Loyola Marymount University
College review by Lisa Bleich
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) sits high upon a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean right near Los Angeles Airport. The buildings are a mix of mid-century, non-descript Los Angeles architecture that feels reminiscent of a Catholic High School and more modern buildings with a contemporary, high-end feel. There is an outside courtyard in the center of campus and a large lawn area in front of the Chapel that overlooks the ocean.
LMU’s key points of differentiation are that it is a medium, Jesuit university located in Los Angeles. Students have access to LA, Division I sports and a range of programs within a nurturing environment where professors know their names. Emphasis on critical thinking and practical application of classical skills and training is all part of Jesuit education. These three things characterize experience of going to college at LMU.
Two-thirds of the student body comes from California. The other highest represented states are Oregon, Arizona, Washington and Colorado. Students were a combination of clean-cut, California preppy, hipster, and laid-back. They also reflect the cultural diversity of the state whereby minorities are the majority. Students are open-minded to cultural diversity and comfortable around religions. The Dean of Admissions said that LMU students do not have to necessarily be religious, but students do enjoy religious tradition and are comfortable discussing God. Campus ministry, weekend liturgy and service opportunities are well integrated into the culture. LMU looks for students who share in the belief that education gives you an obligation to make a difference in the world. Students are comfortable speaking about God or religion.
Greek life is also a big part of campus life and while not everyone joins Greek life, they still participate in their events. Greek life organizes a lot of fundraising events from a synchronized swimming event to other random sporting events. Everyone comes out and supports the various causes. Our tour guide described her favorite event, which was the Christmas lighting festival. Students and the community come together to decorate the campus from head to toe for Christmas at beginning of December. This event offers performers, carriage rides, and falling snow. LMU is not a big rah rah school, but basketball is still a popular sport on campus.
LMU’s most popular majors are business, engineering and film. The film program has around 750 students and is highly collaborative. LMU aims to instill in students the idea that they will get more done together than working alone. Film students do need to fund their own projects, which can range from a few thousand dollars to $50,000; however they own their films when they are completed. LMU’s film curriculum emphasizes storytelling. They offer an extensive internship program and have numerous connections in the industry. There is also an exchange program in Bonn, Germany where 15 juniors study with film professionals. They travel all over Europe to find stories that are meaningful. One student did documentary of Irish village his family came from and another did one on Women in Turkey because of his Aunt.
LMU admits about half of applicants. The current class had a weighted GPA of 3.7 (unweighted 3.5 out of 4) with average SAT scores of 1215 CR/M and 27 ACT. About 10% of students qualify for merit aid ranging from $2K to a full ride. The average amount is $10,000.
Film School Admissions: Admission to the film program is highly competitive. Last year there were 700 apps for 75 spaces for production. LMU wants people who are creative and can express themselves. The personal statement and how you tell your story is extremely important for admissions.
Services for students with disabilities. There is no special program, but LMU will provide support for documented students who are eligible.
LMU is a great school for students looking for a culturally diverse, medium sized Jesuit college in LA with an active Greek life and access to LA and the beach.
Loyola Marymount University
1 LMU Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90045