs. Puget Sound

Support PLU at the men's basketball game.
Picture: Pixabay

Support PLU’s Men’s Basketball team as they play against Puget Sound. It’ll be a jam-packed, exciting game that you don’t want to miss. You also want to show solidarity with your University. It starts at 10:30pm on January 22nd.

4. Melissa Michal: Visiting Writer Series

Learn about life after graduation with Melissa Michal.
Picture: Pixabay

Melissa Michal is, in every sense, a writing expert. She has a Degree in journalism, a masters in literature and a PhD in literature. Her expertise lies with creative writing, speculative writing, genocide studies and education. Meet her, ask her questions and learn a few tips.

5. Study Away Fair

All students planning on studying abroad need to go to this fair.
Picture: Pixabay

If you have a desire to study abroad, you won’t want to miss this fair. Learn all about the options available for you, and ask questions to faculty staff and returned students. This fair begin on March 13th in the Anderson University Centre.

Top 10 Residences at Pacific Lutheran University

Pacific Lutheran University is a university that was founded in 1890 by Norwegian pioneers and is located in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington, USA. PLU is a committed to the education of students for leadership, and care of all people from all over the world. Students at this university get a chance to choose from a range of on campus housing options as well as off campus accommodation. The halls of residences are packed with amenities that make your campus experience worthwhile. Below are the top 10 residences at Pacific Lutheran University.

1. Kreidler Hall

Kreidler Hall is a residence providing accommodation to the upper division students who are over 20 years of age. It consists of all single occupancy rooms distributed over the three floors. There are large and well equipped, a centralized study room, kitchens, a fireplace located in the main lounge, Wi-Fi, spacious rooms and a centralized laundry room.

Kreidler Hall

Kreidler Hall, 12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

2. Stuen Hall

Stuen Hall is a residence for students. It consists of single and double rooms. There is card access on the room doors, kitchens on every floor, study rooms, recycling rooms, TV lounges, game room, washers and dryers, Wi-Fi, cable and energy-efficient windows.

Stuen Hall

Stuen Hall, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

3. South Hall

South Hall is an apartment complex housing upper class students who are over 20 years of age. It consists of studios, two and four bedroom apartments, two and five-bedroom townhouses. There is a main lounge with a big screen TV, study rooms, Wi-Fi, a fitness room, a piano, a lounge with a ping pong table and an outdoor courtyard.

South Hall

12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

4. Tingelstad Hall

Tingelstad Hall is the largest hall of residence in PLU and is for general student housing. It consists of double and triple occupancy rooms. There is a centralized laundry room, ping pong and football tables in the lounge, Wi-Fi, TV on each floor, sports equipment, kitchen and elevator access.

Tingelstad Hall

Tingelstad Hall, 609 125th St S, Tacoma, WA 98444, USA

5. Harstad Hall

Harstad Hall is a residence housing first year students and the Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equity Residential Learning Community (RLC). It is a five story building consisting of designed single rooms, double rooms and a single room with bathroom. There is Wi-Fi, centralized laundry rooms, elevator, a fireplace, kitchens, TV lounges and study lounges.

Harstad Hall

12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

6. Hinderlie Hall

Hinderlie Hall is a residence for general students housing. It consists of designed singles, doubles and a single with bathroom. There is Wi-Fi, a games area, centralized study rooms, TV lounges, a centralized laundry room, a fireplace and full kitchens.

Hinderlie Hall

Pacific Lutheran University, Hinderlie Hall, Tacoma, WA 98447, United States

7. Hong International Hall

Hong International Hall is a residence for local, national, and international students. It consists of designed single, double and a single with a bathroom. There is Wi-Fi access, a centralized Lutecard-operated laundry room, two fireplaces, classrooms, study rooms and kitchens.

Hong International Hall
12180 Park Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

8. Ordal Hall

Ordal Hall is a residence for general student’s housing. It consists shared occupancy rooms with fully renovated bathrooms that have heated floors and increased privacy. There are spacious lounges, centralized study spaces, kitchens, laundry, bay windows, card access on new room doors, open floor plan kitchens, Wi-Fi and balcony.

 Ordal Hall
Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

9. Pflueger Hall

Pflueger Hall is a residence for general student’s housing. It consists of shared occupancy rooms with baths. There are large study lounges, spacious lounges, individual climate control for each room, laundry and Wi-Fi.

Pflueger Hall
Pflueger Hall, 12401 Yakima Ave S, Tacoma, WA 98447, USA

10. Palisades

Palisades is a residence designed for general student’s housing. It consists of one and two bedroom units. There is a balcony, cable, patio, fridge, dishwasher, high speed Internet access, laundry and on-site management.

14701 South C Street, Parkland, WA 98444

Here is your Move-in Day Packing list at Pacific Lutheran University

1. Room Basics

Organized bed

Pillow cases
Flip flops
Mattress topper

2. Food and Snacks

food and utensils
Energy bars

3. Tech & Entertainment


Cell phone
Card games

4. School Supplies

School office supplies

Sticky notes
Text books
Marker pens

5. Cleaning Up & Organizing

Cleaning Up and Organizing
Clothing hangers
Lysol wipes
Flip flops

6. Campus Gears

Campus Gears

Campus gear like sweatshirt
Walking shoes
Water bottle

7. Items you should ask first before bringing

Sign that says ask

Big pieces of furniture like sofas
Iron board
Halogen lamps

Packing for college? Read on here on how to start packing and shop judiciously: Shopping & Packing List for College Dorm here.
You can also download the list below:

10 of the Easiest Courses at PLU

Students at Pacific Lutheran University are gearing up for classes in the fall. While many classes require outside time for studying and coursework, there are other classes that are designed to be easy for students so that they can focus on their much harder classes. Below are 10 of the easiest courses to take at Pacific Lutheran University!

1. PHIL 121 : The Examined Life

Have you ever wondered or questioned life? What is your own purpose on this earth? This course is designed to help students understand philosophic as they begin to question some of the most controversial topics about life. Students will study ideas about right vs. wrong, religious ideals, and systematic approaches to building a society.A picture of three major themes of philosophy. 

2. BIOL 111 : Biology and the Modern World

What is biology? How does it play a role in the world we live in today? This course helps to introduce to the field of biology in the modern world. Students will study organisms, both living and non-living, ecosystems, genetics, issues with the environment, human physiology, and disease.A picture of a DNA strand. 

3. CHEM 104 : Environmental Chemistry

This course introduces students to the field of chemistry and its principles. Students will learn how to apply principles of chemistry to everyday life and the environment we live in. Topics to be discussed include environmental science, issues related to chemistry, and how chemistry has impacted the world we live in.Some of the tools found in a chemistry lab. 

4. ECON 101 : Principles of Microeconomics

The economy is one of the most booming industries in the world. This course is designed to help establish a basic foundation on the world economy. Students will study supply and demand, markets, efficiency and effectiveness of the distribution of goods, and the economies around the world.The word microeconomics on the spinal of a book. 

5. ANTH 102 : Introduction to Human Cultural Diversity

The world is full of diversity, but what are the similarities and differences of many of the world cultures? This course will introduce students to cultural diversity. Topics to be discussed include politics, law, kinship, role of individuals in a society, religion, and art.An image representing cultural diversity. 

6. HIST 210 : Global Perspectives: The World in Change

How has the world changed? How is it evolving now? This course will introduce students to global issues from the past and the present. Topics to be discussed include war, cultural diversity, resources, international trade, peace, justice, and the world economy.The world map on a person's face 

7. ARTD 101 : Drawing 1

As kids, many of us were seen drawing or coloring away in our coloring books. Some would even take it to the walls to color on. This course is designed to introduce students to basic drawing methods and techniques. Students will have a chance to better their own skills in media and drawing.A sketch of a pineapple. 

8. PSYC 101 : Introduction to Psychology

How does the brain process information? This course will introduce students to the field of psychology. Students will study human behavior, development of humans, perception, thinking processes, memory, how humans learn , mental illness, human emotion, and personality.Represents how people think on each sides of their brain. 

9. SOCI 101 : Introduction to Sociology

Sociology is one of the broadest fields. This course will introduce students to topics in sociology. There will be a main focus on the American society throughout the semester. Topics to be discussed include societal structure, gender, race, stereotypes, power, roles of individuals, and stratification.An image of the word sociology. 

10. LANG 271 : Literature Around the World

How is literature seen around the world? This course will take students through the world of literature. Students will study different works from various authors around the world. Topics to be discussed include tradition, politics, religion, and globalization as it relates to literature.This is a shelf of hundreds of books. 

These classes are designed to help students eliminate time spent outside of class time studying. These classes don’t require a lot of work. As long as you show up to class on time and listen to the professor, you can get a good grade in just about any of these courses!