Lamar University

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This school appears in our ranking Top 30 Affordable Online Master's in Nursing Education Degrees 2017-2018.

Located in Beaumont, Texas, between Houston and Louisiana, Lamar University is one of the seven schools that make up the Texas University System. While it has been in existence since 1923, the school has undergone many changes since its beginnings as a junior college. Becoming a four-year institution in 1951, the school was known then as Lamar State College of Technology and focused on the disciplines of science and engineering. Today, though, the university offers more than 100 degrees in a variety of fields including over 40 online programs with a total enrollment of approximately 15,000 students.

Much of the faculty at Lamar University have worked professionally in their disciplines and use this experience to illustrate practical applications of didactic knowledge. In every class, students are taught to think critically and become leaders in their fields. Research and innovation are highly valued as evidenced by the Carnegie Doctoral Research University designation. Additionally, Lamar University emphasizes the importance of balance in students' lives and works to design programs that challenge students academically while also providing professional development experiences and time for personal endeavors. As such, the online graduate programs were created on these principles so that students could feasibly continue employment while completing their degrees.

Lamar University Accreditation Details

Lamar University has been accredited since 1955 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an organization that evaluates the caliber of colleges and universities in 11 south-central and southeastern states including Texas. The SACSCOC reevaluates schools every ten years to ensure they continue to meet standards in six designated areas including student learning, accountability, and continuous quality improvement. This process attests to the quality of education provided as well as the sustainability and business practices of the institution as a whole. Additionally, in order to be eligible for federal financial aid, students must attend a regionally accredited school.

Professional organizations also provide accreditation to particular degree programs in their industries. This signifies that graduates from these programs are well prepared for professional life. At Lamar University, the online Master of Business Administration programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The AACSB evaluates 15 different characteristics of business programs in the areas of learning and teaching, engagement, participation, and innovation to ensure students are receiving a thorough and up-to-date education. Additionally, the online Masters of Science in Nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. This organization certifies nursing degree programs that meet standards in six categories including Curriculum, Faculty and Staff, and Student Outcomes.

Application Requirements

All students applying for graduate programs at Lamar University start the process by filling out an application using the Apply Texas portal. As a supplement to the application, complete undergraduate transcripts are required and must demonstrate completion of a bachelor's degree. In many cases, the undergraduate degree must be in a field related to the master's program of study, but this is not always the case. Individual departments have additional experiential, academic, and licensing admission requirements. For example, the MBA programs all require prospective students to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Admission to nursing and education graduate programs require a current, unencumbered license as well as experience in the field. Prior to applying, students have an opportunity to speak with specialized admission counselors who can outline the individual requirements for the chosen program. The Lamar University Graduate School does have a rolling admissions policy, but students are advised to have all materials submitted at least 30 days before the first day of the semester.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Graduate school tuition costs at Lamar University are dependent on two factors, residency status and the number of credit hours per semester. For in-state students, tuition costs $1527, $2807, $4087, and $5332 for 3, 6, 9, and 12-credit-hour enrollments respectively which is a little over $400 per credit hour. Out-of-state students pay almost twice as much for the same programs with an average cost of about $850 per credit hour. Nursing students, though, have a reduced rate of $328 per credit hour. All graduate students are advised to complete a FAFSA to determine eligibility for federal loans like the Graduate PLUS loan. In addition, Lamar University offers scholarships to students based on academic abilities, community service, and financial need, so students are also encouraged to complete the scholarship application on the Apply Texas portal. Employers are another potential source for tuition aid since many online graduate students continue full-time professional work while completing classes. Many companies have tuition assistance benefits which pay for all or part of tuition costs each semester, especially if the program is in a related discipline. Students entering service professions like education, nursing, and counseling can apply for programs that will cancel student debt after a designated number of years working in high-need areas after graduation.

Online Degrees Available

Lamar University offers 31 different online master's programs in areas including business, nursing, counseling, engineering, and education. Many of these are offered exclusively online, while some have on-campus options as well. In the College of Business, there are six Masters of Business Administration options including construction project management, criminal justice management, healthcare administration, and a generalist Master of Business Administration. Each of these consists of four leveling courses which can be waived by undergraduate coursework, eight business foundation classes, and four specialty elective courses.

In the educational field, Lamar University offers seven related master's programs including Educational Administration, Educational Technology, Special Education, and Spanish Teaching. Many of these programs are geared toward students who are currently teaching, although some do not require a teaching license like the Digital Learning and Leading track. Before graduation, students in all of these programs complete an internship or practicum in their community to gain practical experience using their advanced skills.

Nursing students have a few different options at Lamar University. The RN to MSN program helps students earn both their BSN and MSN degrees in 36 months. These students take courses ranging from practical classes like Holistic Health Assessment to more advanced nursing administration courses including Planning and Organizing Healthcare and Healthcare Policy and Finance. For more information on these and other online graduate degrees offered at Lamar University, prospective students can review prerequisites and required coursework on the website.