Instructions and Advice for Submitting Applications


Applications may be submitted by regular mail or email directly to our Department and pay no application fee.  Detailed instructions on this option are available here. This option is free with no application fee. 


Online Application Form

All applications must be submitted with the online system run by the LSU Graduate School.   In the upper left corner is a link labeled “Apply Online” in the yellow bar - click here to go there directly. You will see a page describing the usual computer requirements, plus a set of two boxes on the upper right. First time users will have to click the button labeled “create account” and follow the direction. Take note of the PIN and password, as you’ll need these to re-enter the system. Return users (like when you come back to keep working on your application) can use the “User Login” box, which requires your PIN and password from your initial account creation. Enter these, and click the “login” button. This will take you to a page with the application deadlines. You should click on the link in the top-middle labeled “Graduate School Application for Admission”. This takes you to another page where you can start to enter (or re-enter) the various blocks for information on your application. You should start by clicking on the link labeled “Biographical Information”, and then following the other blocks all the way to the end.

  • Under the block “Application Information”:
    • The semester and year list is populated with many possibilities. We are only accepting students to start in the spring or fall sessions.
    • The degree you are seeking must be either “Physics – PHD” or “Physics – MS”.
    • We presume that all incoming applicants will need an assistantship or fellowship. So answer ‘Yes’ and do not have any worries.
  • Under the block “Additional Academic”:
    • The listing of 12 courses is primarily important for students not coming from a physics or astronomy undergraduate program. In such a case, we need to be convinced that you have an adequate physics background such that you can handle our courses.
    • Do you require funding for graduate school? Just say, “Yes”, as we would presume that anyway.
    • It does not really matter what you put down for your source of support, as we presume that you are in need of the usual support. Also, in our admission decisions, we pay no attention to your source of support, as we are interested in your skill and knowledge at research.
  • You can (and should!) include other files (such as PDF uploads), which are entered at the bottom of the “Additional Academic” section.
    • Brief summary of research experience. This is important. We want to know what labs you have worked in, what theoretical problems you have solved, what conferences you have attended, and what papers you have written or co-authored. Importantly, tell us exactly what you have done, down at a detailed level.
    • Personal statement. Here is your chance to tell us where you want to be heading in the world of physics. Here is your chance to tell us about unusual circumstances (perhaps a few years in the army or working for industry) or to explain how you have a good physics background even while having worked as an undergraduate in other fields. Here is a chance to detail why you want to come to LSU. Here is your chance to tell us why we should want you to come to LSU.
    • Resume or curriculum vitae (CV). This is helpful for putting all your main history together in one place. This is also an opportunity for you to highlight your research experience, to list all your papers, to list the conferences that you’ve attended, and whatever else you can think of that makes a strong case for why we should admit you.
    • Scholarly writing sample. This is where you upload preprints or reprints of paper for which you are the author or a co-author. This can show us the sort of research that you have done and are interested in. For many people, your research papers are your best case for evidence of skill and knowledge of research and are your ticket to admission at LSU.
  • In the block on test scores:
    • GRE score is required.
    • GRE Subject Test (in Physics) is not required. However, giving us your GRE Physics score can greatly improve your chances of acceptance.
    • GMAT is useless to us.
    • TOEFL or IELTS is required for all non-US students other than (a) students from the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, or (b) students who already have a degree from a university in the US or one of the other designated countries.
  • In the block on Selective Service/ Military Information, we are required by Federal law to include these questions.
  • In the block on Disciplinary Information, we are required by Federal law to include these questions.
  • Unfortunately, material sent directly to our Department or directly to our professors is not part of the online application, and we have no ready way to include this information. Nevertheless, it might be useful to have direct contact with our professors, as we trade around information and recommendations that will get passed to the decision makers.