Xavier University of Louisiana, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is Catholic and historically Black. The ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service.
The University’s major academic units are the College of Arts and Sciences (which awards baccalaureate degrees as well as master’s degrees in Education, Counseling, Public Health Sciences, and Speech-Language Pathology and a doctorate in Educational Leadership) and the College of Pharmacy (which awards the Doctor of Pharmacy degree and the Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies). The University also awards the Master of Theology through its Institute for Black Catholic Studies.
Xavier offers preparation in nearly 50 major areas on the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels. Undergraduate students, regardless of their major are required to complete forty hours of core curriculum courses that will challenge students to think critically and innovatively about their world, regions, communities, and themselves.
Xavier University of Louisiana is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Xavier University of Louisiana.
Xavier University of Louisiana is also accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, the State of Louisiana Department of Education, the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, and the National Association of Schools of Music. The University has also been awarded candidacy status by the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology and Accreditation-Provisional status by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.
The total enrollment for fall 2019 was 3,325, which included a freshman class of 832. Of these, 2,512 are undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences, 608 are students in the College of Pharmacy, and 187 are graduate students.
From its founding Xavier has embraced a special mission to serve the African American Catholic community; however, its doors have always been open to qualified students of every race and creed. Today73 percent of its enrollment is African American and 16 percent is Catholic. Just under one-half of Xavier students are from Louisiana (44.3%), primarily from the New Orleans area. Non-local enrollment continues to increase with students coming from 40 other states and U.S. territories. Sixteen foreign countries are represented on campus. Student life is enriched by the social and cultural setting of New Orleans, and by campus activities designed to enhance personal growth, interpersonal skills, and leadership in such areas as community service, the environment, cultural concerns, and social justice.
Admissions and Retention
The Office of Admissions seeks to enroll a student body that is diverse and in keeping with the offerings within the colleges of the University. The average ACT and SAT scores for entering freshmen in 2019 were 23.1 and 1091, respectively. In maintaining its historic commitment to academic excellence, the University attracts many students who are high achievers, yet it remains committed to admitting a certain percentage of “at-risk” students who exhibit the will to succeed. The Student Academic Success Office provides the resources and support systems to assist all students in being successful. The retention rate of first-time freshmen is 70%.
Xavier students attend graduate and professional schools at a rate that reflects the efforts of XU faculty, staff and administrators. The percent of students from the College of Arts and Sciences who enrolled in graduate/professional school during the fall or spring semester after graduation was 31.5 percent for 2019 graduates. Within the natural sciences and mathematics disciplines, as well as the social sciences, one of every three students goes on to acquire advanced degrees. Xavier continues to address the national underrepresentation of Blacks with Ph.Ds. and other graduate and professional degrees as a strategic goal. The Pre-Medical program, for example, is a national model of quality. Xavier’s Center for Undergraduate Research and Graduate Placement Office continues to prepare students for graduate school.
Rankings and Distinctions
Xavier is recognized as a national leader in the sciences and the liberal arts:
- #1 in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school (AAMC data 2019).
- Among the nation's top four colleges of pharmacy in graduating African Americans with Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degrees. (2018)
- #1 in the nation in awarding bachelor's degrees to African American students in the biological and biomedical sciences, the physical sciences, and physics. (2018)
- #3 in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to earn a Ph.D. in science and engineering disciplines. (2018)
- The Department of Physics is #1 in the nation for awarding African Americans baccalaureate degrees in physics and the physical sciences, according to the American Institute of Physics. (2018) Xavier is consistently ranked by the American Chemical Society as one of the top 25 universities in the nation.
- The 2020 edition of the Fiske Guide to Colleges named Xavier among its 300 “best and most interesting” four-year colleges and universities.
- Xavier was also singled out as one of the nation’s 385 best institutions for undergraduate education by The Princeton Review in the 2020 edition of its annual “The Best 385 Colleges”.
- College Consensus, a unique college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, ranks Xavier as the nation’s #3 Historically Black Colleges and Universities) (2019). It also ranks Xavier as #3 among all Louisiana colleges.
- College Factual ranks both Xavier’s biology and chemistry programs as program as No. 1 in Louisiana. (2019)
- Your 2018 Guide to College Transfer lists Xavier as one of only 90 colleges and universities nationwide profiled as “transfer friendly” in this guide to the college transfer process by the Kaplan Educational Foundation.
- The Student Loan Report ranks #Xavier 12 out of 800 Private schools who left graduates with the least amount of private student loan debt, a form of financial aid known for higher interest rates and less forgiving repayment programs. (2018)
- Zippia.com named Xavier's Psychology Program as #1 in Louisiana. (2018)
- Learn.org ranks Xavier Among the Top 50 STEM schools in the U.S. (2019)
- The Edvocate ranks Xavier as the nation’s No. 3 Catholic University. (2019)
- Zippia.com rates Xavier #1 in Louisiana in its 2019 report, “Best College in Each State for Getting a Job”.
Budget and Endowment
The University’s unrestricted operating revenue is more than $125 million, while the current value of its endowment is more than $178 million. Unlike some denominations, the Catholic Church does not provide funds for Xavier or other Catholic colleges and universities in the United States (Catholic University in Washington, DC is the one exception). More than 87 percent of Xavier’s undergraduates apply for and receive some form of need-based financial aid. More than 65 percent receive Pell grants. Because many students have limited financial resources, the University maintains a policy of low tuition ($22,503 undergraduate per year in 2019).
Research and Sponsored Programs
Xavier has significantly increased its national prominence in research over the last decade. Among the 101 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Xavier currently ranks 6th in funding from Health and Human Services (HHS) and 1st on a per capita basis. Among all universities in the nation, Xavier is among the top 30 percent in National Science Foundation (NSF) funding and among the top 15 percent in HHS funding. In Louisiana Xavier ranks third in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding behind only Tulane and the LSU System. Awards from NIH, NSF, the Louisiana Board of Regents and foundations like Keck and Sherman Fairchild have enormously expanded Xavier’s core instrumentation facilities. Membership in the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium is making it possible for Xavier’s Cancer research programs to move aggressively forward.
California Comunity Colleges
- Xavier University of Louisiana partnered with California Community Colleges to allow students who meet certain requirements to be admitted to Xavier with junior standing. According to the agreement, students who apply for admission and successfully obtain a transfer-level associate degree with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher and complete either the California State University General Education Breadth pattern, or University of California Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum, will be guaranteed admission into Xavier with junior standing.
Google in Residence Program Places Veteran Engineer
- Xavier University of Louisiana’s partnership with the Google in Residence Program was launched in 2013 to improve diversity in the tech industry by embedding engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions. Expanding the pool of technologists is core to Google’s strategy to have a representation of minority Googlers in the United States reach or exceed the available talent pool at all levels of the company. The initiative is one of the ways the company is looking to attract and hire more diverse Googlers to truly reflect the diversity of its users.
St. Michael Indian School
- St. Michael Indian School (SMIS) and Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish a partnership to explore the establishment of a Catholic university to be located on the campus of St. Michael Indian School in St. Michaels, Arizona. Both institutions founded by Saint Katharine Drexel will implement a four-stage process through 2020 that begins with a feasibility study conducted by both institutions for an affiliated Catholic university.
The Baylor College of Medicine
- Xavier University of Louisiana and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston partnered to establish an initiative that allows qualified Xavier students to participate in a collaborative Medical Track Program that facilitates assured acceptance into the School of Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
Michigan State’s College of Human Medicine
- Xavier University of Louisiana has partnered with Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine to advance the education of its students via the SpartanMD Acceptance Realization Track initiative or SMART Initiative. Through this program, students who fit the admissions criteria for MSU’s medical school will be able to apply for early acceptance during their junior and senior years. This event partnership allows Xavier to provide more opportunities for pre-med students.
Georgia Tech for XULA engineering students
- Xavier University of Louisiana has partnered with the Georgia Tech College of Engineering to offer a Dual-Degree Engineering Program (DDEP). Students study Physics at XULA for 3 years plus 2 years in Georgia Tech’s Engineer School, and those who complete the program graduate with a bachelor’s degree from Xavier as well as a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from Georgia Tech.
LCMC Health System, New Orleans Health Department, and the LSU Health Sciences Center
- Xavier University of Louisiana partnered with LCMC Health, the New Orleans Health Department, and Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center to launch the first mobile community testing site in a city-wide initiative that brought COVID-19 testing to individuals and families throughout New Orleans who live in communities that are medically vulnerable.
Duquesne University’s School of Law to launch pipeline program
- Xavier University of Louisiana partnered with Duquesne University School of Law, whose Bar Preparation program is ranked No. 9 in the country by National Jurist. Duquesne University is also one of the nation's top Catholic Universities, founded 140 years ago by the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. This new partnership with Duquesne University's School of Law provides a clear pathway for our students to further their education and pursue careers in the legal field.
Ochsner Health System
- Xavier University of Louisiana and the Ochsner Health System teamed up to launch a new Physician Assistant (PA) Program beginning in January 2020. The 28-month, full-time graduate program leads to a master’s degree in health sciences. Commonly known as a PA, a physician assistant is a licensed and trained healthcare professional trained in general medicine who works under the supervision of a physician.
The University of Southern California’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy
- Xavier University of Louisiana has partnered with the University of Southern California’s Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy to address the lack of diversity in the physical therapy profession with a new partnership designed to create a pipeline for Xavier students to complete their prerequisite courses, gain valuable hands-on experience, and develop mentoring relationships with their future USC faculty members.
The University of California-San Diego (UCSD)
- Xavier University of Louisiana partnered with the University of California- San Diego and created a three-year program designed to provide exceptional undergraduate students opportunities for summer research in the biological sciences. The UCSD/XULA Graduate Pathways Partnership was launched in 2018, with up to six Xavier students selected to participate in the UCSD’s prestigious STARS program, an intensive eight-week academy modeled on graduate school life.
The U.S. Department of Education funded partnership of teaching training programs with NOLA Public Schools and New Schools for New Orleans- Collaborations across the board include Xavier, Loyola University New Orleans, Teach for America Greater New Orleans, teachNOLA, the Relay Graduate School of Education, and New Schools for New Orleans
- NOLA Public Schools (NOLA-PS), New Schools for New Orleans (NSNO), and Xavier University announced the “Supporting Public School Teachers” initiative via OPSB’s commitment of funding from the System-Wide Needs Fund for teacher programs. Together with our collaborators, the collective work resulted in more than 250 new teachers for New Orleans schools. This initiative was designed to recruit, prepare, and develop nearly 900 highly-effective, culturally competent teachers from diverse backgrounds by 2020. The $13 million grant establishes a unique and innovative partnership of teacher training programs. The six partners worked together to address teacher pipeline challenges across the city, implementing their unique teacher preparation models to meet the needs of schools with high concentrations of High-Need Students while collaborating on best practices and problem-solving.
Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, US Army Research laboratory, and NASA Glenn Research Center investigators
- Xavier University of Louisiana has partnered with several collaborators, including Georgia Institute of Technology, Auburn University, US Army Research laboratory, and NASA Glenn Research Center investigators to study the interfacial properties of electrodes and solid electrolytes. This project contributes to improving diversity in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) workforce by engaging students from underrepresented minority groups in cutting-edge research in energy storage technologies for Space, one of NASA’s most critical projects. The goal is to improve transport and stability across the interfaces that will lead to the development of Solid High Energy Lithium Batteries (SHELiB).
Coca-Cola Foundation Awards Grant to Xaiver University of Louisiana to Support Black Male Recruitment and Retention
- Xavier University of Louisiana has been awarded a $250,000 grant from The Coca-Cola Foundation. The goal of the project, “The Obligation of Excellence: Black Male Recruitment and Retention at Xavier University of Louisiana,” is to help in the University’s ongoing efforts to improve Black male recruitment, enrollment and retention rates and to provide supplemental scholarship funding that will lessen the financial burden for Black male students enrolled at Xavier.
Mellon Grant to Support Community College Student Pipeline, Summer Bridge Program
- Xavier University of Louisiana received a three-year, $500,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support initiatives designed to expand its community college student pipeline and to establish a new summer bridge program. The grant funds on-going university efforts to engage and enroll more community college students by streamlining its transfer administrative process, clarifying course and major requirements, and reducing any course-related hindrances to graduating in four-years.
Minority Business Enterprises Readiness Project with the City of New Orleans awards Grant to Xavier University of Louisiana
- A $465,894 grant was awarded to Xavier University of Louisiana by the Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This grant funds the MBE Disaster Readiness Project, an initiative whose objective is to disseminate pertinent information about disaster preparedness and about obtaining disaster-related contracts to minority-owned businesses in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
National Science Foundation Grant awarded to Xavier University of Louisiana
- Xavier University of Louisiana was awarded a three-year, $844,448 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop a systematic approach to increasing the participation and advancement of women in academic STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) careers. Xavier Professor Dr. Payton-Stewart was named as a Diversity Fellow for the NSF ADVANCE Grant.
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) Diversity Program Consortium (DPC) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funds Project Pathways at Xavier, as part of the Building Infrastructure Leading to Diversity (BUILD) program.
The ultimate goal of this program is to address the lack of diversity in the biomedical research workforce and prepare a diverse group of future contributors to the NIH-funded research enterprise. Xavier’s Project Pathways, focuses on the various pathways to success for students in the biomedical sciences, bringing together both academic areas and academic support areas to provide students with a holistic program that better prepares them for a research career. To further expand the benefits of Project Pathways, Xaver has partnered with several institutions to give our students the opportunity to perform research with partnering liaisons, including Dartmouth, Boston University School of Medicine, the University of Michigan and more.
Xavier’s strategic priorities for maintaining its unique place in the world of higher education and reaching even higher levels of academic excellence and service to the community include increasing scholarships for deserving students, promoting excellence in teaching and research, increasing the number of Xavier students entering graduate and professional schools, expanding the University’s leadership in pharmaceutical education and minority healthcare issues, and enhancing programs that promote core values and leadership.