Prospective Graduate Students

Applicants must meet the Graduate School minimum requirements for admission and be accepted into the department program.  Please note that meeting these requirements does not guarantee acceptance. 

Department Deadlines

  • Fall - February 15th
  • Spring - October 1st
  • Summer - we do not accept applications for summer

Admission Requirements

All applicants must have the following in order to be considered for unconditional admission:

  • A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution.
  • A grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 (A = 4.0) on all undergraduate work (or in the final 64 credit hours) and any graduate work already completed.
  • Official GRE - minimum score of 300 
  • Official TOEFL - minimum score of 79 (Internet Based), 213 (Computer Based), or 550 (Paper Based) or IELTS score of 6.5 for international applicants only.
  • Three (3) recommendation letters
  • Statement of purpose
  • Writing sample is not required but may be submitted with your application.

Application Process

Prospective graduate students must complete the online application form and pay the application fee. The department cannot waive the fee. Ensure the spelling and order of your name on your application matches your legal identification.

  • Do not submit application until you have submitted everything.  Nothing can be added to the application after it is submitted.
  • Do not mail anything to the department. 
  • Send one official transcript from each college or university attended to the Graduate School (including summer work that appears on another institution’s transcript). International applicants should include degree statements and an English translation of each non-English document. Do not send transcripts to the department.
  • Request ETS submit official GRE and TOEFL (international applicants only) scores directly to the Graduate School.  The institution code is 6373. The department code is not required.
  • Upload any additional information or recommendation letters to your application before you complete and submit.  You will not be able to add/change anything after you submit the application.
  • The department will evaluate all applications after the department deadline.  A decision will be made a month after the deadline. 
  • You will receive an email from the department to inform you when a decision has been made on your application.  The Graduate School will receive notification at the same time and will begin their evaluation. This evaluation will take additional time.  The Graduate School will email their decision to the applicant and the department.

Financial Assistance

The department offers a number of assistantships to exceptional students.  To apply for a department assistantship simply select "Need Assistantship" on the Graduate School Application.   Acceptance of our offer of financial support completes an agreement that both student and graduate school are expected to honor.  For more information read the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution.

You can find tuition and fee information at LSU Budget and Planning.

Degrees Offered

The department offers both a Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering.  There is a minimum core requirement of (18 for MS or 21 for PHD) credit hours in drilling, production, formation evaluation, reservoir engineering, and engineering mathematics as shown in the department's Core Curriculum Requirements document. A secondary concentration area consisting of a minimum of 6 hours of earned credit in a specified field of study may be required by the advisory committee.  The Master's Examination Milestones and PhD Examination Milestones defines expectations of student achievements at various states in the program.

Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering

The master's program is open to students holding BS degrees in petroleum engineering, other engineering disciplines, or sciences. The department level academic course plan for each student will be developed in consultation with and approved by the student's advisory committee.

The degree is either a thesis or a non-thesis degree that requires a special project.

  • The thesis option requires completion of 24 hours of approved coursework, 12 coursework hours should be at the 7000 level or above, excluding thesis hours, 6 hours credit for thesis research. The thesis option student must have their thesis approved by the committee and pass a comprehensive final oral exam.
  • The non-thesis option requires completion of 36 hours of approved graduate coursework that may include 3 credits for the special project and at least 18 hours at the 7000 level or above, including credit earned for the special project. Must pass a comprehensive oral exam that may (but does not have to) include approval of the special project. At the discretion of the student's advisory committee, a written exam may be required.

Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy in Petroleum Engineering is open to students holding a M.S. in petroleum engineering. However, special programs involving additional course work can be developed for those with M.S. degrees in related branches of engineering or science.

To become a doctoral candidate, a student must pass a qualifying examination, meet the one-year residence requirement, and complete a minimum of either 54 semester hours of approved course work beyond the B.S. or 30 semester hours beyond the M.S.

The Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering does not require a minor for doctoral students. The department does recognize the value of taking courses outside the curriculum to augment a student’s research and/or to expand a student’s knowledge in other areas. Therefore, a doctoral student in petroleum engineering must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • Acquire an approved minor or take 9 to 12 semester hours of courses outside of the department. Courses must be selected by both the student and his/her major professor and approved by the department’s graduate faculty. The courses must represent a logical and cohesive package that satisfies one or both of the previously mentioned goals.
  • The Ph.D. is conferred after a candidate has successfully completed the dissertation and passed the general and final examinations.


The MS and PHD programs are open to student's holding degrees in petroleum engineering, other engineering disciplines, or sciences. For students with a degree in other engineering fields or science, additional coursework is required with no graduate credit. The amount is based on the student's previous academic training.

Students with a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering

These students can finish graduate work in 3 regular semesters.  LSU students may sometimes shorten this period to 2 regular semesters if they qualify to take 2 or more courses for graduate credit during their last semester as an undergraduate.  The minimum requirement is 30 semester hours of graduate work, 24 hours of which must be in course work.  At least 15 semester hours must be in courses either at or above the 7000 level.  Students will concentrate in petroleum engineering, but the department may require a minor of 6 semester hours in a related field.

Students with a B.S. in Other Engineering Fields

Students whose degrees are in other engineering fields should expect a graduate program of at least 4 semesters.  They will be required to take additional courses in geology and petroleum engineering.  The additional courses will be based on the individual student’s previous training.  The usual curriculum is given below.  The department may make changes based on the student’s previous academic training.  Courses showing zero credit hours are not credited toward the degree. This example schedule assumes a thesis option.

Students with a B.S. in Science

Students with a B.S. in science whose curriculum included chemistry, physics, and mathematics through calculus may be admitted but will be required to take additional courses in geology, engineering science, and petroleum engineering.  The additional courses will be based on the individual student’s previous training.  Students should expect the graduate program of at least 5 semesters.  The usual curriculum is listed below.  However, the department may make changes based on an individual student’s previous training.  Courses showing zero credit do not count as credit toward the degree. This example schedule assumes a thesis option.



Contact Information

Janet Dugas
Graduate Coordinator

Graduate School Admissions
114 West David Boyd Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Tel: 225-578-2311
Fax: 225-578-2112