Louisiana State University is a major public university in Louisiana. Founded in 1853 as the Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy, it trained students for military service. The campus later became the Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College. While that is still its official name, most refer to its as either Louisiana State University or LSU. In the 1920s, LSU moved to Baton Rouge and established its main campus, and while it still uses that campus today, it now includes a number of more modern buildings. Though its enrollment now tops 31,000 students, more than 5,000 of those students are in its graduate programs, and a good portion of those students take online classes.
LSU now consists of 17 colleges that including a College of Continuing Education designed for those going back to school and a School of Veterinary Medicine that trains veterinarians. The university runs seven regional campuses and specialty centers in cities across the state like Eunice, Alexandria and Shreveport. U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, Forbes and ARWU all rank LSU as one of the best colleges in America, but it also ranks on a global scale. ARWU frequently includes the campus within the top 200 to 300 colleges in the world. LSU also saw some of its degree programs rank among the nation’s best, including those in engineering, education, social work, fine arts and library and information sciences.
Louisiana State University Accreditation Details
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) is the main organization that granted accreditation to Louisiana State University. This is a form of regional accreditation and applies to all the degree programs, including the online programs, offered by the university. The SACSCOC is also responsible for accrediting around 800 other college campuses in the south. LSU obtained specialized accreditation for some of its programs too, which allows students to seek opportunities like internships and cooperative programs, through major institutions and companies. LSU has specialized accreditation from more than 20 professional organizations that include:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- Commission on the Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications
- Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology
- Council on Social Work Education
- American Council for Construction Education
- National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration
Louisiana State University Application Requirements
Applying to one of the LSU graduate programs is a little different than applying for one of its undergrad programs because you must meet both the requirements of the program that you want to enroll in as well as general admission requirements. The university will only accept students who have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college or will have a bachelor’s degree completed by the time that graduate classes start. You must also have a grade point average of at least 3.0 in at least the last 64 credit hours of classes that you took and in any graduate classes that you took in college. LSU also requires an official score from either the GMAT or the GRE. Most graduate programs ask for a GMAT score, but the GRE score is suitable for all other programs.
To apply for admission to one of its graduate programs, you must use the online system and complete the application. You also need to mail an official transcript from your college. If you are still in college, LSU will accept an unofficial transcript but will require an official copy before you can start your classes. Depending on the program you want to study, you may need to submit a personal essay/writing sample, an example of the research you did in the past, letter(s) of recommendation and/or a copy of your resume.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time LSU graduate students must take at least nine credit hours each semester, but those students have the option of taking up to 15 credit hours of classes. The university bases your tuition rate both on the credits taken and whether you are a Louisiana resident. If you enroll in nine credits, you’ll pay around $5,200 a semester, but nonresidents pay around $13,800 for those same classes. The cost to take 15 credits of classes is around $14,300 as a nonresident and $5,600 as a resident. These figures include all the fees the university charges too.
Even if you think that you will not qualify for financial aid because you or your parents make too much money, you should still complete and file the FAFSA in the late spring or early summer before classes start. This gives LSU time to process your form and build a financial aid package around your total need. Depending on what you study, you may qualify for one or more grants, and most students will qualify for unsubsidized student loans from the federal government too. You can also apply for private loans to cover your costs.
Online Degrees Available
LSU now offers 10 programs designed to help graduate students earn masters’ degrees online like its Master of Social Work online program. If you have a bachelor’s of social work, you can finish the program in one year, but it will take all other students two years to finish the program. The thesis version of the program lets you earn credits for the research, work and writing that you do on your thesis. If you choose the non-thesis route, you must take a seminar course, present a portfolio of the work that you did in the program and take a comprehensive exam.
U.S. News & World Report called the LSU online MBA program the 38th best online MBA program. It requires that you take 42 credits of work, which you can finish in just 18 months. The program includes both core business courses and electives like operations management, the legal environment of business, economic environment of the firm, project management and supply chain management. There is also a Master of Science in Human Resource Education with a Concentration in Human Resource and Leadership Development available online. You can complete this program in just one year because it consists of only 36 credits. Courses in this Louisiana State University program include principles of adult education, program evaluation design and leadership in organizations.