Northwestern State University of Louisiana stands on grounds with a strong history of education. The property belonged to the Bullard family prior to the Civil War and, as early as 1856, the Bullard mansion had been used as a convent by the Religious Society of the Sacred Heart. A school building was erected there in 1857 and the entire property purchased by the town of Natchitoches in 1884.

The same year, the Louisiana State Legislature created the Louisiana State Normal School, an institution designed to educate teachers. Louisiana was still recovering from the war and the legislation was designed to strengthen the state’s public school system which was suffering from a lack of qualified teachers.

Leopold Caspari of Natchitoches, who was a Louisiana State Representative, offered the convent as a site for the newly created school. The Normal School began offering two-year education programs in 1885. In 1904, the Bullard Mansion, which had been constructed in 1832, was torn down. Three columns from the mansion remain and have been adopted as a symbol of the school. In 1918, bachelor’s degree programs were added and, in 1921, the school name changed to the Louisiana State Normal College. In 1944, the school was renamed Northwestern State College of Louisiana.

In 1954, the school became the first college under the jurisdiction of the Louisiana State Board of Education to offer master’s degree. The school gained university status in 1970.

Today, the university is a responsive, student-oriented institution committed to preparing leaders who will make a difference in their field of study.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana Accreditation Details

Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Regional accreditation lets parents, students and future employers know that graduates have received an education based in excellence. It also indicates that the college is willing to improve any areas identified as needing improvement by the accrediting agency. Specific programs are accredited by the following organizations:

  • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
  • American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council of Counseling and Related Educational Program
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology
  • Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  • National Association of Schools of Art and Design
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Association of Schools of Theatre
  • National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education

Northwestern State University of Louisiana Application Requirements

Students who have not earned college credit after high school are considered freshmen applicants. Students must have a 2.35 cumulative GPA, an ACT English score of 18 or higher or an ACT math score of 19 or higher. Students may have an SAT score of 940 or higher and a 2.0 core GPA to apply as well. Students must submit an official transcript, an application and the applicable fee. Students must also submit official SAT or ACT scores, proof of immunization, Selective Service registry and a copy of their Social Security card.

Students who have earned college credit after high school must have a transferrable associate’s degree or 18 college hours with a 2.0 GPA and proof they have completed English and math at the college level. Transfer students who need remedial courses may not be admitted although applicants over the age of 25 may enroll if they need one developmental course. Students must complete an application and pay the applicable fee. Students must provide an official high school transcript as well as official college transcripts from all colleges or universities attended.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time tuition at Northwestern State University of Louisiana is $2,590 for in-state students and $7,984 for out-of-state students. Online students pay a flat rate tuition of $375 per credit hour for up to 12 hours and $100 per credit hour for credits over 12 hours. Graduate online tuition is $475 per credit hour for the first nine hours and $100 per credit hour for each credit after nine.

Financial aid is available and the financial aid office works to find the best possible package for each student who wishes to attend. Aid is available in the form of grants, loans, third-party-funds, scholarships and work-study programs. Students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to qualify for any financial aid.

Northwestern State University of Louisiana Online Degree(s) Available


Northwestern State University of Louisiana is designed for those who already hold a registered nursing license who wish to pursue their bachelor’s degree. The program is offered online, allowing for flexibility for working adults. Traditional daytime classes are offered as well although students are not required to attend campus courses. They are encouraged to meet with faculty in person, by phone or via email. Students are able to integrate theory from nursing, the arts, humanities and science to provide sensitive care in an increasingly global community. Students use critical thinking, communication, assessment and technical skills to resolve issues in the nursing field and are able to collaborate with clients or other members of the health team to promote health, reduce risk and prevent disease. Courses required include:

  • Adult Health
  • Child Health
  • Community Based Nursing
  • Complex Nursing Care
  • Culture and Ethics
  • Dimensions of Professional Nursing
  • Dosage Calculations
  • English Composition and Rhetoric I & II
  • Gerontology for RNs
  • Health Assessment for RNs
  • Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II
  • Informatics for RN
  • Introduction to Human Genetics
  • Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Leadership and Management for Registered Nurses
  • Literature
  • Microbiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Psychiatry/Mental Health Practice
  • Women’s Health

Students must also complete practicums in order to complete the program. Clinical requirements may be completed in the student’s home community. Students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above in their nursing studies and a minimum grade of “C” or better in all math, science and nursing courses. Students must have an unencumbered license as an RN in the state where they will complete their clinical experiences and must have graduated from an accredited associate or diploma nursing program. Students must provide professional liability insurance documentation prior to enrollment.

Northwestern State University in Louisiana provides students with online programs that allow adult learners to advance in a current career or move into a new career while still meeting work, family or social obligations that may prevent them from attending traditional classes.

Related resource:

30 Best Affordable RN-BSN Degree Programs