Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, La., is an accredited regional university with a diverse population of about 6,500 traditional and nontraditional students. Since first opening its doors in 1948, Nicholls has been the only university serving the Bayou Region. The family-oriented campus offers more than 100 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, 90-plus student organizations and 14 Division I athletic teams.

Nicholls capitalizes on its prime location and rich culture by offering distinctive academic programs in culinary arts, geomatics, maritime management, marine and environmental science, petroleum services and safety technology. The university serves a large population of first-generation college students and has consistently been designated as a Military Friendly School. The 287-acre Thibodaux campus is located approximately 50 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.

picture of JaeVeric Bradley

"Nicholls is a place that you can come to and feel like you are home, even if you are far away from home. Living on campus really helped me come out of my shell."


Founded: Sept. 23, 1948
Location: Thibodaux, Louisiana
Colors: Red and Gray
Nickname: The Colonels
Campus Size: 287 acres
Namesake: Francis Redding “Tillou” Nicholls, two-term Louisiana governor and Louisiana Supreme Court chief justice



“I hope that this Master Plan inspires you about the next 25 years at Nicholls. It is consistent with and supports our university’s mission, vision and strategic plan, and is flexible enough to accommodate the inevitable change that is typical in higher education.”

-Dr. Jay Clune, President

Nicholls State University is an educational institution dedicated to fostering intellectual achievement personal development, social responsibility, and is committed to the human dignity and worth of every person. The mission of Nicholls State University extends beyond instruction and requires that the University maintain and improve programs which support and encourage the development of good character and responsible citizenship.

Acceptance of admission to the Nicholls carries with it an obligation for the welfare of the community. As such, Nicholls expects the highest standard of personal conduct from its students. Nicholls State University is committed to providing a student-centered, values rich, co-curricular education. Dignity, excellence, wholeness, inclusiveness, and compassion are key values conducive to the pursuit of knowledge and to personal development.

Nicholls State University fully supports and fosters a policy of non-discrimination on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, and veteran’s status, or any other status or classification prohibited by federal, state, or local law.



Nicholls State University delivers accredited degree programs and comprehensive learning experiences to prepare students for regional and global professions within a spirited campus environment immersed in Bayou Region culture.


To be the intellectual, economic and cultural heart of the Bayou Region.


Nicholls State University supports values that promote citizenship, concern for self and others, and the desire for a better world by embracing as its core values:

Civic Responsibility: We use our time and talents to serve our community

Diversity: We embrace unique perspectives that all individuals bring to the learning environment.

Excellence: We reach for the highest level of achievement in all activities.

Integrity: We expect fairness and truthfulness in all instances.

Leadership: As representatives of the university, we embrace our role as leaders.

Respectfulness: We respect the rights of others and are responsive to the needs of others.

Responsibility: We are accountable for our actions.

Francis T NichollsFrancis T. Nicholls

Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls was born on August 20, 1834, in Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish. After his graduation from West Point in 1855, he practiced law in South Louisiana. During the Civil War he rose to the rank of brigadier general. His battlefield wounds cost him his left arm and foot and he was a prisoner of war. After the war he returned to his law practice in Napoleonville.
The Louisiana State Democratic Party nominated him for governor in 1876. His election generally is considered to mark the end to Louisiana’s political Reconstruction and the reestablishment of “Home Rule.”

His second tenure as governor (1888 1892) was climaxed by his successful opposition to the corrupt Louisiana Lottery Company. With his term completed, he was named chief justice to the Louisiana Supreme Court. He retired to his Thibodaux home in 1911 and died in 1912.

The Institution

Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, La., is a comprehensive regional university serving a diverse population of traditional and nontraditional students.

Tax-supported and co-educational, the institution first opened its doors on Sept. 23, 1948, as Francis T. Nicholls Junior College of Louisiana State University. In 1956, the Louisiana Legislature separated Nicholls from LSU and authorized it to develop four-year curricula. Thus, in September 1956, the former junior college began operation as Francis T. Nicholls State College and granted its first degrees in May 1958. Act 93 of the State Legislature in 1970 changed the name to Nicholls State University.

The university is named in honor of Francis Redding Tillou Nicholls, who was born on Aug. 20, 1834, in Donaldsonville, La. After graduating from West Point, he practiced law in South Louisiana. He rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Civil War, during which he was a prisoner of war and lost his left arm and leg. He returned to his Napoleonville law practice, and the Louisiana State Democratic Party nominated him for governor in 1876. His election is generally considered to mark the end of Louisiana’s political Reconstruction and the re-establishment of “Home Rule.” During his second tenure as governor (1888–1892), he successfully opposed the corrupt Louisiana Lottery Company. After completing two gubernatorial terms, he was named chief justice to the Louisiana Supreme Court. He retired to his Thibodaux home in 1911 and died in 1912.

Located in “Cajun Country,” Nicholls lies in the heart of the Mississippi River delta, allowing for easy access to the river, its tributaries, Louisiana’s wetlands and the Gulf of Mexico. The 287-acre Thibodaux campus is approximately 50 miles west of New Orleans and 60 miles southeast of Baton Rouge.

For more than half a century, the university’s strong general education program has prepared students to be leaders in a global society and has enhanced their ability to create a vision for the future. Nicholls capitalizes on the region’s geography and culture by offering distinctive academic programs in the culinary arts and geomatics. With its prime location along the banks of Bayou Lafourche, Nicholls also provides unique opportunities for instruction and research in the fields of marine and environmental science. The university has assumed a leadership role in an area known for its agricultural, fishing, petrochemical and oilfield-related industries. Nicholls continues to contribute significantly to the region’s growth in new technology, manufacturing and international trade.

By maintaining partnerships with businesses, local school systems, community agencies and other educational institutions, Nicholls actively participates in the south-central Louisiana’s development. The university maintains a strong commitment to the well-being of local residents. Through the expansion of health science programs, Nicholls collaborates with a nationally recognized health care industry in the Houma-Thibodaux area.

The university also proudly partners with Fletcher Technical Community College. Both campuses work together to provide complete access to higher education in south-central Louisiana.

Visting Thibodaux, Louisiana