You’ll know why students love Tulane University the moment you step off of the St.
Charles streetcar onto the azalea-filled campus in “uptown” New Orleans. Since its founding
in 1834, Tulane, has been
both educating and entertaining students for generations. Tracing its roots back to the Medical
College of Louisiana, the school owes its name to a wealthy New Jersey merchant, Paul Tulane, who earned his fortune in the crescent city. After more than a century as one of the most
prominent features of the city of New Orleans, the university is an even more integral part of the city
after surviving the challenge of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Now, students are flocking here
to experience the rebirth of an amazing cultural center, as well as to be educated in a world class
The students here are diverse, intellectual, and very social. Boasting more than 250
campus groups and situated in the heart of one of the most culturally important cities in the
country, students are offered more than just a top-tier liberal arts education, it offers an
amazing collegiate experience.
The culture is just one of the many reasons students love being located in the heart of
New Orleans. Public service opportunities, internships with local business and sports teams,
full-time employment, and religious communities are all just minutes away. Students can enjoy
the history of the French Quarter, the Spanish architecture, the Creole food, and the location
of the birth of jazz while surrounded by a university with a renewed focus on educational excellence
and a commitment to public service.
At the heart of the campus stands the Lavin-Bernick Center for University Life, the hub
of extracurricular activities. This building opened its doors in January of 2007 and puts a fresh face on the forty-year-old
University Center (affectionately known as the UC). This hub holds dining and meeting facilities,
a large bookstore, and the offices of both student programming faculty and student organizations.
A Tulane education provides more than just a degree. Academically, the faculty will
prepare you to solve problems, challenge you with new theories, and support your personal
research and endeavors. The cultural education you will obtain, however, is like nothing else in
the nation. The history of New Orleans, added to the unique cuisine, music, traditions of the city,
and the rebuilding process combine to form a truly unmatched collegiate experience. Students
who choose to attend now will not only be studying at a great university, they will be an
integral part of rebuilding an American treasure after one of the most devastating natural disasters
of our time.
Top students come here to get a world-class education in a unique setting.
Academic opportunities, therefore, are embraced by all students. All undergraduates enter
through the Newcomb-Tulane Undergraduate College, where a core curriculum ensures academic
breadth as they begin their collegiate career, a TIDES course connects them to students
with similar passions, and the public service requirement fulfills the mission to produce
graduates with cultural knowledge who are “good citizens of the world.”
On campus, students study at one of ten schools and colleges, depending on their
major and degree. Undergraduates start their career at the recently reorganized Newcomb-Tulane College. This undergraduate college was created by joining the H. Sophie
Newcomb Memorial College for Women, which was established in 1886. As the first coordinate college in a university
setting to grant degrees to women in the entire nation, Newcomb and Tulane draw
students in with their rich history and innovative programming.
Schools, Programs, and Libraries
Outside of the core programs, students will choose majors from the five undergraduate
schools: School of Liberal Arts, which awards Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Bachelor of
Science (B.S.), or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) degrees, depending on the choice of major;
School of Science and Engineering, which awards a B.S.; A.B. Freeman School of Business,
which confers the Bachelor of Science in Management (B.S.M.) degree; School of
Architecture, in which students receive the Master of Architecture I degree; and the School
of Public Health, where students receive a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Students
may also pursue cross-registration with other universities in the area, and are able to use
these additional resources and libraries to their advantage.
Many joint degree programs are offered
that combine undergraduate and graduate/professional
degrees. Cross-registration in different
schools and “4+1” programs are also available.
Students can also choose from flexible study options,
such as student-designed, dual, and interdisciplinary
majors. Because the school is nationally recognized in
many of its academic programs, a large percentage
of students take advantage of more than one academic
department for their concentrations.
Academic and research resources available to
students are second to none. The main library on
campus, Howard-Tilton Memorial, is not only home to
five floors of “stacks” and study spaces but also the
Latin American Library and the Maxwell Music
Library, where students have access to some of the
greatest music in the world. Special collections of the
university include the Hogan Jazz Archive,
Southeastern Architectural Archive, and the
Louisiana Collection. Other special libraries on campus
span the fields of architecture, botany, business,
law, mathematics, natural history, primate research, race relations and ethnic history, and
women’s studies (home to an impressive collection of historical local cookbooks).
First-year students participate in the Tulane InterDisciplinary Experience Seminars
(TIDES) program, which connects them to other students who share similar interests.
These seminar courses include speakers, trips, social events, and special programs that link to one of fifty chosen topics. Possible choices include: “The Music and Culture of New
Orleans”; “Hurricanes, Human Rights, and History”; “Philosophy of Public Service”; “The
Cultures of Food”; “Reading and Writing Women”; and many more. These programs were
developed to introduce students to the city, the school, and each other by linking them up
with faculty, activities, and other new students who share similar personal interests.
Students are assigned to an academic advisor. These advisors
take time to understand a student’s goals and passions, and align those with the opportunities
and coursework at the different schools. Advisors assist in planning for special
programs such as joint degree, personal research, and study abroad. They also suggest
courses based on personal interest and coordinate with professors. Once a major is
declared, a major advisor is also chosen to assist with field-specific goals, thesis research, and degree planning.
Another advising resource is the Career Services Center, which helps students
at all levels of their collegiate career. The center advises students on everything from resume
writing and interview skills to choosing the right major with resources to help understand not
only the curriculum, but also the related career paths. The center offers free workshops, sponsors
career fairs, and connects students with internship and job opportunities, as well as offers
counselors to critique application essays and cover letters. On-line self-assessments and tools
offer advice to students on their schedule.
The Education Resources and Counseling Center, another facet of the university’s
advising system, offers both academic and personal counseling services. The center teaches
academic skills and tutoring sessions free of charge while also providing personal counseling
such as support groups, crisis counseling, and individual therapy.
Beyond the Campus
A significant number of students participate in the study abroad program.
The Junior Year Abroad (JYA) program is one of the oldest of its kind in the country.
Students can choose from full-year or semester programs, Tulane-sponsored programs,
or trips coordinated with other schools, or they can develop their own overseas experience
with the help of advisors at the Center for International Studies. There are programs in
over twenty countries spanning Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Australia, in addition
to a variety of faculty-led summer study-abroad programs for both undergraduates and
graduates. Also offered are Washington, DC, semesters for students interested in politics,
policy, and public service. All Tulane-sponsored study-abroad programs allow students to
keep their specific scholarships and financial aid packages, which removes many barriers
often present when studying at another school as a visiting student.
To complete the public service graduation requirement, students engage with the
Center for Public Service to take a service-learning course, coordinate with faculty-sponsored
service programs, design a study-abroad experience with a service component, or complete a
public service honors thesis. All students get outside the classroom to participate in
the revitalization of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Building houses, painting elementary
schools, volunteering for education and health programs, and raising awareness of the region’s
challenges are examples of ways students get involved.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Immediately after Hurricane Katrina and the cancellation of the 2005 fall semester,
students were spread to over 600 schools in all fifty states. When the campus reopened
in January of 2006, eighty-seven percent of these students chose to return to Tulane to continue
their education. This enthusiasm to attend continues to be very strong in new
applicants as well.
Although the entering class size has become smaller in the past year, the student body has
remained a compilation of the nation’s top high school graduates. In addition
to being strong academically, the typical freshman class is both geographically and
ethnically diverse. A surprising number of students come here from great distances—
over seventy-five percent of the typical entering freshman class hails from more than 500 miles away from the school. This diversity ensures that students are not only learning
from their academic programs, but also from each other.
Scores from either the SAT or the ACT are required to apply. The average SAT score for a
recent freshman class was 1294 (based on 1600) (ACT equivalent of 29), which was 285
points above the national average. The ACT Optional Writing test is also required and SAT
subject tests, such as math, writing, and science, are recommended for placement purposes.
The school recommends taking the SAT, which includes a standard writing section. Equally
important for placement and honors program consideration are Advanced Placement (AP)
credits, which are enthusiastically accepted. Factors that demonstrate to the admissions
team your unique qualities are AP and honors courses, recommendations, and extracurricular
activities records, along with a personal essay. For architecture applicants, a portfolio is
recommended as well. Students are encouraged to have completed four years each of
high school English and math, and three years each of foreign language, social studies, and
Students who visited the campus the spring of their senior year in high school all
attest to the power of seeing the campus in bloom and experiencing New Orleans in such
beautiful weather. All applicants are encouraged to visit the campus for one of the prospective
students activities in the spring, but they will also be accommodated at any point during
the year. Daily campus tours are given by passionate Green Wave Ambassadors, often
seen on campus walking backwards in flip-flops in front of a crowd of prospective students
and parents. Ambassadors also host prospective students on overnight visits where the
prospective student can join them in attending classes, meeting friends and professors, and
participating in campus activities or sporting events. Efforts are made to make sure that visiting
students experience both academic and social life before, or after, they make
their final decision to attend.
The university is committed to offering a great education to all students, regardless of financial situation.
In a recent year, eighty-two percent of all full-time freshmen received some form of financial
aid. Financial aid packages include grants, government loans, merit-based scholarships and
awards, and student employment opportunities both on and off campus. There is a robust work-study
program and about forty-five percent of undergraduates work part-time at some point in
their college careers. Athletic and ROTC scholarships are also available to students who qualify.
As a member of the College Scholarship Service (CSS), the CSS PROFILE or Free
Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are required to apply for financial aid. The average
award for a recent year was $25,224, with an average annual earnings from campus work at
$2,500. Upon enrollment, all students are assigned a financial aid counselor, who is committed
not only to designing a financial aid award package that is tailored for each student but also to
being available on a daily basis for questions about deadlines, forms, procedures, and options.
The university offers many merit-based scholarships that are awarded based on a student’s
proven academic record and commitment to community involvement. A special
application must be filled out for students applying for the Deans’ Honor Scholarship. This merit-based full-tuition scholarship is awarded to
a few select students each year. The application
includes THE BOX—a blank square on the application
that you must fill as creatively as you can.
Also requiring a separate application is the
Community Service Scholarship, which awards up
to full tuition to those students who can illustrate
how they have dedicated exceptional time and
effort to their communities. All students, regardless
of application type or deadline, are automatically
considered for other merit-based awards that
do not require a separate application, with scholarships
that range from $14,000 to $22,000 per
year. Financial aid counselors will also work one-on-
one with students who have
received merit-based scholarships from outside
organizations or government entities.
Student Financial Aid Details
The university is located in the heart of uptown New Orleans. From listening to
world-class musicians at renowned jazz clubs to throwing a Frisbee on the grassy park at the
levee, New Orleans offers activities that simply can’t be found at other cities. The social life, therefore, is inextricably linked with the city that surrounds it. Jazz musicians perform
at events, shuttle bus service takes kids around the city free of charge, students attend
professional sporting events, movies shot in the city have their red-carpet premiers on campus,
and freshman year officially starts on a paddle boat on the Mississippi River. Throughout a student’s
years here, this continues to be the case. Most of the “social life” of the school is
rooted in and around the city’s activities and big events. Some New Orleans festivals and events
most popular with students include Mardi Gras, the weeks of carnival season associated
with large parades throughout the city; New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (“Jazz
Fest”), a two-weekend blowout of world famous bands and performing artists, arts and crafts,
unique cuisine and late-night concerts; Voodoo Music Experience, a large annual music-festival;
and the annual Sugar Bowl college football game.
On campus, there are over 250 student organizations that create the social scene.
Except for a select few, groups are open to all students and range from activism to
sports. The oldest program on campus is the Community Action Council of Tulane
University Students (CACTUS), which organizes community service activities of all kinds
and involves almost every student at one point in his or her college experience. In
addition to CACTUS, there are honors and professional societies, club and intramural
sports, a healthy student government system, and a multitude of multicultural, political,
performance, and religious groups. Campus media includes the Hullabaloo, the student-run
newspaper that is published once a week; a student-managed television channel; and
the immensely popular WTUL radio station. Student DJs man the airwaves in two-hour
shifts at all hours of the day and night and have shows ranging from rock to folk.
Another dimension to campus life is the Greek system. There are fifteen national fraternities
and ten national sororities on campus. Of all students, thirty percent of men and
thirty-five percent of women belong to one of these chapters. Greek parties are open to all students,
however, and the social scene is not dominated by these events. In fact, fraternities and
sororities are some of the most active service organizations on campus and provide a great way
to get involved in the community. The Greek recruitment, “Rush,” is deferred until a first-year
student’s second semester on campus, giving the student the chance to make friends, understand
the social scene, and join other organizations before committing to a fraternity or sorority.
Most students who pledge do not live in organized housing, opting instead to live among
friends not involved in the same Greek chapter.
Living on Campus
All freshman and sophomore students are required to live on campus and are
guaranteed space in one of the university’s many dormitories or apartment complexes.
Many junior, senior, and graduate students also opt to live on campus, as it provides them
with a convenient, safe housing situation. Special living arrangements include female single-
sex houses; theme living situations, such as honors, special interest, and international
student houses; and the “Leadership Village”—a gathering of the university’s top student
government and organizational leaders. Campus resources include a plethora of dining
alternatives, a barbershop, several bank branches and ATMS, a copy center, post office,
bookstore, grocery store, and several laundry facilities.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Tulane Green Wave is a member of Conference
USA in athletics and participates with teams in
several NCAA Division 1-A sports, including football,
basketball, and track, to name a few. Students receive
free admission to all home games of all sports, and
transportation is provided. The Louisiana Superdome,
home to the Saints Football franchise and the Sugar
Bowl, also hosts the Green Wave football team.
Perhaps their most successful sports team is men’s baseball, which earned its
second trip to the College World Series in the 2005 season. The recent renovation of Turchin
Stadium, one of the largest and most impressive collegiate baseball fields in the country, was completed in 2007. Student athletes are also recognized as successful scholars,
with one of the largest percentages of graduating student athletes in the country.
Graduates of Tulane University are equipped
not only with a fantastic liberal arts education but
also with a great respect for the world’s cultures and
an understanding of the importance of public service.
Lawrence Wright, Staff Writer for The
New Yorker, Best-Selling Author of The
Looming Tower: A History of al-Qaeda
- Patrick Ramsey, NFL Quarterback for
the New York Jets
- Michael DeBakey, Heart Surgeon/
- David Filo, Cofounder of Yahoo!
- Neil Bush, Brother of President George
- Amy Carter, Daughter of President
- Newt Gingrich, Former Speaker of the
United States House
- Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop
- Lauren Hutton, Actress
- J. P. Losman, NFL Quarterback for the
- Jerry Springer, Talk-Show Host,
Former Mayor of Cincinnati (D)
- John Kennedy Toole, Author, Pulitzer
- David C. Treen, Former Governor of
- Michael White, Jazz Musician/Jazz
- Bruce Paltrow, Hollywood Director and
Father of Gwyneth Paltrow
- Bob Livingston, Former Congressman
- Richie Petitbon, Former Washington
Redskins Head Coach
All courses are taught by professors who both teach and conduct research—
not teaching assistants. All professors hold open office hours and are more than willing
to spend time with students individually. The student-to-faculty ratio of nine-to-one
ensures that classes are kept small and students are all given individual attention. The
academic environment is influenced by the culture of the surroundings and is more friendly
and encouraging than competitive.