The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has a reputation for academic excellence, community service, and its Ragin’ Cajun Spirit. Established in 1898, it is the second-largest university in the state. It has one of the highest graduation rates among Louisiana’s public universities. Almost 17,000 students choose UL Lafayette each year. To ensure them a strong academic foundation and the best opportunities to compete in the global job market, University officials regularly review curricula to offer contemporary degrees.
UL Lafayette has been ranked among the best universities in the nation by U.S. News Media Group which includes U.S. News and World Report, and by the Princeton Review. It is also the most affordable four-year colleges in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Education. The University regularly receives support from the NSF, which funds only the most innovative research. In addition, four faculty have earned the NSF’s Early Career Award, given to outstanding scientists and engineers who have potential for leadership in their fields.
Community service is a hallmark of the university experience at UL Lafayette. It is a course requirement for all first-time freshmen, for example. During the 2012-2013 academic year, students contributed about 170,000 hours of service in University courses. That service has an estimated value of about $ 3 million. Students also participate in UL Lafayette’s AmeriCorps Community Service Program. Established in 1995, it is the only campus-based program in the state and is one of the oldest in the nation.
Louisiana’s Cajun and Creole are reflected in the university’s academics. For example, the archives of the Center for Louisiana Studies include one-of-a-kind storytelling. UL Press specializes in books related to Louisiana, producing award-winning academic titles as well as best-selling general interest books. UL Lafayette’s Francophone studies doctoral degree program is the only one of its kind in the state. And, students may study Louisiana music to earn a bachelor’s degree in traditional music, one of only a handful of such programs nationwide.
The University also has a beautiful, vibrant campus. Cypress Lake, a managed wetland, is shaded by its namesake trees and is home to Louisiana wildlife, including herons, egrets and alligators. Residence halls offer living-learning communities, where student with similar interest live, study and socialize.