How to Apply - Graduate Programs | LSU English

How to Apply

The application deadline for the MA and PhD programs is January 15, 2024. The application deadline for the MFA program is also January 15, 2024. 

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 can apply in a single genre in our primary genres (poetry and fiction), though applicants in fiction or poetry are welcome to apply in an additional genre. If applying in fiction, the writing sample should be about 20 pages. If applying in poetry, please submit 8-10 poems. If applicants in poetry or fiction list a second genre, they are encouraged to submit a writing sample in that genre, but it is not required. If applying in nonfiction, screenwriting, or playwriting, applicants must apply in second genre. We do not accept applications in screenwriting, playwriting, or nonfiction without samples in a secondary genre. Screenwriting and playwriting applicants should submit a substantial portion of a script AND one writing sample in an additional genre. Applicants in nonfiction should submit about 20 pages of nonfiction and one writing sample in an additional genre. If your work is hybrid in nature and not easily categorized, please choose the most applicable genre category. Even if applying in multiple genres, only one application is required. Please label all writing samples by genre.

  • 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 2024 Applications are Accepted Now - January 15, 2024
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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Michael Bibler
Director of Graduate Studies

Shannon Slaughter
Graduate Program Specialist