Though established in 1944, Fresno Pacific University looks far different today than it did during its founding. Originally known as Pacific Bible Institute, the university started as a small college that was barely a step up from a bible study group. Less than 30 students initially applied for admission, and all students took courses in a private home. The institute later bought a building in town that it used for classes, but it wasn’t until the 1950s that the school finally had its own campus. After offering degree programs, the college became known as Pacific College. After going through other name changes, the college finally settled on the name Fresno Pacific University.
FPU earned the right to award bachelor degrees in the 1960s and added graduate degrees to its campus in the 1970s. Though not nationally ranked, the university does have a strong reputation due to its online course offerings. Unlike other colleges that have a residency requirement, FPU lets students earn their degrees completely online without every taking or even visiting its campus. Known as a private liberal arts college, the university has an affiliation with the Mennonite Brethren Church and has a total enrollment of more than 3,600 undergraduate and graduate students.
Fresno Pacific University Accreditation Details
Though all students should determine if a college has accreditation before enrolling, many students are unsure of what the term means or how to find this information. Fresno Pacific University, like many colleges across the country, puts this information right on its website. The university gained accreditation in the 1960s from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and renewed its accreditation every since then. The WASC grants preliminary accreditation to a college before interviewing employees and students, looking at supporting documentation and examining other factors relating to a campus. Once a college or university receives accreditation, it must go through a renewal process every 10 years or more often.
If the WASC discovers any potential problems, it will give the college a set period of time to fix those problems before applying for full accreditation again. Unlike other campuses that experienced problems in the past, Fresno Pacific University passed each of its renewal phases with flying colors. The Center for Professional Development granted the university the right to offer work opportunities and professional study programs for its students. Students can contact FPU directly to learn more about its accreditation and if any of its specialized programs have accreditation from professional organizations and agencies.
Fresno Pacific University Application Requirements
As technology changes and more students rely on the internet, colleges across the country eliminated their paper applications. Fresno Pacific University is just one of those colleges that got rid of paper applications after switching to an online format. After listing an email address, the system will send students to the online application. The university will send a message to the email address on record if the student forgot to answer a question or if there are any other problems on the application. Students must list what they want to study/major in, when they plan to start classes and if they are transfer, new or international students.
Fresno Pacific University also requires that all students answer questions about their education, including where they went to high school, if they have a GED and if they attended college in the past. The application includes a small section on biographical information as well. Fresno Pacific University also asks demographic information about students’ parents and backgrounds and requests emergency contact information. Students must also complete a section on their interests and hobbies. The application requires the completion of two essay questions, and students must also check a box before submitting the application that shows they agree to the values and behavioral expectations of the university.
Tuition and Financial Aid
The cost of attending Fresno Pacific University varies based on what courses students take. Instead of charging a set rate per credit hour, FSP charges a rate based on the type of class. All upper level courses offered through its graduate program cost $545 per number of units in that class. Teaching and education classes cost the same amount. LEAD and MSN courses cost approximately $600, and students pay $830 per unit for each course they take in the MBA program. Graduate students must also pay a technology fee that costs $40 per semester, and students are also responsible for their own expenses and any textbooks or supplies needed in their classes.
After submitting a completed application packet, students should instantly fill out and submit the Free Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA uses answered supplied by students and their families when determining the type and amount of aid they will receive for college. Pacific Fresno University accepts different forms of payments and allows students to pay for their classes at the beginning of each semester. The aid available to online graduate students include subsidized student loans, unsubsidized student loans, private student loans, and grants from the government.
Online Degrees Available
Fresno Pacific University launched its online graduate program as a way to appeal to students who didn’t have the time or resources needed to attend classes on campus. Many of the programs that it now offers have an emphasis on teaching and education. One of those is a Master of Art in Curriculum and Teaching. The program focuses more on curriculum development and with helping future teachers learn more about the importance of creating programs for students of different ages. The Teacher Librarian MA also has an education emphasis but deals more with the problems handled by school librarians every day, including weeding collections, sourcing new materials and helping students find resources. Students entering this program must already have an undergraduate degree in education, but the school may also accept students who have a library science or a similar degree.
FPU also offers degrees in kinesiology. One of its Master of Arts degrees in Kinesiology has an emphasis on sports administration. Kinesiology is a field of study concerned with the human body and how different activities and foods can impact the body. The sports administration emphasis teaches students how to run sports organizations and work with athletes. Fresno Pacific University offers these programs and others entirely online through its program for distance learning students.