Welcome from the Director of Graduate Studies
Dear Prospective Student:
Thank you very much for your interest in the graduate program in Political Science at Louisiana State University. My colleagues and I are very excited about the quality of our department and graduate program, and I believe that you will find graduate study in Political Science at LSU to be very rewarding.
Normally, admission into our graduate program can be granted to students who have (1) completed the B.A. or M.A. in political science with a grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.00 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate or graduate course work, (2) a score on the verbal section of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) in the 55th percentile or above, (3) a score on the quanitative section of the GRE in the 45th percentile or above, and (4) strong letters of recommendation from professors familiar with their work. Without exception, all applicants are required to take the GRE. We do consider applicants who lack the B.A. in political science provided that they have at least 18 hours in political science course work. A personal statement is also required. This statement should indicate your intentions, goals, and preparation for graduate study in our department. Of course, your application to the Graduate School should include all relevant transcripts of your previous academic career. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all application materials are submitted to the Graduate School and/or department.
LSU offers the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science, with concentrations in American politics, comparative politics, international relations, political theory, and political methodology. Our faculty is active professionally, and includes former editors of the Journal of Politics and American Politics Quarterly, the former President of the Southern Political Science Association, current and former presidential appointees to the National Council on the Humanities, and a member of the review board for the Law and Courts Program of the National Science Foundation. Several of our faculty members serve on the executive councils for national organizations and the editorial boards of a variety of leading scholarly journals. LSU's faculty is also very productive, producing research over the past two decades at a pace that places us among the top 25 departments in the country in terms of per faculty publication in the nation's premier political science journals. Our faculty also includes two LSU Research Masters, which is the highest award given by LSU for excellence in research.
With 28 faculty members, our graduate program is small, but this permits close interaction between students and faculty. Our department has a university-wide reputation for excellence in instruction, and several members of our faculty have won university- or college-wide teaching awards in recent years. Moreover, Many of us have worked closely with graduate students in mentorship relationships, and a number of our graduate students have co-authored articles that have been published in leading scholarly journals. Our Ph.D. students have also been successful on the academic market, earning tenure track positions or post-doctoral appointments in recent years at a variety of academic institutions, including the University of Maryland, Wake Forest University, University of Houston, University of Rhode Island, West Virginia University, Appalachian State University, Baylor University, Elon University, The Citadel, Western Carolina University, University of Texas at Tyler, Southeastern Louisiana University, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Southern Illinois University, University of Virginia, and Southern University, among others.
The Department of Political Science admits each year a limited number of students into its graduate program, and presently the graduate enrollment in our program is approximately 60 students. The deadline for submitting an application and receiving full consideration for admission and financial awards is February 15 (for Fall admission) and October 15 (for Spring admission). After these deadlines, the Department's Graduate Committee will screen all completed applications, and decisions are usually announced in March (for Fall admission) and November (for Spring admission). Late applications will be considered, though we cannot guarantee that late applicants will receive full consideration.
I hope that you will consider applying to our program. I would encourage you to drop me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any inquiries that you might have about our graduate program. I would be happy to answer any questions that you have by email or by phone (225-578-2134).
David Sobek, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Studies