Tulane traces its origins to 1834, when it was founded as the Medical College of Louisiana. It was renamed the University of Louisiana by the state legislature in 1847. The legislature subsequently transferred it to the Board of Administrators of the Tulane Education Fund in 1884. With that transfer, Tulane University was established as a private, nonsectarian university and named in honor of benefactor Paul Tulane. Tulane has an operating budget of over $1 billion and an endowment of $2 billion.
The University’s 8:1 undergraduate student-faculty ratio allows Tulane undergraduates to receive the personalized attention of a smaller liberal arts college and the resources of a major research institution with a broad array of graduate and professional degree programs. In 2021, U.S. News and World Report ranked Tulane 41st among national universities. Tulane is a member of the Association of American Universities and is designated with “very high research activity” (R1) by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. University-wide research efforts garner approximately $175 million in sponsored awards each year (over $140 million of which is from federal sources).
From its original mission to address epidemics in New Orleans, Tulane’s commitment to its community has been a hallmark of its identity. The Tulane Law School was the first in the country to require pro bono service of all its students, and today Tulane students contribute over 750,000 hours annually to community service. Tulane was in the first cohort awarded a Community Engagement classification by the Carnegie Foundation.
The university is a powerful magnet for talented young people throughout the nation, with undergraduates traveling farther to attend Tulane on average than students at any other university. As such, Tulane has a major impact on the workforce of New Orleans – approximately 26 percent of alumni remain in the city after graduation.
Tulane is organized into ten academic divisions: A.B. Freeman School of Business, School of Architecture, School of Professional Advancement, School of Law, School of Liberal Arts, School of Medicine, Newcomb-Tulane College, School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, School of Science and Engineering, and the School of Social Work. The mix of schools is an asset that is rich with opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration in research and education. Enrolled in these programs are nearly 8,400 undergraduate and 5,100 graduate students from all 50 states and more than 85 nations. The Tulane faculty is composed of more than 1,200 full-time members, with a staff of approximately 2,900. Tulane is also home to one of the nation’s seven NIH-funded National Primate Research Centers (NPRCs) and is the only NPRC with an on-site Regional Biocontainment Laboratory, a high-capacity 40,000 square foot facility, and a CDC/USDA Select Agent registered entity.