Double Major? No Problem!

By Becky Buhrke Becky

So you’ve graduated high school. Check. You’ve moved into your college dorm room. Check. You know exactly what you want to study…or not? College can be overwhelming for students trying to narrow down what major they want to study – after all, the rest of your life and career rests on these decisions. What happens when you can’t just chose one major? What if you want to major in more than one thing? No problem. PUC is the place to double major!

Whether you simply have two different areas of study you want to examine more, or you want to pair up two majors that work well together for a professional career – or even graduate school – PUC gives you the opportunity and resources you need to successfully double major. As a double major myself, studying English with an Emphasis in Writing and History with a European History Emphasis, here are a five tips for anyone considering double majoring:

1. Take Advantage of PUC’s Quarter System

Unlike in a semester system school, it’s relatively easy to graduate in four years with a double major. Why is this? Typically, each semester or quarter, the average student will take around 15-17 credits. That means with a semester school, you can take up to 34 credits a school year – but in a quarter system, up to 51 credits. More credits means you can take more classes you need in order to graduate on time. The key is to take advantage of this system. Some students take the bare minimum number of credits each quarter to be considered a full time student (12 credits) and as a result, it takes them longer to graduate and it’s practically impossible to double major. I suggest taking at least 15 credits per quarter to stay on track.

2. Manage Your Time Well

You’ve probably heard this before: “In college, you have three options: sleep, school, and friends. You can only choose two.” Where you put your energy is where you will succeed in those various aspects of life. College can be a tough transition for the average high school student because it requires you to put in a lot more hours of studying for your classes. This doesn’t mean you can’t balance this stress out though. Make sure to find time for yourself too – you don’t want to get burned out!

Over time, you will gradually become accustomed to higher levels of stress. Try and space out some of your harder classes with some easier general education classes. If possible, instead of having your first two years comprised entirely of GE classes, mix it up with some major classes so by your senior year, you won’t be overwhelmed with entirely upper division classes. Work with your advisor as well so you know exactly what classes to take and when.

3. Get Involved With Your Departments

This doesn’t mean you have to join a club or an honors society (though those are great things to get involved with!), but make sure you get to know your advisors and students within your major – they will become the support group you need to survive difficult classes.

The professors at PUC take the time to learn your name and get to know you. Part of the benefit of attending here are the small class sizes, which make it easier for professors to form personal relationships with students than it is at larger public schools. Most departments have pre-vespers several times a year, when a professor opens up their home for students to visit, worship, and have delicious food. Making an effort to go to events like these will help you become familiar with people in your department. And who knows – maybe your department will become your second family!

4. Choose Subjects You Love

I’ve talked with countless seniors over the years who wished they majored in something they liked. Don’t wait until it’s too late – pick something now you like and you won’t regret it. Never choose a career only for the money; you will eventually end up hating it. By choosing a subject you have a genuine interest and passion in, you will enjoy going to class and studying. Then when you apply for jobs in a field you’re interested in, listing two degrees instead of one on your resume shows you’re dedicated and knowledgeable. It will also set you apart from the other applicants, which is always a good thing.

5. Be Prepared

Know what you are getting into with a double major. Most majors require you complete a senior thesis – two majors means two theses. Is that impossible? Not at all! If you put your mind to it, you will be able to. Students do it all the time. However, you will have to put more dedication and time into your studies than your friends, and if you end up taking an extra year to graduate, that’s another year you have to pay for. Double majoring is easier than people think, but it also doesn’t mean your time here will be a breeze. College is hard whether you’re taking one major or two. Both are going to require hard work and discipline!

As I am coming to the end of my college experience, I must say I truly enjoyed my time at PUC as a double major. It was definitely worth the extra effort and provided a nice challenge for me in my college life. I recommend doing a double major for anyone that is interested! You won’t regret it.

Editor’s note: If you’re thinking about double majoring, you should also consider taking summer classes to help lighten your course load during the regular school year! Classes at PUC during the summer are 50% off too. Learn more by reading our blog post “Why You Should Take a Summer Class at PUC.”

Change: A Transfer Student’s Guide

By Igdaly Patel IgdalyPatel

CHANGE! How many of us are worried about change? Oftentimes we experience a nervous feeling in our stomach because of the unknown. Many colleges place a lot of emphasis primarily on their incoming freshman class, making sure their transition from high school into college life is seamless. But why do we forget about transfer students?

We must keep in mind transfer students go through major changes as well. For these students, leaving home or another college for a new academic environment can be scary as they enter a new campus culture. Meeting new people and getting acquainted with a new school environment can be very challenging to say the least. However, it is a good thing to be challenged out of your comfort zone, and embark upon new territory and start that college journey. Even though at times it may seem easier to stay where you are, there are many benefits that come with change.

Working closely with transfer students this year has helped me learn more about the types of questions that are most important in the process of transferring. Below, I have listed the top three questions that transfer students consistently ask me.

1. Are my credits transferable?

Finding out if your credits are transferable is probably the determining factor for most transfer students. Some potential transfer students are under the impression their credits will automatically transfer over towards their major. However, this is not always the case and there are no guarantees courses will be transferable. I always encourage students to research the institution they want to transfer over to. Take a look at their course catalog. You can get an idea of how many of your credits could potentially be applied towards your major by simply exploring the PUC general catalog. You can also contact our Records Office before taking a course at another school to make sure we will accept those credits. Speak to your academic advisor at your school and the school you’re planning to transfer to.  Keep in mind each school reserves the right to accept or reject credits earned at another institution.

2. How and when can I register for classes?

Once you’ve been accepted to PUC, our Records Office will complete a degree audit/evaluation of your transcripts, and when it’s completed, it will be available on your WebAdvisor account where you can see how your transfer credits apply to your degree requirements at PUC. Based on your chosen major and/or pre-professionals goals, an academic advisor will be assigned to you and they will assist you on setting up your class schedule. They will also suggest to you any academic success strategies and answer any questions you may have regarding our academic policies. Once you have discussed and planned your class schedule with your advisor, you can register for classes using your WebAdvisor account. Learn more by reading our “The Basics of Your WebAdvisor Account” blog post.

3. Do we offer scholarships for transfer students?

Cost is another huge determining factor for whether or not a student decides to transfer to a different college. PUC offers scholarships for transfer students, and one such scholarship is the Academic Achievement Scholarship for transfer students. This scholarship is solely based on your college cumulative GPA, and all you need to do is submit your academic transcript to the Admissions office. For more information regarding the scholarships we offer, visit

There’s also an unbelieveable amount of scholarships available to college students on websites and search engines. Be sure to check out our “Five Tips for Finding College Scholarships” blog post for ideas of where you can start looking for money to pay for college. Who doesn’t want to  get some free money towards their education?

There’s still plenty of time for you to do everything necessary to become a PUC student this year. Winter quarter starts on Monday, January 5th and spring quarter on Monday, March 30th. For more information about transferring to PUC please contact me! You can reach me at or 707-965-6642. My job is to help anyone planning or considering transferring to PUC, and to make that transition as smooth as possible.

Alumni Profile: Jasmine Kelley

Here at PUC we have some amazing alums doing everything from helping to animate feature films to publishing children’s books. Jasmine “Jassy” Onya’e Kelley graduated PUC in 2012 with a degree in Photography and Graphic Design. Recently she decided to use her degree and her creative skills to start her own business selling handmade, all natural skincare products.

We sat down with Jasmine and asked her some questions about starting her own business and her time at PUC.

Jassy 1

1. You recently started your own business – Did you ever think that was something you would do?

It’s something I have always wanted to do, but I didn’t have the confidence back then to actually start it. Sometime after college I started working for small business owners who inspired me to start my own business. I saw how happy and successful they were and I wanted the same thing – to be successful on my own.

2. Describe your typical work day.

After waking up, I write down a list of tasks I need to complete before the day is over in my day planner. Tasks like making products, completing Etsy orders, shipping orders, posting on social media, taking inventory, and responding to emails.

3. How did your major prepare you to start your own business?

Having the knowledge of photography and graphic design helped me have control over my style, which fonts I want to use, how they will work with my aesthetics, etc. Being able to photograph my products in certain light using different backgrounds any time I want without relying on others is nice. It’s great being able to do it all by myself.

Jassy 3

4. How did your classes and professors at PUC help prepare you for starting your own business?

My classes at PUC helped me realized which paths I wanted and did not want to take. I knew I loved web design, but I lacked certain skills with coding and I did not have the patience for it. I loved designing books, layouts, and covers and being able to create something new, but I lacked the ability to design with a pencil and found my skill through the computer. I discovered my strengths and weaknesses and in turn what I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

My photography and design professors really inspired me to stay on top of my game, to always take the time to go above and beyond and to check everything twice, to make sure my work was clean and understandable and that my presentation was strong. I also noticed my design professors had their own design projects outside of teaching and I loved seeing how they found time while still being amazing teachers. One particular marketing professor inspired me when it came to advertising and putting myself out there. I learned a lot in that class and it was one of my favorite GEs to take.

5. Have you had any support from the faculty and staff at PUC?

Yes I have had lots of support from my college professors. Some gave me feedback when I had doubts about which design approach to take with the look of my business and several have actually purchased some of my products! They didn’t have to, but it makes me feel special knowing they are proud of me and their support truly means a lot!

Jassy 2

6. What advice would you give PUC students who are considering starting their own business?

Even if you have your doubts, just go for it and don’t let anyone stop you. I didn’t read a book on how to start a business – I just did it. It all came together in a matter of months and I learned a lot more as my business grew. You don’t always have to go by the book. Every business is different. Use your resources, try new things, take advice from people you look up to, ask questions and most importantly, take action.

7. If you could go back in time and tell your freshman self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell myself to stop doubting, ask more questions, and to just try.

Check out Jasmine’s Etsy shop at

Five More Reasons to Apply to Pacific Union College

If our “Five Reasons Why You Should Apply to PUC” post last week didn’t already convince you, here are another five reasons you should apply to PUC!

PUC students worship together in the campus mall.

PUC students worship together in the campus mall.

1. A Community of Students

There are close to 1,700 students at PUC, and about 80% live on-campus in one of seven residence halls; four for women and three for men. Besides being home for almost 10 months out of the year, the residence halls provide students with activities like Dorm Olympics, weekly hall worships, and a chance to get to know other students outside the classroom. Check out the Campus Culture page on our website to learn about student life at PUC.

2. Get Your Money’s Worth

In September of 2013, ranked PUC in the top 13% of colleges for return on investment (ROI), making us the highest-ranked Adventist college on their list of College Education ROI rankings. This ranking demonstrates PUC graduates have a greater earnings gap than students without a four-year degree. Read about how an education at PUC can benefit you on the Finance section of our website as well as learn about our scholarship opportunities.

This past summer a group of PUC students went to Fiji for a mission trip.

This past summer a group of PUC students went to Fiji on a mission trip.

3. Make an Impact

Our students strive to make a difference not only globally, but locally as well. Whether you have an afternoon, weekend, week, or even a year to give, there’s a variety of ways students can serve God and help others:

  • Over 1,340 PUC students have served as missionaries around the world
  • Every Friday afternoon, Clearlake Homeless Ministries visits local areas in need
  • REVO, a student-run organization, has raised over $36k since 2008 for various humanitarian organizations
  • This year, PUC students will go to Nicaragua and the Amazon for week-long mission trips

4. Experience Different Cultures

Recently, PUC was ranked the 3rd most diverse liberal arts college in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. Students have an opportunity to work, study and live with other students from a variety of backgrounds and learn about many different cultures. There’s several prominent cultural clubs students can join regardless of their ethnicity; including the Black Student Union, Hawaiian Club, and the Students Organization of Latinos. You can view a full list of student-run clubs at PUC on the Campus Clubs page on our website.

Emergency Services students get hands-on training in the field.

Emergency Services students get hands-on training in the field.

5. Learn Outside the Classroom

At PUC, students are given an opportunity to get some hands on learning outside the classroom. Our Communication and Psychology/Social Work departments present their research at respected conventions like the National Communication Association and the Western Psychological Association. The Business Department’s Enactus, which enables students to make progress through entrepreneurial action, work with local businesses and college departments. Students majoring in Film & Television have the opportunity to intern with prestigious places like Sofia and Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope production company, and other internship opportunities are presented to PUC students during the annual Career Day fair.

The next step for you is to fill out our online application, available at – it’s always free. We look forward to working with you!

Five Reasons You Should Apply to PUC

Fall season is prime time for high school seniors. The average student applies to nine colleges, and if you haven’t already started looking at potential schools, now’s the time – and why not start with PUC! Here are five reasons why you should consider applying.

1. Outstanding Academics

We offer over 70 different majors to choose from, with our top five programs being Nursing, Biology, Business, Communication, and Visual Arts, which makes us a true liberal arts college. We are the only Adventist college or university recognized as a National Liberal Arts College by U.S. News & World Report. Visit for information about each of our majors.


2. Our Location

Imagine living in a world famous vacation destination spot that’s sunny an average of 262 days a year! PUC is located atop Howell Mountain in the heart of the Napa Valley. Everywhere you look, you’ll find breathtaking views and lots of interesting things to do.

  • Explore PUC’s unique hiking and biking trails
  • Head to nearby St. Helena or Calistoga for lunch and window shopping
  • Spend the day in San Francisco visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, taking a trolley ride, or watching a game from one of the many championship sports teams

Not sure where to start? Let our blog team’s favorite places in the Bay Area guide you!

3. Relationships with Professors

One of the advantages of attending a small liberal arts college like PUC is having the opportunity to form real relationships with your professors. With a 13:1 student-teacher ratio, you will never be just another face in a crowded classroom. The majority of professors list their email address and their home number on their syllabi if students need to contact them. Professors also have regular office hours where they’re available for students to stop by and talk with, and many frequently invite students into their homes for pre-vespers each quarter.


4. We’re Active

We don’t mean to brag, but our intramurals program was ranked #1 in the nation by last year. Getting involved on an intramurals team is a great way to make friends, as close to 50% of students on-campus participate in the program. Read our  “Fire It Up!” blog post to learn how you can join a team or start your own.

5. You Can Afford It

Sticker prices can be intimidating, but it’s important to keep in mind nobody pays them.

  • Each year, PUC awards $36 million in financial aid to our students
  • Most PUC scholarships renew for four years
  • 100% of our students receive financial aid
  • The average out-of-pocket payment for students is about $6,656

We’re doing our part to make Christian higher education affordable. Learn more at

Our application is available at and it’s always free. There are multiple ways you can reach our office and talk with an Enrollment Counselor if you have questions. Call 800.862.7080 option 2, email, or chat with us on our website (weekdays only).

Five Foods to Make in Your Dorm Room

By Melissa Setterlund

Imagine this scenario: You finish your classes for the day and head over to the cafeteria to enjoy a falafel with local vegetables, Ana’s homemade papusas, or a mac n’ cheese dish with bread crumbs. You’re sure you can’t eat a single bite more so you head to your dorm room to study for your G Psych quiz, listen to music from the Baroque period for your Survey of Music class, or start your Great Books research paper. After hours of studying (maybe mixed with a little Netflix), you’re startled by the menacing growl of a grizzly bear before you realize it’s your stomach. The clock reads 10:58 PM and the cafeteria closes in two minutes. There’s no way you can make it and so you’re stuck in your room, ransacking boxes to find something to feed that hungry bear.

I’ve been there, and the only way I was able to make it through melodramatic nights like those was by having a creative outlook on the tools available to me. I’m here to give you five simple meals and snacks you can make in your room to satisfy the monster in your belly if you’re not able to make it to PUC’s Dining Commons.

First, I hope you have the following in your dorm room:

· Plates, bowls, cups and silverware
· Small microwave and refrigerator
· Hot Pot, Crock Pot or another slow-cooker or electric kettle

(Please be aware any objects with an open flame or an open grill are not allowed in the residence halls. This includes waffle irons and toasters.)

For a full list of recommended items to bring when you move to PUC, check out the “Your College Packing List” post!

Food blog Eggs

Microwave Scrambled Eggs
You will need:
2-3 scrambled eggs
Tablespoon of milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt a tiny bit of butter in the bottom of a microwave-safe bowl to keep the eggs from sticking. Crack the eggs into the bowl, whisk with a fork until fluffy and add the tablespoon of milk. Add a little salt and pepper, though more can be added after the cooking is done. Place the bowl in the microwave for a minute and remove with a towel to keep from burning your hands. The eggs will still be runny and only partially formed, but mix it with a fork and cook them again in 30-second intervals until the eggs are formed the way you want. Voilà!

Baked Potato with Toppings
You will need:
Baked potato
Toppings like Baco Bits, sour cream, butter, chives, chili, cottage cheese, salt and pepper

Wash the potato well and then stab holes with a fork to let it steam through. Microwave for five minutes, turn it over, and microwave for another three to five minutes. Check with a fork to see if the potato is soft enough to eat. Add your choice of toppings.

Food blog Brownie

Brownie in a Mug
You will need:
¼ cup flour
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
Pinch of salt
¼ cup water
2 tbsp canola oil
1-2 drops vanilla extract
Scoop of ice cream

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa and salt in a microwave-safe mug. Stir with a fork or spoon to break up any clumps. Add oil, water and vanilla to the mixture and stir until smooth. Microwave for a minute and increase until it’s cooked through – it should still be a little moist. Let it cool and add a scoop of ice cream on top for a delicious dining experience!

Hot Pot Mac n’ Cheese
You will need:
Box of your choice mac n’ cheese
¼ cup butter
¼ cup milk

Fill a Hot Pot with water until it’s about half full and bring the water to a soft boil. Take out the cheese packet and add the pasta to the water. Set a timer for eight minutes while checking the water to make sure it doesn’t boil over. After eight minutes, pour out the extra water. Add the butter and milk and enjoy your pasta!

Food blog Ramen

Hot Pot Ramen Noodles with Veggies
You will need:
Package of ramen noodles
Frozen peas, corn and carrot mix

Fill your Hot Pot with water until it’s about a third of the way full and bring the water to a boil. Add the noodles and frozen vegetables. The veggies will make the water stop boiling, but it will return to its normal boil so don’t turn up the temperature. Set a timer for three minutes and then enjoy your “healthy” noodles!

10 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall

I hope last month’s “Five Tips for Finding College Scholarships” post inspired many of you to start looking for college scholarships, but if you need a few suggestions, here are 10 scholarships available to high school seniors that have application deadlines within the next few months. Even if you don’t have an amazing GPA, there are plenty of scholarships you may be eligible for! And don’t forget, PUC’s scholarship deadline is March 2nd!

1. Education Matters Scholarship
Deadline: November 31, 2014

These days, there’s a lot in the news about whether or not college is worth it. Spoiler alert: It is. This scholarship asks students to write a short essay in response to the question of “What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?” The winner receives $5,000.

2. Gates Millennium Scholars Program
Deadline: January 14, 2015

Every year, the Gates Millennium Scholars Program awards scholarships to 1,000 minority students who have demonstrated leadership skills by participating in extracurricular activities and community service. Students must be African American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific Islander American, or Hispanic American and have a minimum unweighted cumulative GPA of 3.3.

3. Tall Clubs International Scholarship
Deadline: February 15, 2015

Are you tall? To be more specific, are you a guy that’s at least 6’2” or a girl that’s at least 5’10”? If you are, you should apply for this $1,000 scholarship! You will need to write an essay on the subject of “What Being Tall Means to Me.” Contact Tall Clubs International for more information.

4. Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th, 2015

The Jackie Robinson Foundation provides college scholarships of up to $24,000 over four years to minority students that show “leadership potential and dedication to community service” and also demonstrate financial need. Typically 60 students are awarded each year.

5. Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest
Deadline: February 18, 2015

If you have even one artistic bone in your body, it’s worth taking the time to apply for this $10,000 scholarship. The contest is to design the front of a greeting card and the winning entry will actually be made and sold as a real greeting card!

6. Vegetarian Resource Group Scholarship
Deadline: February 20, 2015

The Vegetarian Resource Group awards scholarships to graduating high school students who have helped to promote vegetarianism in their school or local community. One award of $10,000 is given as well as two awards of $5,000.

7. Frame My Future Scholarship Contest Deadline: March 3, 2015 Applicants must submit a collage, drawing, graphic design piece, painting, photograph, poem or another creative entry discussing what they hope to achieve in both their personal and professional life after college. Five winners receive $1,000, and the grand prize winner also receives an additional $1,000 to be given to their college.

8. Common Knowledge Scholarship
Deadline: None

Think of this ongoing scholarship program like taking BuzzFeed quizzes, only if you do well, you can receive scholarship money. Competitions include one or more quizzes on topics that range from academic subjects or even books and movies, and the student with the highest score at the end of each competition wins. Students can compete more than once, and are able to receive up to $5,000.

9. $1,000 Weekly Scholarship
Deadline: Weekly

Each week, Zinch posts an essay topic question and the winner with the best answer receives $1,000. The “essays” are limited to 280 characters, which is essentially two tweets on Twitter – hardly anything! Set a reminder on your phone and apply for this scholarship once a week.

10. “No Essay” Scholarship
Deadline: Monthly

This $2,000 scholarship is essentially entering a random drawing every month. I don’t think scholarships get any easier. I don’t want to hear any excuses about it, you are all capable of doing this!