Next Steps After Admission | International Services

Pre-Arrival Checklist

You have been admitted to LSU. Congratulations! Now, what's next?

After you receive your admission decision, there are several steps you need to take to officially let us know you plan to attend LSU and to prepare for your first semester.

Required financial documentation

Once you have been officially and unconditionally admitted, ISO will email you with instructions on how to complete and submit an Initial I-20/DS-2019 Request Form. In the meantime, you should research your estimated expenses and start to gather your financial documents.

ISO will issue your Certificate of Eligibility once you have provided sufficient evidence of financial support. 

Your next step is to pay your SEVIS I-901 fee and apply for a visa. We have detailed instructions to help guide you in this process.

You'll want to start planning and making arrangements for life in Baton Rouge. We have compiled some information about travel to Baton Rouge, entering the U.S. and housing options. Additionally, our staff at the International Cultural Center will be welcoming you at International Student Orientation and providing support throughout your time at LSU. 

Immunization Records

To safeguard the health of everyone at LSU, all new students are required to provide proof of immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR), tetanus-diphtheria, and meningitis. You must complete and submit the Immunization Compliance form to the LSU Student Health Center – Immunization Department.

Failure to submit the required documentation will result in a hold on your account that will prevent you from enrolling in classes. We recommend you keep a copy of the Immunization Compliance form for your records. 

Depending on your country of origin or recent travels, you could require testing and/or treatment for past exposure to tuberculosis (TB). You are strongly encouraged to undergo TB testing/treatment prior to coming to the United States You must provide documentation of TB skin test results, TB blood test results, and/or treatment for a positive skin test on LSU’s Immunization form. You must also provide attached copies of any lab/x-ray reports as requested per the Immunization form.

If you wait until you arrive in the U.S. to be tested or treated for TB, you will not be allowed to register for classes until all necessary testing/necessary treatment is complete. This process can take up to 4 weeks and would delay your registration for that same amount of time.

Note: Testing and treatment for TB in the United States can cost you about $550 USD, depending on your test results and any required further medical evaluation. Also as a pre-existing condition, these additional expenses may not be covered by LSU medical health insurance or any other health insurance, so you would pay the cost for testing/treatment from your personal funds.

Michigan English Placement

Most international applicants take the TOEFL or IELTS, which rates English proficiency. (Scores are submitted as part of the LSU admission application process.) The Michigan English Placement test is an additional test used to determine what (if any) additional English writing courses you may need to take while at LSU to support you in your coursework.

Note: The Michigan English Placement test cannot be administered to you remotely and must wait until you arrive on campus.

For the most part, all graduate and undergraduate non-native speakers of English who are new to LSU are required to take the Michigan English Placement test. However, you may qualify for an exemption of the test if you:

  • are a native English speaker from Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, the UK, or certain Caribbean islands. (Native speakers will need to sign up for the Residual ACT for English placement, if they do not have an existing ACT score.)
  • are an LSU bilateral or ISEP exchange program participant who is not planning to take an English composition course while at LSU.
  • have a degree from a U.S. college/university.
  • have attended all four years and graduated from a U.S. high school.

The Placement Test will be discussed at the International Student Orientation. Questions about the test, including exemption, should be directed to staff in the LSU Department of English.  

The test includes a written essay section and costs $25. The cost of the test will be added to your LSU fee bill, and the late test fee is $50.

Oral Proficiency Interview (for graduate assistants)

Graduate students with teaching assistantships are required to take the Oral Proficiency Interview prior to beginning any assistantship duties. These students will schedule an interview time at the end of International Orientation. The Oral Proficiency Interview cannot be conducted remotely and must wait until you arrive on campus.

Course Enrollment

Typically, international students cannot schedule classes, pay tuition/fees, and complete course registration until after they arrive at LSU and attend the necessary orientation programs. 

Failure to register for courses on time will affect your lawful student status with U.S. Immigration and your ability to remain in the U.S. You should be aware that there are two items that must be cleared before you will be able to complete your LSU course registration.

  1. Immunization Compliance Form submitted and cleared by the LSU Student Health Center 
  2. Michigan English Placement Test results received by your academic advisor(see above)

After all holds are cleared and you have scheduled your courses, you can complete your course registration by paying your fee bill either

  • Online through your myLSU account: select Fee Bill under Registration Services, or
  • In-person at 125 Thomas Boyd Hall with the LSU Office of Bursar Operations.

Note: You must ensure that you have completed course registration; otherwise, your class schedule will be purged, and you will need to reschedule your classes based on current course availability.

Please be aware the dollar amount on your LSU fee bill may not be the same as the estimated expenses provided to you by International Services (as listed on the I-20/DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility). The I-20/DS-2019 estimates are based on the minimum credit hours for full-time enrollment, which is required to maintain the F-1/J-1 student visa status. You can review the LSU fee schedules for the cost of each credit hour.

Full-time Enrollment

Full-time enrollment is required for F-1 and J-1 students during fall and spring semesters:

  • Undergraduate: 12+ hours
  • Graduate: 9+ hours
  • MBA: 13+ hours

Full-time enrollment for summer (6 credit hours) is required only if you are admitted for the summer semester or if summer courses are required by your program. Otherwise, summer enrollment is optional.

Academic Advising

The Center for Freshman Year (UCFY): Advising for new freshmen and transfer students in the first 24-30 hours of enrollment.
The Center for Advising and Counseling (UCAC): Advising for students who are beyond the 30 hours of enrollment but do not yet meet senior college requirements.
Senior college advising: Advising for those students who have been admitted into their senior college. Students can contact their college for more information.
Graduate students should contact the graduate advisor within their academic department. 

Mandatory SEVIS Check in

All incoming F-1 and J-1 students entering with an Initial or Transfer Pending I-20 or DS-2019 must complete a mandatory SEVIS Check-in. The SEVIS Check in is required of students who are new to LSU as well as students who are returning from an absence with a new I-20 or DS-2019 issued under a new SEVIS ID number. The check-in process is virtual and collects copies of your F-1 or J-1 status documents and the information International Services needs to report your arrival in SEVIS. You will not need to report in person to the International Services Office with your documents. However, completing your SEVIS Check in is time sensitive and must be done promptly after your arrival to the U.S.

Please note that you must complete the SEVIS Check in process prior to completing your I-9 (for on-campus employment), or before applying for a Social Security Number (SSN), driver’s license, or state ID card. Please see the steps below for details on the Check in process. (Note: You should plan to have your LSU single sign on activated and be able to access your LSU email account prior to completing your SEVIS Check in.)

Step 1: Complete the New Student Information Form online. This form collects what ISO advisors need to review before reporting your arrival in SEVIS.

  • Review the New Student Information Form Help Guide for a list of materials and information you will need before completing your form.

Step 2: Update your local address and U.S. phone number in MyLSU.

  • Your physical address in the U.S. must always be added to the Local Street Address screen to update your SEVIS record.

Step 3: Register for a virtual SEVIS Check in with ISO to review your materials.

  • The Check in will be a 15-minute virtual meeting. For a smooth appointment experience, we recommend that you plan to join the meeting from a laptop or tablet as opposed to your phone to facilitate screen sharing.

International Student Orientation is typically held the week before classes start and is mandatory for all new international students. At orientation, you will have the opportunity to learn about LSU, to discuss how to be successful here, and to gather important information regarding your non-immigrant status.