Louisiana State University

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Updated October 2, 2020

Though most people call Louisiana State University LSU, the university is officially the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College. Established in 1853 as a learning and military college, many of its graduates served in the Civil War and joined different branches of the military. The university also had a seminary during its early days, which burned down in later years. LSU made headlines in the modern era after it opened its doors to more than 2,000 students after Hurricane Katrina. Those students attended other schools that could not open in time for the coming semester. LSU made space for those students in its classes and found housing for those who needed help too.

LSU now consists of 17 different colleges that focus on subjects such as science, social services and business as well as a continuing education college designed for adult learners. U.S. News & World Report ranked LSU as the 135th best college in the nation, and Forbes ranked it as the 190th best college in the country. ARWU ranked LSU the highest after putting the university in the 78th position on its own list. Several organizations and publications included LSU on their lists of the top colleges in the world. With an enrollment of more than 31,000 students total, LSU ranks as one of the largest colleges in Louisiana too.

Louisiana State University Accreditation Details

Depending on what you want to study, you may want to enroll in a program that has specialty accreditation. This type of accreditation can help you network with other professionals in your field and gain experiences that you wouldn't gain in other programs. LSU has specialty accreditation from three different organizations. The Liaison Committee on Medical Education accredited its medicine programs, and its business programs have accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. LSU also has accreditation from the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education that applies to all its teaching and education programs. If you want to transfer to or from LSU, you'll appreciate that the university also has regional accreditation, which comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Louisiana State University Application Requirements

LSU has a very selective admissions policy in regards to graduate students because it only wants to accept students who will complete their programs of study. While individual departments can establish admissions policy, all incoming students must also meet the university's policies. LSU requires that graduate students have a bachelor's degree from an accredited school at the time they start a grad program and that students have a grade point average of at least 3.0. Students must submit an official transcript as part of the application process that shows they have a high GPA. The university may ask for final transcript before you start classes to prove that you have a bachelor's degree too.

When you fill out the online application, you will need to supply the university with the email addresses of those who will write your letters of recommendation. The university will send a notice to those addresses, which lets each person log into the system, write the letter and submit it. You may need to supply LSU with a list of classes you took in college or with a copy of your resume. LSU also asks for a GRE test score. Though the deadline for the fall semester is May 15, the university encourages students to submit an application by January 1, which is the deadline for getting funding from the university for your classes.

Tuition and Financial Aid

If you are a Louisiana resident and plan on taking a full course load of 15 credits per semester, you'll pay around $6,100 a semester, which includes all the university fees. Full-time nonresidents, who are those coming from outside of Louisiana, pay more in fees, which brings their total up to around $14,600 a semester. If you take fewer courses or credits, your overall cost will drop. You should keep in mind though that dropping to part-time status may limit the financial aid opportunities available to you.

No matter how much help you need paying for college, you should file the FAFSA in the late winter or early spring. You should also fill out the School of Library & Information Sciences scholarship application form, which lets you apply for scholarships through the college. The university offers scholarships for both part-time and full-time students. You may want to apply for an assistant job on the LSU campus too, which can pay enough to cover your entire tuition with some money left over for books and other supplies. Based on your responses on the FAFSA, you may qualify for some grants from the government as well as federal loans. Graduate students can get extra help in the form of private student loans too.

Library Science Program

The main library science program that LSU offers is a Master of Library and Information Science program. Also called its MLIS degree program, it requires that students take 18 credits of core MLIS courses and 18 hours of electives. You must maintain a 3.0 GPA in the program, which is only available online. Information needs and information seeking, information of society, management of library systems and understanding research are some of the required courses in this program.

If you have an interest in museum work or in archival work, you can enroll in the dual program that awards you a degree in history and library science. The history classes you take will teach you how to seek donations from others, the importance of proper archiving of artifacts and other information. Graduating from this program can help you find work in research and history centers, museums and libraries.

Related Resource: 20 Best Affordable Online Master's in History Degree Programs

LSU offers two graduate certificate programs also. One lets you seek certification for working in school libraries. This shorter program will teach you how to work with students, different ways of locating and sourcing research materials and how to maintain a good database for students. The other certificate program focuses on records and information management. It includes an independent study project and courses like principles of records management and digital curation. Louisiana State University gives students the option of earning a certificate separate from a degree or while working on a library science degree.

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