Today LSU holds a prominent position in American higher education and is committed to meeting the challenge of pursuing intellectual development for its students, expanding the bounds of knowledge through research, and creating economic opportunities for Louisiana. LSU is in a state of dynamic transformation—changing and evolving to meet the needs of its students, faculty, and the people of Louisiana. LSU 2010, the National Flagship Agenda, brings into focus the University’s commitment to excellence at every level. The goal of this agenda is to have LSU reach the upper tier of national prominence by the year 2010, the University’s 150th anniversary.
LSU is one of only 21 universities nationwide designated as a land-grant, seagrant, and space-grant institution. It also holds the Carnegie Foundation’s designation as a Doctorate-granting university, with very high research activity.
LSU's instructional programs include 194 undergraduate and graduate/professional degrees.
The University attracts about 14 percent of the state's total enrollment in higher education, and LSU students come from many ethnic and religious backgrounds. The student body consists of over 28,000 students from 50 states and over 110 foreign countries. Although the average age of undergraduates is 21, many older students also pursue degrees at LSU. The student body is 52 percent women and 48 percent men.
Since its first commencement in 1869, LSU has awarded over 215,000 degrees. The University produces about 26 percent of Louisiana's baccalaureate graduates, approximately 21 percent of the master's graduates, and about 61 percent of the doctoral graduates. In 2007-08, LSU awarded 5,917 degrees.
The University is a member of the American Council on Education, an organization of accredited post-secondary educational institutions founded in 1918; the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, founded in 1962 to represent the major public universities and land-grant institutions; and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a select group of leading public institutions of higher education. LSU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and professional degrees.
The LSU System, composed of nine institutions on 10 campuses in five cities, as well as 10 public hospitals in 10 cities, was established by an act of the Louisiana legislature on February 6, 1965. Other components of the System are the LSU Agricultural Center (headquartered in Baton Rouge); the Hebert Law Center, Baton Rouge; the Health Science Center (with two campuses in New Orleans and one in Shreveport, including the Schools of Allied Health Professions, Medicine, Dentistry, and Nursing, and Graduate School); the University of New Orleans and LSU in Shreveport, both four-year institutions; LSU at Alexandria and LSU at Eunice, both two-year institutions; and the Health Care Division.
The governing body of the LSU System is the Board of Supervisors, composed of 16 members. Chief administrative officers of the University System are the President, Executive Vice President, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Human Resources& Risk Management, and Vice President for Property and Facilities Administration.
The LSU Agricultural Center, including the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and International Programs, has more than 200 faculty members who hold joint appointments with LSU. The Experiment Station has research programs in Baton Rouge and at branch stations throughout Louisiana. The Extension Service disseminates results of research throughout the state through specialists, county agents, and home economists in every parish.
The Paul M. Hebert Law Center, originally established in 1906, became an autonomous unit of the LSU System in 1977. In 1979, it was renamed in honor of Paul M. Hebert, who served as dean from 1937 to 1977.
All references in this catalog to “Louisiana State University,” “LSU,” or “the University,” are to be understood as meaning the institution in Baton Rouge (whose full name is Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College). Any reference to the LSU System or to any other institution(s) within the System will be clearly indicated.