The first class included freshmen, one building, and a faculty of The University offered 10 courses in four academic disciplines: humanities, science, social science and commerce.
Most of SUNO's degree programs are in the arts and sciences, this includes African-American studies, addictive behaviors counseling and prevention, forensic science, and museum studies. Other areas of study include business administration, public administration, criminal justice, computer information systems, early childhood and educational studies, child development and family studies, and social work.
In , the university was extensively damaged during Hurricane Katrina, and students were forced to relocate to the SUBR campus until the winter of With enrollment climbing faster than any other four-year institution, SUNO experienced unprecedented growth.
The University recently completed construction of its Millie M. Charles School of Social Work; two other buildings are being constructed, with a third expected to break ground later this year.
Roughly 2, students are enrolled at the university.