The University


The names “Loyola” and “Marymount” have long been associated with Catholic higher education in countries around the globe. Saint Ignatius Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits, sanctioned the foundation of his order’s first school in 1548. The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary have conducted educational institutions since their establishment in France by Father Jean Gailhac. These two traditions of education have come together in Los Angeles as Loyola Marymount University.

The present institution is the successor to the pioneer Catholic college and first institution of higher learning in Southern California. In 1865 the Vincentian Fathers inaugurated St. Vincent’s College for Boys in Los Angeles. When this school closed in 1911, members of the Society of Jesus opened the high school division in their newly founded Los Angeles College.

Rapid growth prompted the Jesuits to commence the collegiate department that same year, seek a new campus in 1917, and incorporate as Loyola College of Los Angeles in 1918. Relocating to the present Westchester campus in 1929, the school achieved university status one year later.

Graduate instruction began in 1920 with the foundation of a separate law school. The formation of the Graduate Division occurred in June 1950, though graduate work had formed an integral part of the Teacher Education Program during the preceding two years.

The Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary began teaching local young women in 1923. Ten years later they opened Marymount Junior College in Westwood which first granted the baccalaureate degree in 1948. The school later transferred classes to a new campus on the Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1960. Eight years later, Marymount College moved again, this time to the Westchester campus of Loyola University as an autonomous college. At this juncture, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange joined the Marymount Sisters as partners.

After five years of sharing faculties and facilities, Loyola University and Marymount College merged and formed Loyola Marymount University in July 1973. Through this union, the expanded school maintained the century-old mission of Catholic higher education in Los Angeles.

In articulating a vision for this unique collegiate enterprise, the Board of Trustees turned to the history of the four-century-old Jesuit educational philosophy as well as to the history and traditions of the Marymount and St. Joseph’s Sisters. They also recognized the riches of a variety of religious traditions represented among the dedicated faculty and staff that complemented and enhanced the school’s heritage of Catholic values.

The University pursues quality in:

  • Curricula of All Academic Programs
  • Co-curricular Programs and Support Services
  • Faculty, Administration and Staff
  • Students
  • Campus Life, Hospitality and Services

Loyola Marymount University:

  • Promotes Academic Excellence
  • Lives an Institutional Commitment to Roman Catholicism and the Judeo-Christian Tradition
  • Provides a Liberal Education
  • Fosters a Student-centered University
  • Creates a Sense of Community on Campus
  • Participates Actively in the Life of the Larger Community

University Mission Statement


Loyola Marymount University offers rigorous undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to academically ambitious students committed to lives of meaning and purpose. We benefit from our location in Los Angeles, a dynamic city that brings into sharp focus the issues of our time and provides an ideal context for study, research, creative work, and active engagement. By intention and philosophy, we invite men and women diverse in talents, interests, and cultural backgrounds to enrich our educational community and advance our mission:

  • The encouragement of learning
  • The education of the whole person
  • The service of faith and the promotion of justice

The University is institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism and takes its fundamental inspiration from the combined heritage of the Jesuits, the Marymount Sisters, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange. This Catholic identity and religious heritage distinguish LMU from other universities and provide touchstones for understanding our threefold mission.

The Encouragement of Learning

At LMU, the encouragement of learning takes place in the context of an intellectual tradition that:

  • Insists on critical thinking and the development of imagination and artistic expression
  • Takes philosophical and theological disciplines seriously
  • Engages in ethical discourse and embraces the search for values
  • Respects the integrity of the individual while at the same time pursuing the common good
  • Views the world as sacramental and seeks to find God in all things
  • Encourages an integration of knowledge in which “faith and reason bear witness to the unity of all truth” (Ex Corde Ecclesiae, 1990, #17)

As a foundation for inquiry and learning, we strive to create an intercultural community and to promote ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. This means that at LMU the encouragement of learning is a radical commitment to free and honest inquiry–but always with reverence before the mystery of the universe and openness to transcendent reality.

The Education of the Whole Person

With roots in the spiritual humanism of the earliest Jesuit colleges, LMU’s pedagogical tradition has an abiding concern for the education of the whole person. Today we understand this as a simultaneous process of information, formation, and transformation. The education of the whole person thus includes these points:

  • It encourages personal integration of the student’s thinking, feeling, choosing, evolving self. It does this by fostering not only academic and professional development but also physical, social, psychological, moral, cultural, and religious/spiritual growth.
  • It promotes formation of character and values, meaning and purpose. As students learn to “read” what is going on in their own lives and in the larger world, they are encouraged to grow in the skills of personal and social literacy needed for responsible citizenship.
  • It seeks to develop men and women for others. LMU encourages students, faculty, and staff to identify with those living on the margins of society so that the intellectual inquiry and moral reflection endemic to university life will lead to meaningful work for transformative social change.

The Service of Faith and the Promotion of Justice

We take seriously both parts of this phrase. The service of faith encompasses all those ways in which the University engages its Catholic intellectual, cultural, and religious heritage. These ways include specific courses and academic programs as well as opportunities for worship, faith formation, and spiritual development.

The service of faith also honors the reality of religious pluralism on our campus and embraces inter-faith dialogue in formal and informal contexts. The desired outcome of such encounters moves us beyond tolerance to mutual respect and understanding, deepens appreciation of one’s own faith, and creates opportunities for engaging others who share a longing for meaningful lives.

Finally, at LMU we insist that the service of faith is incomplete without the promotion of justice. Together with the University’s sponsoring religious orders and the post-Vatican II Church, we believe that participating in the struggle for justice in ways appropriate to our academic community is a requirement–not simply an option–of biblical faith. In this struggle LMU makes common cause with all who share a commitment to local and global justice, whether they are motivated by faith or other noble ideals.

Updated May 2010


Loyola Marymount University promotes academic excellence by:

  • Enrolling an academically ambitious, multicultural, and socioeconomically diverse student body
  • Recruiting, retaining, and supporting a diverse and multicultural faculty committed to excellence in teaching and active scholarship or artistic productivity
  • Sustaining an excellent staff and administration as partners with the faculty in promoting academic excellence
  • Engaging students in academic programs that explore the multicultural experience of American ethnic groups
  • Maintaining an academic community in which freedom of inquiry and expression enjoy the highest priority
  • Emphasizing the skills and knowledge necessary for a lifetime of intellectual growth and providing strong pre-professional and professional preparation in the undergraduate curriculum
  • Offering excellent graduate and legal education in a context which promotes the highest standards of personal integrity and professional responsibility
  • Developing and maintaining the physical facilities, equipment, and support systems that enable the university to carry out its academic mission
  • Providing library facilities and services for excellence in the university’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs

Lives an institutional commitment to Catholicism and the Judeo-Christian tradition by:

  • Ensuring that Catholic faith and tradition continue to inform and inspire the Loyola Marymount educational experience
  • Encouraging collaboration between members of the founding religious communities and other members of the University to give a distinctive tone to campus life
  • Welcoming students, faculty, and staff from all faith traditions
  • Emphasizing the examination of the moral and ethical implications of all human actions
  • Fostering a just society through a commitment to social justice and service
  • Offering opportunities for religious practice and faith development for the entire Loyola Marymount community

Provides a liberal education by:

  • Offering a core curriculum that provides each undergraduate with a broad education in the liberal arts and sciences as the heart of the undergraduate experience
  • Emphasizing the study of philosophy and theology in the undergraduate curriculum
  • Challenging all students to think critically and reflect on basic values and issues, and free themselves from prejudice
  • Supporting a faculty committed to excellent teaching and scholarship in a university based on the liberal arts tradition
  • Encouraging students to understand their fields of studies in a broad intellectual, ethical, and social context
  • Preparing students, undergraduate and graduate, to play active roles in addressing the problems and challenges of the larger society and world in which they live

Fosters a student-centered university by:

  • Maintaining the residential character and medium size of the Westchester campus to assure that each student receives personal attention
  • Encouraging staff, administration, and faculty to embrace the ideal of personal care and dedication to the well-being and development of each student
  • Offering co-curricular programs that complement the academic programs and produce a coherent educational experience
  • Supporting the full involvement of students in campus life by offering a wide variety of activities
  • Providing opportunities for students to develop their leadership skills by actively involving them in decision making
  • Challenging and encouraging students to lead and serve others

Creates a sense of community on campus by:

  • Introducing new members of the community to the shared values and history of the university and reinforcing a sense of belonging for all members
  • Assuring that the daily life of the campus reflects a vision of human dignity and fosters mutual understanding and caring
  • Celebrating the richness and diversity of a multicultural campus
  • Encouraging faculty, staff, administrators, and students to serve others, participate in the life of the University, and act as responsible and generous members of the academic community
  • Providing opportunities to participate in making significant decisions through well-defined and fair procedures

Participates actively in the life of the larger community by:

  • Using the resources of Los Angeles and Southern California to expand and deepen the student’s educational experience
  • Developing academic programs that address the dynamics and opportunities of the nations and cultures of Latin America and the Pacific Rim
  • Inspiring faculty, staff, students, and alumni to serve their communities and society by applying their skills and knowledge to critical problems
  • Contributing to the intellectual and cultural life of society through scholarship and the arts
  • Providing leadership in the examination and discussion of the ethical dimensions of social issues
  • Recognizing a particular responsibility to serve the global Church, and especially the people of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the local dioceses.

Approved by Board of Trustees, December 3, 1990


Interculturalism is sharing and learning across cultures with the aim of promoting understanding, equity, harmony, and justice in a diverse society. Our actions must be grounded in, and guided by, the following:

  • LMU is composed of individuals and groups who continue to grow in knowledge of the historical contexts from which we emerged.
  • Knowledge of self and others, inspired by a commitment to human dignity and justice, is the hallmark of interculturalism.
  • Promotion of the common good requires the recognition of similarities within a common humanity, the appreciation of differences, and the willingness to share cross-cultural experiences.
  • Interculturalism is a dynamic and critical endeavor that involves the acquisition of knowledge, ongoing examination of the way we view the world, and purposeful action to promote a just and harmonious society at LMU and beyond.


Grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition, Loyola Marymount University affirms human dignity and promotes justice. Different cultures are unique expressions of these common aspirations.

All cultures can contribute to the search for knowledge and the building of communities based on the common humanity of all people. At LMU, interculturalism is an essential source of academic excellence and a defining characteristic of our campus community. We draw upon interculturalism to create a university of excellence, to serve as a model Catholic institution, and to be a catalyst for the creation of a more just society built on respect and a sense of shared destiny.

We embody interculturalism in our policies, practices, and curricula. We promote personal and professional interaction, encouraging intercultural engagement to engender trust, respect, and compassion. Intercultural engagement enables us to share power and responsibility as we grow in self-knowledge, learn to value the unique qualities of diverse cultural groups, and understand the common elements of our shared humanity.


Accreditation–a seal of approval by professional peers–indicates that an institution or program meets the quality standards of the group conferring the accreditation.

Loyola Marymount University is both regionally and professionally accredited by the following organizations:

Regional/General Accreditations

Program-Specific Accreditation


WASC is reviewed periodically and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).


Loyola Marymount University is a member of the following organizations:

  • American Academy in Rome
  • American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education
  • American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • American Chemical Society
  • American College Personnel Association
  • American College of Physicians
  • American Council on Education
  • American Counseling Association
  • American Mathematical Society
  • American Schools of Oriental Research
  • American Society for Engineering Education
  • American Volleyball Coaches Association
  • Association of American Colleges
  • Association of College and University Housing Officers–International
  • Association of Fraternity Advisors
  • Association of Graduate Schools in Catholic Colleges and Universities
  • Association of International Educators
  • Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
  • Association of University and College Counseling Center Directors
  • Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
  • Black Coaches Association
  • California Association of Counseling and Development
  • California Career Development Association
  • California Council on the Education of Teachers
  • California Educational Placement Association
  • California Women in Higher Education
  • College Entrance Examination Board
  • Conference of the Registrars in Jesuit Institutions
  • Consortium of Liberal Arts Small Independent Colleges
  • Council of Graduate Schools in the United States
  • Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions
  • National Association of Campus Activities
  • National Association of College Directors of Athletics
  • National Association of Colleges and Employers
  • National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Schools of Dance
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • National Association of Student Employment Administrators
  • National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • National Catholic Education Association
  • National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • National Collegiate Honors Council
  • National Consortium on Academics and Sports
  • National Intramural Recreational Sports Association
  • National Society of Experiential Education
  • North American Association of Summer Sessions
  • NSPE–National Society of Professional Engineers
  • Organization of Counseling Center Directors in Higher Education
  • Pacific Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers
  • Southern California International Careers Consortium
  • Western Association of College and University Housing Officers
  • Western Association of Colleges and Employers
  • Western Association of Graduate Schools
  • Western Association of Student Employment Administration
  • Western Association of Student Financial Aid Administration
  • Western Association of Summer Session Administrators
  • Western Regional Honors Council

Graduation Rate

The completion or graduation rate by August 2019 for undergraduate students who entered Loyola Marymount University in Fall 2013 on a full-time basis was 79.9%.