Oct 27, 2020  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
    
2020-2021 General Catalog

The Graduate School


MALCOLM RICHARDSON
Interim Dean

CAROL WICKS
Interim Associate Dean

TIFFANY GALASSO
Assistant Dean Finance & Administrative Services

CRYSTAL HARRIS-HARLAUX
Assistant Director Admissions & Recruiting

CLOVIER I. TORRY
Assistant Dean Academic Services, Professional Development & Diversity

RODNEY GOLDSMITH
Assistant to the Dean

OFFICE: 114 David Boyd Hall
TELEPHONE: 225-578-2311
FAX: 225-578-2112
WEBSITE: www.lsu.edu/graduateschool

 

Departments, Schools, and Curricula

Introduction

Admission to Graduate Study

Graduate Fees & Financial Aid​

Graduate School Regulations

Graduate Certificates

Requirements for Master’s Degree

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

Requirements for the Doctor of Design Degree

Graduate Faculty

University Policy Statements

Graduate Career Plan 

Departments, Schools, and Curricula

The pages below represent all departmental and interdepartmental graduate programs offering formal degrees. Each description includes, for each major field, a variety of subheadings—program overview, administration, degree programs, the graduate faculty (including research areas), and other information of interest to students and applicants. Also included are interdepartmental programs that do not offer degrees. In these programs, a student enrolls in one of the participating departments and earns his or her degree in that department, although his or her research is done through the interdepartmental program.

For additional information about any graduate program at LSU, please contact the appropriate department.

A complete listing of degree programs offered can be found on the current curriculum table - Graduate Degree Codes 2020-2021   

Degree Programs

All degree programs are listed by title followed by the LSU curriculum code, e.g.:

  • Master of Science (MS) in Petroleum Engineering (MPETE)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Political Science (PPOLI)

Graduate Minors

Click here to view a list of Graduate Minor Codes 2020-2021 .


Introduction

This chapter contains information for individuals considering graduate study at Louisiana State University, as well as for enrolled students, faculty, and staff.

For prospective students: this chapter provides a guide to LSU’s resources for graduate and professional study, to the expertise of the graduate faculty, and other pertinent matters, including application procedures and criteria, graduate assistantships and fellowships, and degree requirements.

For enrolled students, faculty, and staff: this chapter serves as a handbook for graduate study at LSU. The rules and regulations of the Graduate School, as well as detailed descriptions of requirements for advanced degrees, are included. 

This Graduate School chapter presents a flexible program of the current graduate educational plans, offerings, and requirements that may be altered from time to time to carry out the purposes and objectives of Louisiana State University. The provisions of this chapter do not constitute an offer for a contract that is accepted by students through registration and enrollment in the university. The university reserves the right to change any provision, offering, or requirement at any time within the student’s period of study at LSU.

Graduate Programs

Information on specific degree programs or areas of study is available directly from the department offering the degree. Further information is available online at www.lsu.edu/graduateschool

LSU has developed flexible rules for the composition of advisory committees for masters and doctoral students that allow students to work with professors from several departments. It is strongly recommended to look beyond the formal boundaries of the potential or current graduate program to get a clear picture of the resources of the university.

A complete listing of graduate course offerings can be found in the **COURSE SEARCH**  section.

Some graduate courses are only available in a two- or three-year rotation, persons interested in knowing the specific courses available in a given academic year should request lists of graduate course offerings directly from the departments in which they are interested.

Admission

Applicants must be admitted to both the Graduate School and to a specific graduate program. All prospective graduate students must complete an online application.

Concepts and Purpose

Doctoral research programs are an essential defining feature of a university. As one of the top 115 research universities in the nation, LSU is classified as a Doctoral University of Highest Research Activity by the Carnegie Foundation. This depends chiefly on two criteria indicating that LSU is a major center for the creation of new knowledge: research funding and doctoral education, both of which ensure the training of future generations of scholars and teachers. The synergy between our nationally renowned faculty and our graduate student population helps to keep Louisiana and the nation on the leading edge of discovery.

The Graduate School’s primary purposes are:

  • Supporting a broad array of graduate degree programs and extensive research opportunities designed to attract, educate, and graduate highly qualified students.
  • Supporting faculty who are excellent teacher-scholars, nationally competitive in research and creative activities, and who, together with staff and students, contribute to solving economic, cultural, environmental, educational, and social challenges via development of new resources.

The Graduate School administers more than 120 graduate degree programs offered at LSU. After recognizing its obligation to provide an environment for research and inquiry, LSU established the Graduate School to make the results of these activities available to the public.

As the state’s center of academic research and advanced studies, the Graduate School administers a more extensive and comprehensive program than any other educational institution in Louisiana.

LSU offers doctoral programs in 50 major fields of study with opportunities for advanced training and research in all areas of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Master’s degree programs are offered in 74 major fields. These range from Master of Fine Arts degrees in fields such as creative writing, studio art, and theatre, to professional degree programs in social work, business administration, and library and information science. Graduate Certificates are available in over 19 fields of study.

Additional information about specific graduate and professional programs is published in catalogs and brochures that can be obtained from individual departments or schools at the addresses listed in this chapter. This information can also be accessed online through the LSU homepage.

History and Organization

The first awarded graduate degree on record at LSU was a master’s degree in civil engineering awarded in 1869. By 1890, 14 master’s degrees had been awarded, and by 1909, 32 individuals had received graduate diplomas. In 1909, the Graduate Department was established; the general supervision of graduate work was vested in a Committee on Graduate Courses. During the period from 1909 to 1931, 439 master’s degrees were awarded.

1931 through spring 2019, 12,134 Doctor of Philosophy degrees, 699 doctorates other than Doctor of Philosophy degrees, and 58,679 master’s degrees were awarded. The total number of advanced degrees awarded by LSU thus reached 71,512.

The graduate dean, in consultation with the Graduate Council, administers the Graduate School. This council is composed of the Dean of the Graduate School and the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, who serves as ex-officio members, and 17 faculty members appointed for rotating terms of five years each by the graduate dean with the confirmation of the provost. The council considers proposals for new degree programs, recommends graduate faculty membership classifications, and recommends changes in Graduate School policy.

Admission to Graduate Study

Admission to the Graduate School is awarded on the basis of evidence of academic achievement and promise. Applicants must be accepted by both the department in the applicant’s area of study and by the Graduate School. The required documents described below are first collected by the Graduate School. Applications of students who meet the Graduate School requirements are then forwarded by the Graduate School to the appropriate academic unit for evaluation.

Some 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.

Overview

Applicants meeting the following requirements are eligible for regular admission to the Graduate School. Applicants not meeting all requirements detailed below (such as weaker undergraduate records)  might be granted probationary admission; provided other substantial evidence of capacity to do satisfactory graduate work such as outstanding performance in post baccalaureate and/or graduate work, high standardized test scores, and other outstanding achievement, is presented.

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.

Admission to a Degree Program

Regular Admission

Regular admission is awarded to applicants who intend to pursue a degree and meet the requirements listed below:

  • Complete application procedures are described below under “Application Procedure
  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or the equivalent from a foreign institution.
  • A grade point average of at least 3.00 on all undergraduate work (or last half-degree requirement) and a 3.00 GPA or better on any graduate work already completed.
  • A resume with a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education.
  • Applicants may be required to submit standardized test scores, depending upon their program requirements. Applicants need to contact the program of interest to inquire about specific test scores needed (GRE or GMAT), score expectations.
  • Acceptance by the graduate faculty in the applicant’s area of study.

Probationary Admission

Applicants who do not meet one or more of the Graduate School or Departmental 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 post baccalaureate work, high standardized test scores, and other achievements. Probationary status must be requested by the admitting department and approved by the Graduate School.

Students entering on probation will remain on probation until the completion of nine hours of graduate-level, graded courses 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. (See PS-21 for additional information.)

Provisional Admission

Provisional admission may be considered for applicants who appear to be admissible on the basis of the credentials submitted, but who are unable to supply all of the required official records prior to registration. Students admitted provisionally must submit complete and satisfactory records within 30 days after the first day of class for the semester in which graduate study begins. If these credentials are not received by the date specified, or if they prove to be unsatisfactory, students will not be permitted to register for the following semester. Provisional admission does not guarantee subsequent regular admission.

Admission of International Students - Additional Information & Requirements

Applicants who have completed degree requirements outside the U.S. must present all of the following:

  • A resume with a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education.
  • Authorized school or university records— such as but not limited to transcripts, marksheets, 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 or its 4 years of full-time college-level coursework and 120 credit hour equivalent, with a grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or better on all previous undergraduate work (or last half-degree requirement) from an accredited college or university. Please visit the Graduate School’s website to see a full list of comparable bachelor degree equivalencies by country.
  • Verification of the availability of sufficient funds to meet all costs while studying at LSU as an F-1 student before the I-20 Certificate of Eligibility will be processed. For the current list of estimated expenses for international students, please visit International Services’ website.
  • Depending on program requirements, applicants may be required to submit standardized test scores, depending upon their program requirements. Applicants need to contact the program of interest to inquire about specific test scores needed (GRE or GMAT) and score expectations.
  • A satisfactory score on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL iBT), the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the Pearson’s Test of English (PTE) (see “English Proficiency” section) must be submitted before the application will be evaluated for admission.

Other Considerations

Applicants who meet the educational requirements listed in this catalog will be considered for admission, and conversely admission will be denied if requirements listed in this catalog are not met. Admission is not automatically granted when these requirements are met; admission may be denied if other factors, in the judgment of university officials, merit denial. Normally the most important decision about admission is that of the admitting department. Students may appeal admission decisions to the departmental graduate faculty and, with departmental approval, to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Three Year Degrees

In the U.S. educational system, bachelor’s degree recipients have 16 years of formal education — 12 years of elementary and secondary education plus 4 years of post-secondary study.  A bachelor or equivalent degree, as determined by the U.S. Department of Education, normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work.

LSU will only consider three-year bachelor’s degrees equivalent to U.S. bachelor degree if the country of the degree awarding institution is part of the Bologna system, and only if degree was granted after 2012 (the official date of full Bologna agreement implementation). If the awarding institution is not a part of the Bologna system, the applicant must possess a three-year bachelor’s degree and additional master’s level coursework. The additional coursework requirement varies by country of origin.  Please refer to the graduate admissions International Degree Requirement page.

English Proficiency Admission Requirement

An applicant whose native language is not English and/or who has been educated outside of the U.S. in a country or province where English is not the only official language must demonstrate proof of English proficiency by submitting either a TOEFL iBT, an IELTS, or PTE score before the application is evaluated for admission. Official TOEFL iBT /IELTS/PTE scores are those reported directly to LSU by the respective testing service at the request of the student.

TOEFL iBT:

On the TOEFL iBT, the following minimum scores are required for admission:

  • 550 (paper-based exam)
  • 213 (computer-based exam)
  • 79 (internet-based exam)

Information regarding TOEFL may be obtained by visiting the official website at www.toefl.org.

IELTS:

On the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service), the following minimum score is required for admission:

  • 6.5

Information about IELTS may be found at www.ielts.org. IELTS is jointly owned by the British Council, IDP: IELTS Australia, and the University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations. Official TOEFL/IELTS scores are those reported directly to LSU by the respective testing service at the request of the student.

PTE:

On the PTE (Pearson’s Test of English), the following minimum score is required for admission:

  • 59

Applicants may be exempt from the TOEFL iBT/IELTS/PTE requirement 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 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 iBT/ IELTS/PTE requirement. The Graduate School reserves the right to require a satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS/PTE score from any applicant. In addition, all international students who are admitted will be required to take an English placement test prior to registration.

Application deadlines for international students are earlier than all deadlines for other applicants (see deadline chart). When scholastic records and acceptable evidence of English proficiency are not received early enough to determine admissibility for the semester for which the application is made, consideration for a subsequent semester will be made only upon the applicant’s written request.

English Language Testing

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.

Act 754 of the Louisiana legislature requires that all instructional personnel teaching one or more undergraduate courses in public universities and colleges be certified as being proficient in spoken English. To comply with Louisiana state mandate, the Graduate School requires oral proficiency evaluation and certification of international graduate students that are Teaching Assistants (TA): TA2 or TA3. A 30-minute, one-on-one, oral interview by Spoken English Program faculty will determine possible exemption from or placement in English 1051, the spoken English course. Students with teaching duties whose tests indicate a deficiency in English will be required to register for appropriate English composition courses with a reduced load of graduate courses. Any international graduate assistant who has not received a favorable recommendation based on the oral interview or from this speech course may not hold a TA2 or TA3 assistantship.

All international graduate students awarded graduate teaching assistantships must demonstrate proficiency in English. Any international graduate assistant who has not received a favorable recommendation from this speech course may not teach in any capacity.

Graduate and undergraduate students’ (except for exchange students) test includes a written essay section and costs $25. The cost of the test will be added to your LSU fee bill, and the late test fee is $50.

Students will be placed in an English composition course, either English 1000, English 1004, or English 1005 based on the results of these tests.  Students can be exempted from the English 1004 or exempted from the writing requirements entirely based on their Michigan Exam results, though this is rare. If students are not exempted, they must pass both English 1004 and English 1005 in order to fulfill the university’s general education requirement of six hours of English composition courses.  Students who are placed in English 1000 must pass that course before they will be eligible to register for English 1004. 

Graduate students will not receive a grade on their transcript for these courses.  Graduate students will be graded on a pass/fail basis.  Graduate students must attain at least an 80% overall course average in order to pass the course.  Students must take these courses in successive semesters. Students cannot be exempted from any of these courses that they have failed in a previous semester

Application Procedures

The online application for admission to the Graduate School can be accessed and submitted on the Graduate School’s website. Submission of the application processing fee requires a credit or debit card. The non-refundable application processing fee is $50 for US citizens and permanent residents and $70 for all other applicants. International applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of their intended semester of enrollment. International applicants are encouraged to determine course availability before applying for summer entry.

Applicants for graduate admission are responsible for the following:

  1. Apply online at applygrad.lsu.edu/apply.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application processing fee of $50 for US citizens and permanent residents and $70 for all other applicants.
  3. Submit official sealed transcripts from ALL post-secondary college/university attended.
    • If the student is currently attending an institution, a work in progress (WIP) is required and an updated transcript with grades.
    • An official Joint Service Transcript (JST) is required for military coursework transferred into any attended colleges/institutions. No exceptions permitted.
  4. Submit standardized admissions test scores as required by department (i.e. GRE, GMAT, etc.), unless otherwise specified by the graduate program to which the student is applying.
  5. A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume with a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education.
  6. Submit letters of recommendation as required by the department; these letters may be submitted electronically through the online application.
  7. International applicants must submit the following
    • Degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document.
    • Financial statement (refer to the LSU International Services website).
    • Submit satisfactory English proficiency scores.
  8. Consult individual departments for additional admission requirements.

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 (intersessions excluded). A new application is required for a delay of more than two semesters from the original semester of application (summer included).

Non-Degree Admission

A student who holds a baccalaureate degree but who does not desire to enroll in a degree program in the Graduate School may enroll as a graduate non-matriculating student. Coursework is taken for academic credit, and all rules and regulations for graduate students apply. A student in this category must register for at least one graduate course numbered 4000 or above each semester to maintain graduate status (6 hours is required if taking a full-time course load – see Graduate Classification section under Graduate School Regulations). . Courses numbered below 4000 may be taken concurrently with graduate coursework.

Enrollment in courses numbered 6000 and above is limited to a total of six semester hours for graduate students in this classification (a total of six credit hours in this category, not six hours per semester). However, an unlimited number of courses numbered 5999 and below may be taken.

No more than 12 hours of graduate credit taken as a non-matriculating student may be applied toward the requirement for a master’s degree.

No more than 12 hours of combined credit transferred from other schools and earned as an LSU extension or non-matriculating student may be applied toward a master’s degree at LSU. (See “Transfer of Credit”.)

Students wishing to enroll only in courses numbered below 4000 should apply for undergraduate admission through the Office of Enrollment Management. Students classified as extension students are ineligible to enroll in on-campus courses.

Applications for graduate non-degree admission may be completed by accessing the online application. Students applying for graduate non-degree admission must submit one official transcript from the highest degree-granting institution and from each institution where graduate credit was earned or attempted. Transcripts must indicate that the applicant has a 2.50 or better GPA on all undergraduate work completed and a 3.00 or better GPA on all graduate work completed. Transcripts should be mailed directly to the LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. International students are only eligible for non-degree admission with the permission of the International Services Office. In addition to the admission requirements listed above, a TOEFL iBT 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. Applicants from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands, Belize, and the United Kingdom are exempt from the  TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or PTE requirement. International students who have received a degree from an accredited institution in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, certain Caribbean islands, or the United Kingdom are also exempt from taking the TOEFL iBT, IELTS, or PTE. A nonrefundable application fee must be submitted with the application. The application processing fee is $50 for U.S. citizens and permanent residents and $70 for all other applications.

Students not regularly admitted to the university may attend classes as auditors, provided they meet all previously mentioned requirements for admission, have written permission from the individual course instructor(s) and the Dean of the Graduate School, and have made the necessary arrangements and paid the required fees. Prospective auditors should initiate registration by obtaining an “Audit Only” form from the Office of the University Registrar.

Regularly enrolled graduate students may also audit courses with consent of the individual instructor(s). Auditors will not receive degree credit and will not be permitted to take a credit examination on audited coursework. However, previously audited courses may be taken for credit. Audited courses do not count in total course loads and are not recorded on official transcripts.

Official Transcripts and Records

All applicants must submit official transcripts from all post-secondary colleges or universities produced within the last calendar year from the issuing institution, and should include the award of degree printed on the transcript unless coursework is still in progress. College work from one institution posted on the transcript of another institution will not be accepted. 

International applicants much submit each transcript (mark sheet) should contain a complete record of studies at the institution from which it is issued (i.e., the subjects taken and grades [marks] earned in each subject). Consolidated transcripts or provisional mark-sheets are not considered official. Transcripts written in a language other than English must be accompanied by a translation. Please visit the Graduate School’s website to see our list of document requirements by country[CH1] .

Transcripts are considered official if they have an original signature of a school official or an original school seal. Accepted signatures include the Registrar, Principal, Controller of Examinations, or The Ministry of Education. Photocopies or other duplications of a transcript, such as notarized copies, faxed, or scanned documents are not considered official. A transcript is considered official if it is sent directly from the applicant’s home institution to the Graduate School in one of the following ways:

  • Electronic – Electronic college transcripts may be sent via SPEEDE, eScript-Safe, National Student Clearinghouse, Parchment and other Electronic (eCredential) Exchange systems from the issuing institution. Official electronic transcripts must be directly from the issuing institution’s Electronic (eCredential) Exchange systems directly to gradtranscripts@lsu.edu.
  • Mail – A sealed original transcript sent from the issuing institution by postal mail directly to graduate admissions. Transcripts sent directly to departments must be submitted to graduate admissions sealed from the applicant or department representative.
  • In-Person – Applicants or departments may hand deliver with sealed copies of their official records to the Office of Graduate Admissions. Envelopes that have been opened or appear to have been tampered with will be considered unofficial.
  • LSU Departments – Official transcripts sent directly to academic departments must follow the transcript submission requirements. Unsealed transcripts submitted from prospective students to academic departments are not considered official. If a department submits an unsealed official transcript, graduate admissions must verify the transcript was official upon receipt.
  • LSU A&M Current/Former Students – Applicants who have previously attended LSU A&M (LSU Baton Rouge) do not need to request their LSU A&M official transcript. All other non-A&M LSU system schools transcripts must be submitted.

If the college or university will not send official transcripts to a student, please request that a transcript be sent to the address below.

LSU Office of Graduate Admissions
114 David Boyd Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803

A Certified Translation 

A line by line translation of the original document completed by your academic institution, by a licensed state translator from your country of origin, or a translation completed by a member of the American Translators Association.

Readmission

Readmission to Original Program

Previously enrolled graduate students who fail to enroll for three or more consecutive semesters (summer term included) must reapply to the Graduate School. Applications for re-entry will be subject to reevaluation by the Department and the Graduate School under current admission criteria does not guarantee readmission.

Official transcripts must be submitted if coursework 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 processing 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 and with the Graduate School.

Admission Appeals

Appeals are submitted through the Graduate Admissions Office to the Office of the Dean for approval. Types of appeals include:

  • Applicant Doesn’t Meet Admissions Requirements
  • Readmission of Dropped Students
  • Lifting Flagged (or blocked) for Registration
  • Retroactive Admission

Graduate Fees & Financial Aid

Graduate student expenses, other than those explained below, will vary with the individual. The Board of Supervisors may change fees and costs at any time and without advance notice. Graduate students should read the “Graduate Tuition and Required Fees” section carefully on the Office of Budget and Planning’s Website because fees can significantly affect the total cost of a graduate education. The columns labeled “Resident Total” and “Nonresident Total” are the summed tuition and fees for students who are residents of Louisiana and for students who are not residents of Louisiana. The “Required Fees” link gives an itemized list of fees.

The following discussion of fees, required minimum registration, and related matters covers items that apply only to graduate students and for which graduate students and undergraduates are treated differently.

Graduate Fees

For a current list of fees, see the “Graduate Tuition and Required Fees” section on the Office of Budget and Planning website. The columns labeled “Resident Total” and “Nonresident Total” are the summed tuition and fees for students who are residents of Louisiana and for students who are not residents of Louisiana. The “Required Fees” link gives an itemized list of fees.

Student allocations included in university fees are a campus mass transit fee, a Student Recreational Sports Complex fee, and a fee for crisis intervention services. Additionally, university fees include a nonrefundable registration fee and a Student Health Center fee.

Application Processing Fees

All applications for graduate admission must be paid when completing the online application process. International applicants should consult the section “Admission of International Students” for additional information.

Audit Fees

Fees for auditing courses are in accordance with the regular semester and summer term fees. Fees for students enrolling for combined credit and audit work will be assessed in accordance with total hours scheduled.

Residency Status for Tuition Purposes

Eligibility for classification as a Louisiana resident is determined by the Graduate School in accordance with university regulations and is based on evidence provided on the application for admission. Further detailed information is available in PM 31.

Graduation Fees

  • Master’s degree fee—$35; processing fee, $20
  • Doctoral degree fee—$55; processing fee, $35
  • Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree fee, $40
  • Duplicate diploma fee—$20 (charged if a diploma is ordered and student does not graduate at that commencement)
  • Replacement diploma fee—$30

Special Research Fees

  • For specially planned research programs arranged through the Office of International Programs, departmental research fees are applicable and vary with the individual program.
  • For students in the School of Social Work, an internship fee of $100 per course is assessed. The fee(s) must be paid by all students enrolled in SW 7008 SW 7502 , and SW 7503 .
  • For students in the School of Veterinary Medicine, a microscope fee of $40 per semester is assessed to each student in Years I and II of the professional curriculum. Regularly admitted students are not assessed fees in the summer (regardless of the elective blocks taken in Year III and IV). Regularly admitted students accepted from contract states pay the same fees as Louisiana residents, with respective states paying an additional increment as specified by contract.

Tuition and Required Fees

Tuition and fees are subject to change. For current figures, please visit the website of the Office of Budget and Planning. For information about room rent, dining plans, refunds, and other special fees, see ”Undergraduate Fees and Expenses .”

Financial Aid

The university offers financial assistance to graduate students through a variety of programs, including fellowships, assistantships, internships, student jobs, and loans. Since these programs are administered by separate offices, a student interested in applying should contact the appropriate office for more detailed information.

Students should work with their financial aid officer to study carefully the impact of any employment or award on their eligibility for student loans.

Fellowships and Scholarships

The Graduate School offers a number of fellowships to exceptional students. In some cases, recipients are required to have completed a minimum amount of graduate work prior to receiving an award. All such assistance is awarded on the basis of the individual’s academic achievements. Interested students should contact the graduate advisor of the department in which they plan to study.

  • Graduate School Dissertation Year Fellowships • Dissertation Year fellowships are available to exceptional doctoral students who will begin their final year of study. A maximum one-year (9 month) stipend of $18,000 is awarded. Tuition and non-resident fees are exempted. The recipient will be responsible for paying the compulsory university fees.
    • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that there is a high probability for completion of the dissertation during the fellowship year. Dissertation fellowships are available only to full-time students. For information on application procedures that entail departmental nomination, please visit the Funding/Fellowships section of the Graduate School web page. Interested students should contact the graduate advisor of the department in which they plan to study.
  • Board of Regents Graduate Fellowship Program (PhD and MFA) • The Louisiana Educational Quality Support Fund provides Board of Regents Graduate Fellowships for exceptionally qualified graduate students in selected professional programs. These awards range from $14,000 to $30,000+ per year for up to four years. Tuition and non-resident fees are exempted. Recipients are responsible for paying the compulsory university fees. Academic departments eligible for these awards vary from year to year. Most major areas award these fellowships annually, including humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, arts, design, education, agriculture, and engineering.
    • Applications must be submitted to the candidate’s department and must include scores on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination (or GMAT scores if appropriate), an official transcript of all grade point averages on all college work, a one-page narrative of educational goals, and three letters of recommendation. Interested students should contact the graduate advisor of the department in which they plan to study.
  • Graduate School Tuition Awards • The Graduate School may award a limited number of tuition exemptions to incoming graduate students from underrepresented groups. These tuition awards provide for an exemption from either the tuition or both the tuition and nonresident fees for up to two years. Recipients are responsible for paying compulsory university fees. Guidelines from the Board of Supervisors require that preference will be given to African Americans and students from Latin American countries. Permanent residents/green card holders are not eligible.  Please email gradawards@lsu.edu for a list of countries that are not eligible for the Graduate School tuition award. Students must be regularly admitted to a graduate program at LSU and be nominated by their department. Interested students should contact the graduate advisor of the department in which they plan to study.
  • Huel D. Perkins Diversity Fellowships • These awards are intended to support the LSU and national goals of increasing the numbers of historically under-represented groups in graduate schools. Students must be regularly admitted to a graduate program in good standing with at least a 3.0 GPA and be nominated by their department. Interested students should contact the graduate advisor of the department in which they plan to study.

Assistantships

More than 2,000 teaching, research, and service assistantships are awarded annually. All communication regarding graduate assistantships should be directed to the graduate advisor or chair of the appropriate department. The Graduate School publishes announced openings of assistantships but does not offer assistantships itself. Applications and supporting credentials are accepted at all times, but priority for graduate assistantships beginning in the fall semester is given to applicants who submit their materials early. LSU is a member of the Council of Graduate Schools, which mandates that students who accept assistantships before April 15 and subsequently desire to withdraw that acceptance may submit a written resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from LSU.

A graduate assistantship is intended to be supportive of the student’s overall educational experience by relating to the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. Assistantships are considered one-half time. 

Eligibility Requirements • Graduate students with acceptable academic records may be appointed to graduate assistantships. A student admitted on probation may not be appointed to a graduate assistantship until the student achieves good standing. A graduate student placed on academic probation by the Graduate School for failing to make satisfactory progress may not be appointed or reappointed to a graduate assistantship unless the student’s LSU cumulative/semester grade point average is at least 3.00.

Details and additional information regarding eligibility for a graduate assistantship may be found in PS-21—available online, in the appendices of this chapter, from the Graduate School, and in departmental offices.

Stipends • Graduate assistant stipend levels vary widely depending on the department and assigned duties. Assigned duties may include research, teaching, and/or service. Graduate assistantship appointments may also be for one-half or one-quarter time, with an appropriate adjustment in the stipend. Appointments for more than one-half time require special justification. Although most appointments are made on an academic-year basis, assistantships are available in certain departments during the summer months, with an appropriate adjustment in the stipend. Fiscal year appointments are also available.

Federal Financial Aid Programs

Please see the section entitled “Financial Aid and Scholarships “ in this General Catalog.

Graduate School Regulations

The following discussion of general Graduate School regulations should be read in conjunction with “Requirements for Advanced Degrees.” Regulations common to graduate and undergraduate students (the Code of Conduct, grade appeals, etc.) are covered in “Academic Regulations .”

Graduate School requirements are minimal, and in many cases, are exceeded by those of individual departments. Statements of specific departmental requirements for degrees are included in the departmental section of this chapter. Most departments also have websites describing their programs and requirements in detail. Students should review these department pages frequently for program changes.

Graduate Student Classification

In order to be classified as a graduate student and to be considered full-time, students must maintain registration in a minimum of 9 semester hours in the fall or spring semester (with a minimum of six hours of graduate credit coursework), or a minimum of 6 semester hours in a summer term or online module (with a minimum of 3 hours of graduate credit coursework). At least one half of the registered credit for part-time graduate students must be in graduate credit coursework.

Program Change

Graduate students must assume full responsibility for knowledge of Graduate School policies and departmental requirements concerning their individual degree programs. Advances in knowledge and changes in methodology at times require alterations in degree programs. Therefore, graduate students should be aware of the current regulations and requirements of the Graduate School and of their departments at all times. In contrast to undergraduate education, current regulations and requirements take precedence over any previously promulgated policies, including policies found in the catalogue when students entered their program.

Between LSU General Catalog issues, notices of changes will be available from the Graduate School and from each department.

Graduate Credit

A student may receive graduate credit only for courses taught by members of the graduate faculty or other persons approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate School. LSU Graduate students enrolled in LSU advanced degree programs may not teach other LSU graduate students for graduate credit. Except as noted, a student may receive graduate credit only for work taken while officially enrolled as a graduate student.

At least one half of the credit hours required for a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree must be earned through instructional hours at LSU. See also “Transfer of Credit”, below.

Any student dropped from a graduate program because of unsatisfactory performance will not be permitted to take courses for credit toward a graduate degree beyond the semester in which the student is dropped.

Graduate students may not take credit examinations in graduate-level courses.

Graduate Credit in Law

Students registered in the Graduate School may receive graduate credit for certain courses offered by the Hebert Law Center if the courses have been approved in advance by the Hebert Law Center and the Dean of the Graduate School. Students should submit a written petition to the Graduate School for such approval. They must obtain permission from the vice chancellor of the Paul M. Hebert Law Center in order to register for these courses.

Dual Degree Programs

Students interested in these programs are encouraged to visit the LSU LAW Dual Degree Programs site.

  • JD/CL-MBA
  • JD/CL-MMC
  • JD/CL-MPA
  • JD/CL-MS in Finance

LSU and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center offer several dual degree programs, allowing a student to earn both the JD/CL and a master’s degree.

Students enrolling in the dual degree programs must be admitted separately to the LSU Graduate School and the Law Center. Students should consult with the admissions office of each institution prior to enrollment.

Each program has specific requirements, which can be found by visiting the websites listed above.

Students successfully completing one of the programs listed above will receive two degrees, a JD/CL awarded by LSU’s Hebert Law Center and a master’s degree awarded by LSU.

Students wishing to pursue dual degrees must complete and submit the “Request for Dual Degree” form. Information regarding available dual degree programs is available on the departmental sites.

Transfer of Credit

Hours transferred may not exceed one-half of the total semester hours of graduate coursework (thesis hours excepted) required for the student’s degree program. For example, a maximum of 12 hours may be transferred into a master’s program requiring 24 hours of coursework.

A maximum of 12 semester hours of credit earned as a LSU extension or non-matriculating student may, in some cases, be used in a master’s degree program, if approved by the department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. This includes a maximum of six hours at the 6000-level and above for LSU extension or non-matriculating credit.

A maximum of 12 hours of transfer credit from other schools may, in some cases, be used in a master’s degree program, if approved by the department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. Only six hours applied toward a previous master’s degree may be applied toward a second master’s degree (see “Second Master’s Degree”). Credit earned as a LSU extension or non-matriculating student or transferred from another institution must be for coursework in which the student earned a grade in the range of “A” or “B.” A “B-” is permitted so long as the LSU cumulative GPA is above a 3.00. Courses in which a grade in the “C” range was earned will not be accepted for transfer into a master’s degree program.

Transfer credit from other accredited schools must have been earned for graduate credit. This coursework must be judged appropriate to the student’s program by the graduate faculty of the major department, must have been taught by a professor whose credentials are comparable to those of graduate faculty at LSU, and must, in terms of time invested, be comparable to graduate courses at LSU. Transfer work may not be used to fulfill the master’s program requirement that at least one-half of the minimum required credit be in courses at or above the 7000-level. Coursework completed at institutions outside the U.S. is not accepted for transfer credit toward a master’s degree at LSU.

Transfer work must have been completed within five years of the time the student is eligible to petition. Once transfer credit is approved, it is valid as long as the master’s degree is completed within the five-year time limit or the transfer work is within five years of degree completion.

Graduate work transferred from other institutions may be applied toward degree requirements, but the grades earned will not be computed in the LSU graduate average nor will transfer work appear on the official transcript. Graduate coursework taken at other campuses within LSU is not considered transfer credit, and any number of hours may be applied toward a degree if approved by the chair of the student’s department on this campus.

To petition for acceptance of these credits, the student must be currently enrolled, must have completed at least nine hours of graduate coursework in a degree program at LSU, and must be in good academic standing.

Graduate Credit for LSU Seniors

Refer to the chapter, “Programs and Courses: General Information ,” in this catalog for additional information on enrollment for undergraduate credit in the 4000- or 7000-level courses.

Correspondence Study

No graduate credit is allowed for work done by correspondence study at this or any other university.

Eligibility of Faculty and Staff for Graduate Degrees

The university regulations govern LSU employees’ eligibility to work toward graduate degrees. A faculty member above the rank of instructor may not work toward a graduate degree at this university. Other employees who, in the opinion of the Graduate Council, are of equivalent status may not work toward graduate degrees. Non-faculty, professional staff, and/or administrators may pursue master’s degrees; only those who do not hold positions where there is a potential conflict of interest will be permitted to pursue doctoral degrees.

If an employee serving as a professional staff member and/or administrator wishes to pursue a doctoral degree, the employee, his or her immediate supervisor, and the chair of the department in which he or she wishes to pursue the degree must submit to the Dean of the Graduate School statements outlining the employee’s job responsibilities and providing an analysis of the independence of the employee’s official duties from the department in which doctoral work is to be taken. The Graduate Council will review these statements and make a recommendation through official channels to the chancellor.

Grades

Graduate Grading System

Grades in the Graduate School have the following meanings:

  • Marks carrying advanced degree credit are “A,” “B,” “C” (up to, but no more than six hours); “S” (satisfactory); and “P” (pass).
  • Marks carrying no credit for advanced degrees are “D” (poor), “F” (fail), “I” (incomplete), “W” (withdrawn), “U” (unsatisfactory), and “NC” (no credit).
  • Cumulative grade point average is the average based only on graded graduate work.
  • Semester grade point average is the average based on graded graduate and undergraduate work.
  • For purposes of probation, continuation/dismissal, and graduation, the LSU cumulative GPA will be used with a minimum of 3.00.
  • For purposes of transfer of credit, a “B-” is permitted so long as the LSU cumulative GPA is above a 3.00.
  • For use towards graduation, there is no limit on the number of courses completed with a “B-“, though a 3.00 LSU GPA is required for graduation. There is no change to the limit of six hours with a “C (+/-).”

Plus/Minus Grading and Regulations Applicable on a Course-by-Course Basis

All regulations applicable on a course-by-course basis and requiring a specific letter grade are interpreted to mean a specific letter grade range. For example, if a student must achieve a C or better in one course as a prerequisite for another course, the student must achieve a final grade in the C range (i.e. C+, C, or C-) or better.

“I” Grade: An “I” grade indicates that course performance was satisfactory, but because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, all requirements were not met. Authorization from the Dean of the Graduate School is not required to assign an “I” grade to a graduate student.

An “I” grade should never be given to enable a student to do additional work to bring up a deficient grade. A task should not be assigned to a class that will take longer than a semester to complete, thus causing everyone in the class to get an “I” grade. An “I” grade may not be given for a course taken in the semester in which the student graduates if that course is listed on the application for degree or if changing the “I” grade to an “F” would result in the student’s LSU cumulative average being less than 3.00. An “I” grade should never be assigned for thesis/dissertation research. “S” (satisfactory) and “U” (unsatisfactory) grades are given for thesis (8000) and dissertation (9000) research courses up to and including the semester the student graduates.

An “I” grade is valid only until the final day of classes in the next regular semester (fall or spring), whether or not the student is enrolled. For online degree programs, the “I” grade is valid until the final day of classes within the following online term. For on campus degree programs, “I” grades received in the spring semester or the summer term are valid until the end of classes in the fall semester. “I” grades received in the fall semester are valid until the final day of classes in the spring semester. For online degree programs, an “I” grade received during the First Spring term is valid until the final day of classes in the Second Spring term. There will be no extension of time. The responsibility for changing an “I” grade rests both with the student and the faculty member concerned. If a faculty member does not submit a “Grade Correction Report” to change, the “I” grade by the final day of class for the next regular semester, the “I” grade will become a permanent “F” grade.

Highly unusual circumstances that preclude a student from completion of course requirements may—at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School —permit assignment of a permanent “I” grade. Such unusual circumstances might include, but would not be limited to, withdrawal of the student from the university because of prolonged medical problems, or death or resignation of the faculty member concerned, and the absence of another faculty member to supervise the unfinished work. The student must initiate the petition for a permanent “I” grade. This petition must be accompanied by a letter of justification from the faculty member concerned, if possible. The petition must also be endorsed by the chair of the student’s department before it is submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School.

Unusual circumstances might include, but would not be limited to, withdrawal of the student from the university because of prolonged medical problems, or death or resignation of the faculty member concerned, and the absence of another faculty member to supervise the unfinished work. The student must initiate the petition for a permanent “I” grade. This petition must be accompanied by a letter of justification from the faculty member concerned, if possible. The petition must also be endorsed by the chair of the student’s department before it is submitted to the Dean of the Graduate School.

“W” grade: A “W” grade indicates that a course has been dropped between the dates specified on the academic calendar . In extraordinary cases, the Dean of the Graduate School may authorize a resignation and/or course drop after the last date specified.

The policies and procedures of the university governing grade appeals are described in the section concerning university Academic Regulations .

Pass-Fail Option

With approval of the student’s major professor, department chair, instructor of the course involved, and the Dean of the Graduate School, a graduate student may register on a pass-fail basis for courses not included in the major or minor requirements. The deadline for changing from pass-fail grading to letter grading, or vice versa, is the last day for adding courses for credit.

If the student’s major department agrees, graduate courses passed with a grade of “P” may be offered for degree credit, but the grade will not be considered in computing the grade point average. For graduate-credit courses, a grade of “P” will be assigned only if the work is of at least “B-” quality. A grade of “F” in a pass-fail course will be treated as any other “F.” Some departments have designated certain research and seminar courses to be taught on a pass-fail basis. All students enrolled in these courses will be graded in this manner.

Grade Requirements

Good Standing: Graduate students are considered to be in good academic standing, (making satisfactory academic progress), if they maintain a 3.00 LSU cumulative grade point average on all graduate coursework taken within the university (all LSU campuses) and a 3.00 semester average on all coursework (undergraduate and graduate), and earn a grade of “S” in research.

Students who are not in good academic standing may not take any graduate milestone exams. Milestone exams are defined by the Graduate School as the General Defense, Final Doctoral Defense, Master’s Thesis Defense, and the Master’s Non-Thesis Defense. This rule does not apply to departmental exams unless stipulated by the department.

Probation and Dismissal: A student whose semester and/or cumulative LSU average is below 3.00 will be placed on probation, except that a student whose cumulative average is as low as 2.75 may be dropped from the Graduate School without having a probationary period. For these purposes, a summer term is counted the same as a regular semester. A student already on probation whose LSU cumulative average is below 3.00 will be dropped from the Graduate School. A student receiving a “U” grade in research will be placed on probation. A student receiving a second “U” in research is normally dropped from the Graduate School. Rules governing students admitted on probation are provided in “Admission to Graduate Study” in this chapter. The grades recorded determine the student’s academic status, even if the student changes to a different graduate degree program.

Students who have been dropped from a graduate degree program and are ineligible to continue in the Graduate School may not reapply as non-degree students.

Applicants admitted on probation and students placed on probation may not be appointed to a graduate assistantship. Refer to PS-21 for further details concerning assistantships and students on probation.

Academic Dishonesty: Academic integrity and honesty must be fundamental qualities of any graduate student’s program, and a graduate student’s conduct must be above reproach. Academic dishonesty undermines the entire academic enterprise. As a result, it cannot and will not be tolerated. It is the responsibility of all students to familiarize themselves with the Code of Student Conduct and other university rules and regulations governing student conduct and activities.

The Office of the Vice President for Student Life has administrative responsibility for coordinating all university disciplinary procedures and practices.

Graduation: To receive a graduate degree, students must be enrolled for the semester and have at least a 3.00 LSU cumulative average on all graduate coursework taken that is applicable to the degree program and on all graduate coursework taken while registered in the Graduate School. “S” and “P” grades are not considered in determining whether this minimum level of performance has been achieved. A maximum of six credit hours of coursework with a grade in the “C” range (C+ to C-) may be counted toward degree requirements.

Graduate Registration

Specific registration dates for each semester or summer term are listed on the academic calendar . Registration procedures are published in the semester schedule of classes at the website of the University Registrar.

Registration of Employed Persons

The sum of the fraction of full-time registration and the fraction of full-time employment of nonacademic LSU employees should not exceed one and one-half. Written permission to exceed this registration/employment sum must be obtained from the employee’s supervisor and academic advisory committee.

“Degree Only” Registration

“Degree Only” registration is only allowed for students who have met all degree requirements in the previous semester: Final Defense reports have been received by the Graduate School and approval of all format corrections requested by the thesis/dissertation editor by close of business on the last date to add classes for the semester. Non-thesis students may also register “Degree Only,” provided all degree requirements are met in a previous semester and Final Defense reports have been received by the Graduate School.  Students in LSU Online degree programs may not register for Degree Only. All fees for Degree Only registration must be completed by close of business on the last date to add classes for the semester of graduation.

Registration of Candidates for Degrees

Students expecting to receive their degrees in the current semester must be registered for coursework, at least one hour, if in a non-thesis degree program one hour of thesis research, if writing a thesis and three hours of dissertation research hours, if writing a dissertation unless they qualify to be registered “Degree Only” (see “Degree Only” Registration”). Eligible students must submit an “Application for Degree” by the published deadline.

Course Loads

Any graduate student who is utilizing university facilities and/or faculty time must register for an appropriate course load. Graduate students engaged in writing or defending theses or dissertations are expected to register for research hours commensurate with the amount of university resources (faculty time, equipment, library facilities, and/or office space) to be utilized that semester. There is a continuous registration requirement for doctoral students who have passed the general defense.

Full-time Study in Graduate School

In order to be classified as a graduate student and to be considered full-time, students must maintain registration in a minimum of 9 semester hours in the fall or spring semester (with a minimum of six hours for graduate credit coursework), or a minimum of 6 semester hours in a summer term or online module (a minimum of 3 hours for graduate credit coursework). At least one half of the registered credit for part-time graduate students must be in graduate credit coursework.

Graduate students may, with prior written approval of the Dean of the Graduate School, receive credit for work taken concurrently at another university. For example, LSU has a cooperative registration program with Southern University and some cooperative graduate programs with other universities in Louisiana.

Course Loads of Graduate Assistants

Graduate students holding graduate assistantship appointments must meet certain minimum registration requirements. Such students are expected to register for a full load—nine hours in the spring and fall, at least six of which must be at the graduate level, and six hours in the summer, at least three of which must be at the graduate level—each semester until all degree requirements are completed.

Course Loads of Graduate Students Taking Examinations or Doing a Defense

Students must be registered for a minimum of one to three semester hours of credit during any semester in which they are taking the master’s Final Defense or Doctoral General Defense, or Final Doctoral Defense, including the qualifying examinations required by some departments. Masters students who are taking their Master’s Thesis Defense must register for one or more thesis credit hours. Students who are non-thesis and taking a Final Defense must be enrolled in at least one credit hour.  Doctoral students who have completed the General Defense should see ”Continuous Registration Requirement” under “Requirements for Advanced Degrees” in this chapter.

Course Loads of Full-Time Faculty and Other Academic Employees

A member of the faculty holding the rank of assistant professor or above may register for a maximum of four semester hours of credit each semester or summer term provided written approval has been given by the department chair and the dean of the college or school in which the faculty member is employed.

Full-time instructors and associates may register for a maximum of four semester hours of coursework at the 7000-level or six semester hours (four during summer term) at the 4000-level.

Course Loads of Part-Time Faculty and Staff

Persons employed by the university half-time or less may register as full-time graduate students. Persons employed more than half-time by the university should not register as full-time graduate students. The maximum load permitted will depend on the extent of employment. Written permission to register as a full-time student must be obtained from the employee’s supervisor and academic advisory committee. Audits are not counted in the permitted load.

Adding or Dropping Courses

A course may be added or dropped only in accordance with the dates indicated on the academic calendar . During the drop/add period, the student will initiate the action using the myLSU online registration system. A change from credit to audit is treated as a drop and add action, but it must be approved by the Graduate School by the published deadline. See “Auditing Courses” below for additional information about auditing courses.

Auditing Courses

Regularly enrolled graduate students may audit courses with the consent of individual instructors. Auditors will not receive degree credit for courses audited, nor will they later be permitted to take a credit examination on work audited. However, courses previously audited may be taken for credit later. Audited courses do not count in total course loads and are not recorded on official transcripts. Request to audit courses must be submitted on or before the last day to add courses for credit.

Changing Degree Programs

A student in one degree program who wishes to change to another degree program, or a student who completes one degree and wishes to pursue another degree, must obtain approval of the current department, new department, and the Graduate School. A “Request for Change of Department” form may be obtained from the Graduate School website.

Students wishing to pursue a different degree in the same department must obtain approval from the department. The department must notify the Graduate School in writing of such a change.

Requests must be submitted during a regular semester or summer term (not between semesters) in order to be effective for the next semester of enrollment. Only one request for Change of Degree Program will be processed per semester.

Resignation from the University

Dropping an entire course load constitutes resignation from the university for that semester. A graduate student who wishes to resign must first secure approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. A resignation form must be completed within 10 days of the date approved by the dean, and in no case later than the date shown on the academic calendar  as the final date for resigning from the university. Completion of resignation involves clearance through certain administrative divisions of the university, as shown on the resignation form provided by the Graduate School. A student who abandons courses without resigning will receive a grade of “F” in each course.

Academic Renewal

Students who have been dropped from LSU because of a graduate-level GPA of less than 3.0, and who have then not attended LSU for a period of at least two consecutive calendar years may declare academic renewal and apply for re-admission to the university. Under this policy, all graduate-level work taken at an earlier date is eliminated from computation of the grade point average and cannot be applied toward a degree at LSU. Such work will remain on the student’s scholastic records and transcripts, and can be considered by the department in the re-admission process, but will not be used in the computation of the graduate grade point average.

Students qualifying for academic renewal who are recommended for admission by their academic department will be admitted on academic probation.

Appeals

TYPES OF APPEAL

OFFICE RESPONSIBLE FOR APPEAL REVIEW

  • Add to Graduation List

  • Change in Degree Program (Second Degree Program)

  • Continuous Registration

  • Degree Requirements

  • Program of Study

  • Permanent Incomplete

  • Readmit on Probation

  • Residence Requirement

  • Seven-Year Time Limit

  • Undergraduate Taking Graduate Level Courses

Appeals are submitted through the Graduate School Academic Services, Professional Development and Diversity Office to the Office of the Dean for approval. 

  • Grade Appeal

  • Grade Change

Appeals follow procedures found in the General Catalog under the Grade Appeals section in Academic Regulations .

  • Retroactive Actions (includes drops, adds, change to audit, change to pass/fail, section change, resignation, remove “W” grade)

Appeals are submitted through the student’s department and dean of the college’s office before being routed through the Graduate School Academic Services, Professional Development and Diversity Office to the Office of the Dean for approval. 

  • Awards Issues

  • Assistantship/Fellowship Issues

  • Other Petitions for Dean’s Office

Appeals are submitted to the Office of the Dean for approval.

Inter-Institutional Cooperation

Academic Common Market

Louisiana participates with 14 other southern states in the Academic Common Market, an interstate agreement for sharing uncommon programs. Residents of these states who are accepted for admission into selected out-of-state programs can enroll on an in-state tuition basis.

To enroll as Academic Common Market students, applicants must be accepted for admission into a program to which their state has arranged to send its students, and obtain certification of residency from the Common Market Coordinator in their home state. Applications for admission should be made directly to the institution offering the program. Additional information about the Academic Common Market and programs available at in-state tuition rates for residents of Louisiana can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar.

Cooperative Program with Southern University

See the section “LSU–Southern University Cooperative Programs ” in the LSU General Catalog for information about this program.

Multi-Campus Registration 

With appropriate approval, LSU graduate students may take courses for resident credit at the LSU Health Sciences Center in New Orleans. Fees paid at LSU will be for the number of hours to be taken at LSU plus the number of hours to be taken at one of the other campuses in the university system.

An application for multi-campus registration may be obtained from the LSU Office of the University Registrar. In order to prevent delay in registration, this form should be submitted at least two weeks before the scheduled time of registration. Approval for multi-campus registration must be obtained from the student’s major department, the LSU Graduate School, the LSU Office of the University Registrar, the dean of the other campus’ college, and registrar of the other campus.

Cooperative Graduate Programs

Several of LSU’s graduate degree programs have specific cooperation with other universities in Louisiana. These programs include applied statistics, economics, education, oceanography and coastal sciences, physics, psychology, and systems science. Details and additional information may be obtained from the graduate coordinator in the appropriate area.

Foreign Exchange Programs

In order to provide students with a variety of culturally enriching experiences, the Graduate School has student exchange programs with foreign universities. Additional opportunities for study abroad are available through other campus offices. For more information, contact the Graduate School.

Graduate Certificates

Graduate Certificates are awarded for completion of a set of graduate courses in curricula approved by the Louisiana Board of Regents and individually validated by a graduate faculty advisory committee. LSU awards the certificate at a regular graduation ceremony with an official LSU diploma and is recorded in the graduate transcript. Certificates can be earned by regularly enrolled, degree-seeking students, as well as non-traditional, certificate-only students. Graduate certificates provide a shortened, condensed, and focused course of study that often draws expertise from multiple academic units. These credentials frequently lead to job-related professional licensure or certification, provide needed job-related expertise, or are focused on a timely area of intellectual discourse.

Admission

Certificate-only students use the same procedures as those for degree programs. Degree-seeking students already admitted to the Graduate School need to contact the certificate committee for instructions on participation in the program.

Regular admission is awarded to applicants who intend to pursue a certificate program and meet the following requirements:

  1. Apply online at applygrad.lsu.edu/apply.
  2. Pay the non-refundable application processing fee of $50 for US citizens and permanent residents and $70 for all other applicants.
  3. Submit official sealed transcripts from ALL post-secondary college/university attended.
    • If the student is currently attending an institution, a work in progress (WIP) is required and an updated transcript with grades.
    • An official Joint Service Transcript (JST) is required for military coursework transferred into any attended colleges/institutions. No exceptions permitted.
  4. Submit standardized admissions test scores as required by department (i.e. GRE, GMAT, etc.), unless otherwise specified by the graduate program to which the student is applying.
  5. A curriculum vitae (CV) or resume with a complete and accurate chronological outline of all previous college-level education.
  6. Submit letters of recommendation as required by the department; these letters may be submitted electronically through the online application.
  7. International applicants must submit the following
    • Degree statements and an official English translation of each foreign document.
    • Financial statement (refer to the LSU International Services website).
    • Submit satisfactory English proficiency scores.The above requirements may not be required for all certificate programs. Applicants should check with individual departments.

The above requirements may not be required for all certificate programs. Applicants should check with individual departments

Fees and Financial Aid

Certificate-only students pay the same tuition and fees as degree-seeking students. Students should contact Financial Aid and Scholarships  for information on student loans. Certificate-only students are not eligible for assistantships, awards, or fellowships.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit from another institution may be transferred and applied towards the certificate at the discretion of the certificate advisory committee but cannot be more than half of the required coursework. Hours transferred may not exceed one-half of the total semester hours of graduate coursework required for the student’s certificate program. Credit earned as an LSU extension or non-matriculating student or transferred from another institution must be for coursework in which the student earned a grade in the range of “A” or “B.” A “B-” is permitted so long as the cumulative GPA is above a 3.00. Courses, in which a grade of “C” was earned, will not be accepted for transfer into a master’s degree program. Course work completed at institutions outside the U.S. is not accepted for transfer credit toward a master’s degree at LSU.

Undergraduate Students

Exceptional undergraduate students may earn graduate credit towards a graduate certificate. (See the Programs and Courses: General Information  section on “Graduate Credit for LSU Seniors”.)

Grades

A certificate can only be earned with courses where grades are in the “A” and “B” range, or a “P” in pass-fail courses. Some certificates may allow up to three hours of “C” range to count towards the degree, but the LSU cumulative GPA must be a 3.0 or above. A 3.0 is required to remain in good academic standing.

Probation and Dismissal

The same rules apply to certificate-only students as to degree-seeking students. (See Probation and Dismissal in this section.)

Total Hours Required

The total number of credit hours for a graduate certificate is in the range of 12-18 semester credit hours. Total hours and specific coursework required are found in the catalog description of the certificate program. While the academic content and integrity of graduate certificates within a department are held by the department, students will be held to definition of each certificate as presented in the general catalog.

At least one-half of the minimum required coursework credit in the student’s certificate program must be in courses at or above the 7000-level. Transfer work from other institutions is not counted towards meeting the 7000-level requirement.

Application for Certificate

A student expecting to complete the requirements for the certificate must file an application for graduation with the Graduate School, signed by the chair of the faculty advisory committee, by the normal Application for Degree deadline of each semester or summer term, which can be found in the academic calendar .

Degree-only registration is reserved for doctoral and master’s students and cannot be used by students seeking a certificate only.

Time Limits

Graduate certificates must be completed within five years from entrance into a certificate program. Coursework older than five years may not be used. Credit for individual courses taken at LSU more than five years before the termination of a program may be revalidated by the student’s graduate committee through an examination. This examination may be oral, written, or both oral and written, depending on the requirements of the department concerned. The documentation of such an examination must be signed by the department’s graduate advisor and reported to the Graduate School on the “Course Revalidation form” before the degree audit will be approved. Students are responsible for verifying if their department has a revalidation policy. No more than 50 percent of the courses in a student’s certificate program may be revalidated and counted toward the degree requirements. For regulations regarding time limits and eligibility of transfer work, see “Transfer of Credit” under “Graduate School Regulations”.

Use of Course Work for Multiple Graduate Credentials

The use of credit earned towards a certificate may be applied to a master’s or doctoral degree. Credit earned towards a master’s or doctoral degree can be applied to a certificate. Students may only share 6 hours of coursework between two certificates. The student must have the explicit approval of the department offering the degree in order to share coursework.

Students can pursue no more than two certificate programs and either a master’s or a PhD simultaneously. In addition, the student’s graduate advisor, the graduate advisor of the department, and the department chair must approve the simultaneous pursuit of the programs..

Advisory Committees

Certificate programs are managed by faculty committees appointed by the departmental chair when curricula are largely within a single academic program, appointed by the college dean when curricula are largely within a single college, or appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School when curricula are spread across multiple colleges.

Requirements for Advanced Degrees

Satisfaction of the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, as stipulated in this publication, does not relieve graduate students of the responsibility for satisfying any additional requirements deemed appropriate by the graduate faculty of the degree programs in which they are enrolled.

Requirements for the Master’s Degree

Programs in liberal arts and social sciences ordinarily lead to the MA degree. Programs in other fields usually lead to the MS degree or to specialized master’s degrees.

Minimum Graduate Student Registration

Graduate students engaged in the writing of theses or dissertations are expected to register for research hours commensurate with the amount of university resources—faculty time, equipment, library facilities, and/or office space—to be used that semester. Out-of-town students are also expected to register for research hours if they are receiving any faculty advice or direction.

In addition, masters candidates who are taking a Master’s Thesis Defense must register for one or more thesis credit hours.  Students who are Non-Thesis and taking a final comprehensive Defense must be enrolled in at least one credit hour.

Hours Required

The minimum requirement is 30 semester hours of graduate work, 24 hours of which must be in coursework and six hours in thesis research. In programs not requiring a thesis, the minimum requirement is normally 36 semester hours. In programs requiring a thesis, thesis hours are not considered as 7000-level coursework and cannot be counted towards the requirements for a non-thesis degree. At least one-half of the minimum required credit in the student’s master’s program, whether thesis or non-thesis, must be in courses at or above the 7000-level. Students should consult the department graduate advisor to determine the required number of hours for their degree programs. Coursework for a formal minor must be in addition to the coursework required for the major.  The Graduate School recommends that the minimum minor requirement be no less than nine hours and include at least one 7000 course.

Transfer work from other institutions is not counted towards meeting the 7000-level requirement. As stated above, thesis credit hours will not be counted as work above the 7000-level.  A student’s efforts will be concentrated in one major field, but a department may require a minor of nine or more semester hours of credit in one or more related fields.

A maximum of 12 semester hours of transfer credit from other schools and/or credit taken while classified as a LSU extension or non-matriculating student may, in some cases, be used in a master’s degree program if approved by the department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. See “Transfer of Credit” under “Graduate School Regulations” in this section.

Application for Degree

Early in each semester or summer term, there is a deadline for submitting the “Master’s Application for Degree” to the Graduate School. Master’s candidates are required to submit the “Application for Degree” forms by the semester’s calendar deadline. On these forms, a student lists all coursework taken that applies toward the degree. Submission of the application carries with it the implication that the student intends to graduate in the semester stipulated. If circumstances prevent graduation, a “Master’s Application for Degree UPDATE” form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the designated application for degree deadline for the next semester in which the student plans to graduate.

 Masters students who have submitted graduation paperwork indicating a thesis track are not allowed to switch to a non-thesis status in the semester of graduation. Accordingly, master’s students who have submitted graduation paperwork indicating a non-thesis track are not allowed to switch to a thesis status in the semester of graduation.

Time Limit

Programs for master’s degrees must be completed within five years from entrance into a degree program. Credit for individual courses taken at LSU more than five years before the termination of a program may be revalidated by the student’s graduate committee through an examination. This examination may be oral, written, or both oral and written, depending on the requirements of the department concerned. The documentation of such an examination must be signed by members of the committee and the department’s graduate advisor and reported to the Graduate School on the “Master’s Course Revalidation form” before the request for the student’s final examination will be approved. Students are responsible for verifying if their department has a revalidation policy. No more than 50 percent of the courses in a student’s program may be revalidated and counted toward the degree requirements. For regulations regarding time limits and eligibility of transfer work, see “Transfer of Credit” under “Graduate School Regulations”.

The Thesis and the Master’s Committee

In most departments, the preparation of a thesis is an important element in the program leading to the master’s degree. The master’s thesis should demonstrate capacity for research, originality of thought, and facility in organizing materials. The thesis must be acceptable in subject matter and exhibit creditable literary workmanship. At least six semester hours of thesis credit are required for the master’s degree with the thesis option. For additional information concerning thesis preparation, consult the electronic thesis and dissertation guidelines available on the Graduate School website.

Final acceptance of the master’s thesis rests with a committee of three or more members of the graduate faculty nominated by the chair of the major department and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. See the “Graduate Faculty“ section of this chapter for definitions of full, associate, and affiliate members of the graduate faculty.

The major professor, who must have a minimum of a 25% appointment in the major department, is designated as chair or co-chair of this committee. If either an adjunct or a non-tenure-track faculty member is the major professor, a full-time tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty member must co-chair the committee. Other committee members may be from the major department or from other pertinent departments. If there is an external minor, one committee member must represent the minor department. Both thesis and non-thesis committees must include at least one full member of the graduate faculty, and at least one-half of the committee’s graduate faculty members must be full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty members at LSU. Any additions to or changes in the makeup of this committee must be approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School may serve as a member of any committee or may appoint additional members.

Non-thesis Programs

Some departments offer optional non-thesis programs for the master’s degree. Departmental websites indicate whether this option is available.

Comprehensive Final Defense

Candidates for master’s degrees in most programs are required to pass a comprehensive Final Defense. This Defense may be oral, written, or both oral and written, depending on the requirements of the department concerned. In non-thesis programs, greater weight is ordinarily given to this Defense, and it will probably be broader in scope than the Defense given to a student who completes a thesis.

At least three weeks prior to the time this Defense is to be given (and by the current semester deadline if the student is a degree candidate), the student’s department should submit to the Graduate School a “Request for Final Defense” form. Normally, a candidate for the master’s degree will take the Final Defense during the semester in which he or she plans to graduate. If a student wishes to take the Final Defense at an earlier date, the student’s committee must furnish the Dean of the Graduate School with a sound academic reason for doing so. Exams may be taken anytime the university is open for business. To be eligible to take the Final Defense, the student must be in good academic standing. Graduate students are considered to be in good academic standing, (making satisfactory academic progress), if they maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average on all graduate coursework taken within the university (all LSU campuses) and a 3.00 semester average on all coursework (undergraduate and graduate), and earn a grade of “S” in research. Students who are not in good academic standing may not take any graduate milestone exams. Milestone exams are defined by the Graduate School as the General Defense, Final Doctoral Defense, Master’s Thesis Defense, and the Master’s Non-Thesis Defense. This rule does not apply to departmental exams unless stipulated by the department. The student must also be registered for at least one hour of graduate coursework (if in a non-thesis program) or thesis research (if writing a thesis). In non-thesis programs, all degree requirements must be met no later than the deadline in the regular semester following the Final Defense.

This committee, nominated by the chair of the student’s major department and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, is ordinarily composed of those faculty members who served as the student’s thesis committee. For the non-thesis option, the committee must consist of three or more members of the graduate faculty nominated by the chair of the major department and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. At least one member of the examining committee must be a full member of the graduate faculty. The major professor serves as chair or co-chair of the examining committee. Representatives of the graduate faculty may be added by the Dean of the Graduate School.

For students defending a thesis, the Defense committee must have copies of the thesis at least two weeks prior to the Final Defense.

In order for a student to pass this Defense, there may not be more than one dissenting vote. Dissenting votes, along with assenting votes, must be recorded on the Defense forms and the Thesis Defense Approval Report submitted to the Graduate School. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. When a student passes the Defense, the results should be forwarded by departmental faculty or staff only to the Graduate School.

Failure of the Master’s Thesis Defense

The masters’ thesis represents the culmination of the degree program. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. The only grades that can be reported are P (“Pass”), F (“Fail”), or R (“Retake”).  It is highly recommended that the Defense results be filed within two weeks of the scheduled Defense date. Failure to turn in a grade defaults to an F.

A grade of P indicates that the student has successfully completed and defended the thesis or dissertation and no further work is required except minor revisions as directed by the committee.

A grade of F indicates that the student has not successfully completed or defended the thesis or dissertation.  An F results in the student being terminated from the program at the end of the semester or summer term in which the Defense is taken.  The committee is required to provide the student feedback on why the Defense was failed.

A grade of R indicates that the student has not successfully completed or defended the thesis or dissertation and that additional work, which may include a second oral Defense, is required and permitted.  The committee will provide specific feedback on the remaining requirements.  The final grade, P or F, must be filed with the Graduate School by the end of the next regular semester.  There is no minimum amount of time required for a retake.  For a Defense retake, the only grades that can be reported are P or F.

It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the Final Defense with sufficient lead time to meet the Graduate School deadlines for graduation in a given semester.

The Oral Defense and the thesis are considered an integrated requirement.  It is not possible to pass one and fail the other.  The committee should not sign the thesis Defense Approval Report until all requirements, including successful Oral Defense, are completed, nor should it sign the Oral Defense Report until the thesis has been successfully defended.

The student has the right to petition for reconsideration.

Failure of the Master’s Non-Thesis Defense

The written and/or oral exams are major milestones in the graduate student’s professional path.  Once an exam is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner.  The only results that can be reported are P (“Pass”), F (“Fail”), or R (“Retake”). The grade must be filed in a timely manner of the scheduled exam date. Failure to turn in a grade defaults to an F.

A grade of P indicates that the student has successfully passed the entire Defense and is not required to retake any or all of the Defense. 

A grade of F indicates that the student has failed the entire Defense and is not permitted to retake any or all of the Defense.  An F results in the student being terminated from the program at the end of the regular semester in which the Defense is taken.  The committee is required to provide the student feedback on why the Defense was failed.

An R indicates that the student has failed part or all of the Defense and will be permitted to take part or all of the Defense one additional time. The committee will provide the student feedback on the specific weaknesses that should be corrected. The committee determines when the retake will be given, but it must be given no later than the end of the next regular semester.  For the Defense retake, the only grades that can be reported are P or F. 

If the student wishes to graduate the semester during which the Defense is taken, the student must make sure that the Defense result is filed before the Graduate School deadline for graduation that semester.

The student has the right to petition for reconsideration. 

Request for Remote Participation in Graduate Committees

The Graduate School and Graduate Council strongly encourage Defenses in which all participants are present in person. Remote participation should be used only when there are serious impediments to physical presence at the Defense and not be used simply for the convenience of a committee member. The committee Chair should aid the student in finding a meeting time at which all members can be present and assist the student in arranging for remote access equipment and technical assistance. The following guidelines are in effect:

A single committee member (other than the Chair or Dean’s Representative) may participate in a Master’s Defense and Request for General Defense remotely through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programs such as Skype without special permission from the Graduate School. The committee Chair, however, should give permission and notify the student. The telecommunications protocol chosen must permit real-time, two-way exchange of visual information (e.g., presentation slides) and dialogue among the committee members and the student to assure participation when physical presence is unfeasible.

Should extraordinary circumstances make it necessary for the Chair or the student or a second member (who is not the Dean’s Representative) to participate via VoIP programs, approval must be sought from the Dean of the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting. That is, it is possible for two persons at the meeting to be present remotely except for the Dean’s Representative. (The individual participating remotely can never be a Dean’s Representative.) The “Request for Remote Participation in Graduate Committees” may be found at in the Forms section of the Grad School’s website. This form must be signed (or approved by e-mail) by all committee members and submitted to the Graduate School before remote participation of two persons will be approved.

Also under very extraordinary circumstances, the student may participate remotely. However, these circumstances should be genuinely severe and detailed by the Committee Chair in a separate petition to the Dean of the Graduate School and endorsed by the department chair. Reasons that would be acceptable might be documented long-term illness or disability. Reasons that are not acceptable would be, for example, employment elsewhere, lack of funding, family inconvenience, or residence in a foreign country. In general, students are required to be present at their milestone examinations in person.

The responsibility for arranging, testing, and assuring operative connection and time-zone coordination rests upon the student and the director (Committee Chair). If a formal Request for Remote Participation is necessary, the form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School, along with the Request for Defense, at least three weeks prior to the date of the Defense and by the current semester deadline for graduation, if applicable.  Emergency requests, such as those caused by medical needs, will be considered on an ad-hoc basis.

The following chart summarizes the above policy:

REMOTE PARTICIPANT NOTIFICATION OR PRIOR APPROVAL REQUIRED DETAILS
One committee member (not the chair or the Dean’s Representative) Notification Committee chair must be notified and approve. No form is required.
The committee chair Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.
The Dean’s Representative Not permitted  
The candidate Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.
A second committee member Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.

Timely Completion of the Degree after Final Defense

All Final Defense reports and the approval of all thesis format corrections requested by the document editor must be approved in the regular semester following the Final Defense. As with thesis candidates, non-thesis students who pass the Final Defense in one semester must complete degree requirements no later than the next regular semester following the Final Defense. A Final Defense may be voided by the Dean of the Graduate School for failure to have an approved thesis in a timely manner as described.

Second Master’s Degree

Students who wish to obtain a second master’s degree from the university must meet all academic and residence requirements set by the Graduate School and the department concerned. A maximum of six hours from the first degree may be applied toward the second degree. These hours must be listed on the “Application for Degree” for the second master’s degree under the “Transfer or Petitioned Credits” section.

Accelerated Master’s Degree Program

The accelerated master’s program is open to superior undergraduate students who have completed at least 60 semester hours of credit (including AP credit) with a grade point average of at least 3.50 for all work taken at LSU. To be eligible, transfer students must have a 3.50 average on all undergraduate work taken prior to attending LSU and must complete at least one semester at LSU with a 3.50 GPA.

Acceptance into the accelerated program requires approval from the following: (1) chair of the undergraduate department in which the student is enrolled; (2) dean of the college in which the student is enrolled; (3) chair of the department or the coordinator of the interdisciplinary program in which the student proposes to work toward the master’s degree; and (4) Dean of the Graduate School. The requested approvals will be given as signatures on a form designed specifically for this program. It is the responsibility of the chair or coordinator of the graduate program to appoint the student’s graduate faculty advisory committee.

Other admission requirements for graduate study, such as the GRE and the GMAT, will be waived until the student receives the baccalaureate degree and is ready to enter the Graduate School. Until that time, admission into the accelerated program will constitute provisional admission to the graduate program. Students will register as graduate students only after receiving the baccalaureate degree and satisfying departmental and the Graduate School admission requirements.

Continuing eligibility for the accelerated master’s program will require maintenance of a 3.50 average in all courses that apply to the undergraduate degree and a 3.00 average for all graduate coursework.

Students who wish to obtain a master’s degree under this program must meet all academic and residence requirements set by the Graduate School and the department concerned. Requirements for the baccalaureate degree will not be affected.

Students may take a maximum of half of the required hours for the master’s degree while enrolled as undergraduates. These hours may be applied toward the master’s degree, provided a GPA of 3.00 in graduate coursework is maintained and provided none of these hours apply toward the baccalaureate degree.

A student may wish to apply some graduate coursework toward the undergraduate degree. In such instances, the graduate committee can alter the distribution of coursework and independent study required for the master’s degree. No course credit can be applied toward more than one degree.

Requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is the highest earned degree offered by universities. It is conferred only for work of distinction in which the student displays decided powers of original scholarship and only in recognition of marked ability and achievement. Nothing in the following summary of minimum standards should be construed to imply that the degree will be granted merely in recognition of faithful performance of prescribed work.

Satisfaction of the minimum requirements of the Graduate School, as stipulated in this section, in no way relieves a doctoral student of responsibility for satisfying any additional requirements deemed appropriate by the graduate faculty of the degree program in which he or she is enrolled. The basic requirements are: (1) students must exhibit unmistakable evidence of mastery of a broad major field. Such evidence is ordinarily provided by passing a General Defense; and (2) students must prove ability to complete a significant program of original research by preparing a dissertation embodying creative scholarship and by passing a rigorous Final Defense. The dissertation must add to the sum of existing knowledge and give evidence of considerable writing skill.

Coursework

While the Doctor of Philosophy degree cannot be earned solely by passing courses, the program of work prescribed by a department ordinarily provides for a substantial amount of coursework, equivalent to a minimum of 54 hours including dissertation hours, beyond the requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Some departments require considerably more coursework. At least one-third of credits toward a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree are earned through instruction, other than dissertation hours, offered by the institution awarding the degree.

Minors: Although coursework requirements are concentrated in the student’s major field, a certain amount of work may be required or elected in one or two minor fields. If there is minor coursework, the Graduate Council recommends that the minor field requirement include at least one 7000-level course. The coursework and the number of hours needed to satisfy the minor field requirement are determined by the graduate faculty in the minor department. The Graduate School recommends that the minimum minor hour requirement be no less than nine hours. Coursework for a formal minor is in addition to the coursework required for the major. Coursework completed after the General Defense (General Examination) may not be used for credit towards a formal minor.

Minimum Graduate Student Registration

Graduate students engaged in the writing of theses or dissertations are expected to register for research hours commensurate with the amount of university resources—faculty time, equipment, library facilities, and/or office space—to be used that semester. Out-of-town students are also expected to register for research hours if they are receiving any faculty advice or direction.

In addition, doctoral candidates must maintain continuous registration for a minimum of three semester hours of credit each regular semester (excluding summers) from the completion of the General Defense to the end of the semester in which the dissertation has been approved by the Graduate School. Doctoral students must be registered for a minimum of three semester hours of credit during any semester in which they are taking doctoral examinations, including the qualifying examinations required by some departments.

Academic Course Plan

The Graduate School does not require a formal qualifying examination or procedure for doctoral students, although departments may, if they wish, administer such examinations or procedures. A student is eligible to work toward a doctoral degree beginning with the semester in which he or she is formally admitted into a doctoral program.

After meeting with the student, the advisory committee will be required to approve a departmental-level academic course plan listing all curricular requirements for the degree. This meeting should occur during the first or second semester following the student’s formal admission to the doctoral program. If the student already has a master’s degree, the departmental-level academic course plan should be formulated during the first semester; if the student is bypassing the master’s degree, formulation may be delayed until the second semester. The advisory committee, which should include at least one representative from the minor field (if appropriate), is not necessarily identical to the student’s committee for the General Defense. The suggested General Defense committee will be approved when the Request for the General Defense is submitted to the Graduate School.

The student’s departmental-level academic course plan is subject to Graduate School policy and departmental requirements. Graduate coursework taken at another institution with grades of “A,” “B,” “P,” and “S,” or the equivalent, is not subject to the policy on transfer of credit for the master’s degree, and may be included in the departmental-level academic course plan if accepted by the department and the student’s advisory committee. However, at least one-half of the credit hours required for a graduate or a post-baccalaureate professional degree must be earned through instructional hours at LSU.

Advisory Committee

During the entire period of work toward the doctorate, the student’s program is directed by a special advisory committee. This advisory committee consists of three members of the graduate faculty. See the “Graduate Faculty” section for definitions of full, associate, and affiliate members of the graduate faculty. After the outlines of the program have assumed more definite form and the direction of research has been clearly established, this special committee is enlarged to three or more members with the addition of the Dean’s Representative. This enlargement must take place prior to the General Defense.

The full advisory committee must comprise at least three members of the graduate faculty, including the major professor, who acts as chair or co-chair and who must have a minimum of a 25% appointment in the major department. If either an adjunct or a non-tenure track faculty member is the major professor, a full-time tenured or tenure-track graduate faculty member must co-chair the committee.

At least one-half of the graduate faculty on doctoral committees must be full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty at LSU A&M. A minimum of two of those faculty members must be from the student’s major department and at least one of whom must be a full member of the LSU graduate faculty. The remaining members may be from the major department or may be from outside the department if pertinent to the student’s area of concentration, with the proviso that at least one of the remaining members must be a full member of the graduate faculty.

Any declared outside minors require representation, either from among the first three members of the committee or by additional appointments to the committee. The Dean of the Graduate School may serve as an ex officio member. Members of the special advisory committee are nominated by the chair of the major department and appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, who may make any changes deemed desirable.

The Dean of the Graduate School appoints a member or members of the Graduate Faculty to serve on Doctoral General and Final Defense committees. These individuals represent the Dean of the Graduate School and the entire Graduate Faculty. They are full voting members of the committee with all the rights and responsibilities of the other committee members. In the case of Final Defenses, it is the responsibility of the committee chair to ensure that the Dean’s Representative receives copies of dissertations as soon as possible, but no later than two weeks before the date of the Defense.

General Defense

It is in the best interests of students that those with high probability of continuing successfully toward a doctoral degree be identified as soon as possible. Therefore, doctoral students are required to pass a rigorous qualifying examination or the General Defense within three calendar years (36 months)—or a period deemed equivalent for part-time students—of their classification as doctoral students. An exception may be made to this if a department notifies the Graduate School.

Whether a qualifying or General Defense is used to meet the above requirement, the procedure should be sufficiently rigorous so as to provide reasonable confidence that the student who passes it may proceed successfully to a doctoral degree.

A student becomes eligible to take the General Defense after demonstrating to the advisory committee adequate academic and professional aptitudes. Defenses may be taken anytime the university is open for business. Students not in good academic standing are not allowed to take the General Defense. Graduate students are considered to be in good academic standing, (making satisfactory academic progress), if they maintain a 3.00 LSU cumulative grade point average on all graduate coursework taken within the university (all LSU campuses) and a 3.00 semester average on all coursework (undergraduate and graduate), and earn a grade of “S” in research. Students who are not in good academic standing may not take any graduate milestone exams. Milestone exams are defined by the Graduate School as the General Defense, Final Doctoral Defense, Master’s Thesis Defense, and the Master’s Non-Thesis Defense. This rule does not apply to departmental exams unless stipulated by the department. Students must be registered for a minimum of one to three hours of credit during the semester in which they are taking the General Defense.

There is no Graduate School requirement that doctoral students pass a Pre-General Defense before becoming eligible to take the General Defense. However, since Pre-General Defense requirements may be retained by individual departments, students should check with the appropriate departmental office concerning this requirement.

A Request for the General Defense must be submitted to the Graduate School by the student’s department chair at least three weeks prior to the proposed Defense date. This request must state the time and place proposed and the names of faculty members nominated to serve as the examining committee. These will be the members of the enlarged advisory committee including the dean’s representative appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School. Any additions to or changes in the makeup of this committee must be approved in advance by the Dean of the Graduate School. At this time, the final departmental-level academic course plan should be completed and submitted to the Graduate School with the “Request for General Defense.”

The General Defense is ordinarily the most rigorous test in the entire doctoral program. In order for the student to pass this Defense, there may not be more than one dissenting vote. Dissenting votes, along with assenting votes, must be recorded on the Defense forms submitted to the Graduate School.

The Defense may be oral, written, or both oral and written, according to the rules of the major department. However, the minor department, if an outside minor has been declared by the General Defense, retains the right to decide the format of its part of the Defense. An outside minor may not be declared after the General Defense. The Defense must be comprehensive enough to demonstrate expert competence over broad segments of the major field and a high degree of familiarity with the content of and current progress in one or more minor fields, if appropriate. All required coursework must be completed prior to or during the semester of the General Defense.

The General Defense should be regarded as the culmination of a student’s program in coursework. In most cases, the remaining time spent obtaining the degree is to be devoted to concentrated work on the dissertation and preparation for the Final Defense. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. When a student passes the Defense, the results should be forwarded by departmental faculty or staff only to the Graduate School.

Failure of the General Defense

The written and/or oral Defenses are major milestones in the graduate student’s professional path.  Once a Defense is scheduled, a result must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. The only results that can be reported are P (“Pass”), F (“Fail”), or R (“Retake”). It is highly recommended that the results be submitted to the Graduate School in a timely manner of the scheduled Defense date. Failure to turn in a grade defaults to an F.

A grade of P indicates that the student has successfully passed the entire Defense and is not required to retake any or the entire Defense, except minor revisions required by the committee. 

A grade of F indicates that the student has failed the entire Defense and is not permitted to retake any or all of the Defense.  An F results in the student being terminated from the program at the end of the semester or summer term in which the Defense is taken.  The committee is required to provide the student feedback on why the Defense was failed.

An R indicates that the student has failed part or all of the Defense and will be permitted to take part or all of the Defense one additional time.  The committee will provide the student feedback on the specific weaknesses that should be corrected. The committee determines when the retake will be given, but it must be completed no later than the end of the next regular semester. For the Defense retake, the only grades that can be reported are P or F. 

If the student wishes to graduate the semester during which the Defense is taken, the student must make sure that the Defense report is filed before the Graduate School deadline for graduation that semester.

Continuous Registration Requirement

Doctoral candidates must maintain continuous registration for a minimum of three semester hours of credit each regular semester (excluding summers) from the completion of the General Defense to the end of the semester in which the dissertation has been approved by the Graduate School.

The Dean of the Graduate School may exempt a student from the continuous registration requirement upon departmental certification that the student is in absentia from the university and is not drawing directly upon university resources. Exemptions are intended to accommodate students whose dissertation research requires extended periods of absence for field work in distant archives and laboratories. Exemptions are not intended for students who have accepted positions as employees in business, industry, education, or for reasons of financial hardship.

Dissertation

Students who have passed the General Defense normally direct most of their energies toward preparation of the dissertation, which must be a contribution to knowledge in the major field of study. The dissertation must demonstrate a mastery of research techniques, ability to do original and independent research, and skill in formulating conclusions that in some way enlarge upon or modify accepted ideas.

The form of the dissertation must be in accordance with the instructions in the Formatting Electronic Theses and Dissertations handbook available online. 

LSU Alumni Association Distinguished Dissertation Award

The Distinguished Dissertation Award, consisting of $2,000 and a certificate, is presented annually to two doctoral students whose research and writing epitomize superior scholarship. One award is designated for a student in the arts, humanities, or social sciences and one for a student in science, engineering, or technology. These awards are made each spring in conjunction with the Distinguished Research Master Award.

Final Defense

A Request for the Final Defense must be submitted to the Graduate School by the student’s department chair at least three weeks prior to the proposed defense date or by the current semester deadline, if the student is a candidate for a degree (see the current academic calendar  and the Graduate Calendar on the Graduate School website for all pertinent dates). This request must specify the major and minor fields (if appropriate), dissertation title, time and place proposed for the Defense, and nominations for the examining committee. The examining committee, including the dean’s representative, must have copies of the dissertation at least two weeks prior to the Final Defense. Defenses may be taken anytime the university is open for business. The student must be registered for dissertation research hours (a minimum of three hours during the fall and spring semester or one hour during summer). The student must also be in good academic standing. Graduate students are considered to be in good academic standing, (making satisfactory academic progress), if they maintain a 3.00 cumulative grade point average on all graduate coursework taken within the university (all LSU campuses) and a 3.00 semester average on all coursework (undergraduate and graduate), and earn a grade of “S” in research. Students who are not in good academic standing may not take any graduate milestone exams. Milestone exams are defined by the Graduate School as the General Defense, Final Doctoral Defense, Master’s Thesis Defense, and the Master’s Non-Thesis Defense. This rule does not apply to departmental exams unless stipulated by the department.

Permission to hold the Final Defense will be granted by the Dean of the Graduate School only after all the foregoing conditions are satisfied and three (3) calendar months have elapsed since the student passed the General Defense.

The Dean of the Graduate School will approve the Final Defense committee. In most cases, it will consist of the student’s special advisory committee or a similarly constituted group to which one or more additions may have been made as representatives of the dean and the graduate faculty. Any additions to or changes in the makeup of this committee must be approved in advance of the Defense.

Although the Final Defense is traditionally conducted as an oral test primarily concerned with the dissertation and related problems, the committee determines procedure and content, which may extend into subject matter related to major and minor fields (if appropriate), even though well removed from topics suggested by the dissertation.

In order for the student to pass this Defense, there may not be more than one dissenting vote. Dissenting votes, along with assenting votes, must be recorded on the Defense Form and the Defense Approval Report submitted to the Graduate School. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. When a student passes the Defense, the results should be forwarded by departmental faculty or staff only to the Graduate School.

Failure of the Doctoral Dissertation Defense

The master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation represent the culmination of these degree programs. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. Once a Defense is scheduled, a grade must be filed with the Graduate School in a timely manner. The only grades that can be reported are P (“Pass”), F (“Fail”), or R (“Retake”).  Failure to turn in a grade defaults to an F.

A grade of P indicates that the student has successfully completed and defended the dissertation, although minor revisions may be required by the committee.

A grade of F indicates that the student has not successfully completed or defended the dissertation. An F results in the student being terminated from the program at the end of the semester in which the Defense is taken. The committee is required to provide the student feedback on why the Defense was failed.

A grade of R indicates that the student has not successfully completed or defended the dissertation and that additional work, which may include a second oral Defense, is required and permitted. The committee will provide specific feedback on the remaining requirements. The final grade, P or F, must be filed with the Graduate School by the end of next regular semester. For a Defense retake, the only grades that can be reported are P or F.

It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the Final Defense with sufficient lead time to meet the Graduate School deadlines for graduation in a given semester.

The oral Defense and the dissertation are considered an integrative requirement. It is not possible to pass one and fail the other. The committee should not sign the dissertation Defense results until all requirements, including successful oral Defense, are completed, nor should it sign the oral Defense report until the dissertation has been successfully defended.

The student has the right to petition the Dean of the Graduate School for reconsideration.

Request for Remote Participation in Graduate Committees

The Graduate School and Graduate Council strongly encourage Defenses in which all participants are present in person. Remote participation should be used only when there are serious impediments to physical presence at the Defense and not be used simply for the convenience of a committee member. The committee chair should aid the student in finding a meeting time at which all members can be present and assist the student in arranging for remote access equipment and technical assistance. The following guidelines are in effect:

  • A single committee member (other than the Chair or Dean’s Representative) may participate in a Doctoral Degree Audit and a Doctoral Final Defense remotely through VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) programs such as Skype without special permission from the Graduate School. The committee chair, however, should give permission and notify the student. The telecommunications protocol chosen must permit real-time, two-way exchange of visual information (e.g., presentation slides) and dialogue among the committee members and the student to assure participation when physical presence is unfeasible.
  • Should extraordinary circumstances make it necessary for the Chair or the student or a second member (who is not the Dean’s Representative) to participate via VoIP programs, approval must be sought from the Dean of the Graduate School at least three weeks prior to the scheduled meeting. That is, it is possible for two persons at the meeting to be present remotely except for the Dean’s Representative. (The individual participating remotely can never be a Dean’s Representative.) The “Request for Remote Participation in Graduate Committees” may be found in the Forms section of the Grad School’s website. This form must be signed (or approved by e-mail) by all committee members and submitted to the Graduate School before remote participation of two persons will be approved.
  • Also, under very extraordinary circumstances, the student may participate remotely. However, these circumstances should be genuinely severe and detailed by the committee chair in a separate petition to the Dean of the Graduate School and endorsed by the department chair. Reasons that would be acceptable might be documented long-term illness or disability. Reasons that are not acceptable would be, for example, employment elsewhere, lack of funding, family inconvenience, or residence in a foreign country. In general, students are required to be present at their milestone examinations or Defense in person.
  • The responsibility for arranging, testing, and assuring operative connection and time-zone coordination rests upon the student and the director (Committee Chair). If a formal Request for Remote Participation is necessary, the form must be completed and submitted to the Graduate School, along with the request for Defense, at least three weeks prior to the date of the Defense and by the current semester deadline for graduation, if applicable. Emergency requests, such as those caused by medical needs, will be considered on an ad-hoc basis. 
  • The following chart summarizes the above policy:
REMOTE PARTICIPANT NOTIFICATION OR PRIOR APPROVAL REQUIRED DETAILS
One committee member
(not the chair or the Dean’s Representative)
Notification Committee chair must be notified and approve. No form is required.
The committee chair Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.
The Dean’s Representative Not permitted  
The candidate Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.
A second committee member Prior approval Committee chair must petition the Dean of the Graduate School with the Remote Participation Form.

Timely Completion of the Degree after the Final Defense

All Final Defense Reports and the approval of all thesis format corrections requested by the document editor must be approved in the regular semester following the Final Defense. As with thesis candidates, non-thesis students who pass the Final Defense in one semester must complete degree requirements no later than the next regular semester following the Final Defense. A Final Defense may be voided by the Dean of the Graduate School for failure to have an approved thesis in a timely manner as described.

Application for Degree

Early in each semester or summer term, there is a deadline for submitting the “Doctoral Application for Degree” to the Graduate School. Doctoral candidates are required to submit the “Doctoral Application for Degree” form by the semester’s calendar deadline or they will not be allowed to graduate and must register for Degree Only in the following semester.

Submission of this form carries with it the implication that the student intends to graduate that semester. If circumstances prevent graduation, a “Doctoral Application for Degree UPDATE ” form must be submitted to the Graduate School by the designated deadline for the semester in which the student plans to graduate.

Certification of Completion of Requirements

Upon timely submission of the “Application for Degree,” when the student has passed the Final Defense with no more than one member of the committee dissenting, and upon submitting a dissertation in acceptable form to the Graduate School, the student will be certified to the LSU Board of Supervisors by the Dean of the Graduate School as having fulfilled all requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. This certification takes place at the next commencement or diploma ceremony (as appropriate), at which time (and not before) the degree is actually conferred.

Time Limit

The program for the doctoral degree must be completed within seven years from the time a student is classified as a doctoral student. This time limit may not be exceeded except by special permission of the advisory committee, department chair or delegate (such as the Director of Graduate Studies), college dean, and Dean of the Graduate School. A formal meeting of the advisory committee must be held to approve any time limit extension. No less than three calendar months may elapse between the passing of the General Defense and the completion of all requirements for the doctoral degree. The start date for completion of the doctoral degree does not change if the student transfers into a different doctoral program.

Requirements for the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree

The Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) is a professional degree in music. The coursework, residence requirements, and examination sequences are similar to those for the PhD degree. Major differences in the two programs are in the dissertation and minor field requirements (if appropriate).

For the special admission and course requirements for this degree, consult the School of Music.

FULFILLING DOCTORAL DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Prepare Departmental-Level Academic Course Plan

  • During the first semester after the master’s degree is awarded or during the first full year of full-time graduate study for a student not taking the master’s degree.

Request General Defense

  • After completing most coursework.

  • Request for the General Defense must be submitted to the Graduate School by the student’s department chair at least three weeks prior to the proposed examination date.

Request Final Defense

  • At least three calendar months after passing the General Defense.

  • Request for the Final Defense must be submitted to the Graduate School by the student’s department chair at least three weeks prior to the proposed defense date or by the current semester deadline, if the student is a candidate for the doctoral degree.

Requirements for the Doctor of Design Degree

The Doctor of Design (DDes) is a multi-disciplinary degree in the production, management and preservation of cultural practices. The coursework, residence requirements, and the examination sequence are similar to those for the PhD degree.

For the special admission and course requirements for this degree, consult the College of Art and Design.

Graduate Faculty

Graduate Faculty Membership Status:

Graduate faculty membership status is indicated by a number plus a letter or just by letter as follows:

(M) Full member
(7M) Seven (7) year member
(6A) Six (6) year associate member
(3A) Three (3) year associate member
(3F) Three (3) year affiliate member
(3P) Three (3) year professional member
(EM) Emeritus full member status
(EA) Emeritus associate member status
(O) Ex-officio

Please note that graduate faculty status is subject to change. Additional information can be found below:

Full descriptions of graduate faculty status

Current graduate faculty status

University Policy Statements

This section includes links to the full text of two university policy statements that are of special interest to graduate students. PS-21 governs the entire graduate assistantship program; PS-85 deals specifically with the preparation of teaching assistants for instructional duties.

Other applicable Policy Statements, Permanent Memoranda, and additional rules and regulations are listed on the University Policies website. Students should pay particular attention to PS-106.

PS-21 • Graduate Assistantships

Overview

The primary mission of the LSU Graduate School is to promote excellence in graduate education. Part of this responsibility mandates that the Graduate School develop policies governing the appointment and evaluation of graduate assistants (GAs) and monitor their implementation by employing units.

These policies include setting minimum academic qualifications for holding GA appointments, establishing appointment and renewal procedures, setting average workloads, and reviewing stipend levels and ranges.

This policy statement outlines procedures and guidelines affecting the graduate assistantship program. For special policies on the preparation of teaching assistants for instructional duties in classrooms and laboratories, see PS-85, Preparation of Teaching Assistants.

See full text of PS-21 here.

PS-85 • Preparation of Teaching Assistants

Overview

To lay out principles and requirements for the assignment, preparation, supervision, and evaluation of graduate teaching assistants at Louisiana State University.

Excellence in undergraduate and graduate instruction is central to the mission of the university. Preparation in pedagogy in a variety of teaching situations is an integral part of the education of graduate students. Accordingly, the graduate faculty must be committed to designing appropriate programs for the assignment, preparation, supervision, and evaluation of graduate teaching assistants with the aim of enhancing graduate student preparation and undergraduate learning. This policy statement should be read in the context of the general institutional policy on graduate assistantships as set forth in PS-21.

See full text of PS-85 here.