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About Us: Organization and History



   Southern University views diversity as vital to the health of any educational enterprise. To support this philosophy, the University takes affirmative steps to maintain a multicultural faculty, staff and student body. The diversity is achieved principally through assertive recruitment efforts and through multifaceted international programs.

   The University seeks to recruit and maintain a faculty, which, through its preparation and scholarly activities, exerts a profound effect on various institutions in the state, region, nation, and world. Beyond their traditional roles, faculty members perform distinguished services that complement and enhance both teaching and research initiatives and provide an additional mechanism for Southern University to have an impact on the community at large.

   The University develops and maintains a physical environment that is safe and conducive to intellectual growth and development while operating in accordance with the highest standards of fiscal and administrative management. This environment is enhanced using the most recent information technology, which offers the University community access to resources from throughout the world.


   The Graduate School is housed in the Office of Graduate Studies, which consists of a dean, a director of admissions, admissions counselors, an executive assistant, an administrative assistant, and an administrative coordinator. The Dean of the Graduate School reports to the Executive Vice President and Provost.

   The Office of Graduate Studies is responsible for enforcing minimum general standards of graduate work at Southern University-Baton Rouge and for the coordination of graduate degree programs in the various schools and colleges. General policies and standards of the Graduate School are established by the Graduate Council. The responsibility for the detailed, day-to-day operations of graduate programs lies with the individual departments, schools, and colleges.

   The Office of Graduate Studies processes approximately 2,000 applications and serves more than 1,100 enrolled students each year. This includes the receipt and processing of all Graduate School admission applications; registration of graduate and post-baccalaureate students; and the processing and clearing of graduation applications for all graduate students.


   On April 28, 1956, the State Board of Education requested officials of Southern University to establish a graduate school. In the spring semester of 1957, Southern University admitted its first students into the Graduate School. On August 8, 1958, at the end of the summer session, Southern University conferred its first master’s degrees on eight candidates.

   In the relatively brief period since 1958, graduate education at Southern University has grown steadily. Master’s programs in biology, chemistry, and mathematics were added in the 1960s, and in 1983, master’s programs in accountancy, computer science, public administration and special education were implemented. In January of 1986, the Graduate School, in conjunction with the Institute for the Study and Rehabilitation of Exceptional Children and Youth, initiated Southern University’s first doctoral programs—The Doctor of Philosophy degree in Special Education (Ph. D.) and the Doctor of Education in Special Education (Ed. D.). Since that time, more than eighteen Master’s programs and five Ph.D. programs have been added.

   To meet the challenges of the next millennium, Southern University and A&M College at Baton Rouge is rapidly becoming a Doctoral research institution. Graduate studies have gained momentum because of new and redesigned graduate degrees, and a dedicated graduate faculty— a committed group that includes Fulbright Scholars, distinguished researchers, and mentors.

   Opportunities exist in a number of academic disciplines, including Ph.D. programs in public policy, science/mathematics education, nursing, environmental toxicology, special education, and urban forestry.

   Today, numerous research centers, computer and learning laboratories, facilities for distance learning and multi-media instruction, and a library with more than one million volumes are among wide range of resources. Graduate fellowships and assistantships are available to qualified students.

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Office of Graduate and Professional Studies • Southern University and A&M College • T. H. Harris Hall, Suite 1055
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