Colleges with Lots of LDS People

May 25, 2004 | 17 comments
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I just noticed that we have gotten a few visits from the internet search engine query “colleges with lots of LDS people” and similar searches.

I don’t think that there’s currently anything on the site that answers that question. And it’s certainly a potentially useful thing to know. Here is my two cents on the subject, and if enough commenters weigh in, maybe we can get a good idea of where colleges are that have lots of LDS members.

I attended Arizona State University as an undergraduate. There was a large, thriving LDS community at ASU. The institute had great teachers (as well as prime institute-students-only close-to-campus parking, a nice incentive if I’ve ever seen one). The institute regularly had social activities as well, and there was lots to do with nearby institute groups too (such as at Mesa Community College).

I went to law school at Columbia. There were 20 to 30 LDS students at Columbia law when I was there. In addition, there was always a number of students attending Columbia’s other schools (undergraduate and other graduate programs). The historian (and T & S guest-blogger) Richard Bushman is a professor at Columbia. (There were no LDS professors at the law school). There are eight wards in Manhattan, as well as many wards in the surrounding areas; there are about ten thousand members in the greater New York area, I believe.

That’s all the relevant information that I have; the floor is open for commenters to flesh out this discussion.

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17 Responses to Colleges with Lots of LDS People

  1. Ben s. on May 25, 2004 at 10:06 pm

    Well, the University of Chicago has a lot of LDS graduate students, probably upwards of 100 in law, business, dental, opthamology (although those aren’t technically part of UC), divinity and various PhD programs. I’m only aware of a handful of undergraduates. There’s at least one active LDS professor on campus, though all the professors tend live in the suburbs.

    I attended Utah State my freshman year. It had 14,000 members out of 20,000 total students.

  2. sid on May 25, 2004 at 10:08 pm

    I think the number of LDS students, both undergrad and grad, and professional at the Univ of Michigan is growing steadily. the YSA ward has grown in size quite a bit, and there a Ward only for the students andtheir families that live in U-M’s family Housing Complex, and there are a lot more in our Ward, and just last sunday we met a few people who wer new to our ward, and were incoming Law and MBA and Med School students.

  3. sid on May 25, 2004 at 10:09 pm

    I think the number of LDS students, both undergrad and grad, and professional at the Univ of Michigan is growing steadily. the YSA ward has grown in size quite a bit, and there a Ward only for the students andtheir families that live in U-M’s family Housing Complex, and there are a lot more in our Ward, and just last sunday we met a few people who wer new to our ward, and were incoming Law and MBA and Med School students.

  4. Julie in Austin on May 25, 2004 at 10:24 pm

    You can find out how many students are involved in any Institute at http://www.ldsces.org.

    I can say that UT Austin, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis have ‘critical mass’ of LDS students and are all fun places to be.

  5. Jeremiah J. on May 25, 2004 at 10:37 pm

    There have been about 30+ LDS grad students at Notre Dame since I’ve been there, including a steady 8-12 or so in law and the same in the humanities and social sciences, PhD programs. Four students at ND do American religious history, and two of us are political theorists.

  6. Clark Goble on May 25, 2004 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve heard rumors that BYU has a few.

  7. chris goble on May 25, 2004 at 11:44 pm

    How about the University of Lethbridge in Alberta. It has lots of small town mormons who often seem to carry over their high school habits into campus. I know the University of Alberta also has quite a few members. I was also impressed with the wards in Vancouver. While not large (1 or 2 YSA wards), it seemed to have quite a nice spread of people – well 5 years ago.

  8. Kim Siever on May 26, 2004 at 11:10 am

    I echo Chris Goble’s comments. In Canada, though, we do not use “college” to refer to four-year universities that offer degrees. Our colleges are two-year diploma-granting institutions. That being said, Lethbridge Community College also has a good number of students.

    There are ten stakes in the Lethbridge area. This includes six YSA wards.

    Calgary has six stakes (twice as many as Edmonton), so Calgary post-secondary institutions could potentially have LDS students. However, the proportion would be less than in Lethbridge.

    The Vancouver area has three stakes and 3 YSA branches.

  9. MDS on May 26, 2004 at 1:38 pm

    Creighton has lots of LDS, but I get the feeling that more of them are married grad. students. There seems to be a pipline from Provo to Omaha.

  10. Kevin Barney on May 26, 2004 at 3:42 pm

    Don’t forget SVU, which is an east coast alternative.

    My brother-in-law used to go to NAU in Flagstaff, AZ, and there were several wards of LDS students.

  11. Kevin Barney on May 26, 2004 at 3:43 pm

    Don’t forget SVU, which is an east coast alternative.

    My brother-in-law used to go to NAU in Flagstaff, AZ, and there were several wards of LDS students.

  12. Bryan Warnick on May 26, 2004 at 10:11 pm

    Clark: BYU has no LDS students. As SK said, “In a place where all are Mormon, none are Mormon.” (Or something like that.)

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has a moderate YSA ward and about 50 LDS graduate students spread out across 3 family wards.

  13. Sheri Lynn on May 27, 2004 at 5:08 am

    Bryan, forgive a silly convert, but what in HECK are you talking about??? “None are Mormon”????

    Must we be a minority to be ourselves (a peculiar people)?

  14. Kent Larsen on June 4, 2004 at 5:42 pm

    Your facts on New York City are a little off.

    Actually, the number of members in New York City alone is about 40,000 members of record (i.e., including “inactive” members). In the greater New York City area (depending on how you define it) there are probably as many as 100,000.

    Kent Larsen
    Mormon Arts and Letters

  15. Sarai Alatasi on August 30, 2004 at 11:22 pm

    hi my mane is Sarai Alatasi and I’m a student from James Cook High School.
    can you send me some infromation about temple and picture of the church and picture of the temple too
    thank you

  16. Lauren on September 3, 2004 at 1:29 am

    I was just visiting a friend at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX. They had a nice-sized student ward, and another one in the nearby town, as well as a strong institute program.

    Also, I live in Milwaukee, and we recently have gotten a young single adult ward, which is already doing quite well. We also have a good institute program – we have a mix of locals and people who’ve moved here for school or work from out-of-state. We have several medical students (Medical College of Wisconsin) and some dental students (Marquette University School of Dentistry).

  17. Matthew Smith on September 27, 2004 at 6:16 pm

    I attended UCLA. Davis does have critical mass, and a great ward. But the UCLA ward is much larger: great for married or singles, probably 300 or so singles and at least 100 married. UCSB has a smaller student branch, but if Berkeley has critical mass, then so does SB.

    USC seemed to have a good, but smaller core group of undergrads (and lots of professional school students), we had some institute activities together. Santa Monica College students met with the UCLA ward.

    Columbia now has more than 40 LDS law students (maybe 10 single), a handful of business students, and many other graduate programs. (not sure how many, but dozens). I think there are around 10 or so undergrads at Columbia. Harvard/Cambridge Ward has a lot more.

    (To round out, some other schools with good-sized LDS wards/institutes: UW, the other Utah schools (SUU, Dixie St, Weber St, CEU, UVSC, etc.), Stanford, SDSU, So. Idaho, Boise St., UNLV, Nevada-Reno. I think UCSD has a student branch that is separate from SDSU’s. Anyone know if Claremont has a student ward?).

    The University of South Carolina has a student branch that I’ve visited. But nowhere near ‘critical mass’. I