The School of Graduate Studies is dedicated to developing a culture that fosters the recruitment, nurturing, and retention of a diverse student body that is reflective of our larger community. Thus, students of all racial and ethnic backgrounds are encouraged to apply to our programs. Applications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran’s status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit factor.
The requirements for unconditional admission to the School of Graduate Studies are:
- A baccalaureate degree from a college or university approved by a regional accrediting agency
- Grade point average of at least 2.5 for undergraduate work, and 3.0 grade point average for graduate work, on a 4 point scale and based upon all work for which a grade is given
- Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination (varies by program)
- Satisfactory standing at the most recent educational institution attended. Transcripts from all international applicants must be evaluated by a global credentialing service (such as World Education Services or Educational Credential Evaluators) at the expense of the applicant.
- International applicants must present acceptable scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Acceptance to a Departmental or IGP program. It should be noted that individual Departments may establish higher requirements than the minimum standards of the School of Graduate Studies. Thus, a student meeting minimum Graduate School requirements may not meet the requirements of a particular Department.
- International applicants who are accepted must provide a copy of their passport page that includes the student photograph to the Department of application. This document will be included with the visa application form.
Provisional Admission: Applicants who satisfy most requirements of the School and are accepted by the Department of choice but who are unable, for good reason, to supply all required credentials prior to the stated deadline may request provisional admission. In these instances, complete credentials must be received no later than sixty days after the first day of classes (forty-five days in the summer term).
Probationary Admission: Applicants who fail to meet all qualifications but who are nevertheless judged by the Departments concerned and by the Dean to show promise for successful graduate work may be considered for probationary admission on the merits of their individual cases. These applicants will be required to meet specific Departmental or Graduate School requirements prior to admission.
- The School of Graduate Studies does not award credit or advanced placement for any previous work experience or professional work certificate obtained by a student prior to admission. At the recommendation of a Department, and with approval by the Associate Dean of the Graduate School, some coursework may be waived for students who enter a PhD program after having completed an advanced degree program such as M.S., MD or DVM.
- Annual registration dates are listed in the Academic Calendar on the Registrar’s page on our website. An invoice outlining all university charges is issued to the student’s LSUHSC-Shreveport email account each academic term for which the student is enrolled.
- Fees charged by the university are due by the date indicated on the invoice. This date is the first day of classes as designated in the Academic Calendar. Accounts will be considered delinquent on the 15th day of a Fall/Spring semester or the 8th day of a summer semester. All inquiries regarding invoices of university charges should be directed to the Bursar’s Office. Students must be prepared to begin their studies at the beginning of the semester in which they first register.
- Registration is accomplished electronically through the Student Self-Service Portal. In addition, registration information must be submitted online via FormStack. Full-time students must register for at least 9 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters and 6 credit hours in the summer term. Permission to exceed the 15 hour credit limit may be granted by the Dean. All students engaged in research should register for the appropriate research category in the department of residence as required by the Department. Students should continue to register for research as appropriate during the majority of their enrollment.
- Students should register for Exam Only (see below) for the semester in which they expect to present their thesis/dissertation defense. Students should register for Diploma Only (see below) if they completed all their degree requirements in the semester before the defense but missed the Academic Calendar deadlines.
Fee Payment Options:
- Credit card - the fee bill can be paid with a MasterCard or Visa at the Bursar’s Office window located on the first floor of the Medical School, B Building, Room 1-218.
- Mail - students can print and return the invoice and payment to the LSUHSC-Shreveport Bursar’s Office, PO Box 3332, Shreveport, LA 71130-3932
- In person - fees can be paid by cash, check or money order at the Bursar’s Office window located on the first floor of the Medical School, Building B, Room 1-218
Special Status Students:
- An applicant may seek to enroll in Graduate School courses as a non-matriculating Special Status student. The applicant must have earned a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.5 and 3.0 for graduate work is required. An official transcript must be sent from the college or university to the School of Graduate Studies.
- The applicant must submit to the School of Graduate Studies a letter signed by the director of the course in which the applicant wishes to enroll. The letter must state the course number, title and number of credit hours, as listed in the LSUHSC-S catalog. The applicant letter must arrive in the Graduate School Dean’s office for approval at least two weeks before registration. If approved, the applicant must fill out an application form at least one week before registration. This procedure applies for each term in which the student wishes to enroll in a course.
- At registration, the student will pay the registration fees according to the Graduate School fee schedule. A maximum of 12 credit hours of graduate credit earned as a Special Status student will be considered for meeting a graduate degree requirement in the School of Graduate Studies. Credit hours earned as a Special Status student may not be used to meet degree requirements in the School of Medicine or the School of Allied Health Professions.
- Former students in the School of Graduate Studies who wish to resume work after an absence of more than one semester will be required to submit an application for re-admission at least ten days before registration. Supplementary transcripts must be submitted if any work has been performed at another institution during the interim. Exceptions to this requirement will be only by successful petition of the Dean.
Students applying to medical school
- Graduate students who apply for admission to the LSUHSC School of Medicine, or any other LSU professional school, shall not be enrolled in the professional school until they have completed the graduate program or formally withdrawn.
Adding and Withdrawing Courses:
- An Add/Drop form, available on the Registrar web page, must be signed by the student, advisor, Department Head and Associate Dean before returning to the Registrar. A copy of the form must be submitted to the Graduate Studies Office.
- For courses of 1 credit hour, the final date for adding the course is 5 class days after the beginning of the course. The final date for dropping or withdrawing from the course and receiving a grade of “W” is 5 class days from the last day of the course. If withdrawal is requested with less than 5 days remaining in the class, a grade of “F” will be assigned.
- For all other courses, 10 class days will be allowed as described above.
- If a student discontinues a course without completing the required withdrawal form, a grade of F will be assigned for that course.
Grading System and Requirements:
- In the School of Graduate Studies, courses are in either a graded system in which a grade of A has the value of 4 quality points per semester hour, a grade of B has 3 points/ semester hour, C has 2 points/ semester hour, and a D has only one point value. F grades carry no points; “I” grades indicate unfinished work. The other grading system is Satisfactory (S) /Unsatisfactory (U). Research, seminar and journal club courses will be graded only using the S/U system. Methods courses given for letter grades must be approved in advance by the Graduate Advisory Council and by the Dean. In some Departments, a course with a C grade or less may not be accepted for credit toward a degree and must be remediated. Students in serious scholastic difficulties (C grades or lower) may be dropped from the rolls at the end of any semester if the Department and Dean feel that the student is not qualified to continue.
- Academic Probation: To receive a graduate degree, a student must maintain an average grade of at least a B (3.0) on all work taken as a graduate student. Credits from S/U courses are not used in computing the grade point average. A student will be placed on academic probation if his/her grade point average (GPA) drops below a 3.0 in any semester. The student will then be allowed one calendar year (three consecutive semesters) to raise the GPA to 3.0 or above. The student will be dropped from the rolls of the School of Graduate Studies if at least a 3.0 GPA is not achieved in this time period.
- Incomplete Grades: An incomplete (I) grade is given for work that is of passing quality but, which because of circumstances beyond the student’s control, is not complete. An instructor may assign an “I” only with the written authorization from the Associate Dean. It is the responsibility of the student to request and justify the “I” grade.
All course requirements must be completed by the 7th day of the summer semester or 14th day of the Fall/Spring semester. If the requirements are not met by this deadline, the “I” will convert to a failing (F) grade or Unsatisfactory (U) grade. If the student’s circumstances preclude removal of the “I” by the deadline, the student or instructor may, before the deadline, petition the Dean for an extension.
- Examination Only status: Students who have successfully completed all the degree requirements except for the final dissertation/thesis defense and submission of the final dissertation/thesis, may register “for examination only” (X999). A student is only eligible for this status if they will be defending their dissertation/thesis in the semester in which they have registered. Exam only status students are enrolled for zero credit hours and their enrollment status is reported as less than half time. Students will be assessed a graduation fee. Students enrolled in “Exam only” may contact the Student Financial Aid Office for information regarding their eligibility for federal student financial aid.
- Diploma Only status - A student is only eligible for this status if they have successfully defended their dissertation/thesis, resolved any “I” Incomplete grades in their final semester, and met all degree requirements prior to the last day to add classes (14th day of classes during Fall/Spring semesters; 7th day of classes during a Summer term) for the semester of graduation. Diploma Only status students are enrolled for zero hours and their enrollment status is reported as less than half time. Students may be assessed a graduation fee. Students enrolled in “Diploma only” may contact the Student Financial Aid Office for information regarding their eligibility for federal student financial aid.
Statement of Satisfactory Academic Progress: A student who is permitted continuous enrollment is considered to be making satisfactory progress. The Departments and the Dean review the qualitative and quantitative academic progress of each student. A student may be permitted to remediate upon the recommendation of the student’s Department and concurrence by the Dean. Such a student is considered to be making satisfactory academic progress during the period of remediation.
Time Limit for Earning Degrees: The School of Graduate Studies requires that all work towards a PhD degree be completed in no more than eight calendar years and all work towards a M.S. degree must be completed in no more than four years. A student who changes from the PhD program to the M.S. program must complete his/her degree requirements within four years of admission or one year after the switch is made from the PhD program, whichever is longer. Any requests for deviation from this policy are subject to approval by the student’s Graduate Research Committee and the Dean.
Degrees for Full-Time Faculty and Staff: The School of Graduate Studies will not award graduate degrees to full-time faculty of the Health Sciences Center above the rank of Instructor, or to other employees of equivalent status.
Full-Time Employees: LSUHSC-S employees may register for up to six (6) hours of credit per semester and three (3) hours in the summer term if the following terms or requirements are met:
- Course registration requires written approval of the employee’s immediate supervisor and Department Head. The employee must deliver the letters to the School of Graduate Studies at least two weeks before registration.
- Completion of a Graduate School application form.
- At registration, the employee will pay for the course according to the Health Sciences Center Fee Schedule, but employees may qualify for tuition and fee exemption. Criteria include:
- at least one year of 100% service prior to class registration
- non-academic or other academic employment (faculty are excluded)
- only 3 hours per week of educational leave may be taken during work time. Additional time for coursework must be recorded as Annual Leave or Leave Without Pay
- good academic standing is required for continuing use of the program.
- If approval is granted, the student must submit the original request form and two copies to the Office of Graduate Studies on or before the registration date for the relevant semester.
- Full-time employees who are accepted into the M.S. program as part-time students may qualify for tuition exemption as described above. After being accepted into the program, the student may register using the student portal system.
- All employees must comply with LSUHSC-S Student Health requirements and also must maintain health insurance. A Course Schedule Form must be completed, signed by employee’s supervisor and submitted at Registration.
Course Audits: Enrolled students may audit courses without credit. To audit an entire course, the student must request permission from the course director. If the course director informs the Registrar at the that a student is auditing, the course audit will appear on the student’s transcript. Persons not enrolled in the Graduate School will not be permitted to audit graduate courses.
Graduate Student Leave
- Annual leave All full-time graduate students are entitled to 10 working days of annual leave per academic year during which the stipend will be continued. Unused leave does not accumulate (i.e., it does not carry over to the next year). The academic year starts on July 1 and ends on June 30 of the following year. The student is expected to prepare written requests for leave indicating the desired dates for annual leave. The request for annual leave must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the desired dates for annual leave to the student’s Dissertation Advisor (or Departmental Program Director for those students who have not yet selected a Dissertation Advisor) and Department Head. Maternity/paternity leave is considered annual leave, so leave beyond 10 days in one academic year will be considered leave without pay.
- Leave of Absence Students wishing to take a temporary break in enrollment, for reasons other than academic, must apply for a leave of absence from the institution. Leave of absence is defined as any time period longer than the 10 days that students are allowed for annual leave, and is considered leave without pay. Leave of absence may be granted for extended illness, disability or personal reasons. Stipend support for the student may not be extended during the leave of absence period. The student is expected to prepare a written request that fully outlines the reason for the request and indicates the dates on which the leave of absence will begin and end. As much notice as possible should be given to the student’s Dissertation Advisor (or Departmental Program Director for those students who have not yet selected a Dissertation Advisor), Department Head and Dean of Graduate Studies prior to the beginning of the leave, and at least two weeks written notice prior to returning to school. The Graduate School office is required to notify the Office of the Registrar whenever a student requests a leave of absence. If the leave of absence extends beyond one year, the student must reapply to the program and will be considered in the applicant pool for that department.
- Funeral leave Students are permitted 2 days of funeral leave to attend services or burial rites for immediate family members (father, mother, sibling, spouse, child, in-laws, grandparents, grandchild, and stepfather, stepmother, and step-siblings). The student should submit a leave request indicating the desired dates for funeral leave to the Dissertation Advisor (or Departmental Graduate Program Director for those students who have not yet selected a Dissertation Advisor) and the Department Head. If not requested prior to the absence, appropriate forms must be completed and submitted immediately after funeral leave has been taken.
- Pregnancy or other medical condition leave A full-time graduate student who has been in the program for at least one year is eligible for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) leave for pregnancy or chronic medical condition. FMLA leave extends up to 12 weeks and a physician’s release is required to return to school. An additional 4 weeks can be allowed if there are complications. If the father of a newborn works for LSUHSC-S, the father and mother are limited to sharing a combined total of 12 weeks. Because circumstances may require that FMLA leave begins before the actual date of birth of a child, FMLA paperwork should be completed as soon as pregnancy is diagnosed and returned to Human Resources (HR). HR should be notified when the physician certifies that the student is unable to continue working, and a medical release should be provided to HR when the student returns to school after the birth of the baby. The student’s (both mother and father) stipend will be paid for any available unused annual leave of up to 10 days during the FMLA period. For full-time students who have been in the program for less than one year, 6 weeks is allowed for pregnancy leave. This leave is not covered by FMLA.
- Exceptions In exceptional cases, extended leave with pay may be granted. Approval of the Dissertation Advisor (or Departmental Program Director for those students who have not yet selected a Dissertation Advisor), Department Head and Dean of Graduate Studies must be obtained in such cases. All hours of annual leave must be used before a student will be granted a request for extended illness, disability or personal leave with pay.
Withdrawing from the LSU Health Shreveport
- All students admitted to a School of Graduate Studies program are expected to continue enrollment until completion of the program. Students who cease enrollment in ALL classes for a given term will be considered withdrawn, unless the student has received an approved Leave of Absence. For clarification, a student who remains enrolled in one class is still considered enrolled.
- A student who wishes to withdraw from the University, for any reason, must submit a signed resignation letter to their Program/Department Chair. They must also meet with the Associate Dean, who will submit a completed Withdrawal Notification Form to the Office of the Registrar within two business days of the date they were notified that a student provided official notice of withdrawal. The Office of the Registrar will report change in enrollment status and the date the status change occurred to the Offices of Student Financial Aid and the Bursar. Some academic programs may require additional clearance actions for students leaving the institution.
Transfer between Departments Graduate students wishing to transfer from the graduate program in one Department (Department A) to that offered in another (Department B) must:
- Resign from Department A by directing letters of resignation to the Department Head and Dean of Graduate Studies.
- Submit an application for admission into Department B. This application will be placed into consideration with the pool of applicants in Department B. The previous acceptance into Department A does not guarantee admission into Department B. Department B will provide a letter of acceptance into that program to the Graduate School Office. Only one transfer per student is permitted.
Transfer from the PhD program into the M.S. program Students enrolled in a PhD program may choose to transfer to the M.S. in Biomedical Science program. The reason for the transfer may be personal, based on Departmental evaluation/recommendation, or because the student was unsuccessful in passing the preliminary/qualifying exam process. Students must be in good academic standing at the time of transfer. For transfer, the student must submit to the Graduate School Office:
- a completed application form for the M.S. program (forms available in the Graduate School Office)
- a letter of acceptance into the M.S. program from the Department, signed by the Department Head
Transfer from the M.S. program into the PhD program Students enrolled in the M.S. in Biomedical Science program who are in good academic standing have the opportunity to apply for transfer into a Department PhD program. The student must submit a completed application to the PhD program to the Department and the Graduate School. Upon acceptance into the program, the student must provide the letter of acceptance, signed by the Department Head, to the Graduate School Office.
Individual Development Plan (IDP)
Each student is required to complete and submit an IDP form for each year of enrollment in the program. The IDP policy, described later in this handbook, is meant to assist students in achieving their career goals. The IDP form includes an annual report of the student’s activities as well as defined plans for the following year. Signed, completed forms must be submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies by July 31 of each year, to include information from the previous academic year (July 1 through June 30).
Stipends: Students enrolled full-time in the PhD program are eligible for stipend support. Students in the PhD program who transfer to the M.S. program are eligible for stipend support for up to six months following enrollment in the M.S. program, provided that the funding for the support is derived from either the student’s mentor’s account or departmental accounts. These stipends range from $24,000 to $26,000 per year, depending on the Department and the status of the individual student. For example, in some Departments, the stipend is increased by $1,000 per year when the student has passed the qualifying exam. Students who have passed their qualifying examinations are encouraged to apply for predoctoral fellowship awards through external granting agencies or intramural support (see below). Maintenance of eligibility for stipend support is determined on an annual basis by the Departmental evaluation of the individual student’s performance during the previous academic year.
Other Support - Extramural: Students are encouraged to apply to granting agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Heart Association, Department of Defense, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute etc., to obtain individual predoctoral fellowships. Applicants should consult the Department Graduate Program Director and the Office of Sponsored Programs and Technology Transfer regarding the possibilities. Students are encouraged to submit their dissertation proposals to NIH as individual National Research Service Awards (NRSA). Students who receive competitive fellowships that pay for their stipend are eligible to receive a yearly stipend up to $28,000, with any supplement to be provided by the Department or their advisor.
Other Support - Intramural: Competitive predoctoral fellowships are offered through the LSUHSC-S intramural grants program. These fellowships are available to PhD students who have successfully passed their preliminary and qualifying exams. Students may apply for one of three different fellowship awards. The Malcolm Feist Predoctoral Awards are available to students who are involved in cardiovascular research. The Carroll Feist Predoctoral Awards are available for students whose dissertation project is an area of cancer research. The Ike Muslow Predoctoral Fellowships are available to students involved in areas of research that are not cardiovascular or cancer-related. These fellowships are $28,000 per year, initially awarded for one year, and renewable for up to two additional years, depending on the progress of the project. Additional information is available on the Office of Research website. Applications are accepted at both April and October submission deadlines, as described on the Office of Research website.
Expectations of Support: Full-time students who are receiving stipends or fellowships are expected to devote their full efforts toward their academic studies and research projects. These students are not eligible to receive additional funds from employment at LSUHSC-S, and should not seek outside jobs and/or part-time employment. Students in financial difficulty should discuss this matter with their mentor, the Department Graduate Program Director, the Head of the Department, the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and/or the Office of Student Financial Aid. Temporary (emergency) loans are available through the School of Graduate Studies (see below).
Tuition Waivers: Students enrolled full-time in the PhD and M.S. programs are eligible for full tuition and non-resident fee waivers. Maintenance of eligibility for these waivers is determined on an annual basis by the Departmental evaluation of the individual student’s performance during the previous academic year. Students enrolled in Examination Only or Diploma Only (see above, under Regulations) are enrolled for zero hours and the tuition of $100 is waived. Part-time students enrolled in the M.S. program may be eligible for tuition waiver depending on availability of funds. Priority for tuition waivers is as follows: PhD students, followed by full-time M.S. students, followed by part-time M.S. students, depending on availability of funds.
Student Fees: Student fees are determined each year by a vote of the LSU Board of Supervisors and consist of student union, health, yearbook, activity and operational fees. These fees must be paid by each student, including those who have tuition waivers. Fee amounts are based on the number of hours for which a student is registered and must be paid in full each semester/term. Students will receive an invoice by e-mail from the Bursar. For details, see earlier sections under Regulations, under Registration.
Graduation Fee: There is a one-time graduation fee for graduating students. This fee is charged for the semester in which the student intends to complete the degree requirements by the deadlines described in this handbook. When registering for the semester that the student pays the Graduation Fee, (s)he also pays the required student fees. Graduation fees are $107 for the PhD candidate and $32 for the M.S. candidate. This fee pays for the diploma, dissertation/thesis binding (2 copies) and a microfilming fee (for PhD students only). If the student does not graduate at the end of the semester in which (s)he pays the Graduation Fee, (s)he is charged a $5 diploma reorder fee for each following semester that (s)he is enrolled past the planned graduation semester.