McNeese State University
Founded in 1939, McNeese State University is a comprehensive, public university, known for affordability for both domestic and international students (see section below for more information on their attractive scholarship options). McNeese is located in the small city of Lake Charles which, in recent years, has become a major hub for the US’s offshore oil and gas industries in the Gulf of Mexico which it borders. As a result, there are opportunities for many McNeese students to get hands-on experience during their studies.
Thanks to its geographical location, McNeese is particularly known for its ABET-accredited engineering programs: chemical, civil, computer, electrical and mechanical engineering degrees are all offered here. McNeese’s College of Engineering is ranked #11 in the USA for value for money according to PayScale: to put this in context, Stanford University is ranked 12th!
The university has a strong Agricultural Science program with a number of different concentrations, including Agribusiness, Food Technology or Pre-Veterinary Medicine. Agriculture major students have access to three working farms that cover over 1000 acres.
Students interested in medical-related fields also have a lot of choice. As well as the Pre-Med routes open to Biology or Chemistry majors, McNeese offers specialist programs in Medical Laboratory Science, Nursing, Psychology* and Radiologic Sciences (* indicates that this program is also available at Master’s level).
Many programs, especially in the engineering fields, offer coordinated internship and Co-Op opportunities during the program through Curricular Practical Training (CPT). These semester-long opportunities are typically paid and count for university credit.
The McNeese Access Award is the primary merit scholarship available at bachelor degree level. It is surprisingly accessible and gives outstanding value to international students. It is an out-of-state tuition fee waiver valued at approximately $11,000 per year and which reduces tuition by approximately 55%. McNeese Access scholars will therefore pay the same tuition and fees as local Louisiana residents (known as ‘in-state tuition’)! Full details on the scholarship and eligibility requirements please contact us
In addition to the McNeese Access Award, new Freshman students with high SAT Exam scores are eligible for the International First-Time Freshman Scholarship worth up to $1,000 per semester.
The International Graduate Scholarship, worth up to $1,000 per year, is open to international students applying for a Master’s or MBA at McNeese. These scholarships are based entirely on the GPA from the student’s Bachelor’s degree studies abroad.
McNeese State University is located in the city of Lake Charles (population: 125,000) in the south west of Louisiana. It is approximately two and a half hours drive from Houston, Texas, the third largest city in the USA, to the west. New Orleans is a similar distance from Lake Charles in the opposite direction.
Lake Charles is an important hub for the offshore oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Mexico, so the port is of an impressive size.
Lake Charles has a warm and sunny climate, making it a comfortable location climate-wise for African students all year round. The city’s location between Houston and New Orleans and its climate have made it an attractive tourist destination for Americans looking for a weekend away.
Lake Charles is known for its hospitality and McNeese State University is no different! With approximately 7,000 students, the campus is a manageable size.
There are over 120 student organizations to choose from depending on your personal interests – there are clubs ranging from the Hunt Seat Team (for those who like riding horses) to the Cowboy Marching Band, from McNeese Debate Council to the Philosophy Club . Most international students will want to actively participate in the International Student Association as this is an excellent way to make friends from around the world. The African and Caribbean Student Association is also a popular and active association on campus, while those studying Engineering may well be interested in the National Society of Black Engineers.
All McNeese students have access to the Sports Complex offering an Olympic size swimming pool, indoor track, basketball, racquetball and tennis courts, weight room, and cardiovascular fitness center. There are also many fitness classes held weekly during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.
Concerts and theater performances run regularly on campus – often McNeese students are the performers though from time to time nationally and even internationally recognized artistes also come to the campus to perform.
There are five different residence halls located on campus and we do strongly recommend new students to spend at least their first academic year on campus to get the full campus experience and as a great way to meet lots of people and make friends quickly.
The residence halls offer different types of housing, depending on your budget and personal preferences. The traditional halls offer twin bedrooms with a shared hall bathroom. However, there are also suite-style residences where you will have your own single bedroom but share a lounge and bathroom with one or more students. Further information about the different residence halls, including floor plans and pricing, can be found at https://mcneesereslife.com/.
There are a number of different eateries on campus. Students living on campus are required to purchase one of several different meal plans – further information can be found at https://dineoncampus.com/mcneese. Remember that eating on campus is a great way to make friends quickly and to feel part of the McNeese family!
What comes next?
Upon completion of your Bachelor’s or Master’s program at McNeese State University, you will be eligible for OPT (Optional Practical Training). OPT is an opportunity to work off-campus in an area related to your study for up to 12 months (or 36-months if you have chosen a STEM major): you will gain valuable work experience and, at the same time, you will be paid!