On the Road with Betsy Woolf – Loyola Marymount University

Just nine minutes from Los Angeles International Airport, Loyola Marymount University (LMU) seems worlds away. Sitting on a high hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the upscale residential community of Playa Vista in the heart of LA’s Silicon Beach, the modern Jesuit university of 6200 students boasts a 10 to 1 student/faculty ratio and a strong sense of community, collaboration and mentorship. Green spaces abound. The academic offerings run the gamut from engineering to international relations to journalism (the newest major) to economics to psychology to film (top ranked) to entrepreneurship (highly ranked with about 300 undergraduates) to marketing.  It even has a coastal resource institute. Most freshmen live on campus, as do 52% of students across all years. New freshman dorms are under construction. A shuttle service is available to the nearby beach cities of Santa Monica and Venice. 

The  university is 50% Catholic. Typical of Jesuit universities, LMU requires students to take two classes in theology during their four years. Resident ministers – priests, sisters and lay ministers – live in student communities and facilitate social and spiritual programming, as well as service projects, and are available to counsel and support individual students. 

There are internship opportunities in all majors, and classes generally are no larger than 30 or 40. The University houses a College of Liberal Arts, a College of Business Administration (with a prerequisite of precalculus with a grade of B or higher for admission consideration), a School of Film and Television, and a College of Science and Engineering (biology, chemistry, physics and precalculus with a grad of B as prerequisites for admission consideration). Students may take classes and double major/minor across colleges. Around 25% of students are involved in Greek life, but the university does not offer Greek housing, and rush occurs in the spring. 

For Fall 2019, the university received 18,300 applications and accepted around 8800, becoming more selective than in years past. The average GPA of those students is a weighted 3.9 and an average SAT of 1200 and ACT of 29.  The School of Film and Television is more selective and higher numbers are required for acceptance consideration. Early Action and Early Decision and Regular Decision admission plans are offered.