Xavier University of Louisiana, founded by Saint Katharine Drexel and the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, is Catholic and historically Black. The ultimate purpose of the University is to contribute to the promotion of a more just and humane society by preparing its students to assume roles of leadership and service in a global society. This preparation takes place in a diverse learning and teaching environment that incorporates all relevant educational means, including research and community service.[View a presentation made by Sr. Monica Loughlin, S.B.S. at the Board of Trustees Orientation, October 2008.]
St. Katharine Drexel of Philadelphia and her Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, a religious community dedicated to the education of African Americans and Native Americans, established Xavier as a high school in 1915. The four-year college program was added in 1925. Today Xavier retains its distinction as the only historically Black, Catholic University in the United States.
In 1970, the Sisters transferred control of the University to a joint lay/religious Board of Trustees. Dr. Norman C. Francis, a 1952 XULA graduate, served as president for 47 years before retiring in 2015. Dr. C. Reynold Verret now serves as President.
Xavier's student body is predominantly African American (70.2%), but the university is open to all. Despite a growing influx of out-of-state students, more than one-half of the university's nearly 3,000 students are from Louisiana.
Undergraduate students, regardless of their major are required to complete sixty-six hours of liberal arts core curriculum courses in English, Literature, Fine Arts, Foreign Languages, History, African American Studies, Mathematics, Natural Sciences, Philosophy, Theology, and Social Sciences in addition to courses in their major fields. Xavier offers preparation in 46 major areas on the undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree levels.
The University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Its respective programs are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, the National Association of Schools of Music, the Louisiana State Department of Education, the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). Xavier is also approved by the American Chemical Society.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, Xavier continues to rank first nationally in the number of African American students earning undergraduate degrees in both the biological/life sciences and the physical sciences.
The College of Pharmacy, one of only two pharmacy schools in Louisiana, is among the nation's top four producers of African American Doctor of Pharmacy degree recipients
In pre-medical education, Xavier ranks first in the nation in the number of African American graduates who go on to complete medical school.
In 2015, the University awarded 564 degrees.