Nature of the Program


The department offers training in the following primary specialty areas: Clinical Psychology, Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Industrial and Organizational Psychology, School Psychology, and Behavior Analysis. The program is a doctoral program – it is not appropriate for students seeking to complete their education with a master’s degree. We do not offer degrees in Counseling Psychology or Social Work. Appropriate departments for these programs at LSU are through the College of Human Sciences and Education. If you need help determining the appropriate field of study to pursue, the "Career Guides" section of the American Psychological Association (APA)* website.

The graduate program in psychology follows the mentor model. For this reason, it is recommended that prospective students review our Faculty web pages along with this document. Each faculty member has additional information regarding his/her interests and publications listed there. This is an effective way to determine if your goals and interests match those of our faculty and our program, as well as to find examples of the research conducted here at LSU.

professor speaking with student at fair
Dr. Emily Elliott talking with psychology undergraduate student, Mylan Eugene, at the Graduate School Fair.

Financial Assistance

Nearly all of our graduate students are funded with a stipend and tuition waiver. Funding is available to full-time graduate students through a variety of sources, including graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, externship placements, and grant-funded research positions. The stipend associated with assistantships can vary across sources, but those funded by the university will be consistent with LSU guidelines. Learn more about LSU assistantships and health insurance.

Financing Graduate School

Instructions for Fall 2024 Graduate Applications

Please access the online application with the LSU Graduate School to apply to the Department of Psychology doctoral program. This application will include a space for you to upload your narrative statement on your educational history and also your educational goals. Applicants are strongly encouraged to provide a writing sample with their application. If you have any questions about the admissions process, please e-mail the Graduate Programs Coordinator at Applications for Fall 2024 were due 12/01/2023. Applications for Fall 2025 will be due 12/01/2024. Most incoming classes for the fall are typically filled by mid-April and applications will no longer be reviewed once a class is full. Specific instructions for applications from international students can be found on the "International Admissions" section of the Graduate School website.

A note about applications fees: The Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee waivers on a first-come, first-serve basis to eligible applicants who are U.S. citizens and permanent residents. You may be eligible for a fee waiver if you are facing financial hardship, are an active member or Veteran of the U.S. Armed Services, or are affiliated with the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) Program, McNair Scholars Program, Postbaccalaureate Research Education Program (PREP), GEM Fellowship Program, or the Initiatives for Maximizing Student Diversity Program IMSD).

Graduate Application Fee Waiver Request Form

If you are an applicant to the I/O subarea, it requires submission of GRE scores, as well as a writing sample. If you are an applicant to any subarea, they would like you to be aware of how they evaluate applications--specifically, they recognize the strengths and limitations of each individual part of the application for predicting success in graduate school and how each part has the potential to differentially impact certain groups of applicants, if used inappropriately. As a result, each subarea uses a wholistic approach that considers all information provided by the applicant in making admissions decisions. Thus, applicants are encouraged to provide any additional information they feel would aid in our evaluation of their application, even if it is not required.

Applicant Qualifications

Ninety-five percent of the students we accept have an undergraduate degree in Psychology, and some also have master’s level courses and degrees. The following minimum prerequisites must be completed prior to applying to the program: courses equivalent to LSU’s PSYC 2000 (Introduction to Psychology), PSYC 2016 (General Statistics) & PSYC 2017 (Research Methods in Psychology).

The department requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 GPA; while the GRE is not required for all subareas, in past years our GRE minimum was 297. The Fall 2021 incoming class had an average undergraduate GPA of 3.68 and their average GRE score was 310 (Verbal 157 and Quantitative 153).

Due to the intensive nature of the training, students are not allowed to attend part-time, and students are not allowed to hold a full-time job while enrolled in our doctoral program. Students are expected to devote full-time to their studies. All course work must be completed here in Baton Rouge, with our faculty members; no online or correspondence courses are available.

The Department of Psychology is dedicated to giving each student the education needed to be a highly functioning professional in the field of their choice. We are very proud of our program, as it attracts students from around the world. Our graduates go on to rewarding careers in academia, industry and private or public practice.

LSU does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, or veteran's status in its programs and activities and provides equal access to its programs and activities. For more information regarding LSU's equal opportunity policy, please see Policy Statement 1.

The clinical and school disciplines are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of the American Psychological Association.

Questions related to the program’s accredited status should be directed to the Commission on Accreditation:

Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation
American Psychological Association
750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202.336.5979

Requirements Behavior Analysis Clinical Psychology Cognitive and Brain Sciences Industrial / Organizational Psychology School Psychology
Resume vs. C.V.? C.V. C.V. C.V. C.V. C.V.
Required Minimum GPA? 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
GRE Required? No No No Yes No
Statement of Purpose Required? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Education History Essay Required? No No Yes No No
Educational Goals Essay Required? No No Yes No No
How many letters of recommendation do I need?  3 3 3 3 3
Writing Sample Required? Yes Yes No, but recommended Yes Yes
Time to Degree Completion? 4-5 years 5-7 years 5-7 years 4-5 years 5-7 years
Semesters to begin the program? Fall semester Fall semester Fall semester Fall semester Fall semester
Can I enroll part time?  No No No No No

Last updated: 10/16/2023