Graduate Admissions

Admission Criteria

Admission to the graduate program in sociology is based on the recommendation of an admissions committee appointed by the Chair of the Department and chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies. Transcripts (with GPA), GRE scores, statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation are the four critical pieces of information needed for evaluating admissions. Students will not be evaluated without all items being provided to the department.

Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study applicants (including three letters of recommendation) must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores (e.g. GRE Verbal and Quantitative), and other materials which come from third-party sources must be mailed to: Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. Departments have electronic (online via the internet through a secure webcenter) access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to a graduate program.

Our graduate program is primarily designed to produce PhDs, rather than terminal MAs. In the course of fulfilling the PhD requirements, however, most of our students receive their MAs. In the online application form, check “PhD” for “a degree sought” question.

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The Department of Sociology generally requires an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and a graduate GPA of 3.5 for admission. Exceptions to this are occasionally made for those with high GRE scores and/or strong positive letters of recommendation. Applicants for graduate study have normally completed courses in sociological theory, methods, statistics, and at least nine additional credit hours of sociology. If these courses have not been completed prior to admission, some remedial work may be required.

Types of Admission

A student meeting all requirements of the Department is normally granted unconditional admission. Applicants who fail to meet requirements, but who are nevertheless judged by the Department and the Dean of the Graduate School to show promise may be considered for probationary admission on the merits of their individual cases. Applicants who appear to be qualified but who are unable for good reasons to supply the required credentials prior to the stated deadline may request provisional admission. In such cases, their complete credentials must be received by the Graduate School no later than sixty days after the first day of classes (forty-five days in the summer term). Probationary students cannot be supported by departmental or university funding.


Admission and funding is normally for the Fall Term. Only in special circumstances are new students admitted to start in the Spring Term. Applicants desiring financial support must submit credentials by January 31st, though applications for Fall admission without financial support are considered after January. It is highly recommended that applications be submitted early because we may start looking at applications before the deadline or stop accepting any applicants after a certain date. There is typically no support available for late applicants regardless of their qualifications. However, students who are admitted without financial support may be considered for assistantships as resources become available.

International Students

Applicants whose native language is other than English are not exempt from the requirement of the Graduate Record Examination. The applicants must also submit as part of their application credentials their scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). The test is administered by the Educational Testing Service at testing centers throughout the world. A minimum score of 550 (paper test), 213 (computer based test), or 79 (Internet-based test) is required for consideration as an applicant.