As the Mamas and the Papas song goes, “California dreamin’…on such a winter’s day.” Here in Denver, the last few days’ temperatures have featured highs in the teens and lows below zero. So, I am, indeed, dreaming of California, and it seems like an appropriate time to recount my September visit to Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Situated on a bluff overlooking West L.A., LMU boasts a beautiful campus dominated by palm trees and open spaces, with views of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains. The university’s location, as well as its Career Development Services, enable students to take advantage of countless jobs and internships in a wide range of fields.
Loyola Marymount is a medium-sized university with about 5,800 undergraduates. Its most popular programs include psychology, communication studies, and engineering. LMU’s entrepreneurship program, College of Communication and Fine Arts, and School of Film and Television (SFTV) are among the highest-ranked in the nation. In addition to state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, SFTV has relationships with over 400 entertainment companies, thus making it easy for students to gain hands-on experience in the industry.
As a Jesuit university, LMU places a heavy emphasis on service and social justice. Students can participate in a variety of service opportunities, both through their classes and in extracurricular activities. Service-learning is actually a requirement for some majors, and LMU considers applicants’ commitment to social justice when evaluating them for admission. Applicants’ intended majors also play a role in admissions decisions.
On LMU’s application, students are asked to indicate their major of choice and are given the option of explaining why they selected it. Alternatively, students can apply as undecided engineering, liberal arts, or sciences majors. Those who enter the university with a declared major can begin taking courses in that area in their first year. And it’s easy to change majors if students decide that their original choice isn’t the right one.
LMU accepts 50 percent of applicants and is very generous with financial aid. 83 percent of students receive aid, and applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships ranging from $1,000 to a full ride. Students must complete the FAFSA but do not need to demonstrate need in order to participate in the university’s work-study program.
When I visited Loyola Marymount, I had the pleasure of having a private tour with Colorado native Lauren Slack. In the following video, Lauren talks about her experience at LMU.