Woodbury University - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Woodbury University
Welcome to Woodbury University, where a tradition of engagement, innovation and transformation empowers students...

Woodbury University

Burbank, California

Established in 1884, Woodbury University is a small, private, fully-accredited, nonprofit institution known for its highly regarded School of Architecture; School of Business; School of Media, Culture & Design; and College of Liberal Arts.  A Nationally Recognized College of Distinction, Woodbury offers more than 20 practice-based professional and liberal arts undergraduate and graduate majors, many of which are nationally and regionally ranked.


Woodbury University’s undergraduate and graduate degree programs transform students into innovative professionals who also learn the value of social responsibility and contributing to local and global communities. Academic excellence is achieved by focusing on purposeful student engagement, establishing external partnerships, and enriching the student experience. Students who choose Woodbury reflect the cultural diversity of Southern California, and through the university’s transformative educational programs are empowered to put their talents to work to do extraordinary things.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
1,245 undergraduate students
87% of undergrad students are full time
51% male — 49% female

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
92 full-time faculty
189 part-time faculty
8 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

18 percent of students live in college owned and operated campus housing. They can choose from either North Hall or South Hall. Both have common kitchens available for student use.

School Location

Woodbury University is situated in Burbank, Calif., on a green and tranquil 22-acre campus nestled between the Verdugo Mountains and the Hollywood Hills. The campus is at the center of Southern California’s creative and business economy, and its neighbors include Cartoon Network, Comcast/NBCUniversal, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, to name a few. This prime location gives students the opportunity to intern and work alongside industry professionals at some of the biggest creative companies in the world. Since 1998, Woodbury also has offered bachelor and master’s degrees in architecture at its satellite campus in San Diego.

Retention Fall 2015

82% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full-time, first-time freshmen)

6-Year Graduation Rate 2015

46% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 24%
Hispanic/Latino 26%
Black or African American 3%
White 34%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 9%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 1%
Two or more races 2%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 1%

Other Information

Originally a business college, Woodbury has, over the past 132 years, blossomed into a vibrant university offering career-oriented undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

In 2015, Woodbury announced a first-in-California program for incoming freshmen that provides:

An annual merit-based scholarship for full-time undergraduate students with a high school cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher

A Woodbury Integrated Student Experience (WISE) tuition scholarship of $2,000 for each full-time student with a Woodbury cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher

Graduation within four years for a full-time undergraduate (five years for architecture undergraduate students)

Full-time employment or enrollment in graduate school within six months of graduation. Students also may return for a full year of tuition-free credit hours, including continued engagement in on/off-campus internship opportunities relevant to the student’s professional area.

Transfer students are eligible for Woodbury’s 2X Guarantee Program, which provides Merit and WISE scholarship guarantees. International students are eligible for the WISE scholarship guarantee only.

Academic Programs


Accounting, Architecture, Animation, Communication, Fashion marketing, Filmmaking, Graphic design, Interdisciplinary studies, Interior architecture, Management, Marketing, Media technology (2012), Organizational leadership, Politics and history, Psychology, Urban studies, Game art and design (2012)

More Distinctions

  • Woodbury University is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), Council of Interior Design and Accreditation (CIDA), National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD),  the Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC), and the Senior Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). 

  • The graduate program at the School of Architecture has been accepted to participate in the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) Integrated Path to Architectural Licensure (IPAL) initiative.

  • Woodbury ranks in the top 4 percent of national colleges and universities based on “economic value” and 15th among colleges that add the most value, according to Money Magazine (2014).

  • In The Economist’s first-ever survey of American higher education, Woodbury ranked 34th among 1,275 four-year institutions, placing it in the top 4 percent of college and universities nationwide.  Woodbury’s ranking is the fifth highest of any college or university in California.

  • Woodbury’s animation program ranked among Animation Magazine’s “Top 25 to Hire From in 2015.”

  • According to DesignIntelligence, Woodbury's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture ranked 10th in the U.S. and fourth among top programs in the West.

  • In November 2015, for the first time in its history, the undergraduate architecture program at the School of Architecture was ranked among the top 25 nationally.  The Bachelor of Architecture program was rated 24th in the 2016 DesignIntelligence survey of the nation’s Top 35 undergraduate architecture programs.

  • Woodbury’s architecture program was named best in Los Angeles by LA Weekly.  Student teams in architecture also have won as many as four out of six awards in a single year in the ACSA-Steel Competition.

  • Graphic Design USA named Woodbury’s Graphic Design program to its “25 Top Design Schools” in 2015 and 2016.

  • Woodbury’s Fashion Design program has been ranked 10th among the top fashion schools in the West, and 23rd nationally among private schools and colleges, by Fashion-Schools.org (http://www.fashion-schools.org).

  • During the last four years, more than 95 percent of graduating seniors in Psychology have presented their research projects at Western Psychological Association conferences in Long Beach, Las Vegas, Portland, Ore., and Reno, respectively.

  • Woodbury has an excellent track record in placing its graduates in the job market,  as evidenced by the success rate of 92.4% of its 2015 graduates having secured positions in their chosen professions.

Problem and Project-Based Learning

At Woodbury University, the student experience is at the center of learning. Problem-based and project-based learning is integrated throughout Woodbury University’s curriculum, often in community settings where individual and collaborative contributions make a significant difference. Some examples include:

  • First-year architecture students are given their own studio space and their first assignment is to build their own desk.
  • Graphic design students create logos and branded materials for non-profit clients, such as the Screen Actors Guild Foundation
  • Communications students have worked in collaboration with Hanze University in the Netherlands to design games that help Somali children deal with their war experiences.
  • Business students work with corporate partners to help with marketing strategy and management.

Hands-on Experience

In the School of Architecture, various centers and institutes underscore the holistic nature of the profession, taking students out of the studio and into the real world through a dedicated program of fieldwork.  The Arid Lands Institute – which deals with dry land designs and the potential of architects to be a bridge between the science of climate change and policy-making – enables students to demonstrate to cities and states that certain laws need rethinking.  The University supports the infiltration of architects into civic positions where they can affect decision-making through its Urban Policy Center. The University teaches architects how to be developers, as in Woodbury’s Real Estate Development for Architects program.  The goal is to have a direct and beneficial effect on the built environment.

A Talented, Dedicated Faculty

Woodbury students learn from a combination of full-time and part-time faculty. This mix of highly credentialed, academically trained professors and “real life” professionals with advanced degrees offers students the best of both worlds. The full-time faculty consists of 93 individuals, approximately half of whom are women. In addition, there are 182 adjuncts, including many working professionals who share their expertise and experience with students. Overall, the student/professor ratio is 8 to 1, and the average class size is 14.

Individualized Attention

Woodbury takes pride in providing students with individual attention. Faculty members, many of them practicing professionals themselves, understand that students will need to satisfy the high standards their professions expect, now and in the future. They also understand that what distinguishes Woodbury graduates from others is that students learn to use their own experiences and voices. Students see themselves as makers of knowledge, and faculty members empower, support and nurture students in that process.

Student life is what truly makes Woodbury a vibrant campus. Whether it is the casual culture of the 24/7 studios or the formal culture of the annual Grand Critique, where 400 architecture students and professors gather to celebrate and discuss projects, the integration of academic and personal development is present everywhere on campus.

One Campus--One Community

Woodbury is a diverse community of students from more than 40 countries and dozens of regional and national ethnicities. From the outset, students come together as a community through the “One Book, One Campus” program, which engages students and faculty in campus-wide discussions around a single book. The campus community also expands when the student group La Voz Unida brings parents to campus to shadow their students for a day.

Woodbury University’s education emphasizes quality, creativity, innovation, communication in many media, social responsibility, personal and professional growth, and problem-solving in teams drawn from diverse fields. Faculty and staff serve as mentors and guides in helping students come to embody these principles.  


All students engage in significant internships and work experiences intended to lead to jobs. Using Burbank and Hollywood as a lab, students gain career experiences with companies such as Cartoon Network, Comcast/NBC Universal, The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, to name a few.

Final Projects

Before graduation, each student undertakes a significant project, either alone or as a member of a team. Typical assignments might be creating a new app, designing a new solar building or serving as CEO of a simulated business.


Admissions Fall 2015

1,342 Total Applicants 
773 Total Admissions 
117 Total Freshman Enrollment

57.60% of applicants admitted

Freshman Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 430 540
SAT Math 430 520
SAT Writing    
ACT Composite 16 21
ACT Math    
ACT English    
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator



Tuition $ 35,808
Fees $ 600
Total $ 36,408
Room and Board (on campus) $ 10,668
Room Only $ 6,604
Board Only $ 4,064
Estimated Total On Campus $ 47,076


Financial Aid Breakdown 2014-2015

62% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
61% of full-time, first-time undergraduates awarded student loan aid

$18,983 Average amount of federal, state, local, or institutional grant aid awarded
$5,349 Average amount of student loan aid awarded to full-time, first-time undergraduates