General Information

1. Location

The Lamar University campus is located in Beaumont, Texas.  With a population of more than 115,000, Beaumont is a diversified city, home not only to the university but also to businesses and industries stemming from a strong petrochemical and agricultural base.  World-renowned companies are located in Beaumont to take advantage of the area’s resources and its educated workforce.

A host of cultural attractions provide a variety of leisure options from museums and symphony presentations to spring and fall festivals.  A civic center, convention center, entertainment complex, and coliseum draw professional entertainers and a wide variety of business, social, and professional groups to the city.  Beaumont is convenient to water recreation, located conveniently between the Gulf of Mexico and the Big Thicket National Preserve, large lakes, and the piney woods.

The campus is home to the Mary and John Gray Library, the Montagne Center coliseum, the Sheila Umphrey Recreational Sports Center, Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown, multiple residence halls, and state-of-the-art facilities.  Lamar University welcomes visitors, and information regarding tours may be obtained from the Office of Admission Services, P.O. Box 10009, Beaumont, Texas, 77710, or by calling (409) 880-8316.

2. History

Lamar University originated on March 8, 1923, when the South Park School District in Beaumont authorized its superintendent to proceed with plans to open “a Junior College of the first class.”  On September 17, 1923, South Park Junior College opened its doors with 125 students and a faculty of fourteen.  Located on the third floor of the South Park High School building, the college shared the library and athletic facilities with the high school.  In 1932, separate facilities were provided and the name of the institution became Lamar College in honor of Mirabeau B. Lamar, second president of the Republic of Texas and the “Father of Education” in Texas.

On June 8, 1942, as a result of a public campaign, a new campus was purchased and classes were held for the first time on the present-day campus in Beaumont.  After World War II, the enrollment grew to 1,079, and the Honorable Jack Brooks introduced a bill in the Texas House of Representatives to make Lamar a state-supported senior college.  The Legislature approved House Bill 52 on June 4, 1949, creating Lamar State College of Technology effective September 1, 1951.  Lamar was the first junior college in Texas to become a four-year, state-supported college.  Lamar continued to grow, building strong programs in engineering, sciences, business, education, and the arts.

In 1962, a graduate school was established offering master’s degrees in several fields.  The first doctoral degree, Doctor of Engineering, was established in 1971.  Since that time, additional doctoral programs have been established:  Doctor of Education in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education (1993), Doctor of Audiology (2003), Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (2004), and Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering (2005).

In 1969, an extension center was opened in Orange, Texas.  Two years later, House Bill 590 became law, changing the institution’s status from college to university.  Lamar State College of Technology, with an enrollment of 10,874, officially became Lamar University on August 23, 1971.  In 1975, the long-standing, private two-year Port Arthur College became Lamar University at Port Arthur.  The Lamar University System, of which Lamar University – Beaumont was the flagship, was established in the 68th Session of the Texas Legislature with the passage of SB 620, which took effect in August 1983.

In 1990, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recommended that all two-year programs at Lamar University be combined into the Lamar University Institute of Technology.  Programs in the former College of Technical Arts—along with Allied Health, Office Technology, and Restaurant/Institutional Food Management—moved to the new Institute.

Lamar’s commitment to quality higher education has been steady and progressive, anticipating the evolving needs of its students.  To facilitate this commitment, the Texas Legislature approved House Bill 2313 to merge the Lamar University System with The Texas State University System (TSUS) effective September 1, 1995.  On June 19, 1999, the Texas Legislature approved House Bill 1297 to rename Lamar University at Port Arthur, Lamar University at Orange, and the Lamar University Institute of Technology.  Today, these separate TSUS institutions are known as Lamar State College at Port Arthur, Lamar State College at Orange, and Lamar Institute of Technology.

As a comprehensive university granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, Lamar University continues to enhance its instructional, service, and research missions.  Lamar’s growth has produced an economic impact that exceeds $200 million annually and, even more influential, is the impact of more than 71,000 Lamar University graduates.

3. Government and Organization

A board of nine regents, appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate for terms of six years, governs The Texas State University System.  The Board of Regents delegates the direction of university affairs to the university presidents, campus administrative officers, and faculty.  Current members of the TSUS Board of Regents are listed on the TSUS website at

Lamar University is organized into six colleges.  The Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Human Development, Engineering, and Fine Arts and Communication are each headed by a dean.  Within each college are academic departments and programs, with each department being headed by a department chair.  The College of Graduates Studies provides support services to enhance graduate education by recruiting, admitting, and enrolling qualified students and assuring degree requirements are met.

4. Mission Statement and Core Values

Lamar University is a comprehensive public institution educating a diverse student body, preparing students for leadership and lifelong learning in a multicultural world, and enhancing the future of Southeast Texas, the state, the nation, and the world through teaching, research and creative activity, and service.

To provide a learning environment of the highest quality and integrity, Lamar University values...

      our STUDENTS, including their curricular and extracurricular activities;

      our FACULTY and STAFF, high-quality employees who are committed to educating and

            serving our students;

      our commitment to DIVERSITY in ideas, people, and access;

      our commitment to SUSTAINABILITY in all aspects of university life;

      our collegial ENVIRONMENT with contemporary, functional, and pleasing facilities, a safe

            campus, and responsible fiscal management; and

      our bonds with SOUTHEAST TEXAS, the STATE, the NATION, and the WORLD,

            including our alumni and friends, through economic and educational development,

            research and creative activity, service, and outreach.

5. Accreditation

Lamar University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lamar University. In addition, Lamar University is approved by the Texas Education Agency.  The University is also a member of many academic councils, societies, and associations.

Several departments and programs are accredited by professional agencies or specialized accreditors.  Among the accredited programs at Lamar University are the following:

  • In the College of Arts and Sciences, the undergraduate program in computer science is accredited by the Computing Commission of ABET,  Other accreditations include nursing by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission and the program in social work by the Council on Social Work Education.
  • In the College of Business, the undergraduate and graduate programs are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB-International).
  • In the College of Education and Human Development, the dietetics program is accredited by the American Dietetic Association. In addition, all teacher education programs of the university are approved by the Texas Education Agency and the State Board of Educator Certification and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
  • In the College of Engineering, the undergraduate engineering programs in chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering are accredited by the Engineering Commission of ABET,
  • In the College of Fine Arts and Communication, the Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.  Additional programs accredited include speech-language pathology by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and deaf education by the Council for Education of the Deaf.
Persons wishing to review documentation regarding the institution’s accreditation, approval, or licensing may do so by contacting the Office of the Provost, Room 101 in the Plummer Building, (409) 880-8398.

6. Entering Dates

Students entering Lamar University’s general programs may enter at the beginning of any term.  Application must be made well in advance of the date of entry.  See Section 3 for information on undergraduate admissions and Section 4 for information on graduate admissions.  Students entering the university’s accelerated schedule online programs (M.Ed., B.A.A.S., dual credit, and others) may enter more frequently.  For information about entering dates for these programs, see the schedule.

7. Distance/Online Education

Lamar University delivers distance courses face-to-face on the campus and at West Brook High School and Lumberton High School. In addition, courses are delivered via interactive video to area high schools, and through LUOnline. Some online programs are delivered in accelerated terms of five and eight weeks. Most core curriculum courses are available online, and several degrees are available entirely online. For current information on all distance and online courses, degrees, and programs, go to

Distance education students may contact the Division of Distance Learning by phone at (409) 880-7537 or by email at

8. Smoking Policy

Lamar University, along with all member schools in The Texas State University System, has become a smoke-free campus.  According to TSUS officials, the system is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and pleasant environment for its faculty, staff, and students.  Lamar’s policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, employees of contractors, and visitors to the campus and addresses the use of tobacco products, as well as smokeless tobacco, on university-owned or leased premises.

Further regulations state the definition of tobacco products includes cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes or similar devices, chewing tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and snuff.  Tobacco use is defined as smoking, chewing, dipping, or any other ingesting, consumption, or bodily intake of tobacco products.  The sale or free distribution of tobacco products or merchandise on campus is prohibited.