Monthly Archives: May 2019

Academic Spotlight: History

PUC’s department of history focuses on more than just wars and politics. The goal is for each student to develop a clear understanding of human events and the values and attitudes of humanity from the time of ancient Sumer, Egypt, and China to our present civilization.

Programs offered:

  • B.A. in History, American History Emphasis
  • B.A. in History, European History Emphasis
  • B.S. in Social Studies
  • B.S. in History, Political Studies, and Ethics
  • B.A. or B.S. in Global Development Studies
  • Minor in History

A Student’s Perspective

There are a lot of fun things history students can get involved with at PUC.

Read “Seeing the East Coast with the PUC Department of History” by Marielle G. to hear about her experience taking a history study tour to Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Read “The Pre-Law Society at PUC” by Andrew M. to learn about this special club and his experience serving as the club’s president.  

Read “My Internship at PUC’s Nelson Memorial Library” by Ryan C. to hear about his internship working in the college’s archives as an intern, putting together a special exhibit for Homecoming Weekend.

BONUS: Check out “Great Places to Study on PUC’s Campus” to see photos of the department of history’s student lounge.

Fast Facts

  1. The department of history often hosts study tours over the summer. Recent destinations have included Japan, Washington, D.C., England, and Greece.  
  2. The Pre-Law Society offers students guidance in the process leading up to law school, advice and valuable insights to help with LSAT preparation, and connects students to a network of practicing attorneys who are willing to answer questions concerning law school.
  3. History students have the opportunity to have their work published in Eventorum, the department’s online current events journal. The journal strives to present under-reported topics from around the world, such as voting corruption in Venezuela and the U.S. opioid epidemic. The published articles not only help strengthen students’ resumes but they also help improve and advertise their writing skills.
  4. Sophomore Redi Degefa, a history major, recently interned in Washington, D.C., for Congressman Mike Thompson, the representative in Congress for California’s 5th district, which includes Napa Valley. Read “A Day in the Life of a Capitol Hill Intern” to hear about her experience!

What You Can Do With This Major

Armed with top-notch research and writing skills, graduates of PUC’s department of history have gone on to work within many different fields. Here are just a few ideas to get you thinking about your options!

  • Lawyer/Paralegal
  • Librarian/Archivist
  • Medicine
  • Museum curator/Manager
  • Politician/Legislative staff
  • Public policy
  • Publishing
  • Researcher
  • Teaching

Learn more about the department of history at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s history programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Admitted Students Day Recap

Earlier this month, we welcomed 100 students and parents to our campus for Admitted Students Day, which was a special visitation day where students could meet their future classmates and professors and get firsthand experience of life as a Pioneer as well as get things done on their accepted student checklist.

Below are some of our favorite moments from Admitted Students Day. You can also check out the complete photo gallery on Facebook to see more photos from the event!

Checking in with an admissions counselor to start the day off right.

Students and their parents could visit booths to hear about different academic support resources and student clubs. Here’s staff from the Teaching & Learning Center, which offers free tutoring.

A student talks with Matt Russell, who teaches in the emergency services program.

One of the highlights of Admitted Students Day was sitting and talking with current students and professors about life at PUC. Here’s Dr. Peter Katz in the Maxwell Reading Room with a group of students.

Visitors heard from academic support staff like Michael Jefferson, director of the Career & Counseling Center.

The residence halls were also open for visitors to explore.

If you missed out on Admitted Students Day, it’s not too late to visit PUC and work on getting your accepted student checklist complete. Sign up today at and we can start working with you on a personalized campus tour. You can also email or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with our visitor coordinator.

Can’t make it here in person? No problem! Take a walk on campus from the comfort of your living room by taking PUC’s virtual tour. Available 24/7, it’s a great way to take a look around PUC at your own pace.

Academic Spotlight: Physics

PUC’s department of physics allows students studying physics and engineering to conduct cutting-edge hands-on research, working closely with caring professions to develop a deeper understanding of the physical universe.

Programs offered:

  • B.S. in Biophysics
  • B.S. in Physics
  • Minor in Physics

A Student’s Perspective

“I came from a state school where their department of physics was huge and overwhelming. I rarely got one-on-one attention from my professors and my chances of doing research were very small. I came to PUC and suddenly all of these opportunities opened up for me. I got a job at the Young Observatory and could research and travel, even as a student. I am so ridiculously grateful for PUC!” – Ellie Vargas, physics graduate

Fast Facts

  1. Physics professor Dr. Andrianarijaona has received two National Science Foundation grants, allowing the department to collaborate on experiments with prestigious national laboratories including Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge, giving PUC’s undergrad students exclusive access to experiments and scientists across the country.
  2. The department of physics has a computer-operated telescope for students to use and has a computer-based physics laboratory. The department also has a state-of-the-art 3-D imaging device students have access to for conducting research.
  3. Physics students are offered a variety of employment opportunities within the department to enhance their resumes and experience, including tutors, readers, and lab assistants. This provides great experience as well as solidifying the knowledge gained in coursework.
  4. Job prospects for students who study physics look good! Employment of physicists and astronomers is projected to grow 14 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What You Can Do With This Major

There are many different career opportunities for graduates with a degree in physics.

  • Medicine
  • Environmental science
  • Teaching
  • Civil engineering
  • Computer engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Research
  • Aircraft/Automotive industries
  • Aeronautic engineer/astronomer
  • Military
  • Data analyst
  • Software developer

Learn more about the department of physics at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s physics programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Create a Bond with Nature

By Kelly Dixon

Every morning I wake up in bright sunlight and refreshing air. I can feel the wind blowing through the window into my room. I take a deep breath to start my day. Wow! What a nice feeling, so refreshing. When you take a look outside, you can see many trees standing high above the ground, and their leaves still wet from the morning dew. You walk outside the building, sun shining onto your face and body, surrounded by reams of flowers as you walk through.

There are tons of activities available for students at PUC who want to be productive for the day. For example, taking a hike to the Back 40s or taking a walk to Linda Falls with friends is a significant activity to enjoy. There are plenty of flowers, trees, and animals to view in the Back 40s. It is a fantastic place to have alone time with God, especially in the morning. It is one of my favorite places to go when having a bad day or wanting to spend time with friends.

Linda Falls to me is considered one of my favorite places to be. There is a waterfall and in front of the waterfall sits a huge rock where you can lay on to relax. While relaxing on the rock, you can hear many different animals around you, especially hearing birds calling to their friends or family. Don’t feel like hiking? Well, there are plenty of grassy areas for you to sit, which can be a great place to sit and talk to friends. While talking to friends, you can still enjoy the sun shining on you and your friends; tall trees give a little shade so you won’t be too heated. Nature here is satisfying to be around and a great place to worship God.

Thinking of Transferring? Apply to PUC Today!

We’re glad you’re interested in transferring to Pacific Union College! PUC is a vibrant and Christ-centered community where you will discover and prepare for your calling. No matter your interests, there is assuredly a place for you on our beautiful campus. We accept transfer students at any point in their program, so don’t worry about completing a certain number of credits before transferring. We would be thrilled to have you join our Pioneer family!

Apply to PUC now!

Why should you consider transferring to PUC?

PUC has over 70 degrees & programs

With so many options to choose from, whatever your passion, we have something for you, from aviation to film to environmental studies. PUC’s largest programs are nursing, business administration, biology, exercise science, and visual arts. Our graduates are primed for success and are working in many exciting areas, including Stanford University, Google, Buzzfeed, Apple, Lucasfilm, Airbnb, Loma Linda University, LinkedIn, and more.

Browse the Academics category on the blog to read more about PUC’s programs!

PUC offers the academic support you need to succeed

There are several invaluable academic resources at your disposal when you’re a PUC student. If you’re struggling with something, it’s important to remember you aren’t alone. There are people in place who are available to answer your questions or provide you with information — you only need to ask for help. The Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) offers free group tutoring Sunday through Thursday for more than 25 different courses, ranging from business to languages to science. There’s even a writing lab available to students who would like input and direction on writing papers, which is awesome! PUC also has a disabilities support coordinator who can work with students who need certain accommodations. Our Career & Counseling Center has a career counselor who loves talking with students about career options as well as helping with resume preparation, interview skills, and more.

You will also find your professors to be an invaluable resource as you progress on your academic journey. With a 12:1 student-teacher ratio, your professors will know you. The one-on-one attention you receive in and out of the classroom will help make you a much more successful student. You will also be assigned an advisor in the area you’re studying. For example, if you’re planning to study business, your advisor will be a professor in the department of business (helpful, right?). Your advisor knows the ins and outs of their department’s programs and will be a great source for any questions you have about what classes you should take, what major you should consider for your career path, and more. Every quarter your advisor will need to approve your schedule, which is a great safety net for making sure you stay on track to complete your degree.

Learn more about academic support services at PUC!

PUC is small enough to get involved yet large enough to have opportunities

One of the advantages of attending a liberal arts college like PUC is it’s large enough to have countless leadership opportunities and special events, yet it’s small enough where you can get involved with as much as you want. You can serve as a Student Association officer, on the Student Senate, or as a resident assistant in one of the residence halls. You can also start a praise team or join a campus ministry group, or you can make an impact in places like Fiji, Nicaragua, Brazil, and more by going on a short or long term mission trip. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s something for you at PUC.

See photos from PUC’s spring break mission trip to Kenya!

PUC is a spiritual community

Fostering your relationship with God is a priceless reason to choose PUC. You will find yourself studying, living, and serving with Adventist professors and peers who share your faith and values. Not only will you receive a Christian education, but you will also develop relationships that will last for eternity. Every member of the Pioneers family cares about each student’s individual spiritual journey, and campus leaders are committed to meeting students where they are on their walk with Christ. Whether or not you live in one of the college’s residence halls, you will find PUC to have a very close-knit community atmosphere.

Learn more about PUC’s special community of faith and learning!

PUC is possible

Since 1882, Pacific Union College has been charged with an important mission: providing an excellent Seventh-day Adventist education that prepares students for successful careers and service to both God and others. We are committed to working together with you and your family to make a high-quality Adventist college experience possible. Each year, PUC awards over $30 million in financial aid to our students. This year, we are proud to announce a new scholarship, just for transfer students, called the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) Scholarship, worth $1,500, in recognition of community college students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree from a four-year institution. It is awarded to transfer students who are graduating from a California community college with an Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) or an Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T).

Check out all the scholarships PUC offers to see what you may qualify for!

Well, what are you waiting for? Apply to PUC now!

Questions about the application process for transfer students? Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with an admissions counselor to learn more. We’re ready to help you discover your calling and God’s plan for your life, every step of the way.

PUC’s Strings Quartet Serves in Indonesia

By Aaron Baluyot

On March 20-31, 2019, PUC’s string quartet, along with Professor Kim from the department of theology, embarked on a mission trip/music tour to Indonesia. The quartet consisted of Sigrid Panugao, Dale Araba, Carissa Paw, and Aaron Baluyot. Dale and Aaron are current students of PUC while Sigrid and Carissa both graduated from PUC last year. Our main goal was to join in the fundraising concert of one of the adventist schools in Jakarta, Tanjung Barat Adventist Academy (TBAA). The money raised in the concert would be used to help fund the extension of the school.

During the first weekend, we played at MT Haryono Seventh-day Adventist Church and performed in the fundraising concert. During the next few days, we were very fortunate to be able to explore Indonesia. First, we visited Universitas Advent Indonesia, which is Indonesia’s Adventist university located in Bandung, Indonesia. Next, we traveled to Jogjakarta, where we visited Borobudur temple, which is the largest Hindu temple in the world. The next day we traveled to Bali, where we were able to rest at the beach as well as experience Balinese culture.

On Friday, we visited the students of Tanjung Barat Adventist Academy and played at their chapel assembly, where we gave them inspirational talks to keep practicing their instruments and to do their best at everything their hands find to do. The students also expressed their thankfulness for supporting their school as well as for inspiring them and encouraging them. On Sabbath we performed at Pasar Minggu Seventh-day Adventist Church, followed by a farewell potluck for us provided by members of the church. On Sunday morning we flew out of Jakarta, spent a few hours exploring Hong Kong, and finally returned home to the United States. This trip was a blessing to the students but it was also a huge blessing to us as well as we were able to inspire the kids at TBAA and spread God’s love through our music.

After 20 hours of flying and a layover in Hong Kong, we finally made it to Jakarta and received a warm welcome from our friends from Tanjung Barat Adventist Academy.

On Sabbath we played at the MT Haryono Seventh-day Adventist Church, which is the biggest Adventist Church in Indonesia located in Jakarta.

With some of our TBAA friends after church.

On Sabbath afternoon we visited one of the church members, where we played a couple pieces and Professor Kim gave a short talk.

Sunday was the concert day where we joined in TBAA’s big fundraising concert at Theater Pewayangan.

Photoshoot after the concert. The students and faculty of TBAA were extremely grateful for our support for their school.

Visiting Borobudur temple in Jogjakarta, Indonesia.

On Friday we visited TBAA, where we played at their chapel service and gave the students inspirational talks to keep practicing their instruments and to do their best at everything their hands find to do. (The lady in the center is the school principal.)

Group picture with one of the classes after our inspirational talks.

On the second Sabbath, we played at Pasar Minggu Seventh-day Adventist Church. This church is in the same property as the school and is where we played at the children’s chapel the day before.

With the pastor and elders after church on Sabbath.

Interested in pursuing a career in music? Find energy and passion in new opportunities and challenges as you develop your artistic, technological, and entrepreneurial skills to make profound contributions to the future of music. Take courses from knowledgeable faculty who have toured the world and performed in places like Carnegie Hall. Learn more about PUC’s department of music at and discover how you can start your career in music under their expert guidance. You can also call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with an admissions counselor who can talk more with you about PUC’s music programs and all of the options available to you.

Academic Spotlight: Aviation

PUC’s aviation program is one of the most exciting we offer! The Flight Center at the Angwin Airport offers students the opportunity to receive a fully accredited four-year degree while taking advantage of our state of the art flight simulator and access to diverse airspace within the Sacramento Valley and San Francisco Bay Area, truly making this a unique program.

Programs offered:

  • A.S. in Aviation
  • B.S. in Aviation
  • Minor in Aviation

A Student’s Perspective

“I chose to study aviation at PUC because I find something addictive about being in the air, a freedom, a peace, a quietness about being there. It’s almost as if the world beneath you stops. I want to have adventures in my life and I can get that from a career in aviation.” – Bryan Soderblom, graduate

You can also read the “From PUC to the Friendly Skies” blog post from Matthew Gheen, ’98, who graduated from the program and currently works as an airline pilot for United Airlines. In the post, he shares about his experience at PUC and his journey from tragedy to success.

Fast Facts

  1. PUC is one of only two four-year liberal arts colleges in California to offer a degree in aviation.
  2. Students can earn multiple certifications: pilot single-engine, private pilot multi-engine, instrument rating, commercial pilot single-engine, commercial pilot multi-engine, certified flight instructor (CFI), multi-engine instructor, and instrument instructor ratings.
  3. The Virgil O. Parrett Field, more commonly referred to as the Angwin Airport, is located on PUC’s campus, within walking distance of residence halls and other academic buildings, and has been in operation since 1961. On average, there are about 27 general aviation aircraft operations at the flight center each day—it’s a busy place!
  4. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for airline and commercial pilots in 2017 was approximately $111,930 per year. Overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow about 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Most job opportunities will arise from the need to replace pilots who leave the workforce. Over the next 10 years, many pilots are expected to retire as they reach the required retirement age of 65.

What You Can Do With This Major

Here are some of the industries our pilots are flying for:

  • Cargo
  • Charter
  • Commercial
  • Agricultural
  • Aerial photography
  • Skydiving pilot
  • Sightseeing plane tours

Interested in a career in aviation? Check out our “Five Reasons to Consider Majoring in Aviation” blog post to see what your reason could be.

Learn more about the department of aviation at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s aviation programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

Give Intramurals a Go

By Samantha Yee

“I won’t run if you don’t run,” says the girl guarding me. I look at her, look down the field, look back at her and take off sprinting toward the end zone. “Aww man!” I hear her sigh as she gives her last burst of energy to chase me. I look down the field as my teammate hucks the disk around his defender straight down the sideline. I jump, feel the frisbee graze my fingertips and snatch it out of the air. My chest is heaving and I’m bent over in exhaustion as the girl guarding me comes to give me a high-five.

Never in my life would I have envisioned myself playing ultimate frisbee. Never in my life had the prospect of chasing a disk in itch-inducing grass seemed appealing. Never in my life did I think I would play a sport that involved this much running. I. HATE. RUNNING. Yet, there’s something exhilarating in pushing beyond your limits. Not just the limits of your lung capacity, but the limits of your comfort zone. Granted, I know that seems trite, but, in all seriousness, get yourself out there!

When I came to PUC as a freshman, I had no friends. Not a single one. I came from a massive public high school and I was surprised and somewhat disheartened to find when I got here, everyone already knew one another from Bible Camp, leadership conferences, College Days, or other Adventist academy-related events. I was determined to get to know people at school, upperclassmen included. Thankfully, my admissions counselor suggested I take ultimate frisbee as a fun aerobic class, which led to me meeting some amazing upperclassmen friends who asked me to join their intramural frisbee team and encouraged me to take part in other intramural sports.

Intramurals is a huge part of campus life at PUC. Whether you’re a master of a sport or you’ve never played, a D1 player or an A for effort player, intramural sports are a great way to make friends, gets active, challenge yourself, and have fun. Currently, PUC offers a variety of intramural sports beyond ultimate frisbee, including volleyball, pickleball, badminton, kickball, futsal, and a handful of others. Whether you decide to play all of the sports or just one, I encourage you to try something new and give intramurals a go. There’s so much to get involved in at  PUC and intramurals are just one part of student life, but give it a go. You just might win a championship t-shirt.

PUC Students and Faculty Dazzle at WPA Convention

At the end of April, a group of PUC students and several faculty traveled to Southern California to attend the annual Western Psychological Association convention in Pasadena, Calif, at the Pasadena Convention Center. It was a wonderful opportunity for students to mingle with distinguished psychologists and other professionals, learn about and discuss the latest research findings, and meet students from other schools.

For a lucky few, it was also a chance to present their research at a poster session, which PUC students Steffany Quijada, Margot Alvarado, and Emilia Hoffman had the privilege of doing this trip. During these sessions, presenters display the highlights of their research studies as posters mounted on bulletin boards. Presenters stand by their posters as attendees walk by, reading the posters and discussing them with the presenters.

“We had a great time at the conference, and we are very proud of our students,” says professor Michael Milmine, assistant professor of psychology, who went along on the trip.

Other highlights of the convention included a film festival, which showcased new films spanning all areas of psychology; an exhibit hall featuring exhibitors, vendors, publishers, and psychology organizations such as Psi Chi and the American Psychological Association; and companies with psychology-related merchandise and research tools. There was also a reception where students had another opportunity to talk with leading psychologists and other working professionals, which made it a great experience for students to interested in breaking into the field.  

The psychology program at PUC provides students with countless research opportunities and instills within each student valuable knowledge and insight into the processes of human emotion and behavior. PUC’s psychology faculty are helping train the next generation of caring and Christ-centered professionals in the fields of research, social work, psychiatry, and community welfare. To learn more, visit, email, or call (800) 862-7080, option 2 to talk with an admissions counselor to learn more about where a degree in psychology can take you.

PUC students with famous psychologist, Philip Zimbardo.

Margot Alvarado discusses her research with another student at the conference.

Melisa Lopez, a senior that graduated last year from PUC, discusses her research with a graduate student attending the conference.

Academic Spotlight: Nursing

PUC has many programs to prepare students for successful careers in a variety of professional settings. The most popular is nursing, which is known for producing competent, caring, and experienced graduates. From day one, students receive hands-on training and gain significant real-world experience while being mentored by highly qualified and caring professors who will help prepare them for a life of service.

Programs offered:

  • A.S., B.S.N. in Nursing (2-step program)
  • B.S.N. in Nursing (for registered nurses only)

A Student’s Perspective

“I really appreciate how much the PUC department of nursing is there for the students. They give us many resources to help us along our journey as they know it is a difficult one. Once I was accepted they helped me work through everything and made sure I was ready to begin my nursing career with confidence. If I ever have questions or concerns they always have someone readily available to help.” — McKenna F., sophomore

You can also read the blog posts linked below from Rachel D., who graduated from the program and wrote several posts about her experience from start to finish.

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 1

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 2

My Journey Through PUC’s Nursing Program, Part 3

Fast Facts

  1. Fully Accredited The A.S. degree nursing program is approved by the California State Board of Registered Nursing, and both the A.S. and B.S.N. degree nursing programs at PUC are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
  2. Local Facilities PUC nursing students have access to leading hospitals in the area, with clinical experiences at facilities located in Napa, Solano, Sonoma, and Lake counties, which helps expand their connections. Many graduates continue on to work at these facilities upon completing their program.
  3. High Pass Rates The nursing program does an excellent job of preparing graduates to take the registered nurse licensing exam (NCLEX). Last year, the average pass rate for PUC nursing graduates was 95%.
  4. Job Growth Nursing is a rapidly growing field! About a 15 percent growth is expected for registered nursing positions between now and 2026 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is significantly higher compared to other occupations. Approximately 438,100 new jobs are anticipated during this time period.

Learn more about the department of nursing at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s nursing programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!