FAQS 

Do I have to meet the requirements of both the English Department and the LSU Graduate School to gain admission?

Yes

 

Do I have to submit two separate applications, one to the Graduate School and one to the English Department?

No. All applications should be submitted via the LSU Graduate School online application system at http://gradapply.lsu.edu

 

If I have no access to the online application process, where should I mail the English application?

Applications must be submitted through the LSU Graduate School's online application system at http://gradapply.lsu.edu

 

How much is the application fee?

The application fee can be found at the Graduate School's prospective student information page.

 

What is the GRE Institutional Code for the Graduate School?

LSU's institution code is 6373.

 

Should I submit official transcripts to the English Department?

Official Transcripts need to be sent only to the LSU Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

 

Where can I find the Letter of Recommendation form?

Letters of Recommendation should be submitted through the online application system's confidential recommendation portal. Recommenders may submit letters via mail to LSU Department of English, Graduate Studies Office, 260 Allen Hall, baton Rouge, LA 70803>

 

Is it permissible to use a dossier service for recommendations?

Yes, but LSU Graduate School's confidential recommendation system is our preferred method of submission. If you submit via Interfolio, please have the information forwarded to athib13@lsu.edu

 

I have been out of school for several years and there is no one left who can write an academic recommendation for me. May I ask my employer to write one?

The faculty committee reviewing your file is interested in your intellectual abilities. Therefore, your recommendations should comment on your academic achievement and potential to succeed in graduate school. However, if you have been in the workforce for a long time, or are working in a field (such as publishing) closely connected to the MFA or PhD in English, you may want your employer to write a letter of recommendation as a complement to your academic recommendations.

 

When is the application deadline?

The deadline for students applying for the PhD and MA programs beginning in the fall of the 2015-2016 academic year is December 15, 2015 and the MFA program is January 15, 2016.

 

Do you allow spring or summer admission?

No.

 

What are my chances of admission? How many students applied last year and how many were admitted?

In order to support most students with substantial financial packages, we generally limit our incoming class to 17 students: 11 into the PhD program and 6 into the MFA. We typically receive approximately 350 applications for the fall application cycle: 100 MA/PhD and 250 MFA.

 

Can I apply for a PhD even if I don't have a MA?

Yes. we admit highly qualified applications with a BA directly into our PhD program. Often about one-quarter of our incoming PhD class has just a BA.

 

Can I apply to more than one program?

All MA applications are automatically considered for admission to the PhD program. You will need to submit a separate application if you would like to be considered for the MFA and PhD programs.

 

Will I receive confirmation once I submit my application materials to th English Department?

Almost all application materials are submitted through the online application system. Letters of recommendation may also be tracked if you utilize the confidential recommendation system. You may email athib13@lsu.edu to verify materials were received by the department but please understand replies to these requests may not be possible before the application deadline.

 

Is the GRE General Exam required?

Yes. All applicants must take the GRE General Exam.

 

What is the minimum GRE score requirement?

We do not yet have extensive experience with the new GRE numbers. A minimum score of 160 on the Verbal element of the examination is expected, and the great majority of our PhD and MFA students have scored higher, often over 165. Writing scores tend to range between 4.5 and 6.0 on a 6.0 scale. Please note that we do not exclude review based on GRE scores and will evaluate all applications received by the deadline.

 

Is the GRE Subject Exam required?

No.

 

What is the minimum undergraduate GPA requirement?

A GPA of 3.2 is generally required.

 

I'm concerned that either my GPA or GRE scores might not be high enough.

We look at the whole package a student submits, including not only the GRE and GPA, but also the writing samples and letters of recommendation. Then we offer places to the best students overall that apply.

 

How long must the writing sample be?

All applicants are required to submit a writing sample. Applications to the MA and PhD programs should include about a 20-page sample of critical writing.

Applications to the MFA program in fiction should include 20 pages of prose (a collection of short stories, chapter from novel, or full story) and should not exceed this limit. Poetry applicants should submit a collection of 8 to 10 poems. Screenwriting and Drama writing applicants should submit a substantial portion of a script PLUS a fiction or poetry writing sample.

 

What if I don't have a 20-page writing sample for the PhD or MA program? May I send two or three shorter essays?

No. The faculty committee assessing applications is interested in your ablity to write a sustained argument that draws on sophisticated critical research. If you only have shorter essays, consider revising and expanding your best one to bring it up to approximately 20 pages, including notes and bibiography.

 

What other materials do I need to remember to include with my application?

• Statement of Intent (also referred to as the Statement of Purpose)

• List of English Courses

• 3 Letters of Recommendation via online recommendation portal in the application system

• Writing Sample

• Transcripts – uploading an unofficial copy to your application may be used in departmental review

 

If I meet the required deadlines, when can I expenct to receive the decision?

The Graduate Committee will evaluate applications in January and February and arrive at a ranking by early to mid-February. Applicants who receive offers must respond by April 15.

 

If I am put on your waiting list, when will I know if I will be accepted or not?

We typically put many excellent applicants on our waiting list; some of these strong candidates receive offers in the second wave. As soon as we hear from someone to whom we've made a pending offer that they are not going to come to LSU, we accept another applicant. Because the first wave has until as late as April 15th, we soemtimes make additional offers from our waiting list after that date.

 

I've received several offers. Should I wait until the April 15th deadline to inform them of my decision?

That's up to you. No school should pressure you to decide earlier if you aren't ready. But other excellent applicants are anxiously in line on waiting lists. Graduate programs don't want to lose their best wait-listed applicants to other schools. It is a great help to everyone if you let all the schools know as soon as you've decided.

 

What do I need to do to be considered for departmental financial aid?

Please indicate in your application form that you wish to be considered for departmental financial aid.

 

What are the opportunities for financial aid?

All admitted students are offered a competitive funding package detailed in their acceptance letter. Our current funding opportunities are detailed at http://www.lsu.edu/hss/english/graduate_program/prospective_students/funding/

 

Are international students eligible for admission and financial support?

Yes.

 

Does the Graduate Teaching Assistant financial aid package include fees?

No, financial aid packages only exempt tuition and out-of-state fees (when applicable). Students are responsible for required university fees and ancillary charges (such as parking and health insurance). A list of current fees can be found at https://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/financialaid/graduate-cost-of-attendance/

 

What teaching responsibilities come with financial aid?

Students entering with a BA generally assist a professor with a large lecture general education course during the first year, and teach one composition course per regular semester thereafter. Those entering with a MA usually teach one composition course per regular semester. Every effort is made to allow students to teach non-composition courses as instructor of record, but these opportunities are based on university needs.

 

I have other questions. Who can answer them?

If you have any other questions not answered here or elsewhere on our website, please email the Director of English Graduate Studies at egs@lsu.edu or the Program Specialist at athib13@lsu.edu