Admission Frequently Asked Questions 

General Information and Requirements

students talking in class with professorHow do I find out if LSU offers the program I’m interested in?

LSU offers more than 120 graduate degree programs and over 10 graduate certificates.


I want to apply for a graduate degree program. How do I apply? 

All applications are submitted online, and instructions are provided before you begin applying.


Additionally, A non-refundable fee must be submitted with the application ($50 US for US Citizens and permanent residents, $70.00 US for all other applicants).


What are the requirements for degree-seeking admission?

There are different minimum requirements for degree-seeking domestic students and degree-seeking international students. Applicants who meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School are not guaranteed admission. Some graduate programs set higher standards and many have limited space and facilities, so consult the department’s website for more information.


What is the minimum grade-point average (GPA) required for admission?

Applicants should have at least a 3.00 GPA on all undergraduate and graduate course work already completed. Certain programs require higher admission standards than those of the Graduate School, so consult the department’s website for more information.


What is a graduate certificate? What certificates does LSU offer? How do I apply?

We offer over 10 different graduate certificates, which are composed of 12-18 credit hours. Certificates are designed to support additional expertise (such as the Analytics certificate) or further develop expertise gained in a degree program (such as the Mathematics for Advanced Secondary Instruction certificate). Visit the website for the certificate you're interested in for admission requirements and application instructions.


I want to take a few courses without getting a graduate degree. How do I apply? 

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.


How many credit hours while taken as a non-degree student can be transferred into a graduate degree program?

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).


Are non-degree students held to the same rules and regulations as a graduate student?

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. Please review the regulations outlined in the Graduate School General Catalog.


What kind of financial support can I expect as a graduate student?

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


Test Scores

What’s a satisfactory score on the GRE/GMAT?

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


Can I apply if I haven’t taken the GRE/GMAT yet?

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.


Do I have to take the TOEFL/IELTS/PTE?

In addition to the Graduate School admission requirements, a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test or 79 on the Internet-based test, an IELTS score of at least 6.5, or a PTE score of at least 59 must be received before an international student’s application is evaluated for admission.

You may be exempt from this requirement if you have completed a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution.


Transcripts and Official Documents

What are 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


Do you accept foreign credential evaluations?

Beginning August 4, 2017, all applicants (international and domestic) to LSU graduate degree programs are strongly encouraged to provide a course-by-course evaluation of all foreign credentials. Foreign credentials refer to transcripts from educational institutions outside the United States. The LSU Graduate School will accept foreign credential evaluations from any current member of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) with a course-by-course evaluation and grade point average (GPA) included. For a list of all current members, please visit their website ( Although using a NACES-member organization is not a requirement, applicants should understand that it may take longer to conduct the evaluation if it must be done by LSU staff, which may result in delayed admissions decisions.


Do I need to have my transcript translated if I am an international applicant?

Yes. We need the original transcript in the original language, and an English translation certified by an appropriate authority. Please be advised that The Graduate School now accepts academic/credential evaluations from third parties such as World Education Services (WES), Academic Evaluation Services (AES), AACRAO International Education Services (IES), and other similar services.


What are additional supporting documents?

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.


If your university offers the option of emailing official transcripts, they can be sent to


Application Process and Deadlines

What is the deadline for applying to Graduate School?

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 Fee Deadline

Fall Semester

U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens


May 15

International Students


May 15

Non-Degree Students


June 1

Priority Date for Financial Assistance


January 1

Spring Semester 

U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens


November 1

International Students


November 1

Non-Degree Students


November 15

Summer Semester

U.S. Citizens and Resident Aliens


April 15

International Students


March 15

Non-Degree Students




* International applications received after the deadline will be processed automatically for the following semester or summer term.
** There are no application fee deadlines for non-degree seeking applications. 


Can I receive financial assistance for the application fee?

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 supply a signed letter of support from the program director: Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC), McNair Scholars, Project 1000, Post Baccalaureate Research and Education Programs (PREP), GEM Fellowship Program, and Initiatives for Maximizing Student Diversity (IMSD).

The application Fee Waiver Request form should be submitted online. 


How can I check on the status of my application?

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

Email inquiries may be sent to Email traffic is generally heavy and emails are answered in the order in which they are received.


When will I be notified whether or not I’m admitted?

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 Student Services directing you to retrieve your admissions decision.


When will I receive my I-20 documents (international applicants)?

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


When can I register for courses?

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 program. (You will learn more about course registration at International Orientation.)


How do I become a Louisiana resident for tuition purposes?

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