A small, private Catholic institution in Dubuque, IA, Loras College was founded in 1839 as a seminary to train young men for the priesthood in what was then a fairly rugged, undeveloped and unincorporated territory. As the area and the college grew, Loras came to incorporate general liberal arts study, graduate study, and eventually coeducational admissions. With two other Catholic colleges, a rarity for a city of Dubuque’s size, Loras distinguishes itself as one of the top regional colleges in the Midwest, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Academic ProgramsWith a 12:1 student/faculty ratio, Loras College meets one of the crucial requirements of the small liberal arts college – excellent student support and direct, one-on-one mentorship opportunities for students. Loras offers students nearly 50 majors and a dozen minors, as well as pre-professional programs in some of the areas most crucial to for a regional college, such as pre-law and pre-med programs. Loras offers numerous study abroad, service learning, and internship opportunities to increase students’ experiential learning to develop connections for employment after graduation.
Loras’ faculty is excellent across the board, with 94% holding the highest degree in their field and possessing ample educational and professional experience. All of Loras’ preparation and planning shows in its student success, as more than 95% of graduates finding employment or enrolling in graduate degree programs within a year of graduation. With Loras’ Catholic and liberal arts values in full view, Loras’ mission to prepare ethical leaders and life-long, thoughtful learners contributes to an excellent reputation on the Midwestern job market.
Student LifeAs a Catholic college operated by the Archdiocese of Dubuque, well over half of Loras’ 1600 students are practicing Catholics, and religious faith is very much central to student life at Loras. Daily mass is held at the Christ the King Chapel, as well as many special services and a weekly student-led mass. However, as the student body is made up of numerous other faiths, an Interfaith Prayer Space is also provided for services, meditation, and reflection. Loras has also been regularly recognized in the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll since the award’s beginning. Loras also was honored with the President’s Award for Interfaith Community Service, a one-time recognition of Loras’ student-led community action.
For a small college in a small college town, on-campus community is a critical part of developing identity and loyalty. Other campus activities include numerous student clubs and organizations, including discipline-specific groups for interests like business, engineering, and health sciences, and more official competitive groups like the Mock Trial and Moot Court teams. Intermural sports are popular, as is fandom for the numerous Duhawks varsity teams.