Frequently Asked Questions

Prospective Students

Find answers to common questions asked by prospective students. For additional questions, please contact the LSU Graduate Admissions Office at 225-578-2311, or email

LSU Online applicants should contact LSU Online directly at  833-280-5634 or

General Information & Requirements

Our Programs & Degrees section has information about over 120 graduate degree programs offered by LSU.

Review the Before You Apply and complete an application online.

The Office of Graduate Admissions determines eligibility for domestic applicants and international applicants. Individual academic departments or colleges may impose more restrictive admission requirements. Please contact the academic department for specific requirements and deadlines.

The Graduate School requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (2.5 for non-degree seeking students) for the last 60 semester hours in the previous undergraduate and graduate program. Some departments may require a higher GPA. Please consult the intended degree program for more information.

Graduate Certificates are designed to support additional expertise or further develop expertise gained in a degree program. Admissions requirements and other information is located in each certificate's description. 

You can apply as a non-degree seeking student. Keep in mind that courses taken as a non-degree seeking student may not apply towards a future degree. International students who are seeking or maintaining the F-1 student visa status are able to apply as non-degree seeking students.

The maximum number of hours that can later be transferred from the non-degree classification into a graduate degree program is 12 hours (with no more than 6 hours at the 6000 level or above).

Non-degree students are held to all of the same rules and regulations as degree seeking students, including maintaining a semester and LSU cumulative GPA of 3.00.

LSU offers several different types of funding, including graduate assistantships and dissertation fellowships. 

Test Scores

This is determined by the specific program and department you’re applying to. Consult the department’s website for more information.

Most departments will not review a file until the application is complete, which includes any required test scores. You may apply at any time, but you cannot be unconditionally admitted until scores are received.

The ETS institution code for the Graduate School is 6373.

LSU requires every international student to submit official results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Pearson's Test of English (PTE). Minimum score requirements for admission to the Graduate School are:

    • Internet-Based Minimum Score: 79
    • Paper-Based Minimum Score: 550
    • Computer-Based Minimum Score: 213
    • Minimum Score: 6.5
  • PTE
    • Minimum Score: 59

Important Details:

  • TOEFL and IELTS scores are valid for two years after the test date. Applicants with expired scores will need to retest and provide updated scores.
  • The minimum score to satisfy the English proficiency requirement must be acquired in a single test.
  • The Graduate School does not recognize Superscoring or MyBest Score as a valid cumulative score for admission purposes.
  • Duolingo is not accepted.

English Language Proficiency Exemptions

U.S. Post-Secondary Degree

Applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirements if they have completed one of the following:
  • A bachelor's degree earned from an accredited U.S. institution
  • A college-level degree showing the completion of post-secondary education in a country listed below where English is the primary official language
Official transcripts are required showing completion of one of the above before a student can be exempted from the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE requirement. The Office of Graduate Student Services reserves the right to require a satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score from any applicant.  

Country of Origin

International applicants from official English language-qualifying countries are not required to submit English language proficiency score. The country of origin list is subject to change. Contact Graduate Admissions with specific questions. 

Exemption Note: With few exceptions, international students (including those who were exempted from English proficiency requirements) are required to sit for an English Placement Exam.

  • American Samoa
  • Anguilla
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bermuda
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Cayman Islands
  • Dominica
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • Liberia
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Trinidad & Tobago
  • Turks & Caicos Islands
  • United Kingdom

Transcripts & Official Documents

Official documents are sent directly from the testing servicer and university registrar’s offices. ETS test scores can be sent to LSU using the LSU Graduate School institution code of 6373; other test scores can be sent by selecting LSU from their list of universities. Photocopies of test score reports are not official, but uploading them with your application may help speed up processing time. You may upload unofficial copies of your transcripts with your application. If you are admitted, the Graduate School will require official transcripts if you did not submit them with your application. Official transcripts must be sent directly from the registrar’s office or other appropriate official from your university and must be in a sealed envelope. If your university offers electronic official transcripts, they can be sent to

All academic records that are not in English must be evaluated by a service recognized by an American Translators Association (ATA) or National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) agency. 

A resume or curriculum vitae is required for all applicants. Many degree programs also require supplemental materials such as a statement of purpose, a list of undergraduate courses completed in the discipline, or other specialized materials. Consult the department’s website for further information on required supporting documents.

A final transcript is a checklist requirement added by an Admissions Officer during review. If at the time of admission, we do not have an applicant's degree conferral or there is coursework in progress, a final transcript will be requested. 

Application Process & Deadlines

The Graduate School's deadlines are listed below. Individual departments and programs may set deadlines that are much earlier than this deadline. Consult the department’s website for application deadlines. If you are seeking financial aid, including assistantships and fellowships, departments generally decide upon awards early in the calendar year. You are strongly urged to apply early to be considered for aid.

Application Deadlines
The University deadlines are listed below; however, most academic programs have earlier deadlines than those established by the University or may admit only for a specific term. Prospective applicants must contact the academic program for those deadlines.

Applicant (On-Campus) Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Students June 30 November 15 May 1
International Students April 15 October 1 April 15
Non-Degree Students August 23 January 17 May 16

Additional Deadlines:

LSU Online has established its own set of deadlines for each term. Visit their website for more information

International Services (ISO) deadlines can be found on their website.

There are a limited number of application fee waivers on a first-come, first-serve basis to applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents and who belong to under-represented groups or who hold active or veteran military status. Applicants affiliated with the following programs should fill out the waiver request form and other required documents online.

You should check the status of your application first through the application self-service center.

Email inquiries may be sent to

Once your application has been referred to the department, it is up to that department to make the recommendation on your application. The final admissions decision will be available on the application self-service center and you’ll receive an email from LSU Graduate Admissions Office directing you to retrieve your admissions decision.

International services will e-mail you about the I-20 after receiving notification of your official admission by the Graduate School.

Domestic applicants: once you have been formally admitted to the Graduate School, you may schedule courses using MyLSU

International applicants in F-1 or J-1 student status: you typically cannot schedule classes, pay tuition/fees and complete course registration until after arriving to campus and attending the International Student Orientation.

For more information regarding residency status, see PM-31 and Louisiana residency for tuition purposes.

Current Students

Find answers to common questions asked by current students. For additional questions, please contact Academic Services at 225-578-2311, or email

General Information

Graduate Student Orientation is held annually in August on the Wednesday before the first day of classes. This orientation is for students admitted in the Spring, Summer, and Fall terms.

A detailed email notification will be sent to all students with a completed and processed application and admitted by August 1.

Yes. Please see the Student Health Center or Gallagher’s homepage for additional information.

All students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the LSU's Code of Student Conduct. Additionally, please consult the Office of Research Compliance.

Please email the Graduate Student Services Office and include the following information in your email: degree program, graduate minors (if applicable), list of existing committee members, and defense date (if applicable).

First, ensure that the new member has Graduate Faculty status and discuss the addition/change with your committee chair. Your committee chair and department chair will then send a memo to the Graduate Academic Services Office stating that you would like to add a person to the committee or change someone in the committee.

Registration & Enrollment

Previously enrolled graduate students who fail to enroll for three or more consecutive semesters, including summer term, must reapply.

As long as you are not dropping your only class for the current semester, you can drop on MyLSU until the drop deadline. If you are on a graduate assistantship, a degree candidate for the current semester, or an international student, you may not drop below full-time status (9 graduate hours). 

To drop your only class for the semester, you must officially resign from the university by filling out a Resignation/Cancellation of Registration form. This form can be picked up in the lobby of West David Boyd Hall. The form must be delivered to and signed by several other offices on campus; once complete, it is turned in to the Bursar’s office in 125 Thomas Boyd Hall.

Copies of your transcript may be ordered through MyLSU.

 Please contact your department for further information.

If changing degrees within the same department, you must fill out a Change of Degree Program form with the help of your graduate advisor. If applying to change to a degree in a different department, you must fill out a Change of Department form and submit it according to the instructions.  These forms can be downloaded here.

Please contact your department for further information.

The time limit for a Master’s Degree program is five years. Doctoral degrees must be complete within seven years.

Tuition & Fees

Make sure that your department has processed the appropriate appointment before the semester deadlines (March 1, July 1, or October 1). It usually takes 4-5 working days to process an appointment. Check your Billing Statement on MyLSU to see if the adjustment has been made. 

Please see PM-31 and Louisiana Residency for Tuition Purposes for further information.

Fees can be paid online through MyLSU by bank draft or credit card. Fees can also be paid with cash, check, or credit card at the Bursar’s Office, 125 Thomas Boyd Hall.

Thesis & Dissertation

You can make an appointment by sending an email to Grad School ETD and include your name and student ID.

The submission deadline is the final date for students to upload their documents to Digital Commons. The student must have successfully defended, their Thesis or Dissertation must be uploaded to Digital Commons, approval sheets signed by committee members and emailed to the Graduate Student Services Office, and the Survey of Earned Doctorates completion certificate (for Doctoral students) must be emailed to or the editor by 4:30 pm on the date of the submission deadline. It is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you defend a couple weeks prior to the submission deadline in order to have an adequate amount of time to make corrections requested by your committee.

The approval deadline is the final day by which edits requested by the editor MUST be completed. Take note that there may be several edits requested and your first time editing may not complete all edits. The editor generally allows 24 hours for edits to be sent back in order for her to check the document again and send further edits in case some were missed the first time. By this date, all non-thesis defense results must be turned in.

Yes, the editor has provided the Formatting Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations which students should refer to as they are finalizing their document. All documents must be submitted electronically as a PDF document.

Information on embargoes can be found in the Formatting Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations.

Dean's Representative

Although adherence to policy is the concern of all graduate committee members, it is the special responsibility of the Dean's Representative (DR) who represents the Graduate School and the university to ensure that all policies and procedures of the Graduate School and the department are followed and to see that the final milestones in the doctoral program—the general examination and the dissertation defense—take place in an orderly, transparent, and equitable manner.  Serving as a Dean's Representative is a basic responsibility of all Graduate Faculty for the university-wide academic community. 

The Dean’s Representative is a full member of the doctoral committee. The Dean’s Representative must be appointed to the committee at the time the general examination is scheduled, and must receive all scheduling requests and materials pertaining to the general examination and the dissertation in the same timely manner as the rest of the committee members.

Although it is possible that the Dean’s Representative may be knowledgeable and take an active role in the student’s dissertation, that is by no means a requirement. The Dean’s Representative should plan to attend the general examination and the final dissertation defense, each of which averages two hours. Reading the dissertation is a choice by the Dean’s Representative, not a requirement.

Although we anticipate the Dean’s Representative responding to a brief survey in future, the Dean’s Representative is welcome at any time to contact the Dean of the Graduate School (whether by telephone, letter, email or a visit) with comments, concerns, or suggestions. 

The role of the Dean’s Representative (DR) is not very time consuming. Doctoral exams typically last about 2 hours, although some will run longer. Prior to the exam date, the Dean’s Representative may choose to spend some time reading the materials provided by the student.  Students occasionally will request advice from the Dean’s Representative regarding dissertation preparation.  The Dean’s Representative will determine how much time is needed in providing support to a student requesting advice from his or her DR.

No. Background experience related to the student’s discipline and research is not a requirement to serve as Dean’s Representative. The Dean’s Representative’s primary responsibility is to ensure the integrity of the examination procedures by serving as a committee member and observer from an outside department.

No. As noted above, reading exams or the dissertation is the option of the Dean's Representative, not a requirement.   

There is no set minimum for service to the scholarly community as a Dean’s Representative. Your own schedule and interests will determine whether or not you accept each invitation.  You will probably be asked to serve about once every 2-4 semesters.  If the requests can't be met, you will be asked until we find an opportunity that serves your schedule and interests as well as the student's needs.

Please let our Dean’s Representative specialist know of your preferences, and we will make every attempt to accommodate your interests and your willingness to serve.

The Graduate School will send you a letter of thanks for your service, which is routinely copied to your chair.  Please be sure to note your service as a Dean’s Representative, however, in your annual report. 

  • The Dean’s Representative should assure that all the committee members are present before starting.

  • The composition of the committee must conform to the latest rules about remote participation. Visit our Remote Participation page to view our policy.

  • Assure that there is a completed dissertation that has been circulated to all committee members at least two weeks in advance.

  • Assure that the pass/fail/retest policy is followed.

  • Report if student and/or DR are not treated respectfully.

  • Serve (for purposes of continuity), whenever possible, at both the examination and dissertation meetings.

  • If unable to attend a milestone exam, inform the chair of the committee and the Graduate School as soon as possible so that a replacement can be found in a timely manner.

The Dean’s Representative is authorized to cancel or reschedule the examination. The Dean’s Representative should inform the chair of the committee and the Graduate School immediately in such an event.

The Graduate School Academic Services Office will review the circumstances pertaining to the request.  Please send an email to, and provide a detailed explanation.  Please be sure to send the email from your LSU email address.


Defense request forms, degree audits, and application for degree links are available on our Forms page.

Students are able to monitor the process of their degree documents through their Milestones located in MyLSU. Once in MyLSU, the Graduate Milestones section is located under the ‘Student Services’ tab in the left column. By clicking ‘Graduate Milestones’, students will be able to view their degree and program type as well as document status. 

All students except those in a thesis-only program are coded as non-thesis. This changes when you file your Application for Degree. This does not change the path of your degree program.

Important deadlines and dates are listed on the Graduate School calendar.

Students can request Degree-only status for the following semester as long as all coursework is completed and have defended by commencement in the previous term.

Ex: If a student cannot defend by the current semester's approval deadline but will defend by the commencement; they are not meeting the graduation requirements for this semester but may request to be degree-only for the Spring term.

The procedure is the same as for regular semesters. The relevant dates are listed on the Graduate School calendar and the Academic Calendar

All graduation forms can be found on the Forms page.

Yes, you need to fill out the Defense Date Change form, which can be found on our Forms page

Graduation Fees will appear on your regular fee bill:

Master’s degree fee—$45; processing fee, $20

Doctoral degree fee—$65; processing fee, $35

Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree fee, $50,

Replacement diploma fee—$40.

We will no longer provide duplicated diplomas. 

You can request this document via email from the Graduate Student Services Office or by visiting the lobby of W. David Boyd Hall. You must have completed all degree requirements and not be enrolled in any coursework. There is a 7-10 day processing time for these letters. The original can be mailed out directly or picked up in person. You may also request a .PDF copy of this letter sent via email.

To be eligible for Degree Only registration, you must have already defended your thesis or dissertation by the commencement date in a previous semester and completed all required course work. Degree Only registration means that you are registering for the Degree Only and are not considered an enrolled student. If you desire to register Degree-Only, you must have completed and submitted your thesis or dissertation by the degree only deadline. The document must be submitted in advance of the deadline to ensure staff has adequate time to review and you have time to make required corrections. Documents must be approved and registration must be completed by 4:30 pm on the deadline date listed on the Graduate School calendar.

Graduate Funding

Find answers to common questions about funding opportunities for graduate students. For additional questions, please contact Finance and Administrative services at 225-578-2311 or email

General Information

Departments recruit and hire graduate assistants on an individual basis. You must contact specific departments for availability. Non-discipline specific and administrative assistantships are listed in the Graduate School’s GRAD NODES and on the Assistantships webpage during the academic year when they become available.

At this time, LSU Online students are not allowed to hold graduate assistantships.

No. There are no exceptions to this rule (including the graduating semester). Audited courses do not count towards this requirement.

If your assistantship is a 9-month academic appointment, registration during summer sessions is not required. If you have a 12-month appointment or a summer assistantship, full-time registration (6 credit hours) during the summer is required.


All international students who will be teaching are required to meet the English proficiency requirement either through an oral interview or coursework. This includes students from English-speaking countries such as Canada, Great Britain, and Australia.

Students must be in good standing to be awarded and to hold assistantships. PS-21 details one-time exemption to this requirement under “Qualifications.” This exemption is at the discretion of the student’s home department, college dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School.

Your academic department, regardless of where you hold your assistantship, must petition the Graduate School for you to work extra hours. Check with your department to find out if the petition was approved. You may not exceed a total of 20 hours per week without explicit Graduate School approval. International students are not permitted to work additional hours outside of their assistantship.

U.S. citizens are sometimes allowed to work extra hours with Graduate School approval, but federal law prohibits international students from working more than 20 hours/week.

Payments & Waivers

Graduate assistants must be in appointment status on the following dates to receive the full tuition exemption and/or non-resident fee waiver:

  • Spring Semester: March 2
  • 2nd Summer Session: First day of class
  • Fall Semester: October 2

Make sure that your department has processed the appropriate appointment before the above semester deadlines. It usually takes 4-5 working days to process an appointment. Check your Billing Statement on MyLSU to see if the adjustment has been made.

Stipends vary widely among departments. The current minimum amount is $10,800 for a 20 hour a week, 9-month academic year appointment. There is no maximum amount. Your department is required to put your stipend amount in your assistantship contract. 

All graduate assistants are paid once a month on the last business day of each month.