Are you looking for a UCLA vs. LSU comparison as you consider options for higher education in the United States? Located on opposite coasts of the United States, the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and Louisiana State University (LSU) offer distinctly different environments and experiences.

While you’ll find an in-depth comparison of these prestigious institutions, covering academics, campus life, financial aspects, and career opportunities to help you make the best choice for 2024 – here’s a snapshot of the two.

UCLA is located in Los Angeles and provides access to diverse cultural, professional, and recreational opportunities in a bustling metropolitan area. Known for its strong academic programs, particularly in the arts, sciences, and technology, UCLA also benefits from a temperate climate and proximity to beaches and entertainment industries. In contrast

LSU, situated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, offers a more traditional campus feel with a strong sense of community and Southern hospitality. It’s known for its agriculture, engineering, and business programs, as well as its lively sports culture, particularly in college football. Baton Rouge’s lower cost of living and the region’s rich cultural heritage add to its appeal.

The choice between UCLA and LSU depends on whether you prefer UCLA’s dynamic, urban lifestyle and academic prestige or LSU’s close-knit, community-focused atmosphere and distinctive Southern charm.

Now for a deeper look into the two universities.


Overview of LSU and UCLA


Besides the over 1,800 miles separating Los Angeles and Baton Rouge, UCLA and LSU offer their students different academic, social, and cultural experiences. UCLA has the distinct reputation of a “public Ivy” and is ranked higher and globally reputed. In contrast, LSU is the flagship school of Louisiana and is known particularly in the fields of marine sciences, astrophysics, business, and energy innovation.

With its reputation also comes fierce competition, as UCLA is one of the hardest schools to get into. LSU admissions are selective but not as competitive, and LSU has the added benefit of being more affordable.

What other factors should one consider when choosing between these two schools? Let’s explore.

Brief History and Background

The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA, nicknamed the Bruins) is a public university located in Westwood, Los Angeles, California. Set up in 1919, it is a member of the University of California system funded by the state. Renowned for its programs in psychology, film and media studies, medicine, and a broad range of engineering disciplines, it is the most prestigious public college in California after UC Berkeley.

With a student population of over 46,000, UCLA boasts a diverse and dynamic student body, and its campus life is vibrant with numerous extracurricular opportunities. In addition to academic and research excellence, UCLA is also a major player in athletics. The Bruins have won over 100 NCAA championships and have been represented in every Summer Olympics, with 1924 being the only exception.

Louisiana State University (LSU, referred to as the Tigers) is also a public research university system located in different towns of Louisiana, with the main campus situated in Baton Rouge. Officially called the Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, LSU was established in 1860 as the flagship university of the state of Louisiana. As a leading R1 research university in the state, LSU has a student population of over 35,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.

While business, management, biological sciences, engineering and social sciences are some of its most popular programs for undergrad and grad students, its research and academic programs in astrophysics, chemistry, petrochemical engineering, coastal geology, marine sciences, wetland science, landscape architecture, natural resources, and political science are nationally and internationally renowned.

LSU, in general, is a collection of 8 campuses. They are

  • LSU Baton Rouge (Flagship campus that has bachelors, masters and doctoral research  programs)
  • LSU AgCentre (College of Agriculture)
  • LSU Alexandria (Offers undergraduate programs in central Louisiana)
  • LSU Eunice (Offers only associate degrees which can be transferred to a four-year college or university)
  • LSU Health New Orleans (Schools of Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Public Health and other allied programs)
  • LSU Health Shreveport (Schools of Medicine, Allied Health Professions and Graduate Studies)
  • LSU Pennington Biomedical Research Center
  • LSU Shreveport (All degrees, but significantly smaller than the Baton Rouge campus)

LSU also has a culture of athletics that produces outstanding performers on the playing field. The university has won a total of 52 team National Championships, including 47 NCAA-sponsored national titles. Although most renowned for its baseball teams, LSU also has an ongoing competition with UCLA regarding football.

Key Statistics and Rankings

Here is a table comparing the key stats and ranks of the two universities.

LSU UCLA
Campus Baton Rouge Los Angeles
U.S. News National Rank 2024 185 15
QS World University Rank 2025 901-950 42
Undergraduate Student Body 31,015 32,423
Graduate Student Body 6,866 14,007
Percentage of International Students ~ 5% ~ 11%
Average Acceptance Rate 76% 9%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 20:1 19:1
Number of Undergraduate Programs 330 across campuses 125+
Number of Graduate Programs 70+ 130+
Research Expenditure $386 million Over $1 billion
Number of Division I Teams 16 24
Number of Clubs and Student Org.s 400+ 1,200+
Mascot Mike the Tiger Joe and Josephine Bruin, Brown Bear

LSU vs UCLA: Academic Comparison


As a prospective student, one of the key areas of comparison when it comes to UCLA vs LSU is that of academics. The undergraduate or graduate courses that they offer, their choices and flexibility, ranking, degrees and class sizes, academic calendars, research facilities and budgets can become important factors in deciding which college is best suited for you.

Undergraduate Programs

Number of Programs: In both UCLA and LSU, bachelor’s students form a significant majority of the student population, studying varied disciplines from accounting and actuarial sciences to zoology. UCLA offers over 125 majors to choose from, while LSU has over 330 undergraduate programs spread across all its campuses. It is one of 8 universities with their own Schools for Law, Dental, Medical, Veterinary, and an elite MBA program.

This steep difference in the number of programs is not an issue if you are clear about the career path you want to take but, if you want to explore options in the early years of your college life, then LSU has more options when compared to UCLA.

Rank and Reputation: Moving past the number of options, if you compare other metrics such as overall rank, subject rankings, number of papers published, facilities or research budget, then UCLA fares much better than LSU. On a global scale, UCLA is far more recognised than Louisiana State. It ranks 15th in the country and 42nd in the world and is informally referred to as a “Public Ivy”. The university’s standing in the rank table also makes getting into the university that much harder, as it has an acceptance rate of less than 10%.

In the state of Louisiana, LSU is the most reputed public university, but at the national and global level, it ranks much lower than UCLA. Louisiana State stands at 185th (national) and 901-950 range (global) compared to UCLA’s 15 and 42. Despite the numbers, it is a top-tier public research university with state-of-the-art facilities. LSU students graduate at higher rates than the national average and are consistently accepted into dental, medical, and law schools at significantly higher rates than anywhere else in the country.

Popular Majors for Undergraduate Degrees:

LSU UCLA
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Agriculture
  • Business
  • Biology
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Science
  • Communication, Media, Journalism
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Biology/ Biomedical
  • Political Science
  • Film, Television, Digital Media
  • Performing Arts
  • Engineering

Standardized Tests: When looking into the University of California Los Angeles vs Louisiana State University, it becomes clear that UCLA is completely test blind while LSU is test-optional. What it means is that UCLA will not consider SAT or ACT scores for any admission or scholarship purposes. If you choose to submit test scores as part of your application, at the most, they may be used as an alternative method of fulfilling minimum requirements for eligibility or for course placement after you enroll.

In contrast, LSU is test optional, which means you are not mandated to submit ACT or SAT test scores but if you do, they will be considered while assessing your application.

That said, the typical SAT score range of students who have been admitted to UCLA is 1360 – 1550. The average ACT score profile is 32 – 34. At LSU, the average test score is 27 (ACT) or 1240 (SAT).

Core Curriculum: Both universities have General Education requirements for all their undergraduate students. UCLA students are required to complete 10 courses in three foundational areas: Arts and Humanities, Society and Culture, and Scientific Inquiry. At LSU,  students must complete 39 hours of coursework in six major areas – English composition, Analytical reasoning, Arts, Humanities, Natural sciences and Social sciences.

Considering the academic standing of LSU vs UCLA, it is a fairly common assumption that it is not as rigorous as its Californian competitor. This assumption does not hold water. University rankings do not reflect an ease of coursework, tests or finals. It varies with every university, department, faculty, and the perspective of the student. The ultimate deciding factor has to be based on in-depth research of the syllabi of your preferred programs, the nature of the faculty, and whether it can meet your career goals.

Graduate Programs

Graduate Program Options: When compared to their undergraduate population, the number of grad students at LSU is minuscule, with fewer than 7,000 students. UCLA has a grad student population of over 14,000 students. Unlike bachelor majors, UCLA has a far more extensive graduate school with 130 programs to choose from, while LSU offers around 70.

Admissions: UCLA is known for its highly selective and competitive admission process with their acceptance rates at less than 10%. On the other hand, LSU is relatively easier to get into. That said, the ease or difficulty of admissions is highly department specific.

The minimum admission criteria in both universities include a valid baccalaureate degree from a recognised university (GPA varies with departments), a strong application form with a well-written Statement of Purpose (SOP), relevant work experience (for some courses), and English proficiency test scores (for international students). However, when it comes to standardized tests such as the GRE or GMAT, UCLA is almost entirely test-optional, while a few master’s programs at Louisiana State require you to submit GRE scores.

Top Graduate Programs:

LSU UCLA
  • Petroleum Engineering
  • Astrophysics
  • Biology/ Biomedical
  • Education
  • Chemistry and allied subjects
  • Marine Sciences
  • Architecture
  • Business, Management and allied
  • Education
  • Engineering Specializations
  • Medicine
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Computer science and allied
  • Mathematics
  • Social Sciences

Global Reputation: UCLA is deemed more prestigious due to its ranking and its status as a University of California school. At the global level, it is more recognised and reputed, when compared to LSU. While LSU is the top notch school within the state, UCLA has the far reaching reputation of being referred to as a Public Ivy League school.

Constituent Schools

Spread over 8 campuses, the schools and colleges that makeup LSU are

  • College of Agriculture
  • College of Art & Design
  • E. J. Ourso College of Business
  • College of the Coast & Environment
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Human Sciences & Education
  • College of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Manship School of Mass Communication
  • College of Music & Dramatic Arts
  • College of Science
  • School of Veterinary Medicine
  • Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College
  • University College
  • LSU Paul M. Hebert Law Center
  • Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School
  • LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans
  • LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport
  • LSU Online

The schools that constitute UCLA are

  • School of Arts and Architecture
  • The College
  • School of Dentistry
  • School of Education and Information Studies
  • Samueli School of Engineering
  • School of Law
  • Anderson School of Management
  • David Geffen School of Medicine
  • Herb Albert School of Music
  • School of Nursing
  • Luskin School of Public Affairs
  • Fielding School of Public Health
  • School of Theatre, Film and Television

Research Opportunities

Both UCLA and LSU are cutting-edge R1 research universities that encourage their students to push the boundaries of their disciplines. UCLA spends over $1.4 billion on research every year, while LSU has a research budget of over $386 million.

As one of the 24 institutions in the country that has all three land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant designations, research is the cornerstone of LSU. The university houses 15 extensive, state-of-the-art research institutes, including the Centre for Advanced Microstructures and Devices, the Coastal Studies Institute, the Institute of Energy Innovation, and the Cyber Centre. The university also has an extensive agriculture research program, and the Pennington Biomedical Research Centre delves into understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and dementia.

Compared to LSU, UCLA has a much more intensive and extensive scope for research across disciplines. It is a world class research institution with over 1,000 members of the faculty conducting original research across all disciplines. The university also houses over 250 research centres across disciplines and cultivates a culture of research from the undergraduate level. Including the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Luskin Institute on Inequality and Democracy and two distinct undergraduate research centres, opportunities for research are significantly higher and better funded at UCLA.

Key Dates for Application

In this section, we will be looking at the key dates for application and admission into undergraduate programs (Fall semester/ quarter) to get a sense of the timeline. Graduate schools have a different timeline. It is also recommended that you verify with the specific department / school that you are applying to, just to ensure they do not follow a different cycle.

Important Dates LSU UCLA
Undergraduate Application Deadline July 15 (International)
Mid December (Domestic)
November 30
Decision Posted in April – May End of March
Deadline to accept offer of Regular admission May 15 May 15
Typical Graduate Application Deadline April 15 (International)
June 30 (Domestic)
December 1
Average Acceptance Rate 76% ~ 9%

Admission Options to be considered in the LSU UCLA debate:

  • Both universities do not have early action or early decision admission pathways. All applicants go through the regular channel.
  • LSU applications go through the CommonApp along with the supplemental essay, while UCLA goes through UC Apply.
  • One advantage is that you can apply to as many UC campuses as you like with only one application form. Each of the campuses will receive your application and evaluate them separately and simultaneously. For example, you can apply to UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara, all in one application. However, an offer letter from one campus does not imply or guarantee admission to another UC campus.

Semester vs Quarter

Another distinction in the UCLA vs Louisiana State discussion is their academic calendars. LSU is on a semester system while UCLA operates in quarters. The academic year at UCLA is divided into three quarters (Fall, Winter and Spring), each lasting about 10 weeks. If students want to work through summer to graduate early or take up extra courses, there is also a shorter summer term.

LSU follows an academic calendar divided by semesters spreading through Fall (August/ September – December) and Spring (January – April/ May). LSU also has a shorter summer term during which some academic activities take place.

Pros of a Quarter System:

  • One of the biggest benefits a student has in a quarter system is that it gives you the flexibility to choose more courses and interact with more faculty members. On average, a student studying in this model ends up graduating with 18 more credits (6 more courses) than a student in a semester cycle.
  • The course load is smaller, allowing students to focus better.
  • Switching majors or raising GPA is comparatively easier than in a semester since course weight is more distributed in quarter terms.

Cons of a Quarter System:

  • The main disadvantage is that quarters do not give a student enough time to settle into a course of study. While a course may be short, the level of the coursework might be intense to cover the required material in 10 weeks. Essentially, it gives you less time to study.
  • It can be harder to schedule internships, co-ops, or study abroad programs since most of them are scheduled around the semester timeline.

LSU vs UCLA: Campus Life and Environment


Looking beyond academics, a few more factors can make you prefer LSU to UCLA or the other way around. The city, campus vibe, facilities available, and other aspects of student life are all factors that are to be taken into consideration.

Location

A major factor that can help you choose when it comes to University of California Los Angeles vs LSU is their locations. Life, social and cultural experiences living in Los Angeles is very different from what Baton Rouge has to offer.

Needing no separate introduction, Los Angeles is world-renowned for its beaches and Hollywood. A sprawling city in Southern California with a population of over 3.8 million, it is known for its vibrant and diverse culture, attracting people from all over the world. The entertainment capital of the world, the city has also hosted the Summer Olympics for two years, and is slated to host again in 2028. In addition to being a global capital for culture and entertainment, this SoCal city is also rapidly growing as a tech capital, keeping up with its northern neighbours. It also has a Mediterranean climate with mostly pleasant days throughout the year that draws a lot of students to UCLA.

The lesser known Baton Rouge is located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi river, and is the capital of the State of Louisiana. Named by the French explorers as the “Red Stick City”, the city is known for its distinctive Cajun and Creole cultures.

The city is a major industrial, petrochemical, medical, research, motion picture, and technology centre of the American South. With a population of over 227,000, this city is known for its food, music scene and nature walks along the coast of the Mississippi. The city has a humid subtropical climate, with mild winters, hot and humid summers, moderate to heavy rainfall.

LA offers more opportunities to explore, socialize, network, or even find job opportunities when compared to Baton Rouge. It is also that much more crowded and busy in comparison. The capital city of Louisiana is a better fit for those looking for a relatively suburban college experience with much lower costs of living when compared to LA.

Campus Size and Facilities

UCLA’s 419-acre campus is much smaller than LSU’s campuses, which span over 2,000 acres. The main campus at Baton Rouge alone sits on over 1,000 acres of land. UCLA is located at the base of Santa Monica Mountains, a mere 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean while Baton Rouge is on the banks of the Mississippi river.

UCLA Campus, Source: UCLA

With over 250 buildings situated on the river bank, LSU provides state-of-the-art facilities for its students. Besides gyms, libraries, research centres, large courtyards, study areas, and dining halls, the university is also home to the Tiger Stadium, Maravich Centre, a Tennis Centre, and a University Club. The university is also known for its live mascot, Mike the Tiger, who lives in a habitat between the Bernie Moore Track Stadium and the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

LSU Campus, Source: LSU

With over 170 buildings, the UCLA campus has a vibrant atmosphere, a fitting microcosm of LA’s spirit. The campus includes fitness centres, world-class libraries and research centres, intramural fields, courts and fields for athletics, student activity centres, mental health and safety services, swimming pools and renowned dining options. The neighbouring Westwood Village is where UCLA students often shop, dine out, or explore a social life off campus.

Student Activities and Organizations

When it comes to extracurricular activities, both universities have an extensive culture of enabling students to explore other interests beyond academics.

Athletics:
If you look at athletics, UCLA continues to live up to its name of being a national leader in intercollegiate sports. It is the first school to win over 100 NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Championships. The university has produced 410 Olympic Athletes (270 medals) and a record number of professional athletes such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Troy Aikman, Arthur Ashe, Eric Karros, Reggie Miller, Corey Pavin, Jackie Robinson, and Natalie Williams. UCLA competes as ‘the Bruins’ proudly wearing the colours of blue and gold. The mascots Joe and Josephine Bruin (male and female brown bears) instill a fierce sense of UCLA pride. The school also has 15 multipurpose workout facilities and six pools spread throughout campus.

LSU’s athletic program includes 21 varsity sports and 16 Division I teams that participate in national championships. Known for its prowess in Baseball, LSU also has an ongoing rivalry with UCLA when it comes to football. LSU is the alma mater of Hall of Fame NBA Player Shaquille O’Neil, Pete Maravich, baseballer Alex Bregman and Dylan Crews, footballer Jamal Adams, and many other stalwart athletes. The university also invests significantly in its athletic department, providing the latest amenities for its students. It is one of the few universities in the world to have a live mascot, Mike the Tiger, living on campus.

Student clubs and organizations:
Besides the athletic spirit that binds the students together, UCLA is also home to over 1,200 clubs and student organisations that enable the Bruins to pursue varied interests. The UCLA Marina Aquatic Center, located in Marina Del Rey, even offers instruction and equipment for rowing, kayaking, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and paddle boarding. Student government, Arts and Culture, Greek life, Entrepreneurship, or Volunteering in the community are also chapters of campus life that bring students together.

LSU has over 400 student clubs, societies, fraternities and sororities that provide varied opportunities for students to get involved in campus life and build leadership skills and lifelong friendships. It also hosts many service-oriented clubs that give back to the community and the people of Louisiana.

Housing and Accommodation

Both universities have many on-campus accommodation options for their students. About 43% of UCLA students live on campus, while that number is around 30% for LSU. Living on campus gives you easier access to faculty members, peer mentors, study groups, and generally builds a community of people with similar interests.

At the undergraduate level, there are four types of accommodations at UCLA: classic, plaza, deluxe, and suite. They are essentially shared rooms with amenities provided either communally or individually. They all include communal study spaces and lounging areas to build a sense of community. LSU gives you the option of traditional housing (residence halls and dormitories), residential colleges (communities for first-year students with similar majors) and apartments (for sophomores and beyond).

While UCLA does not require freshmen to live on campus, LSU mandates that first-year students live on campus for that academic year. At UCLA, the annual cost of housing can range between $17,500 and $22,000, depending on the style and the number of occupants. Meal plans are included in on-campus residences. Housing in LSU is relatively cheaper, costing anywhere between $8,000 and $14,000, depending on the room type. The unlimited Tiger meal plan costs around $5,232.

LSU vs UCLA: Financial Aspects


Another major point of discussion when it comes to Louisiana State University vs UC Los Angeles is the cost involved. The cost of attendance (tuition), additional expenses such as books, student fees, insurance and housing must be taken into account before making a choice.

At the outset, both are public universities that provide higher education at rates relatively lower than privately owned institutions. In addition, if you are a resident of the state, there is also the added benefit of subsidised tuition, while students from out of state or country must pay the full fee.

Annual Rates LSU UCLA
Tuition (Bachelors) $11,954 (for La. residents)
$28,631 (for non-residents)
$15,154 (for CA residents)
$49,354 (for non-residents)
Average Tuition (Masters) $12,533 (for La. residents)
$29,448 (for non-residents)
$16,847 (for CA residents)
$31,949 (for non-residents)
MBA Tuition $36,800 (for La. residents)
$72,000 (for non-residents)
$85,000 – $92,000
Housing Around $9,500 + $5,200 for meal plans $18,369
Cost of Living with off-campus accommodation $13,000 – $19,000 $17,920 – $23,000
Types of Financial Aid 1. Federal Loans
2. Private loans
3. Work Study
4. Grants
1. Scholarships
2. Grants
3. Loans
4. Part-time student jobs
International student scholarships
  • Not eligible for federal aid
  • Can apply for any of the external scholarships
  • Can apply for the work-study programs
  • UCLA does not award scholarships or financial aid to undergraduate students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States.
Average financial aid for first-year students $14,211 $24,920
Demonstrated Need Cover SU administers all Title IV federal programs which are based on a student’s demonstrated financial need 100% (About 45% of undergrads pay no tuition at all)

Here are a few important points to be kept in mind.

  • LSU is relatively less expensive when compared to UCLA, whether you are a resident of the state or applying from outside.
  • The tuition fees are average figures calculated for a typical academic year of 9 months. The fee will be higher should you choose to take extra courses in the summer months.
  • The tuition fee amounts in the table are indicative of only the cost of attendance. It does not include books, student health insurance, or other expenses. Student insurance alone can cost between $3,000 – $7,000 a year.
  • While most of UCLA’s aid is based on financial need, the UCLA Regents Scholarships and the UCLA Alumni Scholarships are two of the most popular merit based scholarships in the university.
  • If you are an international student, it is important to note that both UCLA and LSU do not provide any kind of aid to those who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States. However, international students can apply for work-study options or external scholarships.
  • LSU has a range of merit and need-based scholarships that are department and program-specific.

LSU vs UCLA: Career Prospects and Alumni Network


In this section, let us compare the post-graduation opportunities available to the students of UCLA and LSU.

Employment Rates

As one of the top schools for graduate employment in the US, according to the Times Higher Education ranking, UCLA has an employability rate of 90 – 95%, depending on the school, within six months of graduation. The university’s reputation opens a lot more doors for its graduates. In comparison, LSU’s employment rate is around 82.6%.

The top sectors that LSU graduates go into are healthcare, construction, higher education, and energy, while the top recruiters from UCLA are Accenture, Amazon, Apple, Bloomberg, SpaceX and Google.

Notable Alumni

Both universities have vibrant alumni associations that extend worldwide. UCLA’s alumni network supports over 600,000 Bruins, while LSU has over 225,000 living alums across the globe.

If you are comparing Nobel Laureates as a mark of academic excellence, UCLA is associated with 16 Nobel Prize Winners while Rainer Weiss (2017 Nobel Prize Winner in Physics) is the only one associated with LSU. He is an adjunct professor of physics and astrophysics at LSU.

Other Notable Alumni from LSU

  • Hubert Humphrey, former Vice President of the United States
  • Shaquille O’Neil, basketball player
  • Bill Conti, Composer and Conductor
  • Lolo Jones, hurdler and bobsledder
  • Odell Beckham Jr, Footballer
  • Donna Brazille, Political strategist

Notable Alums of UCLA

  • Francis Ford Coppola, Film Producer and director
  • Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Basketball player
  • Mayim Bialik, Neuroscientist and actor
  • Russel Westbrook, basketball player
  • Mila Kunis, actor
  • Kal Penn, actor and author
  • George Takei, actor and activist

Career Services

Both universities have extensive Career Centers that assist their students to gain practical experience, build networks and communicate their aptitudes and skill sets to prospective employers. They also play an instrumental role in building leadership skills and specialised skills that are essential to a workplace.

In both universities, the career centre connects students to internship opportunities and prospective employers through seminars, job fairs, and numerous other on-campus events.

LSU vs UCLA: Conclusion


Choosing between LSU and UCLA involves considering various factors such as academic strengths, campus life, financial implications, and career prospects. Both universities offer unparalleled opportunities, but your decision should align with your personal and professional goals.
To sum up the differences –

  • UCLA is ranked much higher and deemed more prestigious but LSU is one of the universities with the most number of programs to choose from, at the undergraduate level. LSU is in fact one of the few universities in the country with dedicated schools for medicine, nursing, dentistry, law, business, arts, humanities, and sciences, political science and engineering, under the same banner.
  • Admissions to UCLA is significantly harder and more competitive when compared to LSU, especially because of the university’s ranking and reputation. Their acceptance rates are at around 9% and 76% respectively.
  • While the undergrad student population is more or less evenly matched, UCLA has a much higher grad student population when compared to LSU. Even in terms of campus diversity, UCLA is more diverse than LSU.
  • If costs are an important consideration that can affect your decision, then LSU is the better choice since it is relatively much cheaper when compared to UCLA even though both are public universities.
  • LSU follows a semester system while UCLA’s academic year is divided into quarters.
  • As freshmen, you are required to live on campus for the first year at LSU while UCLA gives you the choice of living on or off campus from year 1.
  • LSU has a much larger campus than UCLA.
  • While both are research universities, UCLA has a much higher research budget and is globally more renowned for its research.

While these can be factored into your decision, the ultimate call rests on whether the course curriculum and the learning outcomes meet your career plans. The most significant part of your research is to compare courses, syllabi, electives, faculty and research facilities of your preferred degree program, speak to current students, and then decide on which school better suits your needs.

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FAQs


Is LSU a prestigious university?

LSU is one of the top 200 universities in the United States and is the flagship university of the state of Louisiana. It is highly reputed for the study of landscape architecture, petroleum / petrochemical engineering, astrophysics, and business among other subjects.

Is LSU a difficult school to get into?

LSU has an acceptance rate of around 76%, making it one of the easier schools to get into, especially when compared to UCLA.

Is UCLA a public university?

Yes, it is one of the campuses of the University of California system, funded by the state. As a public university, UCLA offers subsidised tuition to the residents of California.

Is UCLA part of the Ivy League?

The Ivy League is a group of 8 privately owned institutions located in the Northeast US. UCLA is located on the west coast and is a public university. However, it is academic rigour and research excellence has earned it the name “Public Ivy”.

What major is LSU known for?

LSU is known for numerous programs, but some of top choices among them include architecture, business, communication and journalism, biology and biomedical sciences, marine sciences and engineering.

What is UCLA famous for?

Some of the highly ranked subjects include psychology, computer science, economics, english literature, pre-med and medical courses, engineering and mathematics.

Is UCLA actually hard to get into?

With an acceptance rate of less than 10%, UCLA is one of the most competitive schools to get into, in the United States.

How much do I need to score on the SAT/ ACT to be admitted?

The typical SAT score range of students who have been admitted into UCLA is 1360 – 1550. The average ACT score profile is 32 – 34. At LSU, the average test score is 27 (ACT) or 1240 (SAT). However, UCLA is completely test blind while LSU is test optional.

What it means is that UCLA will not consider SAT or ACT scores for any admission or scholarship purposes. For LSU, you are not mandated to submit ACT or SAT test scores but if you do, they will be considered while assessing your application.

What are my scholarship options?

As public universities, both have very limited scholarship options for international students. The most popular option available to overseas students is work-study.

For a domestic student, there are numerous options. You can apply to federal aid, or FAFSA or the university’s merit or need-based scholarships. It is important to note that most aid offered by UCLA is based on financial need rather than academic merit while LSU has merit options. It is also important to look into scholarship options of specific departments or reach out to the experts at TC Global for assistance.