Opened as a private college for religious sisters in 1963, La Roche has since diversified into a modern liberal arts institution, though retaining its Roman Catholic affiliation. It is based in the McCandless region of outer Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Academics at La Roche are split into the five distinct divisions of Management, Natural & Behavioural Sciences, Education & Nursing, and Design. Students taking Graphic Design and Interior Design will be able to take a common foundation course and decide their specialty after. The General division incorporates students who have self-designed majors, those who are undeclared, and a minor selection of Sustainable Studies. 2014 saw major renovations to the Palumbo Science Centre, which now contains larger, update laboratories and a central lounge area for students.
Study abroad courses are faculty led and included in the cost of tuition. While courses vary from year to year, in previous programmes students have been to locations such as Trinidad and Tobago to study LRX Service Learning, and Paris to study International Design and Architecture.
Athletics teams compete as the Redhawks, and between 2014-2016 the men’s baseball and women’s basketball both won three consecutive AMCC Conference championships. The central athletics facility at La Roche is the Kerr Fitness and Sports Centre, a 45,000 square foot structure that contains a 1,000 seater gymnasium, a running truck, and a dance studio.
The Pacem in Terris institute invites students from war ravaged and developing nations to take courses at La Roche. Since 1993 the programme has welcomed over 450 students to study and work at the college, from locations such as Sierra Leone and Haiti.