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, Los Angeles County; and a satellite campus in San Diego, both in southern California. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees from four schools: Architecture; Business; Media, Culture & Design; and Transdisciplinarity. [1]


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.[2]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; bookkeeping, commercial law, and telegraphy. 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.[3] In 1931, the college created a division of professional arts centered on entertainment and design, commercial art, interior design, and fashion design. In 1974, Woodbury College became Woodbury University and in 1984 added Architecture to its professional degrees.

Los Angeles campuses[edit]

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

For the first 103 years, the university followed the growth of the business community based in Central Los Angeles. It was originally at 226 South Spring Street in Downtown Los Angeles.[4] By 1937, it moved to new facilities at 1027 Wilshire Boulevard in the Westlake district, just west of downtown. For 50 years this building served the university’s classrooms and administrative needs.

In 1985, the university acquired a 22.4-acre (9.1 ha) suburban campus in Burbank, the site of the former Villa Cabrini Academy, a high school for girls run by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart, founded by Frances Xavier Cabrini.[5][6] In 1987 the university moved to the new campus in the eastern San Fernando Valley. [7]

Off-campus sites are located in Hollywood and at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Headquarters in the Hall of Justice, Downtown Los Angeles.

Woodbury University San Diego[edit]

In 1998 the institution opened a satellite campus in Downtown San Diego, Woodbury University San Diego, where it offered Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, and Master of Interior Architecture degrees. [8] In Fall of 2008, It moved from Downtown San Diego to the Barrio Logan district of the city. The new location 's 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. Woodbury undergraduate programs admit students on a rolling basis and the acceptance rate for all undergraduate majors is 56.6%.

  • School of Business [9]
    • Accounting
    • Management
    • Fashion Marketing
    • Marketing
  • College of Transdisciplinary Studies [18]


Woodbury University enrolls approximately 39% white, non-Hispanic students; 28% Hispanic students; 17% international students; 9% Asian students; and 4% African-American students.[19]


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).[20]

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.[21] 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.

Student Housing[edit]

Woodbury's Burbank campus has two residence halls with space for approximately 225 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. North Hall, the larger of the two residence halls, opened in 1990 and houses up to 158 residents. [22]


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) were: #48 Regional Universities, #15 Best Colleges for Veterans[23]

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.[24][25]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Woodbury.edu: Hompage
  2. ^ Woodbury – History
  3. ^ The Princeton Review.
  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. ^ "Villa Cabrini". The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. 
  6. ^ "Stained-Glass Windows". Mother Cabrini Shrine. 
  7. ^ LA Times.com: "Woodbury University Moving to Burbank", (18 Sept. 1985).
  8. ^ School of Architecture (Burbank + San Diego)
  9. ^ Woodbury: School of Business programs
  10. ^ [rchitecture.woodbury.edu/programs/ Woodbury: School of Architecture programs]
  11. ^ Architecture (MS.Arch)
  12. ^ Landscape Architecture (M.LA)
  13. ^ Landscape + Urbanism (MS.Arch)
  14. ^ Interior Architecture (M.IA)
  15. ^ Drylands Design (MS.Arch)
  16. ^ Real Estate Development (MS.Arch)
  17. ^ Woodbury: School of Media, Culture & Design programs
  18. ^ Woodbury: College of Transdisciplinarity programs
  19. ^ Lamster, Mark (2 March 2011). "The Future Belongs to Woodbury University". Architect Magazine. Retrieved 12 July 2014. 
  20. ^ AACSB International
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ LA Times.com: "Woodbury University, New Dorms to Finally Be Completed", (21 April 1990).
  23. ^ US News & World Report: "Best Colleges: Woodbury University Rankings"
  24. ^ "Fired Woodbury University exec files lawsuit". 
  25. ^ "Settlement reached in former Woodbury University employee case". 
  26. ^ 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