Visit to Loyola Marymount University, LA,
LMU is located in downtown LA very close to the Marina del Ray and 5-7 minutes from LAX airport. It is a gated campus of a decent size with approx. 8,500 students. I went for a 1.5 hour campus visit and tour of residence halls followed by a one hour info session. Overall, I was struck by the ‘happiness quotient’ on campus and the bright sunshine, relaxed California culture and fun spirit on campus. Kids seemed truly happy! Some kids were on skateboards going for classes, cycles, etc. The infrastructure was also incredibly modern with very highly state of the art building designs, especially the college of liberal arts, library, cafeteria etc. The university is around 10 minutes from downtown and students felt that there was a lot to do and places to go to around LMU.
The class size seems to be 13:1 and only in few instances introductory courses that are very popular are upto 50 students. Students seemed to have a close rapport with professors and the college size seemed perfect. School of liberal arts had a lot of options including possibility of doing pre-law courses from LMUs Law School (separate campus). Several alumni are lawyers and possibility of internships maybe there. LMU is also well known for communications and media due to its proximity to Hollywood. It seems reasonably strong academically with a good balance of seriousness and fun. The Jesuit ideology was not overpowering and yet it ensures a value-based education with emphasis on developing a holistic individual who can play a larger role in society. It is high quality education but my sense is that it may not be as competitive as some of the other colleges.
LMU is a division I athletic level and options to play soccer would range from serious varsity team to club soccer to the informal inter mural games.
Residence halls looked cheerful and in senior years some buildings are overlooking the ocean.
I got an overall sense of cheer on campus and felt that this could be a great fit culturally and academically. The midsize in terms of number of students, small class size and teacher-student ratio, strong law and liberal arts curriculum, Jesuit focus on community and values, the weather, proximity to a large city – seemed to be a good combination.
Pros: very cheerful campus, modern infrastructure, surrounded by marina and beach and downtown LA; Jesuit ideology focuses on all round development of individual; good law school and strong alumni to support with internships; midsize campus/ perfect numbers.
Cons: may not be a name that is known in Indian job market as it is a regional university