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Students walking with Memorial Tower in background.  Photo by Prather Warren.

Welcome to Louisiana State University. Since 1860, LSU has served the people of Louisiana, the region, the nation, and the world through extensive, multipurpose programs encompassing instruction, research, and public service.

LSU is...

  • the flagship institution of the state of Louisiana
  • one of only 25 universities nationwide holding both land-grant and sea-grant status
  • bringing in more than $120 million annually in outside research grants and contracts, a significant factor for the Louisiana economy
  • home of the "Fighting Tigers" and their Bengal tiger mascot, Mike V
  • a community of more than 34,000 faculty, staff, and students from every state and more than 120 countries
  • injects more than a half-billion dollars into the Baton Rouge economy annually

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As the flagship institution of the state, the vision of Louisiana State University is to be a leading doctoral/research—extensive university, challenging undergraduate and graduate students to achieve the highest levels of intellectual and personal development. Designated as both a land-grant and sea-grant institution, the mission of Louisiana State University is the generation, preservation, dissemination, and application of knowledge and cultivation of the arts.

In implementing its mission, LSU is committed to:

  • offer a broad array of undergraduate degree programs and extensive graduate research opportunities designed to attract and educate highly qualified undergraduate and graduate students;
  • employ faculty who are excellent teacher-scholars, nationally competitive in research and creative activities, and who contribute to a world-class knowledge base that is transferable to educational, professional, cultural, and economic enterprises; and
  • use its extensive resources to solve economic, environmental, and social challenges.

National Flagship Agenda

LSU has long been recognized for a rich intellectual environment and distinctive educational programs that are rooted in the unique culture, history, and geography of Louisiana. The National Flagship Agenda is a seven-year plan to bring LSU to a new level of excellence by the year 2010, the University’s 150th anniversary. It focuses on action steps that increase research and scholarly productivity and the quality and competitiveness of our graduate and undergraduate students. The outcomes are designed to place LSU in a position to compete on all levels with the finest public universities in the country.

Medical Physics grad student in lab. Photo by Jim Zietz.Research

Research at LSU is conducted by faculty in academic departments and through institutes, offices, centers for advanced studies, and other special units. At any given time, more than 2,000 sponsored research projects are under way at the University. In addition, faculty members pursue numerous research projects that are not sponsored by outside agencies, as do many graduate students. Other research and instructional programs are undertaken through the LSU Agricultural Center's Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station.

According to a report by the National Research Council, LSU consistently ranks among the top 30 universities in total federal, state, and private expenditures. The Carnegie Foundation has classified LSU as a Doctoral/Research-Extensive University. Among LSU's many research centers are the J. Bennett Johnston, Sr., Center for Advanced Microstructures & Devices (CAMD), Center for Computation & Technology (CCT), the Hurricane Center, the Forensic Anthropology & Computer Enhancement Services Lab (FACES), and the Coastal Studies Institute.


LSU conducts two semesters, a summer term consisting of one or more sessions, and a three-week intersession each year, offering a great number and variety of courses of study. Curricula leading to bachelor's degrees are offered in 72 major fields, master's degrees are offered in 72 major fields, and doctoral degrees are offered in 54 major fields. The D.V.M. is offered by the School of Veterinary Medicine, and the J.D., LL.M., and M.C.L. degrees are offered by the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, a unit of the LSU System located in Baton Rouge.

Enrollment peaks in the fall semester at more than 31,000 students and drops by about 8 percent in the spring. Summer term enrollment totals about 11,500. Despite its large enrollment, the University maintains an impressive record of small-class teaching. Two-thirds of the classes offered in any semester have fewer than 30 students and fewer than 6 percent of all classes have 100 or more students. Of the introductory survey courses (1000-level courses), just 3 percent have 100 or more students. The student-faculty ratio is 21:1.

In addition to traditional teaching programs, LSU serves nontraditional students, people whose educational needs cannot be met through full-time resident college study, through the Division of Continuing Education. Sixteen departments offer credit and noncredit courses at on- and off-campus locations to people with various backgrounds and unique learning objectives. Many programs are scheduled at night through the Evening School, a degree program for part-time adult students. Through distance-learning methods, such as correspondence study and telelearning, the resources of the University are extended to every parish in the state.

Rural Life Museum HousePublic Service

LSU's public service contributions encompass instruction, continuing education, research, agricultural outreach, and more. While this sense of service permeates the entire University, the primary function of some units is to extend LSU's resources to all the state's citizens.

The University also offers hundreds of cultural and entertainment events to the community each year. And its museums—the Museum of Art, Museum of Natural Science, and Rural Life Museum and Windrush Gardens—as well as its library collections, are available to all Louisiana citizens.

Admission at LSU

LSU welcomes applications from all interested students without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, marital status, or veteran's status. Find more information about admissions for:

Please refer to the LSU General Catalog and other University publications for the specific requirements you must meet in order to be considered for admission. Questions concerning these requirements should be directed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions or the Graduate School Admissions Office.


Page last updated: October 7, 2004


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