CMST Graduate Application Requirements 

To apply to the graduate program in Communication Studies, applicants must apply through the LSU Graduate School.

Required Materials

The following items are required for a complete application:

  • An online application form
  • An application fee (and any applicable late fee)
  • GRE scores - GRE scores are optional but strongly recommended for applicants whose focus is Interpersonal Communication; the institution code for LSU is 6373
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores for international applicants
  • One official transcript from each college or university you have attended
  • A 1-2 page personal statement describing your background, research/area(s) of emphasis, and specific interest in LSU
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A sample of scholarly writing – e.g., a thesis chapter or term paper – or a professional portfolio project if applying for the professional practice MA track

Applicants should also clearly indicate whether they are applying for the MA, MA-PhD fast track, or PhD program.

Submission of Required Materials

The applicant must complete and submit the form, fee, and all required documents (items #6-8) via the online website.

Official GRE and applicable TOEFL or IELTS scores (items #3 & #4 mentioned above) must be submitted electronically by the testing organization to the LSU Graduate School.

Official transcripts (item #5 above) may be submitted electronically to the online site or institutions can send them by ground mail to:

Graduate Admissions
Louisiana State University
114 West David Boyd Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

(Institutions should not send official transcripts to the Department of Communication Studies.)

Processing the Required Materials

According to the LSU Graduate School, documents received in paper format will be loaded into the electronic system within 48 hours of receipt. During peak processing times – e.g., just before deadlines – loading the documents may take a bit longer due to higher volume.

In our department, the chair, an administrative specialist, and all members of the graduate faculty will have access to applicants’ documents via the secure web center.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline for fall semester is December 31. Students requesting an assistantship should indicate their interest in the application.

We do not generally offer spring admission to the graduate program.

Evaluation of Application Materials

Admission decisions are made by the department’s Graduate Admission Committee, which consists of one graduate faculty member from each of the three areas. Each committee member serves as a representative for their respective area and, as such, will consult with their area colleagues regarding graduate applications prior to meeting with the Graduate Admission Committee. Final admission and funding decisions are based on the strength of application materials and guided by the goal of equal balance of students and assistantships across the three areas.

For international applicants, a TOEFL score of 550 on the paper-based, 213 on the computer-based, or 79 on the internet-based exam is required, or a minimum score of 6.5 on the IELTS or 59 on the PTE. Please note that these are university requirements established by the Graduate School, meaning students who do not meet these minimum test scores are typically not admitted.

The personal statement should provide a brief but detailed description of the applicant’s interests and reasons for pursing an advanced degree. Strong personal statements also specifically explain why the applicant wishes to pursue a degree at LSU.

The writing sample should demonstrate, and the letters address, the applicant’s ability to do graduate level work and research.

Additional admission factors also are considered, such as vacancies in the program and the compatibility of the applicant’s research interests with those of current faculty. Prospective students who do not meet all departmental and/or Graduate School requirements may be admitted provisionally on a case by case basis.

All applicants must adhere to the application procedures and deadlines established by the LSU Graduate School and the CMST department.

Applicants Interested in Mass Communication or Communication Sciences and Disorders

Do not apply to our program if you are interested in mass communication, as it relates to the professions of journalism and mass media production and marketing, or communication sciences and disorders, as it relates to speech, language, and hearing science. We will “reject” your application and suggest to the Graduate School that they redirect you to the LSU Manship School of Mass Communication or the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. We cannot guarantee however that the Graduate School will offer the redirection.

Financial Assistance

Each year approximately 25 graduate assistantships to continuing and new graduate students are awarded. Our assistantships are teaching assistantships largely; research assistantships are not awarded. For prospective students, the application documents play a key part in the decisions made as does the availability of assistantships within the program or within the applicant’s proposed area(s) of research emphasis. 

The assistantship provides students with a stipend, a tuition waiver (although students are required to pay non-instructional fees), and a competitive health care option. In return, students are required to teach or assist in teaching two courses per the fall and spring semesters. All the assistantships are renewable within certain term limits and given the student’s satisfactory fulfillment of his or her academic and teaching responsibilities. The noted term limits are: The noted term limits are 4 years total for doctoral students and 2 years for master students.