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Application Procedures

Dr. Shipman

When you fill out your application forms, please indicate under Degree Program the highest degree you are seeking in the Mathematics Department. Also repeat this information please in your Statement of Purpose. The Department uses this statement to better understand the suitability of its programs of study for your interests. Thus if you seek both an MS and a PhD, write PhD as your intended degree program. For a list of codes for the available degree programs, see the page Graduate Degrees. For example, if you seek an MS with Concentration in Finance, indicate this in your Statement of Purpose.

Applicants for a fellowship or assistantship will be considered for assistantships and for any fellowships for which they might be eligible. Priority for financial aid goes to candidates for the PhD degree in Mathematics. However, it is common that some students seeking only an MS degree are supported as well, especially if the students are qualified to perform some teaching duties.

The Department does not have a deadline for application. However, early application is strongly encouraged. The Department begins evaluating application files at the start of February. To assure full consideration for all available financial aid, it is advantageous to have the completed application with all supporting documents delivered by January 31 or earlier. Nevertheless, late applications are welcomed and the department continues to make offers after February on a rolling basis throughout the spring semester for fall admission.

For efficient processing of your application, it is desirable for you to submit two separate packages of materials. The first package should be addressed to the Graduate School's Office of Admission and should contain the items shown below which they require. But there are other items required by the Department, especially for financial aid decisions. These items are not used by the Graduate School and will reach the Department most rapidly if sent directly. Please follow carefully the procedures listed below in two separate parts. If postal costs are problem, place both labeled envelopes into one larger envelope and send both the Mathematics Department (the second address below) and we will send the other one to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Package #1: Items to send to the Graduate Admissions Office

Please address Package #1 to:

Office of Graduate Admissions
114 David Boyd Hall
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803

The Office of Graduate Admissions requires the following items from all applicants for graduate admission. (If there must be a delay with delivery of official documents, unofficial photocopies of the required documents and test scores will suffice for provisional admission and financial aid decisions, so long as the official documents and test score reports are delivered before actual enrollment.)

  1. An Application for Admission form. This form is available from the Graduate School and from the Department of Mathematics on request. With the Application for Admission send a non-refundable $25 application fee. Make your check payable to LSU. Most applicants today are using the online application form because it is easy to fill out and can be submitted instantly, without delays in the mail. This does require the use of a credit card to pay the fee. Visit the link LSU Graduate School and select Admission on the left margin. Then click on Online Application in the menu which appears.
  2. Two official transcripts, to be sent in envelopes sealed by the registrar of each college or university you have attended. Requests for transcripts of academic work done at LSU are not necessary. International Applicants must supply transcripts both in the original language and in a certified English translation!
  3. Scores on the GRE General Test: verbal, quantitative, and analytical (or analytical writing). LSU does not set a minimum requirement for the score itself, but submission of the scores is required. (International Students must submit also a TOEFL score, which must be at least 213 on the computerized scale or else 550 on the older hand-written scale.) The scores should be reported officially by The Educational Testing Service. Test application forms and a list of approved testing centers may be obtained from the web-site GRE or from the Graduate School or by writing to Educational Testing Service (P.O. Box 966, Princeton, New Jersey 08540). Students who are outside the U.S. may obtain application forms and information about testing centers from American embassies and consulates and offices of the U.S. Information Service. Completed application forms and examination fees must reach Educational Testing Service approximately one month in advance of the test date. Applicants should allow at least six weeks for the examination results to reach LSU and should specify on the application form that test scores be sent to the University. Please note that LSU's Institution Code is R6373, and the Code for the Mathematics Department is 72. We note that the the GRE website linked above includes much information about the GRE General Test. Here is another link to a free, independent online selection of sample questions for the student who is preparing to take the GRE General Test.

Package #2: Items to send Directly to the Mathematics Department

Please address Package #2 to:

Department of Mathematics
Graduate Advisor
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803-4918

  1. Applicants needing financial assistance must submit an Application for Fellowship or Assistantship to the Department of Mathematics. You can fill this form out online below, or you can download it and print it yourself in pdf format if you prefer to use paper mail. Click here for the easy Online Application, or else select pdf. Be sure to include a Statement of Purpose, which is simply an essay in your own words to tell us about your mathematical experiences, interests, and goals. Please tell us about any special experiences you have had, such as participation in REU programs, study abroad, or research projects. You may insert this information in the online form in the last box which is for telling us also about how our department came to your attention. Or you may submit your statement separately to the Department by paper mail or by email. The LSU Application for Graduate Admission form includes a Statement of Purpose, but the Graduate School does not use this. Only the Department uses it. So you could write on the LSU form that you have sent your Statement of Purpose directly to the Mathematics Department, if that is what you have done, as we do request. If you are applying late, you may accelerate delivery of forms by FAXing them to the Math Department's Graduate Advisor at (225)578-4276 or by emailing pdf or jpeg scan files to grad@math.lsu.edu .
  2. The Department requires that three sealed letters of recommendation be sent directly to the Director of Graduate Studies at the Departmental address above. These letters of recommendation should be from those who are familiar with the applicant's academic background, preferably mathematics professors who have taught the student. The letters do not have to be written on a special form. The letters may be mailed directly by the professors who write them, or they may be sealed and signed across the flap and then mailed in one envelope with the other application materials.
  3. Transcripts showing all college or graduate work completed. You may send the Department unofficial photocopies of your transcripts. We can work with these until the Graduate School forwards your official transcripts to us. The Graduate School should be the first to receive the official copies, but we need the unofficial copies with which to evaluate your application for financial aid.
  4. Please feel free to include any supplementary information which you believe will tell us more about your preparation, interests, and goals in mathematics. We read everything you send us and evaluate each application as a whole. We do not make decisions on artificial or simplistic bases, such as by setting a minimum score on this or that standardized test.

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