Living & Learning

Loyola University Maryland offers a variety of first year residential and academic experiences that help to jumpstart your transition to college.


Messina is a living learning option that serves as the foundation of your educational journey at Loyola– a journey enriched both by small, seminar-style classes and by experiences that transcend the four walls of a classroom. With the guidance and support of experienced faculty, administrators, and fellow students, Messina prepares you for the academic challenges of college while easing that transition and encouraging you to embrace your role as active participants in the Loyola community.

Messina connects your in-class learning with your residential community. Students participating in Messina will:

  • Enroll in two linked, small first-year seminar courses (one in the fall and one in the spring semester) connected by one of three themes: Self and Other, Stories We Tell, and The Visionary. Each seminar is specifically designed for first-year students and nearly all of the seminars will satisfy core requirements. Additionally, one of the two seminar faculty members will be your core advisor, thereby strengthening that important relationship throughout your first year.
  • Participate in co-curricular activities that enrich the themes of the seminar courses, connect course content to life and learning outside the classroom, and build student communities around learning. Activities will include field trips, speakers, performances, and experiences specifically tied to the course and the theme including excursions to Baltimore’s unique restaurants, museums and other cultural institutions, and neighborhoods – all at no additional cost to you.
  • Live in proximity to (but not necessarily in the same rooms with) students in your seminar classes allowing you to form study groups, engage in informal conversations outside of class, and deepen your relationships early in your college years.

Residential students participating in Messina in 2013 will live in Flannery O’Connor Hall and most of these seminars will be taught in classrooms located in that residence hall. Commuting students selected for Messina will have access to Flannery O’Connor Hall so they can spend more time with their Messina classmates. Students who apply and are invited to enroll in the Honors program will also live in Flannery O’Connor Hall as part of Messina.

Learn more about Messina.

Loyola 101

Loyola 101 is a one-credit course taken during the fall semester. The course, which typically meets once per week, is designed to help you get the most out of your Loyola experience and make a smooth and successful transition to college. Informal and lively class discussions, off-campus events, and presentations by instructors and guest speakers help to introduce first-year students to resources available on campus and in Baltimore.

Each course is team-taught by a faculty member (usually your core advisor), a representative of the office of student development, and a student leader – all of whom are committed to helping you get the most out of your Loyola experience. There is no residential component to Loyola 101.

Learn more about Loyola 101.

You may preference either Messina or Loyola 101 after you enroll at Loyola.

Other living-learning options include:

Experience Baltimore – Coming to Loyola also means coming to Baltimore—your new home for the next four years. The Experience Baltimore communities for first-year students help acquaint students with the sights and sounds of Baltimore. Students will have the opportunity to visit a variety of Baltimore’s diverse neighborhoods and will learn about the strengths and challenges facing our city. Through cultural trips, service projects, and meeting the people of the city, students will learn how they can truly experience Baltimore and become good neighbors. Students who sign up for Experience Baltimore will live in a traditional, double-style residence hall.

First-Year Substance-Free Community – The transition to college can be overwhelming and exciting at the same time. Loyola offers substance-free housing to help students make the transition to Loyola in a friendly and welcoming environment. This double-style substance-free living community is for those students who genuinely desire to live in an environment where all residents and their guests agree to keep the area free of all alcohol, drug, and tobacco products. Residents agree to create an environment in which they are respectful of one another and, as a result, foster a living atmosphere that is respectful of healthy lifestyles. Members of the community also have the opportunity to work with their resident assistant to plan activities and outings that promote a positive community and deep relationships. In addition to offering a substance-free community, Loyola also offers a substance-free room option to students who would prefer to have substance-free roommates in another type of residential setting, themed community, or living-learning program.