The graduation process generally begins the semester before you intend to graduate, as required forms are due very early the semester you will graduate. Consult the academic calendar and the Graduate School calendar for detailed due dates. This site has instructions for Master’s and Doctoral degree candidates, as well as for Education Specialist and Graduate Certificate candidates.
Because forms are kept in your permanent record, it is important that they be typed. Most forms can be edited on a computer and then printed for signatures. All dates and deadlines can be found on the Graduate School calendar. All materials should be turned in to Graduate Student services in the lobby of West David Boyd Hall.
NOTE: If you determine, during the course of the semester, that you will not meet the requirements for graduation, you must notify the graduate school immediately by filling out and submitting the Request to Delete Application for Degree form and the Request for Update forms (Masters or Doctoral). If additional assistance is needed, please email us.
Students are advised to consult LSU’s Commencement site, which live-streams the ceremony in addition to providing details for all graduation ceremonies. The Ceremony Information tab includes photograph information and seating availability, and the Graduate Resources tab houses information on caps and gowns and diplomas. Family and friends from out of town should consult the visitor information page for accommodation and parking information, maps, and directions.
Candidates for Master’s Degrees (Non-Thesis/Project Option and Thesis Option)
Candidates for Doctoral Degrees
Candidates for Certificate of Education Specialist
Candidates for Graduate Certificates
The Graduate School has a handbook, Guidelines for the Preparation of Master's Theses and Doctoral Dissertations, which provides instructions for preparing, formatting, and submitting your document. You will need to prepare your document according to these instructions before you submit your thesis or dissertation to the Graduate School. Sample documents, as well as a LaTeX template, are available for you to consult. Instructions are also available on how to convert your thesis or dissertation into .PDF format.
When you are ready to prepare your manuscript for submission and prepare for your defense, complete the following steps in order.
Be aware that if substantial additional corrections are needed at this point, you may not be able to meet the submission deadline for the current semester and may have to graduate in the following semester.
Once your dissertation has been completed and submitted to the Graduate School, you should consider submitting it to any dissertation award contests sponsored by your department and/or professional organizations in your discipline.
Additionally, your department can nominate your dissertation for the Distinguished Dissertation Award, sponsored by the LSU Alumni Association. Two awards are given: one in the arts, humanities, and social sciences, and one in science, engineering, and technology. The award consists of $2,000 along with a certificate. Awards are presented to the doctoral student in each category whose research and writing epitomize superior scholarship. Any student who receives his or her doctoral degree at any of the three commencements in a calendar year is eligible to be nominated. Winning dissertations are chosen by committee of members of the graduate faculty. Recent winners have come from English, Chemical Engineering, Biological Sciences, History, and Physics and Astronomy.