McNeese State University was founded as Lake Charles Junior College in 1939. The two-year institution was initially a member of the Louisiana State University system. After steady growth in both enrollment and academic offerings, the school adopted the name of McNeese State University in 1970.
Students at McNeese State can choose from over 80 academic programs spread across six colleges and the Doré School of Graduate Studies. The university is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, with each college and department individually accredited by the appropriate bodies.
Freshman students begin their academic careers at McNeese State in the Department of General and Basic Studies. An orientation and advising program helps newcomers manage the responsibilities of higher education. After 24 credit hours, the student can transition to the major of their choice. If students have no specific discipline in mind, they can pursue the associate’s or bachelor’s degree in General Studies. The department presents a wide curriculum that emphasizes critical thinking and intellectual curiosity.
The College of Business at McNeese State is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, a highly selective organization. The college is further divided into two departments, one centering on accounting and finance and the other on business administration. Students wishing to pursue a degree in the College of Business must first complete 24 credit hours with any GPA or 12 credit hours with a 2.0 minimum GPA. The college also offers the Master of Business Administration, with most courses held in the evenings to accommodate busy adults. Admission to the master’s program is dependent on satisfactory scores on the Graduate Management Admission Test.
Four departments comprise the College of Education. These departments include Educational Leadership and Instructional Technology, Health and Human Performance, Psychology, and Teacher Education. Students taking courses in the Teacher Education Department can work towards bachelor’s degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education or Special Education. School library certification is also available and requires 18 credit hours in the field of Library Science. The Graduate School expands on the undergraduate offerings.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Prospective McNeese State University students can contact the Office of Admissions and schedule a campus tour. Informative, guided tours are available Monday through Friday. McNeese also hosts a “Cowboy Q&A Day” each fall for future students, their parents and guests. Admissions at McNeese State is competitive, with roughly two-thirds of applicants being accepted.
Louisiana high-school students qualify for admission by graduating in the top 35 percent of their class. An ACT score of at least 21 also earns new students admission into McNeese State. New college applicants between the ages of 21 and 24 must follow the same guidelines as high-school applicants. Non-traditional students must pass the ACT with a score of at least 18.
Students with previous college-level coursework must have earned at least a 2.0 GPA. They must also be eligible to return to their former institution. Students who earned the Associate of Arts or Science Louisiana Transfer Degree will enter McNeese State University as juniors. Prospective transfer students must still complete the regular admissions application and submit official transcripts from all colleges attended.
Each program within the Doré School of Graduate Studies maintains specific admission requirements. Prospective students must supply complete undergraduate transcripts, an immunization record and official score reports from the appropriate qualifying exam — either the GRE or GMAT.
McNeese State University welcomes qualified students from across the globe. International applicants should complete their application as soon as possible and send academic transcripts to the Admissions Office. Official English language proficiency score reports should be sent from the testing agency directly to McNeese State. International admissions are highly competitive, and admissions officers look at the totality of the student’s application and credentials before making a determination.
As early as possible, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Within days, a Student Aid Report should arrive in the mail with further instructions. Both the federal government and the state of Louisiana administer grant programs for students with demonstrated financial need. Federal Perkins and Direct Loans are also available for students still unable to meet their obligations.
A number of private and institutional scholarships are available to McNeese State students. Like grants, scholarships do not have to be repaid. Many scholarships are merit-based and require detailed applications. The Office of Scholarships and Testing is the first point of contact for students interested in pursuing public or private scholarship funding.
Student Financial Aid Details
The undergraduate enrollment at McNeese State University stands at over 8,000. More than 60 percent of these are women, and most students qualify as first-time college students. Campus housing is available and campus dining services operate out of three locations. A total of fourteen Greek organizations encourage student leadership and decision-making. A campus health clinic can address minor injuries and illnesses, while an infirmary provides immediate care in emergencies. Health and accident insurance are part of the registration fee that all students pay.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
McNeese State University participates in the Southland Conference at the NCAA Division I level. Men’s teams are referred to as the Cowboys, women’s teams as the Cowgirls. The McNeese State football team competes in the Football Championship Subdivision.
In 2011, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams won the Southland Conference regular season title. In the 25-year history of the conference, no school had ever won both the men’s and women’s crown in the same season. The Cowgirls went on to sweep the conference tournament and earn a berth in the women’s NCAA tournament.
More than 300 full-time faculty members teach courses at McNeese State University, and over half of these hold the highest degrees in their respective fields. Tenure and tenure-track faculty members comprise 80 percent of the full-time work force.
- Gale Group. The College Blue Book. 37th ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference, 2010. Print.
- McNeese State University. McNeese State University. 2011. Web. 25 July 2011.
- McNeese State University. US News and World Report, 2011. Web. 25 July 2011.
Josh is a full-time professional writer and organic farmer who lives in rural Kentucky.