How to Apply - Graduate Programs | LSU English

How to Apply

The application deadline for the MA and PhD programs is January 15, 2022. The application deadline for the MFA program is also January 15, 2022. Due to COVID-19, we have suspended the GRE requirement for this admissions cycle.

Completing the Application

The process is now completed entirely on-line through the Graduate School.  The English Department also requires additional information that you must include in your electronic application:  

  • List of English courses: A summary document of all English courses taken and grades earned during your undergraduate and graduate work.
  • Writing sample: should include the date of composition
    • PhD applicants should submit a 15-20 page sample of critical writing;
    • MFA applicants should submit about 20 pages of prose (fiction or nonfiction accepted) or 8-10 poems. Script submissions should include a substantial portion of the script AND one of the other genre submissions (total of two writing samples).
  • Official transcripts: A minimum GPA of 3.2 is expected on undergraduate and graduate coursework. Unofficial scans may be attached to your application for department review.
  • GRE Scores: GREs are NOT required for admission to either the PhD or MFA program.
  • Statement of purpose: This brief personal statement should be about 500 words long.
    • PhD applicants might want to write about intellectual interests along with any relevant research or teaching experience.  We are especially interested in hearing how your research interests align with those of our faculty, and any other specific reasons for choosing LSU.
    • MFA applicants - we want to hear about your artistic influences, your past/present literary work, and any future writing projects you would like to develop while at LSU. Also, tell us about your interest and experience in contributing to literary or arts communities and how that might enrich our community in and around LSU's Creative Writing Program.
  • Letters of recommendation: 
    • PhD applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation and at least two should be from academic contacts.
    • MFA applicants are required to submit at least two letters of recommendation. (We will accept three, but only require two.) Your letters needs not be from creative writing teachers, but at least one letter from an individual familiar with your writing in an academic setting is advised.

Letters are submitted via the online application system. We strongly recommend you start an application early to allow ample time for your recommenders to upload a letter before January 15.

You must meet the requirements of both the English Department and the Graduate School to gain admission. If you wish to apply to more than one of our programs (for example, the MFA in Creative Writing and the MA in English), please indicate accordingly in your application. 

Admissions Timeline

Admission Step Estimated Timeframe
Fall 2022 Applications are Accepted Now - January 15, 2022
Departmental Review January - March
Initial Decisions Emailed  March

Contract Acceptance Deadline
(per CGS Resolution)

April 15

Final Decisions Emailed

once cohort is full
(typically mid-to-late April)


LSU adheres to the conditions outlined in the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution. Applicants wait-listed for the MFA or PhD program will be contacted once an offer is declined, often not until the April 15 deadline approaches.



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Christopher Rovee
Director of Graduate Studies



Graduate Program Specialist