1. Where can I find your application?
2. Do I have to meet the requirements of both the English Department and the LSU Graduate School to gain admission?
3. Do I have to submit two separate applications, one to the Graduate School and one to the English Department?
4. Where can I find the Graduate School application?
The Graduate School’s application can be found at www.gradschool.lsu.edu.
5. What are my chances of admission? How many students applied last year and how many were admitted?
In order to support all students with full financial packages, we generally limit our incoming class to 20 students: 12 into the PhD program and 8 into the MFA. For fall 2010, we received 345 applications total: 94 MA/PhD and 251 MFA. The numbers were very similar for fall 2011, but we admitted only 10 PhD students and 7 MFA students.
6. Can I apply for a PhD even if I don’t have an MA?
Yes. We admit highly qualified applicants with a BA directly into our PhD program. Often about one-quarter of our incoming PhD class has just a BA.
7. What are the opportunities to receive financial aid?
We typically have offered Graduate Teaching Assistant stipends of $16,500 to students entering with a BA or $17,000 to students entering with an MA, plus tuition waivers and attractive health insurance coverage. These teaching stipends compare to the best schools in the country and rank in the top three or four nationally for MFA programs, according to Poets and Writers magazine.
We are delighted to announce our new four-year $25,000 fellowship for a new PhD student concentrating in Film and Media Arts.
The application deadline is March 15, 2012. Please click here for more information.
8. What is the attractive health insurance coverage?
Graduate Assistants who hold a full-time (50% effort) assistantship for any semester have been eligible for a Medical Coverage subsidy of $350 for each semester paid by LSU. You can access the student health insurance brochure here (click "Benefits (plan summary)"). All our incoming GTAs fit into this category.
9. Do the Graduate Teaching Assistant financial aid packages include fees?
No. Students are responsible for fees for parking and other things. A list of current fees can be found on the LSU Fee Schedule website.
10. What teaching responsibilities come with financial aid?
Students entering with a BA generally assist with one undergraduate course per semester during their first year, and teach one course per semester thereafter. Those entering with an MA usually teach one course per semester from the beginning.
11. How much are fees and tuition?
12. Are there other forms of financial aid besides Graduate Teaching Assistantships?
Information about other forms of financial aid is available through the Office of Student Aid and Scholarships. The English Department has no control over these forms of financial aid. The phone number for the Student Aid Office is 225-578-3103 and the webpage is http://www.lsu.edu/financialaid/.
13. When is the application deadline?
The deadline for students applying for programs beginning in the fall of the 2012-2013 academic year is January 25, 2012.
14. Do I need to send all of my materials together?
No, your materials do not need to arrive in one package.
15. May I apply to more than one program?
If you wish to apply to more than one of our programs, please submit separate applications to each program.
16. How much is the application fee?
There is no application fee for the English Department’s application. There is a fee to apply to the LSU Graduate School. The amount appears on their website: www.gradschool.lsu.edu.
17. Where can I find the Letter of Recommendation form?
The letter of recommendation form is the last page of the application. However, most students apply on-line through the Graduate School, and most recommenders use the online process for submitting letters of recommendation.
18. Is it permissible to use a dossier service for recommendations?
Yes. But the LSU online recommendation submission system works just as easily.
19. What do I need to do to be considered for departmental financial aid?
Once you have completed your applications to the PhD or MFA program and have submitted them to both the Graduate School and the English Department by the appropriate deadline, you will automatically be considered for one of our Graduate Teaching Assistantships.
20. Will I receive confirmation once I submit my application materials to the English Department?
No. If you are anxious about materials being received by the English Department, you may e-mail the office at email@example.com. But please be patient in waiting for a reply. If you apply through the Graduate School's online system, you will be able to check your status.
21. I have been out of school for several years and there is no one left who can write an academic recommendation for me. May I ask my employer to write one?
The faculty committee reviewing your file is interested in your intellectual abilities. Therefore, your recommendations should comment on your academic achievement and potential to succeed in graduate school. However, if you have been in the workforce for a long time or are working in a field (such as publishing) closely connected to the MFA or PhD in English, you may want your employer to write a letter of recommendation as a complement to your academic recommendations.
22. Is the GRE General Exam required?
Yes. All applicants must take the GRE General Examination.
23. What is the minimum GRE score requirement?
We do not yet have experience with the new GRE numbers. In the old system, a minimum score of 600 on the Verbal element of the examination was expected, and the great majority of our PhD and MFA students have scored higher, often over 700. A general breakdown is 25% have scored 700 or over, 50% in the 600s, and 25% below 600. However, we have no required minimum score. We look at the whole application, considering the writing sample, GPA, and recommendations; the GRE is only one element. An application that is very strong in other ways remains competitive even with a Verbal score below 600. Once we have experience judging the new GRE scoring system, we will report on our results.
24. Is the GRE Subject Exam required?
No. But we recommend that MA and PhD applicants submit sores on the Literature in English portion of the GRE in addition to the General Exam.
25. What is the GRE Institutional Code for the Graduate School?
LSU’s institution Code is 6373.
26. What is the minimum undergraduate GPA requirement?
A GPA of 3.2 is generally required.
27. I’m concerned that either my GPA or GRE scores might not be high enough.
We look at the whole package a student submits, including not only the GRE and GPA, but also the writing samples and letters of recommendation. Then we offer places to the best students overall that apply.
28. How long must the writing sample be?
All applicants are required to submit a writing sample. Applications to the MA and PhD programs should include about a 20-page sample of critical writing; applications to the MFA program should include about 20 pages of prose, 8 to 10 poems, or a substantial portion of a script.
29. What if I don’t have a 20-page writing sample for the PhD or MA program? May I send two or three shorter essays?
No. The faculty committee assessing applications is interested in your ability to write a sustained argument that draws on sophisticated critical research. If you only have shorter essays, consider revising and expanding your best one to bring it up to approximately 20 pages, including notes and bibliography.
30. Should I submit official transcripts to the English Department?
Official transcripts need to be sent only to the Graduate School. The Graduate School will provide a copy to the English Department.
31. What will happen to my application if I miss the deadline?
Applications will be held on file for up to one year.
32. If I meet the required deadlines, when can I expect to receive a decision?
The Graduate Committee will evaluate applications in January and February and arrive at a ranking by late February or early March. The Director of English Graduate Studies usually receives the committee’s recommendations by early to mid-March and is able to make offers at that time. Applicants who receive offers must respond by April 15.
33. Do you allow spring admission?
34. If I have no access to the online application process, where should I mail the English Department Application?
Department of English
(MA, MFA or PhD) Admissions
260 Allen HallLouisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-5001
35. What else do I need to include in the application packet?
• Application and Award Sheet
• Intent Statement
• List of English Courses
• 3 Letters of Recommendation
• Writing Sample
• Transcripts – an official copy to the Graduate School; an optional unofficial copy to department
36. If I have to mail in my application to the English Department, do I still have to apply to the Graduate School separately?
37. What is your placement record?
Out of seven PhDs granted in 2009, four received tenure-track jobs (one after a year in a non-tenure track position), one received a non-tenure-track faculty position, and two received post-docs. That is a 100% placement record. Out of seven PhDs granted in 2010, two received tenure-track positions, three non-tenure-track faculty positions, and two received post-docs. For detailed PhD placement information, please see our .
38. Are international students eligible for admission and financial support?
39. When will I hear if I have been accepted?
Our graduate admissions committee begins reviewing applications shortly after the deadline of January 25th. Each application receives multiple readings and ratings. The results are averaged, ranked, and discussed. We are usually able to start making offers around the beginning of March, but that varies.
40. If I am put on your waiting list, when will I know if I will be accepted or not?
We typically put many excellent applicants on our waiting list; some of these strong candidates receive offers in the second wave. As soon as we hear from someone to whom we’ve made a pending offer that they are not going to come to LSU, we accept another applicant. Because the first wave has until as late as April 15th to decide, we sometimes make additional offers from our waiting list after that date.
41. I’ve received several offers. Should I wait until the April 15th deadline to inform them of my decision?
That’s up to you. No school should pressure you to decide earlier, if you aren’t ready. But other excellent applicants are anxiously in line on waiting lists. Graduate programs don’t want to lose their best wait-listed applicants to other schools. It is a great help to everyone if you let all the schools know as soon as you’ve decided.
42. I have other questions. Who can answer them?