Centenary College of Louisiana - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
Centenary College of Louisiana
Centenary College of Louisiana’s liberal arts curriculum educates students to be practical thinkers and...

Centenary College of Louisiana

Shreveport, Louisiana

Centenary is a selective, private, residential liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. The College offers 22 majors in the arts and sciences along with more than 30 minors, academic concentrations, and pre-professional programs in allied health fields, business, education, engineering, law, and museum management. Centenary students applying to medical school have a 90% acceptance rate over the past five years, while students applying to law school are accepted at a rate of 80%.


Centenary maintains an 8:1 student/faculty ratio that ensures a rigorous and personal education for each student, with dedicated professors who help students pursue independent research, internships, and global learning opportunities. In fact, Centenary ranks #1 among baccalaureate colleges in the percentage of students who study abroad, beginning with the unique Centenary in Paris program that sends all first year students to Paris, France, to complete their first college course with no additional tuition charge.


Students get involved in more than 60 campus organizations, including student government and residence life, visual and performing arts, community service and advocacy, and Greek life. Centenary also fields 15 teams in NCAA Division III, and nearly half of the student body participates in varsity athletics. Centenary maintains strong connections with local alumni and community partners, providing many opportunities for students to learn from and work with local non-profit organizations and the business and professional community.

Student Profile

Fall 2016 Enrollment
473 undergraduate students
99% of undergrad students are full time
43% male — 57% female
46% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2016-2017 Academic Year
57 full-time faculty
29 part-time faculty
8 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2016
98% of first year students live on campus
89% of all students live on campus

School Location

Centenary is located on 64 beautiful acres in the heart of Shreveport, a city at the crossroads of Louisiana and Texas that serves as the economic and cultural center for a metropolitan area of over 300,000 people. Known for its festivals, food, and outdoor recreation opportunities, Shreveport is also an easy drive from major southern cities such as Dallas (3 hours), Houston (4 hours), and New Orleans (5 hours).

High-Impact Practices

Read more about the importance of High-Impact Practices

First-Year Seminars and Experiences X
Common Intellectual Experiences X
Learning Communities X
Writing-Intensive Courses X
Collaborative Assignments and Projects X
Undergraduate Research X
Diversity/Global Learning X
Service Learning, Community-Based Learning X
Internships/Coops/Practicums X
Capstone Courses and Projects/Senior Experience X


73% of students began in Fall 2015 and returned in Fall 2016 (full time, first time freshmen)


47% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 1%
Hispanic/Latino 7%
Black or African American 16%
White 65%
American Indian or Alaska Native 1%
Asian 3%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 6%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 0%


Centenary fields six men’s and nine women’s teams in the NCAA Division III Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Known as the Ladies and Gents, Centenary’s maroon and white teams compete in baseball, basketball (M/W), golf (M/W), gymnastics (W), soccer (M/W), softball, swimming (M/W), tennis (M/W), volleyball (W), and triathlon (W).

Other Information

Centenary, founded in 1825, is the oldest college in Louisiana and the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi. The College is proud of its affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Centenary is a member of the Associated Colleges of the South and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Academic Programs

Majors in Accounting, Art (concentrations in studio art or art history and visual studies), Biology, Biochemistry, Business Administration (concentrations in commerce, leadership, investments, operations analysis, economic policy, international business, or energy business), Chemistry, Communication (concentrations in film/television/video, new media design, or professional writing), Economics, English(concentrations in literary studies, creative writing, or film and culture studies), French, Geology, History, Mathematics (concentrations in theoretical or computational mathematics), Music (concentrations in performance, choral music, scared music, or composition), Neuroscience, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Sociology, Theatre, & Individualized Major. Allied health tracks for pre-medicine, pre-dental, pre-veterinary, pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, physician assistant, and speech language pathology. Special programs in pre-law, museum management, 3/2 engineering program, business foreign language coordinate program.

More Distinctions

  • Centenary is ranked #1 among baccalaureate colleges for the percentage of students who study abroad (2016 Open Doors Report on International Exchange Data). More than 80% of current Centenary students have had an international educational experience, thanks to opportunities like the Centenary in Paris program for all first-year students and May Module courses led by faculty in Australia, Denmark, France, Greece, and Haiti.

Global Opportunities

An engaging Centenary education begins with a unique and unforgettable common global-learning experience: Centenary in Paris. All first year students at Centenary have the opportunity to complete their first college course during this intensive learning experience that creates strong bonds among the first-year cohort and between students and their professors. Students travel to Paris for 8-10 days, live in an international student hostel, and take rigorous courses such as “Daily Bread: Sustainability in Paris,” “Paris Noir: Black American in the City of Light,” or “Writing Paris/Writing Home.” Many Centenary students continue their international exploration through one of the College’s May Module short courses in locations such as Australia, Denmark, France, Greece, and Haiti.

Experiential Learning

Students broaden their shared intellectual experience in Centenary’s recently revamped TREK program. TREK shapes a student’s first year with a two-course series designed to cultivate intellectual curiosity, critical inquiry, thoughtful communication, problem solving, and respectful engagement with others. In the sophomore, junior, and senior years, students expand their knowledge and social awareness through TREK’s Community, Career, and Culture courses that provide career and graduate school preparation as well as opportunities for intercultural engagement and civic involvement. Centenary faculty have access to grants for summer research projects involving students, and additional resources are available to send students to professional conferences where they present research, attend workshops, and network with leaders in their fields.

A Centenary education combines the best traditions of a liberal arts curriculum with the knowledge, skills, and experiences required of leaders in the 21st century.

Activities Offered

Campus Ministries X
Choral groups X
Concert band  
Drama/theater X
International Student Organization X
Jazz band  
Literary magazine X
Marching band  
Model UN X
Music ensembles X
Musical theater X
Pep band  
Radio station X
Student government X
Student newspaper X
Student-run film society X
Symphony orchestra  
Television station  

Credo and Challenge – A First Year Experience

Credo and Challenge, the first two courses in Centenary’s TREK program, are designed to introduce students to liberal-arts skills and prepare them to put these skills to practical use. Credo is Latin for “I believe,” and this first course allows students to explore their values and beliefs in the context of their academic ambitions. In the second-semester Challenge courses, students choose from innovative, research-driven seminars examining some of the global challenges of the 21st century: rapid technological developments, economic expansion, globalization, conflict, and environmental change.

Writing-Intensive Courses

Centenary’s liberal arts curriculum emphasizes the development of clear and persuasive written communication skills. All students graduating from Centenary must take a course designated as a “W” (writing) course. At the 300 level, W courses require a minimum of 12 typed pages of graded writing that is evaluated in four areas: clarity, analytic skill, synthetic skill, and critical thinking.

Meeting New Needs

Centenary’s curriculum and course offerings are grounded firmly in the liberal arts but are also responsive to the evolving needs of students in the 21st century. The College has recently added new minors in both Engineering Sciences and Legal Studies and has expanded concentrations in the Business Administration degree to include fields such as Leadership, Investments, International Business, and Energy Business. An articulation agreement with Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing provides admission preference to Centenary students interested in pursuing an accelerated nursing degree through the FastBacc program.

Common Core

Arts/fine arts  
Computer literacy  
English (including composition)  
Foreign languages  
Humanities X
Sciences (biological or physical) X
Social science X


Other: Symbolic Reasoning (fulfilled by specific Math, Computer Science, or Philosophy Course)

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 107 71 21 5 2 0 0 206

Student Leaders

Centenary students continue their learning outside the classroom in more than 60 student organizations, including student government, residence life, music, theatre, community service, advocacy, and Greek life. The College’s Christian Leadership Center and the new Beliefs and Values Project help students identify their guiding principles and put them into practice in a diverse, pluralistic environment. Each year, Centenary students complete thousands of community service hours in the Shreveport community during campus-wide service days such as MLK Service Day and the BIG Event. Centenary also fields 15 teams in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference in NCAA Division III, including one of the only varsity women’s triathlon teams in the country.

Intellectual and Cultural Opportunities

Centenary schedules a full calendar of intellectual and cultural activities that enriches the campus as well as the wider community. The Attaway Professorships in Civic Culture program supports a variety of lectures, workshops, exhibitions, and performances at Centenary, including the “Religion Matters” lecture series, concerts with nationally known performers at the College’s Hurley School of Music, and cutting-edge exhibitions at the Meadows Museum of Art. Theatre students produce plays in the College’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse as well as other local venues, and a community Philosophy Forum tackles a diverse set of issues such as death, race, and parenting. The Centenary Film Society’s partnership with the Robinson Film Center in downtown Shreveport gives students free access to movies and events at this independent film house.

Campus Housing Options for Undergraduates

Coed dorms X
Men’s dorms  
Women’s dorms  
Apartments for married students  
Apartments for single students  
Special housing for disabled students  
Special housing for international students  
Fraternity/sorority housing X
Cooperative housing  
Theme housing X
Wellness housing  
Other housing options X

Other: Living-Learning Theme Housing

Mentors and Resources

Centenary takes an intentional, student-centered approach to personal and professional success that evolves with students’ needs throughout their four years at the College. Staff in the Office of Professional Discernment use customized assessments to help entering students identify their values and talents as learn how to ascribe their attribute not only to a future career, but also to a fulfilling life. The Office of Career Services offers resources, programming, and advising for career development, internships, employment, and graduate school. The Office of the Registrar, working alongside faculty advisors, also offers individual counseling to help students fulfill their academic requirements and stay on track to graduate.

Capstone Experiences

Centenary students have the opportunity to draw together their four years of learning both inside and outside the classroom in a variety of capstone experiences, including senior art exhibits and critiques, a senior communication portfolio, and a senior geology internship, to name just a few. Some seniors have translated internships into full-time employment after graduation, while others have built on capstone projects as the basis for further research and scholarly publications in graduate school.

Notable Alumni

Just a few of Centenary’s notable alumni include:

  • Cal Hubbard ’26 – The only person to date to be inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame
  • Robert Parish ’76 – NBA basketball player and member of the NBA Hall of Fame
  • Kathy Johnson ’81 – 1984 Olympic medalist in gymnastics
  • Hall Sutton ’81 – Pro golfer
  • Susan Roberts ’88 – CBS News correspondent
  • Brady Blade ’89 – Noted rock, pop, and country drummer, record producer, and composer
  • Scott Durbin ’92 – Co-star and co-executive producer of “Imagination Movers,” a Playhouse Disney television show
  • Joby Ogwyn ’97 – Youngest person in the world to summit the “Big Seven,” the highest mountains on each continent. He did it the first time only three years after finishing at Centenary.



 886 Total Applicants 
886 Total Applicants 
569 Total Admissions 
130 Total Freshmen Enrollment

64.22% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2017-18 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Feb 15
Priority date: Dec 15

Admissions Factors

Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Class rank
Academic GPA
Application Essay

Standardized test scores
Extracurricular activities
Volunteer work

Character/personal qualities
Alumni/ae relation
Work experience
Level of applicant’s interest

Freshmen Profile Fall 2016

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 470 580
SAT Math 470 590
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 22 28
ACT Math 21 26
ACT English 22 30
ACT Writing    





Tuition $35,900
Room and Board (on campus) $13,150
Estimated Total On Campus $49,050


Average Financial Aid Packages 2016-17 estimated

$22,432 First year students
$24,252 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2016-17 estimated

73% on average, the percentage of need that was met
22% of financial need students that had need fully met

$24,252 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,442 Average need-based loan