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Nicholls State University, located in Thibodaux, Louisiana, 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 September 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 August 20, 1834, in Donaldsonville, Louisiana. 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 reestablishment 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.

By maintaining partnerships with businesses, local school systems, community agencies, and other educational institutions, Nicholls actively participates in 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 in Houma, located about 15 miles south of Nicholls. Both campuses work together to provide complete access to higher education in south-central Louisiana.




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.


  1. Providing Student Opportunity and Success
  2. Fostering Innovation
  3. Increasing Internationalization
  4. Serving the Needs of the Region



Inquiries relating to accreditation of academic programs can be mailed to Academic Affairs at Nicholls State University, P.O. Box 2002, Thibodaux, LA 70310 or may be directed to (985) 448-4011 via telephone.

Nicholls State University is a regionally accredited university and several programs have specialized accreditation. Information on all accreditations can be found at



Ellender Memorial Library

Centrally and conveniently located, the three-story Allen J. Ellender Memorial Library provides direct access to over 750,000 books, journals, government documents and other research sources in a variety of print and  electronic formats and supplements those resources through its inter-library loan service. The Allen J. Ellender Archives is located on the first floor, Circulation, Interlibrary Loan and Research/Reference on the second, and Government Information and Serials on the third. In addition, The Ellender Computer Lab can be found on the first floor. Most collections are easily accessible through open shelving, convenient service stations and the computerized card catalogue known as e-Library.

Service is the first priority of the library’s faculty and staff. Our Research Librarians offer one-on-one help and provide group instruction in library skills, an integral part of University College classes in freshman studies, and they visit classes to explain topics of particular interest to students and instructors. Interlibrary Loan offers personalized services to patrons who need materials from other libraries, using the latest online computer technology to locate and request materials.

The Archives, part of the Special Collections Department, serves as a repository for primary and secondary materials relating to Louisiana. Its largest collection is the papers of Senator Allen J. Ellender, which document his thirty-five year career in the U. S. Senate. Other original materials available to patrons include antebellum plantation papers, local business records, diaries and journals, historical photographs, and papers of past university presidents, as well as university yearbooks and student newspaper files.

Alumni Federation

The Nicholls State University Alumni Federation, chartered in 1960, is composed of graduates and former students who have successfully completed at least one semester and a minimum of twelve semester hours. A board of directors elected by the active membership directs Federation activities. The Federation conducts an annual business meeting each spring on campus. Active members are those who have paid annual dues. The board bestows honorary membership on special friends of the university. All members of the university faculty and staff, administrative officers and graduate fellows as well as community members who pay dues as friends of the Alumni Federation, shall be associate members..

The organization maintains and promotes a mutually beneficial relationship between the university and its alumni. It publishes The Colonel, a bi-annual alumni magazine; sponsors homecoming activities; awards scholarships each year; and hosts a variety of on- and off-campus events.

The director of Alumni Affairs supervises day-to-day activities from an office on campus in the Clarence James Jr. Alumni House at 203 Audubon Drive. The mailing address is P. O. Box 2158, Thibodaux, LA 70310; Telephone number 985-448-4111. The Website is

Center for Advancing Faculty Engagement (CAFE’)

The Center for Advancing Faculty Engagement (CAFE) is the faculty development center for Nicholls. The mission of the CAFE is to increase student engagement by supporting and promoting faculty in their many forms of scholarship and professional work.   The CAFE achieves its mission by encouraging a spirit of collegiality, training faculty in best practices, facilitating professional growth, mentoring new faculty, and promoting campus-wide initiatives.   The CAFE is located in 209 Elkins Hall.   The mailing address is P. O. Box 2002, Thibodaux, LA 70310; Telephone number 985-448-4402; Webpage

Louisiana Center for Women and Government

The  Louisiana Center for Women and Government at Nicholls  encourages the future leadership of women by preparing them for public service through non-partisan provision and support of education,  training, and  creative programs. Among the programs offered by the Center are a unique internship program, a National Leadership Summit on Energy and the Environment, Louisiana Girls Leadership Academy, Campaign Institute, and a  Hall of Fame to honor outstanding Louisiana women for their contributions to the public sector.

The Center is located in the Ellender Memorial Library Facility on Leighton Drive. The mailing address is P.O. Box 2062, Thibodaux, LA 70310; Telephone number 985-448-4770.

Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders

The Louisiana Center for Dyslexia and Related Learning Disorders in S. Babington and Peltier Halls. The major functions of the Center are to prepare teachers to serve individuals with dyslexia through clinical and educational intervention, to provide direct service to Nicholls State University students and area residents, and to conduct psycho-educational assessments for children and adults. Additionally, the Center disseminates information about dyslexia, contributes to state policy regarding dyslexia, and conducts research that contributes to the study of dyslexia. The mailing address is P.O. Box 2050, Thibodaux, LA 70310; Telephone number is 985-448-4214.

Small Business Development Center

The mission of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC Network) is to enhance the economic well being of the citizens of Louisiana by providing comprehensive, high-quality assistance to existing and potential small businesses. The center fosters the formation and growth of small businesses through individual counseling services, educational training programs, and business information resources to expand and diversify the Louisiana economy. It is committed to implementing initiatives of the U.S. Small Business Administration as well as Louisiana’s master plan for economic development. The SBDC telephone number is 985-493-2587.

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute

The Chef John Folse Culinary Institute was granted special institute status in October of 1994. Conceived two years earlier by then President Donald Ayo and Chef John Folse, the institute at that time was the only regional culinary institute in America. To this day, the institute offers the only bachelor’s degree in culinary arts in the state. The institute’s mission is dedicated primarily to promoting an understanding of history and diversity though culinary education, both nationally and internationally.



University Honors Program

Office: 111 Gouaux Hall
Phone: 985-448-4710
Director: Dr. John Doucet

The University Honors Program is designed to enhance the academic experience of the university’s high-achieving and highly motivated students, creating for them a community of creativity and excellence. Within the classroom, honors students receive a personalized education through innovative teaching and limited class size, directly involving them in the learning process.

Outside the classroom, honors students enjoy exclusive privileges such as reserved dormitory suites and a dedicated study center,first-day registration, special lectures and travels, and opportunities for independent research and international study.

For more information, see the University College section in this Catalog.

Tulane University School of Medicine Early Acceptance Program

Through an agreement with Tulane University School of Medicine, Nicholls State University may nominate up to four students at the end of their sophomore year for early acceptance into medical school. By fulfilling specific academic requirements of the program, these students may enter Tulane University School of Medicine following graduation from Nicholls. Applications for the Program are due June 1 of each year to the Nicholls State University Early Acceptance Program committee chair. The Nicholls State Early Acceptance Program Committee submits four nominees to the Office of Admissions at Tulane University School of Medicine each June.

Students interested in this program should seek further information from their Department Head.

Proposed Sequence of Courses for Tulane School of Medicine Early Acceptance Program.

Freshman Year
Fall Semester Hours Spring Semester Hours
English 101 or placement 3 English 102 or placement 3
Math required in curriculum* 3 Math required in curriculum 3
Biology 155 4 Biology 156 4
Chemistry 105 3 Chemistry 106 3
History 151 or 101 3 Chemistry 110 2
Freshman Studies Course 1 History 151 or 102 3
17 18
(*19 hrs if Math 165)
Sophomore Year
Fall Semester Hours Spring Semester Hours
Curriculum electives 6 English literature elective 3
Science elective 4 Chemistry 222 3
Chemistry 221 3 Chemistry 226 2
Physics 101 or 201 3 Physics 102 or 202 3
Physics 103 or 203 1 Physics 104 or 204 1
17 Biology 320 or 326 4

International Study Programs

Nicholls State had a vision over a quarter of a century ago to expand its classrooms from a regional campus in Louisiana to a global environment. Today, the university has ten international study sites around the world. The university continues its commitment to this vision. As part of its mission, the university strives to prepare students to interpret and respond to changing regional, national, and global societies. One way of accomplishing this goal is to educate students in different parts of the world as well as in diversified cultures.

Art Program

Office: 221-225 Talbot Hall
Phone: 985-448-4597
Program Director: Jean Donegan

The Department of Art offers an educational travel opportunity each summer which departs in early June. Accompanied by faculty of Nicholls State, students participate in an organized tour which concentrates on a few countries in Europe. Some past itineraries have included Ireland, England and France, Spain, the French Riviera and Northern Italy, and Greece and Italy. The length of the program is approximately nineteen days and is designed to offer on-site experiences while providing the opportunity of fulfilling academic courses in art, fine arts, art history, humanities and field study for studio courses in photography and drawing. Annual programs are available to all students and individuals in the community.

Honors Abroad

Honors Abroad Coordinator: Dr. Martin Simpson, 241 Peltier Hall, 985-448-4610
Honors Program Director: Dr. John Doucet, 111 Gouaux Hall, 985-448-4710

A component of the University Honors Program, Honors Abroad is a cross-cultural curriculum enhancement open to eligible honors program students. Under the instruction of a competitively selected Nicholls professor, honors students enroll in special humanities courses and begin coursework at Nicholls, continue coursework in England or Costa Rica, and complete coursework upon return. The international component of Honors Abroad is held during special sessions between fall and spring or spring and summer semesters. Honors Abroad establishes academic and residential linkages with local universities in host countries to extend the collegiate experience extramurally.

Nicholls Europe

Office: 241 Beauregard
Phone: 985-448-4460
Coordinator: Jim Barnidge

Nicholls Europe is the second oldest international study program in the state of Louisiana. Students have an opportunity to travel and study in England, Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and the Czech Republic. The twenty-day summer travel program takes place in the months of June and July. Students are provided with an up-close and personal study of art, drama, architecture, government, and history. Students of all disciplines are eligible to earn undergraduate or graduate credit in history, humanities, and art courses.


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