CLS Renamed OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies


University of Oklahoma College of Professional and Continuing Studies

We’re excited to announce that the OU College of Liberal Studies has a new name.

As you can see by the logo, CLS is now the OU College of Professional and Continuing Studies, or PACS. The name change, approved at the June meeting of the OU Board of Regents, reflects recent changes in the college that combine the academic and credit-related activities of OU Outreach.

Although it’s a little bittersweet to retire a label that was used for more than five decades, we believe the new name more accurately reflects the diverse group of lifelong learners within the college.

While the term “Professional” captures the predominant flavor of our academic degree tracks (Aviation, Administrative Leadership, Criminal Justice, Museum Studies, Prevention Science, etc.), the term “Continuing Studies” reinforces that our primary audience remains the place-bound working adult and lifelong learner.

For more than 50 years, the college has evolved to meet the academic and professional demands of our students and has become internationally recognized in higher education for nontraditional learners.

OU has been ranked among the top institutions in the nation, both public and private, for its online degree programs. U.S. News & World Report has recognized OU as No. 2 in the category of “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Veterans,” which also includes programs for active duty soldiers. OU is ranked No. 3 in the overall category of “Best Online Bachelor’s Programs” and tied for No. 5 in the category of “Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs.”

Today, the college offers several bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctoral degree in organizational leadership, and certificate programs designed to accommodate our students’ varied work schedules and lifestyles. The online programs extend and build upon the college’s founding purpose of preparing motivated students for leadership roles in today’s most critical fields.

PACS will continue to be a leader in adult higher education by specializing in meeting the unique needs of our learners.

“We’re excited about this new chapter in the life of ‘nontraditional’ programming here at OU,” said Martha Banz, PACS interim dean. “We look forward to an exciting future under this new configuration and new name.”

OU logo

Tami Althoff

Tami Althoff holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She is a reporter with more than 20 years’ experience working for newspapers, including The Oklahoman. She has covered everything from breaking news to local music and art. She loves sports, especially OU football and basketball games, where she often embarrasses her children by yelling too loudly.