With hundreds of graduate school programs to choose from in Louisiana, it can be difficult to determine which university offers the best graduate degrees for your goals.
And choosing the best grad school for you is vital to ensuring your future success and happiness, whether that’s in a STEM discipline, liberal arts and the humanities, or a professional program. With similar graduate programs at universities like LSU, Louisiana Tech, UNO, Tulane University, Loyola University, and even across the nation, it’s important to know which grad school is the best choice for you.
When you’re deciding which Louisiana graduate school to apply to and attend, it’s important to think about these factors:
There is no question that the top graduate schools have an enormous emphasis on research — and they bring in the funds to support that research. UL Lafayette is among the top 200 universities in the country for research and development funding, and we’re among the top 50 universities for computer science research and development funding — more than any other Louisiana university. That means our professors have the support they need to make groundbreaking and life-changing discoveries. The best graduate degrees are focused around research, and when our professors have that financial and institutional support, it translates into funding and research opportunities for our graduate students.
Our faculty and graduate student researchers regularly receive grant funding from the National Science Foundation, the Louisiana Board of Regents, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Geological Survey, the EPA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Energy, totaling $75 million each year.
Lafayette, LA, is the heart of Cajun country, but we have more to offer than just fantastic food and a vibrant local culture. Of the best grad schools in Louisiana, UL Lafayette’s location offers the most for grad students in the sciences and the humanities.
Lafayette is part of the region nicknamed the “Silicon Bayou,” a hotbed of technology research and development. Our internationally known computer science and engineering programs — plus our recession-proof economy — were deciding factors in bringing three new technology centers and thousands of jobs to Lafayette.
UL Lafayette’s close relationship with the oil and petroleum energy industry helps fuel research into alternative energy sources, and offers ample opportunities for our engineering and geology students. And our unique, well preserved culture is a draw for Francophiles, anthropologists, and Southern literature enthusiasts. Our graduates include best-selling authors, whose works are influenced by our history and culture.
You’ll also find unique and exceptional doctoral programs at UL Lafayette, including our PhD in Applied Language and Speech Sciences, and one of North America’s most distinctive PhD in Francophone Studies programs, where you learn about the Francophone culture in the heart of Francophone America.
Not too big, not too small -- the best grad schools fit just right. When deciding between top graduate schools, it’s important to look at the size of the student body and the student-to-faculty ratio. UL Lafayette has about 425 graduate faculty members and 1,600 graduate students. A large graduate faculty gives you access to a wide range of expertise and knowledge to draw from when completing your research. Having a small graduate student-to-faculty ratio means that you have nearly constant access to your professors, working closely with them to receive a personalized education.
But it’s not enough to just have a close student-to-faculty ratio — those faculty members need to be committed to your education and to creating opportunities for you. The best graduate degrees are defined by the faculty members’ enthusiasm for their field and for your success. Because of the size of our grad school, our faculty are mentors for our students, working together closely to help our students reach their academic and personal goals. Our graduate faculty consistently receive national and international recognition for their research and their work both in and out of the classroom — which students are consistently a part of. Our faculty and graduate students present their research at conferences around the world and are published in dozens of peer-reviewed journals every year.
It’s no surprise that attending one of the best grad schools in Louisiana, or anywhere, is a big investment.
According to Washington Monthly and Best Value Schools, UL Lafayette is consistently one of the most affordable universities in Louisiana and the country. We offer hundreds of campus-based and research-based assistantships and fellowships, which help our students cover the cost of their education so they can focus on their work in the classroom, in archives, in labs, and in the field.