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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 coeducational from its founding, making it one of the earliest colleges West of the Mississippi to admit women. 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 who's who of 19th century Los Angeles.[1]

In 1931, the division of professional arts was established to focus on those fields of design that are closely allied to business: commercial art, interior design, and fashion design. 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) degree. 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 the School of 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.

Los Angeles campusesEdit

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.[3] 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.[4][5] In 1987 the university moved to the new campus in the eastern San Fernando Valley.[6]

Since 2005, the Los Angeles campus has been home to the Julius Shulman Institute.[7]

Woodbury University San DiegoEdit

In 1998 the institution opened a satellite campus in Downtown San Diego, Woodbury University San Diego, where it offers 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 neighborhood . The new location's building features a computer laboratory, studios, classrooms, and a library.


The university has a gallery in Hollywood, CA known as WUHO which houses experimental exhibitions and multi-disciplinary collaborations.[9]


Currently Woodbury University comprises three schools and one college offering graduate and undergraduate programs: The School of Business, School of Architecture, School of Media, Culture & Design, and the College of Liberal Arts.[10] Woodbury undergraduate programs admit students on a rolling basis and the acceptance rate for all undergraduate majors is 56.6%.

Woodbury's BArch and MArch programs participate in the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s (NCARB) Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative. NCARB has accepted 26 programs at 21 colleges to participate in the IPAL initiative.[25] The program streamlines the professional licensure process, providing students the opportunity to complete requirements for licensure while earning their degree.[26]


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). 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 is a member university of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[44] The School of Business received its accreditation from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) Spring 1998.

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.[45] 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 HousingEdit

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.[46]


Woodbury ranked 34 overall (and eighth among California institutions) in The Economist's first-ever college rankings published in October 2015.[47]

Woodbury currently ranks 10th among the 161 ranked colleges and universities in California in the 2017 New York Times "Overall mobility index" which reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at Woodbury moved up two or more income quintiles.[48]

Woodbury ranks first among western regional universities in the percentage of international students (24%) in the 2018 U.S. News and World Report College Rankings.[49]

Woodbury has been chosen as a 'College of Distinction" from 2015 - 2018.[50]

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[51]

Whistleblower controversy after alleged abuse and cover-up by school executivesEdit

In 2012, the wife of the then president of Woodbury University, Luis Calingo, was alleged to have mistreated maintenance workers employed at the school. In September 2012, the month after she had reported the alleged incidents to the human resources department (then headed by Natalie Avalos), Rose Nielsen, wife of the former president of the University, was fired without explanation and told Calingo would not meet with her.

Nielsen then filed a lawsuit which the university declined to comment on, only saying that the university would "vigorously defend its actions through the litigation process".[52] In the actuality, the university did not defend its actions but rather chose to silence the case and settle out of court in 2014, withholding the details of the settlement with confidentiality agreements.[53]

Runway EventsEdit

On May 1st and 2nd in 2013, Woodbury University's Costume Department presented the Neo-Tribes Runway Event. The show featured the likes of celebrity stylist Lisa Kline, makeup by Stila, mentors Jared Gold, Eduardo Lucero, and Eddie Bledsoe (Rockets Red Glare), costume designer Jennifer Erin Davis (Black Lightning, Titans) and actress Rene Michelle Aranda (Papa, Expelled)[54] .

Notable alumniEdit

Honorary Degree RecipientsEdit


  1. ^ The Princeton Review.
  2. ^ Woodbury – History
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "Villa Cabrini". The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
  5. ^ "Stained-Glass Windows". Mother Cabrini Shrine.
  6. ^ LA "Woodbury University Moving to Burbank", (18 Sept. 1985).
  7. ^ "Julius Shulman Institute".
  8. ^ School of Architecture - About
  9. ^ "WUHO Gallery - Woodbury". Woodbury. Retrieved 2018-02-26.
  10. ^ Woodbury University - About
  11. ^ Woodbury: School of Business programs
  12. ^ Accounting Program
  13. ^ Management Program
  14. ^ Fashion Marketing Program
  15. ^ Marketing Program
  16. ^ MBA Program
  17. ^ Woodbury: School of Architecture programs
  18. ^ Bachelor of Architecture Program
  19. ^ (BFA) Interior Architecture Program
  20. ^ Master of Architecture Program
  21. ^ Landscape Architecture Graduate Program
  22. ^ Interior Architecture Graduate Program
  23. ^ MSArch Program
  24. ^ (MSArch) Real Estate Development Graduate Program
  25. ^ "IPAL Programs". NCARB - National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  26. ^ "Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative" (PDF).
  27. ^ Woodbury: School of Media, Culture & Design
  28. ^ Design Foundation Program
  29. ^ Filmmaking Program
  30. ^ Game Art & Design Program
  31. ^ Animation Program
  32. ^ Media Technology Program
  33. ^ Fashion Design Program
  34. ^ Graphic Design Program
  35. ^ Psychology Program
  36. ^ Communication Program
  37. ^ Woodbury: College of Liberal Arts
  38. ^ Interdisciplinary Studies
  39. ^ Politics & History Program
  40. ^ Professional Writing Program
  41. ^ Public Safety Administration Program
  42. ^ Leadership Program
  43. ^ Leadership Graduate Program
  44. ^ AACSB International
  45. ^ [1]
  46. ^ LA "Woodbury University, New Dorms to Finally Be Completed", (21 April 1990).
  47. ^ "Our first-ever college rankings". The Economist. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  48. ^ "Economic diversity and student outcomes at Woodbury". The New York Times. 2017. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-10.
  49. ^ "US News and World Report College Rankings".
  50. ^ (, theGKWco. "All Colleges of Distinction". Colleges of Distinction. Retrieved 2018-01-11.
  51. ^ US News & World Report: "Best Colleges: Woodbury University Rankings"
  52. ^ "Fired Woodbury University exec files lawsuit".
  53. ^ "Settlement reached in former Woodbury University employee case".
  54. ^ Aranda, Rene Michelle (2019-05-20). "Remembering opening the [...] Dracula-inspired collection in the @Woodburyfashion Neo-Tribes Runway Event, May 2013". @therenearanda. Retrieved 2019-05-20.
  55. ^ 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.
  56. ^ "NBC4's Fritz Coleman Receives Honorary Degree from Woodbury University for Public Service". NBC Southern California. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  57. ^ "Newly Appointed Superintendent of Los Angeles Unified Schools, Austin Beutner, to Speak at Graduation". Woodbury. 2018-05-04. Retrieved 2019-08-15.
  58. ^ "Angella Nazarian Graduation Speaker - Woodbury". Woodbury. 2017-04-06. Retrieved 2018-05-03.
  59. ^ "Eugene Blefari Named Graduation Speaker - Woodbury". Woodbury. 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2018-05-03.

External linksEdit