Total Undergraduate Enrollment: 6,773
Institutional Type: Private
Curricular Flexibility: Somewhat Flexible
Academic Rating: 4
Political Science / International Relations
2. U.S. Senate
5. Social Services
1. Ochsner Health System
1. New Orleans
2. New York City
3. Washington, DC
5. San Francisco
College Scorecard (Early Career): $61,700
EOP (Early Career): N/A
PayScale (Mid-Career): $105,300
In competition with Vanderbilt and Emory for King of the Southern Ivies status, Tulane University takes the bronze; yet, that is hardly a knock on this private, midsized university in the heart of New Orleans. Home to 6,750undergraduates, Tulane successfully combines the benefits of a renowned research university with the friendly classroom atmosphere of a liberal arts college. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the school dedicated itself to community service, an attribute that is now deeply woven into the fabric of the university.
Tulane offers seventy-five majors within five colleges, but all students, regardless of major, call Newcombe-Tulane College their home base. The school’s core curriculum, which consists of thirty credits worth of courses, was redesigned in 2017 to “develop information literacy, critical thinking, and personal and social responsibility.” As a result, coursework is required in the areas of writing skills, formal reasoning, foreign language, mathematics and natural sciences, social and behavioral sciences, textual and historical perspectives, aesthetics and the creative arts, and a first-year seminar called the Tulane Interdisciplinary Experience Seminar (TIDES). The TIDES courses center around engaging topics, many of which have to do with local New Orleans culture/history and involve one-on-one meetings with professors and a chance to connect with a student mentor.
Despite the presence of a significant number of graduate students, the university’s enviable 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio can still be felt in the classroom. The average undergraduate class size is twenty-one students, and 94 percent of sections have an enrollment under fifty students. A solid 20 percent of courses have single-digit enrollments, providing a seminar-style environment. The overwhelming majority of undergraduate courses, even introductory ones, are taught by full- time professors. Exiting student surveys indicate that this focus on undergraduate education is noted as 94 percent rated their educational experience at Tulane as either “excellent” or “good.” Those aiming to engage in undergraduate research at Tulane can find it; over 200 students per year land such opportunities in the School of Science and Engineering alone. An expansive study abroad program offers more than one hundred programs in forty countries, which is taken advantage of by 600 students each year.
Business/marketing, social science, biology, and health professions are the disciplines in which most degrees are conferred. The A.B. Freeman School of Business and programs in architecture, biology, and neuroscience enjoy strong national reputations.
Fewer than half of the undergraduate population resides on the university’s 110-acre uptown campus. Ample housing exists in the nearby community that is either within walking/biking distance of campus or accessible via the university bus system. The Greek scene is active with ten fraternities and eight sororities that collectively draw 35-40percent of the student body. Tulane offers big-time athletics with sixteen NCAA Division I teams competing in the American Athletic Conference. The Green Wave shines brightest in baseball, men’s tennis, and women’s golf. An additional twenty- nine club sports teams and thirteen intramural leagues ensure that athletic participation is open to all. Over 200 student-run clubs currently are active with volunteer opportunities being among the most popular.
Tulane undergrads contribute over 780,000 hours of volunteer service annually. Campus boasts thirty libraries/research centers, fifteen eateries, and the 156,000-square-foot Reily Student Recreation Center. The urban campus is located within the New Orleans city limits, only four miles from the bustling French Quarter, which provides students with all the culinary and cultural delights one can handle. The fact that classes shut down during Mardi Gras tells you all you need to know about life at Tulane.
Tulane’s Career Center is staffed by ten professionals who specialize in areas such as career advising, senior year experience coordination, pre-health advising, and pre-law advising. That works out to a 675:1 student-to-advisor ratio that is above average when compared to other schools in this guidebook. The office’s strength is in organizing well attended career and grad school fairs. The Mardi Gras Invitational Job Fair brings 145 employers to campus, the Gumbo Gathering Job Fair attracts another 134, and 118 schools are represented at the Graduate & Professional School Fair. Additionally, 11,000+ job and internship listings are posted through Tulane’s Career Services Center.
A one-credit course entitled Majors, Internships, and Jobs teaches resume building, interview prep, and professional social media use. Many land internships through the UCAN Intern Consortium that Tulane belongs to alongside such schools as Harvard, Notre Dame, Swarthmore, and Washington University. A nationwide alumni network that is 140,000members strong is another great source that current undergrads can utilize to land internships or their first paid gig.
Founded in 2006, post-Hurricane Katrina, The Center for Public Service ensures that all Tulane grads engage in structured volunteer work during their four years of study. At the heart of this program is a three-credit Public Internship Program that allows students to complete sixty to seventy hours with a nonprofit organization. Thanks to anemphasis on public service and large-scale networking events, the Tulane Career Center succeeds in preparing its students for the world of work and graduate school.
Among those receiving their diplomas last year, 61 percent were entering the world of gainful employment. The most popular industries were finance (17 percent), legal (17 percent), accounting (10 percent), education (6 percent), and engineering (4 percent). Significant numbers of Tulane alumni can be found working in the Louisiana-based Ochsner Health System or at corporations such as Shell, EY, Google, PwC, IBM, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, and Accenture. Depending on the school from which one was graduating, students reported median starting salaries between $37,000and $60,000. Geographically, the most popular postgraduate move is to remain in the Greater New Orleans area although New York City, DC, Houston, San Francisco, and Los Angeles attract large numbers of Green Wave alumni as well.
Seventeen percent of Tulane grads immediately enroll in graduate or professional school. The four most commonly attended graduate schools by members of last year's Class were Tulane itself, Louisiana State University, Boston University, and Johns Hopkins University. Students applying to law and medical schools, including Tulane’s own institutions, fare better than the national average. Tulane undergraduates gain acceptance to medical school 58percent of the time, and that figure rises to 93 percent for those with at least a 3.6 GPA and a score of 509 or higher on the MCAT. Recent grads have attended Columbia, Duke, and Johns Hopkins as well as the uber-selective Tulane School of Medicine. Law school hopefuls gain acceptance at an impressive 93 percent rate including roughly seventy admits annually into Tulane’s own solidly ranked law school.
• “It’s a new culture. You get exposed to a new way of life that is very different. It feels like you live in a different country sometimes because it’s a very different culture.”
• “You have so many opportunities so close to you for fun activities. You’re never bored because you can always venture off campus.”
• “The people in the South are always willing to help you. They’re super polite, very hospitable, and friendly. They always greet you with a smile and you feel welcome even if you’re not from there. It leaves you in a happier mood.”
• “The weather. It’s sometimes a pro, but there is a long rainy season. Make sure you have a good raincoat and rain boots because when it rains it floods. It’s also very humid. That took some getting used to.” [Louisiana is the rainiest state in the continental United States.]
• “Sometimes it can be a little dangerous. I’ve had friends get mugged.” [The overall crime rate in New Orleans is 37% higher than the state average and 95% higher than the national average.]
• “Having so much to do can be a con because everybody’s tests don’t line up. If my friends and I decide to do something one weekend and one of them can’t do anything, they feel left out so they might make a bad decision and come. Then that might affect their academic performance.”
• “The relationships you can develop with professors. There are many, many opportunities to get to know professors.”
• “Chances are you’re never going to get to come back to New Orleans and live here. You may come for a bachelor party or something, but you won’t be able to spend that much time in a place like that.”
• “The community. Tulane people have a lot of love for Tulane people. Everyone is looking out for each other.”
• “New Orleans. It’s always warm, everyone’s nice and there’s a lot of things to do.”
• “Tulane has a lot of 4+1 programs where you can get your master’s degree in one year. If you’re interested in getting your master’s and know what you want to do, you can save time and money getting it.”
• “There are a lot of resources available to you and it’s kind of what you make of it. If you seek out whatever you’re looking for, the professors are really eager to help and want to get involved. It’s really easy to develop relationships with professors and if you’re eager to learn there’s a lot to take away.”
• “Tulane isn’t a target school for companies based in New York City or Los Angeles because of its location.”
• “If you’re not into going out and partying all the time, you may feel pressure to do that. It’s a party school.”
• “If you’re looking for a more diverse student body.” [73% of the Class is typically White.]
• “If you can’t handle humidity, definitely do not attend.”
• “If you have a lot of trouble balancing partying and schoolwork this is not the place for you because there’s always something going on. If you can’t learn to say no, you’ll have a tough time.”
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