Founded as a public medical college in 1834, Tulane University grew into a comprehensive university in 1847 and was eventually privatized under the endowments of Paul Tulane and Josephine Louise Newcomb in 1884. Tulane is a member of the Association of American Universities.
The student body of Tulane University is represented by the Associated Student Body (ASB). In 1998, the students of Tulane University voted by referendum to split the Associated Student Body (ASB) Senate into two separate houses, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) and the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GAPSA). USG and GAPSA come together twice a semester to meet as the ASB Senate, where issues pertaining to the entire Tulane student body are discussed. The meetings of the ASB Senate are presided over by the ASB President, the only student that represents all students of Tulane University.
Tulane maintains 3,600 beds in 13 residence halls on its uptown campus for undergraduate students. Per the Renewal Plan instituted after Hurricane Katrina, Tulane requires all freshmen and sophomores to live on campus, except those who are from surrounding neighborhoods in New Orleans. Due to the increasing size of incoming classes, Tulane has allowed a small number of rising sophomores to reside off campus instead of being required to remain in campus housing. Housing is not guaranteed for juniors and seniors.