Procedures for Admission
Admission to the Graduate School is awarded on the basis of evidence of academic achievement and promise. Applications of students who meet Graduate School requirements are forwarded to the appropriate academic units for final approval. Certain programs require higher admission standards than those of the Graduate School. Due to the high demand for many graduate programs, meeting the minimum requirements of the Graduate School does not guarantee admission into a particular program.
Applicants meeting the following requirements are normally granted regular admission. Applicants failing to meet all requirements may be granted probationary admission, provided other substantial evidence of capacity to do satisfactory graduate work—including outstanding performance in postbaccalaureate and/or graduate work, high Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, and other outstanding achievements—is presented.
Applicants with unsatisfactory undergraduate records who have completed a minimum
of nine hours of graded graduate course work with at least a 3.33 graduate grade point
average (GPA) (“A” = 4.0) in a graduate program and who have acceptable GRE scores
will be considered for admission.
Applicants who appear admissible on the basis of unofficial and/or incomplete transcripts of previous work or unofficial test scores, but who are unable to supply the required records prior to registration, may be granted provisional admission. Subsequent enrollment will not be permitted until all provisions are met. Provisional admission does not guarantee subsequent regular admission to the Graduate School.
Regular admission is awarded to applicants who intend to pursue a doctoral degree
(Ph.D.) and meet the following requirements:
• A bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution.
• A grade point average of at least 3.00 (“A”= 4.0) on all undergraduate work (or last half-degree requirement) and a 3.00 GPA or better on any graduate work already completed. International applicants must have at least a 3.00 GPA, or equivalent, on all college-level work attempted.
• Acceptable GRE scores (in some cases, a high GRE may be used to compensate for a low GPA).
• Acceptance by the graduate faculty in the applicant’s area of study. Applicants who are narrowly trained or who have taken a significant amount of work on a pass-fail basis or in ungraded courses may be required to submit scores on GRE Subject (Advanced) Tests before their applications can be considered.
Applicants who fail to meet one or more of the requirements for regular admission
may be admitted on probation, provided additional evidence of capacity to do satisfactory
work is presented. Such evidence might include superior performance in a substantial
amount of postbaccalaureate work, high GRE scores, and other achievements.
Students entering on probation will remain on probation until the completion of nine hours of graduate-level, graded courses (“A,” “B,” and “C” only) with at least a 3.00 average. Part-time students entering on probation and registering for fewer than nine hours may be dropped from the Graduate School if their GPA is less than 3.00 during any semester in which they are registered.
Students admitted on probation may not be appointed to assistantships or fellowships until they attain good academic standing.
Admission of International Students
Applicants who have completed degree requirements outside the U.S. must present all of the following:
- a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education
- authorized school or university records—transcripts, mark sheets, certificates of degrees—showing all courses taken and all grades received (with certified translations if the records are in a language other than English)
- a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, with a grade point average equivalent to a “B” or better on all previous undergraduate work (or last half-degree requirement) from an accredited college or university
- certification of the availability of sufficient funds to meet all costs while studying at LSU (if an assistantship with a stipend of at least $10,835 is not offered) before the letter of admission and Form I-20 will be mailed
- GRE Test scores
- a satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS
- A TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, a 213 on the computer-based test, or a 79 on the Internet-based test, or an IELTS score of 6.5 must be received before an international student’s application is evaluated for admission.
Applicants from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands,
Belize, and the United Kingdom are exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS. International
students who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S., Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands, Belize, and the United
Kingdom are also exempt from taking the TOEFL or IELTS. Application forms and information
about the TOEFL may be obtained from American embassies and consulates; offices of
the U.S. Information Service; or Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton,
New Jersey, USA 08541-6000. Information about IELTS may be found at the IELTS website
Application deadlines for international students are the same as for all other applicants; however, because transcripts from foreign universities require special evaluation, prospective international students should begin the application process at least nine to twelve months prior to the semester in which they plan to enroll. Applications received after the deadline dates will be processed for the following semester or summer term. When sufficient scholastic records and acceptable evidence of English proficiency are not received early enough to determine admissibility for the semester for which application is made, consideration for a subsequent semester will be made only upon the applicant’s written request.
Upon arrival on campus and before registration, international applicants (except citizens of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United Kingdom, certain Caribbean islands, and Belize) who have been admitted to the Graduate School must take the LSU Comprehensive English Language Test, consisting of the Michigan Test and a writing sample.
Students whose tests indicate a deficiency in English will be required to register for appropriate English composition courses with a reduced load of graduate courses.
All international graduate students awarded graduate assistantships must demonstrate proficiency in English by examination or enroll in a spoken American English course during the first semester of the assistantship. This course will result in a recommendation (or non-recommendation) to assume teaching duties. Any international teaching assistant who has not received a favorable recommendation from this speech course may not teach in any capacity. An international applicant who has completed an undergraduate degree at an accredited U.S. institution must meet regular admission requirements. Before the applicant can be considered, the Graduate School must receive a satisfactory GRE score. An international applicant will not be admitted until this information has been received.
An “Application for Admission to Graduate Degree Program” packet may be obtained from
the Graduate School or from the graduate department to which application is being
made. All applications for graduate admission must be accompanied by a nonrefundable
application fee (check or money order drawn on a U.S. bank and made payable to LSU).
The application fee is $50US for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $70US for all other applications. Do not send cash through the mail.
A late fee of $25 must be paid if the application is postmarked after the following dates: May 1 for intersession, May 15 for the fall semester, October 15 for the spring semester, and May 15 for the summer term. International applications received after these dates will be processed for the following semester and no late fee will be assessed. Fall applications must be received before the January 25 priority date in order to receive full consideration for assistantships, fellowships, or scholarships for which the applicant has applied.
International applicants are encouraged to determine course availability before applying for summer entry, and they are further encouraged to apply at least nine months in advance of their intended semester of enrollment. Applicants for graduate admission should proceed as follows:
Applicants must submit their forms electronically. Forms can be accessed directly from the Graduate School website. Applicants are responsible for submitting the following items to the Graduate School, 114 David Boyd Hall, LSU, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803:
- the completed “Application for Admission to Graduate Degree Program”
- the required application fee and any applicable late fee
- one set of official transcripts of all previous college or university work from each institution attended. An official transcript bears the official seal of the issuing school. Photocopies, facsimiles, or transcripts marked “issued to student” are not official. Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institution(s). If the college or university will supply an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope, the student should obtain the transcript in this manner and submit it unopened. If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the Graduate School at the above address. Transcripts from the LSU main campus need not be submitted.
- A satisfactory score on the verbal and quantitative portion of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). LSU’s code for GRE reporting is R6373-5. Please indicate the appropriate department code so scores will be forwarded automatically to the department to which application is being made. Test information may be obtained from the Graduate School at LSU; graduate schools at most colleges and universities; or by writing to Educational Testing Service, P.O. Box 6000, Princeton, New Jersey 08541-6000. Allow at least six weeks for examination results to reach LSU.
International applicants should also submit:
- degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document
- financial statement
- a satisfactory score on either the TOEFL or IELTS
II. The following materials must be submitted to the department the student wishes
to enter. Please send them to
Director and Graduate Advisor, Program in Comparative Literature, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803.
- One set of official transcripts of all previous college or university work from each institution attended. Transfer credit posted on the records of other institutions is not accepted in lieu of transcripts from the original institution(s). If the college or university will supply an official transcript in a sealed and signed envelope, a student is to obtain the transcript in that manner and submit it unopened. If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the graduate advisor at the address above. Transcripts from the LSU main campus need not be submitted. International applicants should include degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document.
- Three letters of recommendation. Comparative Literature does accept electronically
submitted letters. They must be submitted in PDF format, signed, and forwarded to
the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
III. Applicants must be responsible for submitting writing samples in both their primary language and in English to the program. Preferably, the writing samples should be in the form of a critical essay.
Admission is for the semester requested. Those admitted who do not register must make a written request to be reconsidered for admission for a subsequent semester. Request for a delay of admission will only be considered for two subsequent semesters from the original application semester. A new application is required for a delay of more than two semesters from the original semester of application (summer included). The Graduate School will not consider for admission any nonimmigrant who has entered the U.S. on an I-20 issued by another institution until that person has been enrolled for at least one semester at the institution issuing the I-20.
Readmission to Original Program
Previously enrolled graduate students who fail to enroll for three or more consecutive
semesters (summer term included) must file an “Application for Readmission” form with
the Graduate School. Applications for reentry will be subject to reevaluation under
current admission criteria; readmission is not guaranteed.
Official transcripts must be submitted if work has been taken at another institution since the student was last enrolled at LSU. The application deadlines for admission also apply for readmission, as do application fees and late fees.
Readmission with a Change of Program
A student wishing to pursue a degree or program other than the one originally sought and who has not enrolled for three or more semesters (including summer terms) must complete application procedures as described above and comply with the requirements for the new program. Acceptance into one program does not guarantee admission into another. The admission decision ultimately rests with the admission committee of the department or interdepartmental program concerned.
Graduate Student Handbook
Consult Resources on this Website to access the Graduate Student Handbook.