Woodbury University

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Woodbury University
Established 1884
Type Private
Endowment $18.6 Million
President David Dauwalder, Ph.D. (interim)
Students 1,500+
Undergraduates 1,249 (acceptance rate 56.6%)
Postgraduates 169
Location Los Angeles, Burbank, and San Diego, California, USA
Campus Suburban, 22.4 acres (9.1 ha)
Website woodbury.edu

Woodbury University is a private, non-profit, coeducational, nonsectarian university located in Burbank, California. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees from four schools (Architecture; Business; Media, Culture & Design; and Transdisciplinarity).


Advertisement in the first year of the school's existence, 1884

The school was founded in 1884 as Woodbury's Business College by its namesake, F. C. Woodbury, formerly a partner in Heald's Business College in San Francisco, thus making it the second oldest institution of higher learning in Los Angeles and one of the oldest business schools west of Chicago. That historic link between Woodbury and the world of business has been maintained throughout the years. Woodbury was coeducated from its founding, making it one of the earliest colleges West of the Mississippi to admit women.

In 1931, the division of professional arts was established to focus on those fields of design that are closely allied to business. Woodbury then became a college of business administration and design. In 1969, Woodbury introduced a graduate program leading to the master of business administration (MBA). In 1974, Woodbury College became Woodbury University. In 1982, Computer Information Systems was added as a major, followed in 1984 by Architecture. In 1987, the Weekend College program for working adults was established with the aid of grants from The Fletcher Jones Foundation and The William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 1994 the university formally organized its undergraduate and graduate programs into three schools: the School of Architecture and Design, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Business and Management.[1]

That year three majors in Arts and Sciences came into being: Psychology, Politics & History and Liberal Arts & Business. Additional undergraduate degree programs have been added in the areas of Marketing, Animation Arts, Communication, and Leadership.

The original mission of Woodbury University was to educate Los Angeles residents in the practical areas of business like bookkeeping, commercial art, interior design, and fashion design. For a time, Woodbury could boast that 10% of Los Angeles' citizenry were attending the institution and its earliest alumni lists form a literal who's who of 19th century Los Angeles.[2] The original mission of Woodbury University was to educate Angelenos in the practical areas of business; bookkeeping, commercial law and telegraphy. In 1931, the college created a division of professional arts centered on entertainment and design. In 1974, Woodbury College became Woodbury University and in 1984 added Architecture to its professional degrees. In 1987, the university moved to a suburban campus in Burbank, on the site of the former Villa Cabrini Academy, a high school for girls run by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded by St. Frances Xavier Cabrini.[3]

For the first 103 years, the university followed the growth of the business community in Los Angeles. It was originally at 226 South Spring Street in downtown LA.[4] By 1937, new facilities at 1027 Wilshire Boulevard were occupied, and for 50 years that location served as the university’s classroom and administrative building. In 1985, the university acquired a 22.4-acre (9.1 ha) campus in Burbank and moved to these new facilities in October 1987. In 1998 the institution opened a satellite campus in San Diego where it offers the B.Arch. and M.Arch degrees. In Fall of 2008, Woodbury University San Diego moved from its downtown location to Barrio Logan. The new building features a new computer laboratory, studios, classrooms, and a library.


Currently Woodbury University comprises three schools and one institute, including graduate and undergraduate programs: Business; Architecture; Media, Culture & Design; and Transdisciplinary Studies, offering undergraduate degrees in Business, Architecture, Animation, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture, Psychology, Communication, Politics and History, Leadership, and Interdisciplinary Studies and graduate degrees in Business, Architecture, and Leadership. Woodbury undergraduate programs admit students on a rolling basis and the acceptance rate for all undergraduate majors is 56.6%.

  • School of Business
    • Accounting
    • Management
    • Fashion Marketing
    • Marketing
  • School of Architecture
    • Architecture (B.Arch., M.Arch, MS.Arch)
    • Interior Architecture (B.FA, MIA)
  • School of Media, Culture & Design
    • Filmmaking
    • Game Art & Design
    • Animation
    • Media Technology
    • Fashion Design
    • Graphic Design
    • Psychology
    • Communication
  • College of Transdisciplinary Studies
    • Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Politics & History
    • Professional Writing
    • Public Safety Administration
    • Leadership
  • Graduate Programs & Professional Studies
    • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
    • Master of Architecture in Real Estate Development (M.Arch.)
    • Master of Architecture (M. Arch. I & II)
    • Master of Science in Architecture (M.Sc.Arch.)
    • Master of Arts in Leadership (M.A.L.)
    • Master of Interior Architecture (M.I.A.)
    • Master of Social Justice (M.S.J.)


Woodbury University enrolls approximately 39% white, non-Hispanic students; 28% Hispanic students; 9% Asian students; 17% international students; and 4% African-American students.[5]


2014 Money Magazine ranked Woodbury University 15th nationally out of the top 25 Colleges That Add the Most Value.' This recognition identifies Woodbury as a school that truly changes the trajectory of its students. US News & World Report: Best Colleges Rankings (West) - #56 Regional Universities | #18 Best Colleges for Veterans[6]

Whistleblower Controversy[edit]

In 2012, the wife of Woodbury University's then president, Luis Calingo, came under allegations over mistreatment of maintenance workers employed at the school. When the wife of the former president stood up for those workers, she was promptly fired from the university and later filed a lawsuit that was settled out of court by the university.[7][8]


Woodbury University is accredited by the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) and is approved by the Postsecondary Commission, California Department of Education. The Western Association of Schools and Colleges granted Woodbury its original regional accreditation in 1961. In 1994 the Architecture program was accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). The School of Business received its accreditation from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Spring 1998. In 1991, the Interior Architecture Program was accredited by the Council for Interior Design Accreditation. In 2008, the school received accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Woodbury University is a member university of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[9]

On May 10, 2014, Woodbury University announced that its School of Business is among 12 international and four American business schools to earn accreditation from AACSB International for 2014, joining 713 institutions of higher learning in 47 countries and territories around the world who have successfully completed the multi-year internal review, evaluation and improvement process.[10] AACSB accreditation represents the highest achievement for an educational institution that awards business degrees, a status conferred on less than 5 percent of all business programs worldwide.


The Los Angeles Times Library at Woodbury University, formerly the Villa Cabrini Academy chapel.[11]

The main campus of Woodbury University is located in Burbank, California, adjacent to the city of Los Angeles. However, Woodbury University also maintains a campus in San Diego, California, where it offers B.Arch, M.Arch, and MS.ARch degrees. Additional off-campus sites are located in Hollywood and at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters.

Student Housing[edit]

Woodbury's Burbank campus has two residence halls with space for approximately 225 residents. North Hall, the larger of the two residence halls, opened in 1990 and houses up to 158 residents. South Hall, which is a small building composed mostly of single rooms, was built in the 1960s and houses up to 67 residents. South Hall is one of the original buildings acquired with the Burbank campus and was used as a dormitory for the Villa Cabrini Academy.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Woodbury – History
  2. ^ The Princeton Review
  3. ^ "Stained-Glass Windows". Mother Cabrini Shrine. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Grace Powers (1898). Where to educate, 1898–1899. A guide to the best private schools, higher institutions of learning, etc., in the United States. Boston: Brown and Company. p. 12. Retrieved August 17, 2012. 
  5. ^ Lamster, Mark (2 March 2011). "The Future Belongs to Woodbury University". Architect Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  6. ^ http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/woodbury-university-125897/overall-rankings
  7. ^ "Fired Woodbury University exec files lawsuit". 
  8. ^ "Settlement reached in former Woodbury University employee case". 
  9. ^ AACSB International
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Villa Cabrini". The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. 
  12. ^ Scanlon, Jennifer (2009). Toff, Nancy, ed. Bad Girls Go Everywhere: The Life of Helen Gurley Brown. Oxford University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-0-19-534205-5. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°12′31″N 118°20′30″W / 34.20850°N 118.34155°W / 34.20850; -118.34155