University of New Orleans - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction
University of New Orleans
The University of New Orleans is a medium-sized, student-focused public research university, located in...

University of New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana

The University of New Orleans is the only public research university in greater New Orleans. It has educated students from all 50 states and more than 130 countries. The University grants bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in four academic colleges and interdisciplinary studies.

Student Profile

Fall 2015 Enrollment
6,185 undergraduate students
77% of undergrad students are full time
50% male — 50% female
6% of students are from out of state

Faculty Profile

2015-2016 Academic Year
270 full-time faculty
132 part-time faculty
20 to 1 student/faculty ratio

Residence Life

Fall 2015
29% of first year students live on campus
10% of all students live on campus

School Location

The University of New Orleans is located along the shores of Lake Pontchartrain in a quiet residential section of New Orleans. It is a 15 minute drive from the French Quarter and downtown New Orleans.

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

Retention Fall 2015

62% of students began in Fall 2014 and returned in Fall 2015 (full time, first time freshmen)


34.88% of students graduated in 6 years


Nonresident aliens 4%
Hispanic/Latino 12%
Black or African American 16%
White 54%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0%
Asian 8%
Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 4%
Race and/or ethnicity unknown 2%


The University of New Orleans Privateers compete in NCAA Division I as a member of the Southland Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, tennis and track and field. Women’s sports include basketball, cross country, volleyball, beach volleyball, tennis and track and field.

Other Information

In 1958, the University of New Orleans opened as the first fully integrated public institution of higher learning in the South. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) and its departments and colleges enjoy a number of specialized accreditations.

Academic Programs

The University of New Orleans offers undergraduate degrees in Accounting, Anthropology, Art, Biological Sciences, Business Administration, Chemistry, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Computer Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Electrical Engineering, Elementary Education, English, Film and Theatre Arts, Finance, Healthcare Management, History, Human Performance and Health Promotion, Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration, Interdisciplinary Studies, International Studies, Management, Marketing, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Music, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Romance Languages, Secondary Education, Sociology, Urban Studies and Planning. The University also grants graduate degrees in: Accounting, Engineering Management, Arts Administration, English, Biological Sciences, Integrative Biology, Film and Theatre, Business Administration, Financial Economics, Fine Arts, Chemistry, Romance Languages, Health Care Management, Computer Science, History, Creative Writing, Hospitality & Tourism Management, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Mathematics, Counselor Education, Music, Applied Physics, Curriculum and Instruction, Applied Biopsychology, Educational Administration, Applied Developmental Psychology, Educational Leadership, Public Administration, Romance Languages, Higher Education Administration, Sociology, Teaching, Romance Languages, Engineering and Applied Science, Transportation, Civil Engineering, Urban Studies, Electrical Engineering, Urban and Regional Planning, Mechanical Engineering, Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.

More Distinctions

  • For six straight years, the University of New Orleans has made U.S. News & World Report’s “Least Debt” list, which highlights universities with the graduates who have the lowest levels of average student debt.

  • According to a 2016 report from, graduates from the University of New Orleans have the highest early career salaries of any public or private college in Louisiana.

  • In 2016, the University of New Orleans was named a Top College by The Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, as well as one of the top 1,000 universities in the world by the Center for World University Rankings.

Undergraduate Research

The University of New Orleans’ Center for Undergraduate Research facilitates collaboration between undergraduate students and faculty, promotes undergraduate research to internal and external audiences, and encourages new initiatives to create undergraduate research opportunities. Undergraduate research increases the interaction between undergraduate students and faculty/graduate students, builds lasting bonds through group educational activities and provides insight into future career paths.

PURSUE (the Privateer Undergraduate Research and Scholarly UNO Experience) provides students with a mechanism to find faculty research mentors. Selected students are awarded with paid student work positions to work on their research projects.

Common Read

The University’s Common Read Program encourages first-year students, staff and faculty in a shared experience. During the semester, faculty, along with students and staff, lead campus discussions that center on the themes and issues raised in a designated book. The book must be nonfiction and could appeal to a diverse spectrum of incoming first-year students.

International Education

The University places strong emphasis on study abroad and international education. The institution offers summer study abroad opportunities to 10 countries, including its flagship program in Innsbruck, Austria, which has flourished for more than four decades and educated more than 10,000 students. UNO students also study in a dozen countries as part of international student exchange programs.

Activities Offered

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

First Year Experience

First Year Experience (FYE) at the University of New Orleans provides a broad network of support services and programs that address the academic, personal and social needs of first-year students, in order to promote success. FYE offers outreach and interventions to students who are experiencing academic and social difficulties. FYE actively encourages students to engage in the university community to promote critical thinking and lifelong learning.

All first year students must take UNIV 1001. This course helps students develop skills to manage time, well being and personal resources. It assists students with developing learning strategies to manage the college academic environment and gathers information on campus resources that support academic growth and development. It offers information on career exploration, community service, wellness and involvement.

First-Year Writing Program

The First-Year Writing Program offers two writing-intensive courses as part of the larger process of academic inquiry: asking questions, looking for answers, engaging with different viewpoints, and reflecting on what one has learned. Instructors foster intellectual curiosity and open-mindedness, encouraging students to value writing as a necessary part of learning and communicating both in the classroom and in the world at large. Because classes are limited to 25 students, students are able to collaborate through discussion and peer review as well as receive one-on-one feedback via student-teacher conferencing.

In English 1157, students are introduced to three different genres of writing and their conventions in order to understand how audience and purpose govern the content, scope, organization and expression of their own ideas. Students in English 1158 focus on argumentative writing, employing a range of research methods, integrating others’ ideas and applying appropriate rhetorical strategies to express their ideas.

Academic Programs

Many of the University’s most well-known programs are those that are tied to its location. They include: hotel, restaurant and tourism administration; film; music; planning and urban studies; civil engineering; earth and environmental sciences; educational leadership; and one of the few naval architecture and marine engineering programs in the nation. Naval architecture and marine engineering students take advantage of the region’s only tow tank, a 125-foot-long tank that allows for in-water testing of model boats and marine structures.

Common Core

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

Class Size Breakdown

Size 2-9 10-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-99 100+ Total
Number of Classes 99 188 200 143 57 64 19 770

Student Activities

There are more than 130 registered student organizations that offer opportunities for students to get involved, pursue their passions, connect with peers and improve their leadership skills. The University hosts hundreds of student events on campus throughout the year.

Jazz at the Sandbar

Now in its 27th season, Jazz at the Sandbar is one of the University’s most well known and beloved traditions. Established in 1990 by faculty member Ellis Marsalis, this live music performance series pairs UNO jazz studies students with professional musicians in front of an audience at a first-class on-campus venue.

Affinity Housing

The University of New Orleans offers eight affinity housing wings in its residence halls. This allows students with common interests to build bonds with like-minded individuals and to explore their passions in a supportive and respectful environment. The affinity wings are:

  • New Orleans Culture
  • Science and Sustainability Society
  • Transfer Students
  • Leadership and Involvement
  • Arts and Technology
  • Service Learning and Institutional Community Engagement
  • Greek Life
  • Honors

Campus Housing Options for Undegraduates

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


Other: affinity housing for Greeks and organizations

Service Learning and Institutional Community Engagement

University of New Orleans students and faculty engage in four major community initiatives including: Spotlight on Music, Arts and Culture; The Quality of Life Project; Recovery and Renaissance; and Global Community Impact. Students connect research, teaching and community to address social justice issues including: youth and education, homelessness and housing, and food insecurity.

Students have the opportunity to mentor New Orleans youth or assist teachers in after-school programs within New Orleans’ schools; teach workshops on financial literacy, art, or engineering; work with international nongovernmental organizations; create documentary films for nonprofit organizations; conduct oral history interviews and public history projects; compile road conditions, blight, and crime data for the City of New Orleans; or complete marketing analysis for local organizations.

The Office of Service Learning and Institutional Community Engagement (SLICE) works with students, faculty and community organizations to match a student’s academic pursuits and classroom curriculum to the needs of community organizations. The students make an impact: they apply academic theories and course content to real world challenges and they work with faculty to engage in high impact community-based research.

Career Services

The University’s Office of Career Services offers resources to students with a focus on career advising, career preparation and career events. The office helps match students with off-campus employers in sectors that are aligned with students’ academic majors or career aspirations. The office also arranges job shadowing experiences, which allow students to spend time in a professional setting to gain a deeper understanding of a particular field. The economy of New Orleans and South Louisiana allows for internship and career opportunities in fields such as technology, financial services, energy, environmental science, transportation, hospitality, engineering, computer science and the arts.


Admissions Fall 2015

3,932 Total Applicants
2,267 Total Admissions
922 Total Freshmen Enrollment

57.66% of applicants admitted

Admissions Deadlines for 2016-17 Admission

Rolling admission? No

Closing date: Aug 15
Priority date: Feb 1


Very Important
Rigor of secondary school record
Academic GPA
Standardized test scores

Geographical residence
State residency

Freshmen Profile Fall 2015

  25th Percentile 75th Percentile
SAT Critical Reading 460 600
SAT Math 480 630
SAT Writing    
SAT Essay    
ACT Composite 20 24
ACT Math 19 24
ACT English 20 26
ACT Writing    


Net Price Calculator 


  In-State Out-of-State
Tuition $6,090 $6,090
Fees $1,914 $15,731*
Total $8,004 $21,821
Room and Board (on campus) $9,515 $9,515
Estimated Total On Campus $17,519 $31,336


*Out of state (non-resident) fee waiver my be available to qualifying students 


Average Financial Aid Packages 2015-2016 estimated

$13,466 First year students
$6,902 All undergrads

Financial Aid Breakdown 2015-2016 estimated

60% on average, the percentage of need that was met
7% of financial need students that had need fully met

$5,621 Average need-based scholarship or grant award
$4,206 Average need-based loan


More than $41 million in financial aid and scholarships are awarded annually to University of New Orleans students.

Selected scholarships:

Privateer Out of State Award
Criteria: 23 ACT, 1130 SAT, 2.5 GPA
2017 Academic Year Amount: $13,817
4 Year Total Amount (Starting 2017): $55,268

President Scholarship
Criteria: 28 ACT, 1320 SAT, 3.0 GPA
2017 Academic Year Amount: $3,000
4 Year Total Amount (Starting 2017): $12,000

Homer Hitt Scholarship
Criteria: 30 ACT, 1400 SAT, 3.5 GPA
2017 Academic Year Amount: $16,179
4 Year Total Amount (Starting 2017): $64,716