Lamar University is a public university that operates a large campus in Lamar, Texas. Founded in 1923 as South Park Junior College, it quickly gained the approval of the Texas Department of Education despite not having a campus of its own. To cut down on costs and help students living nearby, it offered classes in unused spaces in a local high school. As a junior college, it primarily offered associate degree programs designed to help graduates immediately find work. It took a few years before it transitioned to a full college and even longer before the campus became Lamar University. Also known as LU and Lamar, it started work in 2001 to renovate some of its older buildings and to offer the more modern amenities that students wanted and needed.
The university now has seven colleges on its campus that provide students with nearly 100 undergrad programs and more than 50 programs at the master's and doctoral levels. Some of those programs rank among the nation's best, including those in nursing, speech and language pathology and education. The university also has a strong reputation for its online programs. It is home to the best online graduate programs for nursing, education and justice. U.S. News & World Report also ranked its online bachelor's program as one of the top online programs for undergrads. Lamar has more than 15,000 enrolled students, including more than 10,000 undergrads.
Lamar University Accreditation Details
Finding out if a university has accreditation is one of the best ways to determine if the school offers the opportunities that you need. Students applying to Lamar will find that it has regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) as well as program accreditation from some top organizations. SACS accreditation allows the university to provide incoming and continuing students with federal financial aid and gives students the right to transfer credits to and from Lamar. The program accreditation that LU has lets students know that some programs have approval from professional organizations. The 11 organizations and groups that granted Lamar program accreditation include:
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
- Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc.
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
- Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation
- American Culinary Federation Education Foundation
Lamar University Application Requirements
To enroll in Lamar as a freshman, you must take a minimum of 14 credits of high school classes designated as college prep courses. These courses may include algebra, American history, world history or American literature. The university recommends that you spend four years taking English classes and that you take two years of life science classes with a lab component, three years of math courses and at least two years of college level electives and social science classes. If you rank within the top 10% of your graduating class, the university does not require a test score. Students with a lower class ranking must take and submit scores from the ACT or SAT.
When you apply to LU, you need to use the Apply Texas website to submit your application. This site lets you use one account for applying to many public colleges in the state. Lamar also asks for an official test score from the testing center or organization that administered your test and a high school transcript. This transcript must show your cumulative GPA as well as your class ranking. It should also show that you completed the type of college prep curriculum required of all incoming freshmen. If you want to transfer credits earned at another college or university, Lamar asks for a transcript from that college too.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Lamar University estimates the amount that students will spend to attend each year based on whether they are a Texas resident or a nonresident. The cost for all full-time residents is around $11,600 a year, which includes a tuition rate of around $4,800 and the cost of room and board. Those who live with their parents and commute to campus pay less. Nonresidents pay around $17,500 a year for tuition, fees and all other expenses.
The most common types of financial aid used by Lamar students are grants and loans. When you file the FAFSA, the university will receive a copy, process your information and send you an award package. This package can include need-based aid like Pell grants, subsidized loans and state grants. It may include other types of aid like a parent PLUS loan and/or an unsubsidized loan. Lamar also takes part in the federal work-study program, which lets you work in a job on its campus and make extra money during the school year. More than 2,000 of its students receive one or more scholarships each year too, and the university awards millions in scholarships every year.
Psychology and Counseling Programs
Students interested in psychology can enroll in the university's undergrad psychology program. Lamar offers both a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. The BA program lets you learn more about human behavior and focuses on teaching you practical skills that you can use in positions like social work and addiction counseling. Its BS program includes more intensive classes that require you do more research and take more lab courses, which will give you a strong foundation for graduate school. Each program requires that you take a minimum of 56 credits of general education courses that might include biology, English, political science and history. You must also take a minimum of nine credits within your minor and up to 10 hours of electives.
The psychology courses that you take cover introductory and advanced topics. All psychology students must take a course that introduces them to statistical methods and a course on methods in psychology. Those courses will help you better understand the subjects you study later. You'll also take classes on specific topics within this subject like experimental psychology, abnormal psychology, industrial psychology and learning and cognition. The university also offers a class called special topics that focuses on a key aspect of psychology that you can take one or more times as the topic changes. Lamar University allows its psychology students to take advanced courses during their senior years that will help better prepare them for graduate school.
See also: The 50 Best Low-Cost Online Master's in Counseling Programs 2016-2017