Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, better known as Louisiana State or simply LSU, is located in the state capital of Baton Rouge. The flagship member of the Louisiana State University System, the school is also the largest post-secondary institution in the state in terms of enrollment with a student body of roughly 30,000.
In addition to the main Baton Rouge campus, the university has facilities and/or programs throughout the state. Branch campuses are located in Alexandria, Eunice, and Shreveport. LSU also has an agricultural center, a health sciences center, and a biomedical research center, which is operated with the University of New Orleans.
LSU is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
The institution that would eventually become LSU was established in 1853 as the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana. Colonel William Tacumseh Sherman was the superintendent. The school sustained significant losses at the hands of the Civil War and invasion of the Red River Valley. The name Louisiana State University was adopted in 1870 and the campus, located in Pineville at that time, was formally relocated to Baton Rouge in 1926. LSU was granted status as a sea-grant college in 1978, one of just 25 universities with that distinction.
Colleges and Schools
The university is comprised of several different schools and colleges: the College of Agriculture, the College of Art & Design, the College of Arts & Sciences, the College of Basic Sciences, the E. J. Ourso College of Business, the School of the Coast and Environment, the Division of Continuing Education, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the School of Library and Information Science, the Manship School of Mass Communication, the College of Music and Dramatic Arts, the School of Social Work, the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate School and the Honors College. The University also includes the Paul M. Hebert Law Center.
Programs and Degrees
LSU has a strong academic reputation for its programs in political science, animal sciences, plant biology, engineering, and English. Taking advantage of the nearby Gulf of Mexico, the university also offers excellent programs in coastal studies and ecology as part of its status as a sea grant college. Although the professors have earned a reputation as die-hard researchers, they are also incredibly accessible.
- Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a wide variety of disciplines, including animal science, horticulture, interior design, comparative literature, biology, accounting, oceanography and coastal sciences, kinesiology, engineering, and music.
- Graduate degrees at LSU include over 50 doctoral programs and the DVM. Many programs offer both a master’s and a doctoral program. Field of study include such areas as agricultural economics, business administration (MBA), chemistry, comparative literature, education, electrical engineering, food science, kinesiology, music, petroleum engineering, philosophy, and wildlife and fisheries science. Students may also earn an MFA in theatre or creative writing. The University offers a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) and an educational specialist (Ed.S.) degree. Students can also earn a Master of Sciences or a Ph.D. in Veterinary Medical Sciences through the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The School of the Coast and Environment is focused on improving the quality of resources surrounding the state of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast, as well as comparable environmental regions throughout the world. The School is comprised of two departments, the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and the Department of Environmental Sciences. Research programs include Coastal Studies Institute, Coastal Marine Institute, the Wetland Biogeochemistry Institute, and the Louisiana Geographic Information Center.
Undergraduate students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Coastal Environmental Science or a minor in Wetland Science and Management. Various graduate degrees are also awarded.
Undergraduate applications are accepted through April 15 for the fall semester. In addition to the application and accompanying application fee, students must provide official copies of transcripts and test scores. Prospective students are evaluated on the combination of their grade point average, standardized test scores, and class rank. Students in certain majors must have particular test scores higher than those required for admission to the university.
High school course prerequisites include four units of English, three of mathematics with a strong recommendation for four, three of natural sciences, three of social studies, two of one foreign language, one half unit in computer studies, and two half units of additional courses. Performance and arts courses are acceptable as electives.
Graduate students must provide the following for admissions to the graduate school: application and required fee, appropriate standardized test scores, official undergraduate transcripts, and any additional supporting documents required by the department to which he or she is applying. Prospective graduate students are generally advised to have an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.
Admission to the LSU law center concentrates on applicants’ undergraduate grade point averages and LSAT scores. Other factors that are considered include letters of recommendation, personal statements, work ability, and writing ability. Applicants must also have good moral character.
One positive aspect to LSU’s admissions policy is that applications from out-of-state residents are weighed equally against in-state applicants. However, the overwhelming majority of students are Louisiana residents.
LSU students may be eligible for financial aid, which can be awarded as a combination of federal and private loans, grants, and work study jobs. Need- and merit-based scholarships are awarded by the institution itself, university departments, and private outside organizations that are not affiliated with LSU.
To apply for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each academic year. Supplemental documentation or information may be required in addition to the FAFSA. Students will then receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) that will be used to determine the student’s financial aid award package at LSU.
Student Financial Aid Details
The university is home to 30,000 students. Although its campus appears stately, LSU has a reputation as a party school. Its close proximity to the festivities of Mardi Gras and the 24-hour, 7-days-a-week party atmosphere of New Orleans contribute to that well-earned distinction. The campus’ prevalent Greek presence also lends itself to regular parties.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
LSU is an NCAA Division I school. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, football, golf, swimming and diving, track and field, cross-country, and tennis. Women’s sports include and basketball, golf, gymnastics, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, cross-country, tennis, and volleyball for women.
The LSU Tigers are most prominent in the sport of football and the annual rivalry against Ole Miss’ football program is a tradition of the athletics program. A co-ed cheerleading squad, the LSU Tiger Marching Band, and the Golden Girls and color guard dancers cheer for the athletes. A live Bengal tiger known as Mike the Tiger serves as the university’s mascot.
Sports facilities include Tiger Stadium, which has seating for over 91,000 people; an indoor arena for volleyball, basketball, and gymnastics; a baseball stadium; softball field; track stadium; field house; pool; soccer complex; indoor practice facility; tennis stadium; and golf course.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.