The Graduate School• Professional Programs
ADMISSION • GENERAL INFORMATION
Admission to the Graduate School is awarded on the basis of evidence of academic achievement and promise. Applications of students who meet Graduate School requirements are forwarded to the appropriate academic units for final approval. Because of their nature, certain programs require higher admission standards than those of the Graduate School.
Because of the high demand for many graduate programs, meeting the minimum requirements of the Graduate School does not guarantee admission into a particular program.
Applicants meeting requirements stated below are normally granted regular admission. Applicants failing to meet all requirements may be granted probationary admission, provided other substantial evidence of capacity to do satisfactory graduate work, including outstanding performance in post-baccalaureate and/or graduate work, high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (Graduate Management Admission Test—GMAT— scores, where appropriate), and other outstanding achievements, is presented.
Applicants with unsatisfactory undergraduate records who have completed a minimum of nine hours of graded graduate course work with at least a 3.33 graduate grade point average (gpa) (“A”=4.00) in graduate course work and who have acceptable GRE scores (or, GMAT where applicable) will be considered for admission.
Applicants who appear admissible on the basis of unofficial and/or incomplete transcripts of previous work or unofficial test scores, but who are unable to supply the required records prior to registration, may be granted provisional admission. Subsequent enrollment will not be permitted until all provisions are met. Provisional admission does not guarantee subsequent regular admission.
Meeting the minimum requirements, as outlined in the following sections, does not necessarily ensure acceptance into a specific program, since departments may establish higher standards or require special admission requirements and conditions.
Admission to a Degree Program
Regular Admission • Regular admission is awarded to applicants who intend to pursue a degree and who meet the following requirements:
- a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution;
- a gpa of at least 3.00 (“A”=4.00) on all undergraduate work (or at least half-degree requirement) and a 3.00 gpa or better on any graduate work already completed; International applicants must have at least a 3.00 gpa, or equivalent, on all college-level work previously attempted;
- acceptable scores on the Graduate Record Examination or GRE (in some cases, a high GRE may be used to compensate for a low gpa); in place of the GRE, an acceptable score on the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required for graduate programs in the E. J. Ourso College of Business, except for the MPA, and the MS and PhD in economics; and
- acceptance by the graduate faculty in the applicant’s area of study. Applicants who are narrowly trained or who have taken a significant amount of work on a pass-fail basis or in ungraded courses may be required to submit scores on GRE Subject (Advanced) Tests before their applications can be considered. Consult individual departments for additional admission requirements.
Probationary Admission • Applicants who fail to meet one or more of the requirements for regular admission may be admitted on probation, provided additional evidence of capacity to do satisfactory work is presented. Such evidence might include superior performance in a substantial amount of post-baccalaureate work, high GRE scores (GMAT scores, when appropriate), and other achievements.
Students entering on probation will remain on probation until the completion of nine hours of graduate-level, graded courses (“A,” “B,” and “C” only ) with at least a 3.00 average. Part-time students entering on probation and registering for fewer than nine hours may be dropped from the Graduate School if their semester and/or graduate gpa is less than 3.00 during any semester they are registered.
Provisional Admission • Provisional admission may be considered for applicants who appear to be admissible on the basis of the credentials submitted, but who are unable to supply all of the required official records prior to registration. Students admitted provisionally must submit complete and satisfactory records within 60 days (45 days in summer term) after the first day of registration. If these credentials are not received by the date specified or if they prove to be unsatisfactory, the student will not be permitted to register for the following semester. Provisional admission does not guarantee subsequent regular admission.
Admission of International Students
An applicant who has completed degree requirements outside the U.S. must present:
- a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education;
- authorized school or university records—transcripts, marksheets, certificates of degrees—showing all courses taken and all grades received, with certified translations if the records are in a language other than English;
- a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, with a gpa equivalent to a “B” or better (3.00 out of a possible 4.00) on all previous undergraduate work (or at least half-degree requirement) from an accredited college or university;
- certification of the availability of sufficient funds to meet all costs while studying at LSU (if an assistantship stipend covering all required expenses is not offered) before the letter of admission and Form I-20 will be mailed;
- GRE Test scores (GMAT where appropriate); and
- a satisfactory score on a test of English proficiency. Either the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) score may be submitted. On the TOEFL, a minimum score of 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), or 79 (Internetbased) is required for admission. On the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.5 is required for admission. Official TOEFL/IELTS scores are those reported directly to LSU by the respective testing service at the request of the student. [Applicants from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands, Belize, and the United Kingdom and international students who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, certain Caribbean islands, or the United Kingdom are exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS. Official transcripts are required showing completion of the degree before a student can be exempted from the TOEFL/ IELTS requirement.]
A TOEFL score of at least 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), or 79 (Internet based) or an IELTS score of 6.5 must be received before a student’s application is evaluated for admission. Application forms and information about the TOEFL may be obtained from American embassies and consulates, offices of the U.S. Information Service, or Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey, USA 08541-6000 or online at www.toefl.org. Information about IELTS may be found at www.ielts.org.
Application deadlines for international applicants are the same as for all other applicants; however, because transcripts from foreign universities require special evaluation, prospective international students should begin the application process at least nine to twelve months prior to the semester in which they plan to enroll. Applications from international students received after the deadline dates will be processed for the subsequent semester. Also, when sufficient scholastic records and acceptable evidence of English proficiency are not received early enough to determine admissibility for the semester for which application is made, consideration for a subsequent semester will be made only upon the applicant’s written request.
Upon arrival on campus and before registration, international applicants (except citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, or the United Kingdom, certain Caribbean islands, and Belize) who have been admitted to Graduate School must take the LSU Comprehensive English Language Test, which consists of the Michigan Test and a writing sample. Students whose tests indicate a deficiency in English will be required to register for appropriate English composition courses with a reduced load of graduate courses.
All international graduate students awarded graduate assistantships must demonstrate proficiency in English by examination or enroll in a Spoken American English course during the first semester of the assistantship. The course will result in a recommendation (or nonrecommendation) to assume teaching duties. Any international teaching assistant who has not received a recommendation from this speech course may not teach in any capacity.
An international applicant who has completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. institution must meet the regular admission requirements. Before the applicant can be considered, the Graduate School must receive a satisfactory GRE or GMAT score. An international applicant will not be admitted until this information has been received.
An “Application for Admission to Graduate Degree Program” packet may be obtained from the Graduate School or from the graduate department to which application is being made. All applications for graduate admission must be accompanied by a nonrefundable $25 application fee (check or money order made payable to LSU). Do not send cash through the mail. Checks or money orders must be drawn on U.S. banks. A late fee of $25 must be paid if the application is postmarked after the following dates: May 1 for intersession, May 15 for the fall semester, October 15 for the spring semester, and May 15 for the summer term. International applications received after the deadline will be processed for the following semester and no late fee will be assessed.
Fall applications must be received before the January 25 priority date in order to receive full consideration for assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships for which the applicant has applied. International applicants are encouraged to determine course availability before applying for summer entry and are further encouraged to apply at least nine to 12 months in advance of their intended semester of entrance.
Applicants for graduate admission should proceed as follows:
I. Applicants are responsible for submitting the following items to the Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803:
- The completed Application for Admission to Graduate Degree Program
- The required application fee and any applicable late fee
- One set of official transcripts of all previous college or university work from each institution attended. (An official transcript bears the official seal of the issuing school. Photocopies, facsimiles, or transcripts marked “issued to student” are not official.) Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institution(s). If the college or university will supply an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope, the student should obtain the transcript in that manner and submit it unopened. If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the Graduate School at the address above. Transcripts from LSU-BR need not be submitted. International applicants: Include degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document
- Financial statement (international students only)
II. The following materials must be submitted to the department the student wishes to enter. Please send them to Graduate Advisor, Department of _____, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803.
- One set of official transcripts of all previous college or university work from each institution attended. Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institution(s). If the college or university will supply an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope, a student is to obtain the transcript in that manner and submit it unopened. If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the Graduate Advisor at the address above. Transcripts from LSU-BR need not be submitted. International applicants: Include degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document
- Three letters of recommendation-some departments may accept electronically submitted letters
III. The following is also to be sent to the Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall:
- A satisfactory score is required on the verbal and quantitative portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). LSU’s code for GRE reporting is R6373-5. Test information may be obtained from the Graduate School at LSU, graduate schools at most colleges and universities, or by writing to Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, NJ 08541. Allow at least six weeks for the examination results to reach LSU. Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts programs (studio art and theatre), Master of Music, and programs in business administration are not required to submit GRE scores. Applicants for the Master of Fine Arts in creative writing are required to submit GRE scores.
- The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is required of applicants for all degrees in the E. J. Ourso College of Business except for the MS and PhD with a major in economics. The Department of Information Systems & Decision Sciences and the MPA Program will accept either the GRE or GMAT score. Application procedures for the GMAT are the same as described above. This examination may also be taken at LSU; the code for GMAT score reporting is also R6373-5.
IV. Applicants may be responsible for submitting additional materials to the departments to which they are applying. Most departments have specific departmental admission requirements. For specifics, consult the individual departments.
Admission is for the semester requested. Those admitted who do not register must make a written request to be reconsidered for admission for a subsequent semester. Application updates are accepted for two subsequent semesters from the original application semester (summer term included). A new application for admission is required when the original application has been on file more than three concurrent semesters. The Graduate School will not consider for admission any nonimmigrant who has entered the U.S. on an I-20 issued by another institution until that person has been enrolled for at least one semester at the institution issuing the I-20.
A student who holds a baccalaureate degree but who does not desire to enroll in a degree program in the Graduate School may enroll as a graduate nonmatriculating student. Course work is taken for academic credit, and all rules and regulations for graduate students apply. A student in this category must register for at least one course numbered 4000 or above each semester to maintain graduate status. Courses numbered below 4000 may be taken concurrently with graduate course work.
Enrollment in courses numbered 6000 and above is limited to a total of six semester hours for graduate students in this classification. However, an unlimited number of courses numbered 5999 and below may be taken.
No more than 12 hours of graduate credit taken as a nonmatriculating student may be applied to the requirement for a master’s degree. No more than 12 hours of combined credit transferred from other schools and earned as an LSU extension or nonmatriculating student may be applied toward a master’s degree at LSU. (See the section titled Transfer of Credit.)
Students wishing to enroll only in courses numbered below 4000 should apply for undergraduate admission through the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, 110 Thomas Boyd Hall. Students classified as extension students are ineligible to enroll in on-campus courses.
Applications for graduate nondegree admission may be obtained from the Graduate School. Students applying for graduate nondegree admission must submit one official transcript from the highest degree-granting institution and from each institution where graduate credit was earned or attempted. Transcripts must indicate that the applicant has a 2.50 or better gpa on all undergraduate work completed and a 3.00 or better gpa on all graduate work completed. In addition, international applicants must submit scores of 550 (paper based), 213 (computer based), or 79 (internet based) or better on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), except for applicants from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands, Belize, and the United Kingdom. International students who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, certain Caribbean islands, Belize, and the United Kingdom are also exempt from taking the TOEFL.
A nonrefundable application fee of $25 must be submitted with the application.
Students not regularly admitted to the University may attend classes as auditors, provided they meet all previously mentioned requirements for admission, have written permission from the individual course instructor(s), and have made the necessary arrangements and paid the required fees. Prospective auditors should initiate registration by obtaining an “audit only” form from the Office of the University Registrar.
Regularly enrolled graduate students may also audit courses with consent of the individual instructors. Auditors will not receive degree credit and will not be permitted to take a credit examination on audited course work. However, previously audited courses may be taken for credit. Audited courses do not count in total course loads and are not recorded on official transcripts.
Readmission to Original Program
Previously enrolled graduate students who fail to enroll for three or more consecutive semesters (summer terms included) must file an “Application for Readmission” form with the Graduate School. Applications for reentry will be subject to reevaluation under current admission criteria; readmission is not guaranteed.
Official transcripts must be submitted if work has been taken at another institution since the student was last enrolled at LSU. The application deadlines for admission also apply for readmission, as do application fees and any applicable late fees.
Readmission with a Change of Program
A student wishing to pursue a degree or program other than the one originally sought— who has not enrolled for three or more semesters (summer term included), must complete application procedures as described above, and comply with the requirements for the new program. Acceptance into one program does not guarantee admission into another. The admission decision ultimately rests with the admission committee of the department or interdepartmental program concerned.