An Introduction to Loyola University Chicago
This article was written based on the information and opinions presented by Emily Pacheco in a CollegeVine livestream. You can watch the full livestream for more info.
- What Is a Jesuit University?
- Demographics at Loyola University Chicago
- Loyola University Chicago’s Two Campuses
In this article, we discuss Loyola University Chicago in Illinois. Read on to learn more about Loyola’s Jesuit identity, institutional resources, and dual campus system.
What Is a Jesuit University?
Loyola University Chicago is the largest of the 27 Jesuit universities in the United States. There are a few distinguishing characteristics of these universities, including their commitment to academics and social justice and caring about each individual as a complete person.
Commitment to Academics
The primary characteristic of Jesuit universities is their strong commitment to academics. At Loyola, students have access to strong academic pathways and a well-rounded curriculum. The latter includes core required courses that all students take, regardless of major, ensuring that everyone has a solid foundation for their studies.
Caring for the Whole Individual
Jesuit universities also believe in “cura personalis,” or caring for the whole individual, and Loyola University Chicago is no exception. Students are viewed as being of mind, body, and spirit, and all three of these aspects need to be healthy in order for a student to thrive. Obviously, academics are essential in college, but at a school like Loyola, the student experience outside the classroom and their overall well-being are just as important to the school.
Commitment to Social Justice
A commitment to social justice is the third defining characteristic of the Jesuit university experience. At Loyola University Chicago, many programs and infrastructure are designed to support students in getting involved in the community. Loyola believes that the work of being a positive influence in your community should start when you’re a student, so the university gives all students the ability and resources to meaningfully do that.
Demographics at Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Chicago is a midsize university. There are just under 17,000 students enrolled in total, with 12,000 undergraduate students. Diversity is important to Loyola, and all 50 states, as well as 112 countries, are represented in the student body.
As a Jesuit university, it has a solid base of students (about 55% of the total student body) who say that they come from a Catholic background. That said, Loyola Chicago is a comfortable and welcoming place for all students, regardless of their religion or lack thereof. There is even a space on campus called the Hall of Religions, which houses a kosher kitchen, a Punjab prayer center, and a student-run mosque.
Loyola University Chicago’s Two Campuses
Lake Shore Campus
Loyola has two campuses in the heart of Chicago. The main campus, where most students spend the majority of their time, is the Lake Shore campus. It is about 40 minutes north of downtown Chicago, right on Lake Michigan, which many new students think is an ocean due to its size. It’s a beautiful campus.
Lake Shore is where many of Loyola’s degree programs are housed, as well as the student center, making it where much of student life takes place. Loyola students enjoy spending time at the Hall of Religions, utilizing different study spaces, gathering for club meetings, and attending home games of Loyola’s sports teams. The campus also has a great recreation center equipped with a swimming pool, a climbing wall, and fitness equipment. Many different fitness classes are available to students.
Most students live on the Lake Shore campus during their freshman and sophomore years, as Loyola has a two-year residency requirement. Housing and dorms are also available for upperclassmen.
Water Tower Campus
The second campus at Loyola Chicago is the Water Tower campus, which is located right in the heart of downtown Chicago, about a 20-30-minute shuttle ride from the Lake Shore campus. This is where Loyola’s schools of business, communication, education, social work, and law are located.
The Water Tower campus has all the basic amenities that the main campus has. Only one of Loyola’s 22 residence halls is located at Water Tower, and students are not placed there unless they choose it. That said, many students do choose to live there because they can be in a beautiful high-rise building in the heart of downtown Chicago.
Loyola students like this dual-campus system because it enables them to have a liberal arts-style campus, with rolling green quads and beautiful flowers, and a city-based campus, with access to commerce and culture. Students can ride a shuttle that leaves every 20 minutes throughout the week, making it easy for them to get to the other campus for classes or just to visit downtown Chicago.
Students can also jump on a train at the Loyola Stop next to the Lake Shore campus and take the red line downtown directly. Students have access to Chicago transit cards too, so between public transportation and the Loyola shuttle, it’s easy for students to get around the city.