He received a degree in Classical philology and Slavic studies in Vienna in 1864. After his service as a high school professor, he was elected as a professor of Croatian language and literature at the Cathedra for Serbo-Croatian language at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. In 1880 he was appointed as a full professor. He served as a dean of the faculty in two mandates, before being elected as a rector of the university in the academic year 1896/1897. After his rectorship mandate expired, he served as a prorector the following academic year.
As a university professor Pavić strove to keep the coherence of Serbo-Croatian studies, teaching simultaneously linguistic and literary-scientific courses. He became regular member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1874. In the period of 1898-1904 he served as a head of the departments for theology and teaching, and as a parliament representative.
- Pavić's biography, at the University of Zagreb website