Frequently Asked Questions

ExpandApplication/admission

ExpandHow do I check the status of my application to LSU?

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  • LSU Graduate School applicants can check their application status through the Graduate School’s Website under “Prospective Students.” If you need clarification about your application status, contact the Graduate School at gradadm@lsu.edu.
  • Undergraduate applicants can access their myLSU account for information about their application status. (Your myLSU login and password were emailed to you immediately following submission of your application.) If you need clarification about your application status, contact your admissions counselor at intrntladm@lsu.edu.

Note: If you have forgotten your myLSU password, click here. If you are still unable to access your account by following the instructions listed there, you can e-mail the ITS Help Desk at helpdesk@lsu.edu. In your e-mail to them, explain the problem that you are having in trying to access the myLSU account and indicate that you are a newly admitted international applicant. If you are outside of the United States, you also should include that in your e-mail to the ITS Help Desk.

ExpandHow do I defer my admission/enrollment to another semester?

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International Services does not have the capability to defer your admission in the LSU system. To request that your admission is deferred,

  • Graduate applicants should contact your academic department and the Graduate School (gradadm@lsu.edu).
  • Undergraduate applicants should contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at intrntladm@lsu.edu.

Note: Applicants are only allowed a certain number of times in which they can defer to another semester, so you may need to re-apply for academic admission. Contact the academic admissions staff for more details.

ExpandCan I apply for admission to LSU if I do not have financial documents to provide with my application?

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Yes, your admissions application will be processed by the academic admissions staff office even if your financial documents are not provided with your application. It is recommended that you submit your Affidavit of Support and proof of funding to International Services as soon you can so as to not delay the processing of your I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility.

ExpandEnrollment/Registration

ExpandWhen can I register for classes?

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First time LSU students cannot register for classes and pay tuition and fees until after they arrive at LSU, take the Michigan English Placement Test (if applicable), submit an immunization form, meet with an academic advisor, etc. (You can click here to read basic information about these topics, but you will get further instructions at the International Student Orientation program.)

ExpandHow do I pay tuition and fees?

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Regarding actual payment of the tuition and fees, please visit the Office of Bursar Operations’ website and click on “Important Registration Information.” If you have any further questions, you can e-mail their office at bursar@lsu.edu.

ExpandCan International Services remove my course registrations holds?

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International Services does not have the ability to prevent students from registering for classes. We also do not have the ability remove course registration holds. These are the LSU offices that can lift holds:

  • English Department
  • Department/College advisor
  • Student Health Center
  • Undergraduate Admissions (for undergraduate students who have been provisionally admitted)

ExpandFinances

ExpandHow much does it cost to attend LSU?

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Some students need more money to live here and others need less. Due to the high number of international students who are admitted to LSU each semester, International Services is unable to customize each student’s I-20/DS-2019 to reflect his/her living accommodations and spending patterns. For the current list of international students’ estimated expenses that are listed on the I-20/DS-2019, please visit our Finances section of this website.

Note: The estimates for tuition/fees are based on the minimum credit hours needed to maintain full-time enrollment, which is required by U.S. Immigration for F-1/J-1 students. For information about costs per credit hour, please visit the Office of Budget and Planning’s website to view the fee schedules.

ExpandDo I have to complete an Affidavit of Support?

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All prospective students who plan to apply for an F-1 or J-1 visa (or already maintain that visa status), will need to submit an Affidavit of Support and proof of funding. Those persons who hold and plan to maintain their visa status in other visa categories (for example: A-1/A-2 dependents, H-4, L-2, TD) do not need to provide an Affidavit of Support. The Affidavit of Support form can be downloaded by clicking here.

ExpandWhen do I submit the Affidavit of Support?

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We recommend that you submit an Affidavit of Support as soon as possible so as to not delay the processing of the I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. In order for our office to issue a I-20 or DS-2019 for you, we need to verify the availability of funds to cover your estimated expenses for at least one academic year. (For the current list of estimated expenses for international students, please visit the Finances section of this website.) The Affidavit of Support form can be downloaded by clicking here.

ExpandWhy is proof of funding required?

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International Services is required by U.S. Immigration to verify that prospective F-1 or J-1 students have sufficient funds to cover all of their estimated expenses for at least one academic year before we can issue an I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility. You will also need to provide the same proof of funding when you apply for the U.S. student visa at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy.

ExpandHow do I apply for a Graduate Assistantship?

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All applications for graduate-level financial assistance (like assistantships) begin with an LSU department. You can find more specific information on the LSU Graduate School’s website by clicking on “Financial Assistance.”

ExpandI am an admitted undergraduate applicant. How do I apply for LSU scholarships?

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LSU Financial Aid & Scholarships is in charge of the selection of scholarships for undergraduate applicants, and you can e-mail scholarships@lsu.edu with any questions about LSU scholarships.

ExpandWhen will I know if I received an LSU scholarship?

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If you are awarded an LSU scholarship, you will be notified by e-mail from LSU’s Scholarship division. If you have any additional questions about LSU undergraduate scholarships, e-mail scholarships@lsu.edu.

ExpandDo I need to submit an Affidavit of Support if I receive a LSU scholarship?

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Yes, you will have to submit an Affidavit of Support for at least the balance that the scholarship does not cover. For more information, click here.

ExpandHealth Insurance

ExpandDo I need to have health insurance while I am at LSU?

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Yes. It is mandatory that all F-1 and J-1 students purchase health insurance that meets University criteria. For more information, click here.

ExpandHow much does LSU’s health insurance plan cost?

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LSU offers a health insurance plan for which F-1 and J-1 students are automatically charged on their fee bill each semester when they register for classes (unless a private insurance plan is approved). The LSU plan costs $1,970 per year.

ExpandWhere can I get more information about LSU’s health insurance plan?

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Details on the LSU health insurance plan and waiver options will be presented at International Student Orientation program and also can be found here as well as information about pre-existing conditions and pregnancy visits. Dependents of enrolled students are eligible to purchase similar insurance coverage via International Services.

ExpandCan I use my family’s health insurance instead of the LSU plan?

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Yes, you do have an option of substituting the LSU medical health-insurance plan with a private medical health-insurance policy, but please be aware that it must meet or exceed all LSU criteria for F visa status holders, and LSU and DOS criteria for J visa status holders. The private insurance company must complete an “Insurance Coverage Evaluation form” by the insurance deadline date at the beginning of each and every semester, and this evaluation form must be completed for each semester of enrollment.

ExpandWhat is the University’s criteria for coverage?

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Click here to see the Health Insurance Requirements.

ExpandHousing

ExpandHow do I apply for on-campus housing?

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You can apply for on-campus housing through the Department of Residential Life’s website: www.lsu.edu/housing. Space for on-campus housing is limited, so you should apply as early as possible after you are admitted to LSU. Housing assignments are decided on a first-come, first-served basis.

For additional information regarding on-campus housing, e-mail reslife@lsu.edu.

ExpandWhere can I get information about living off campus?

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The University offers general information about living off-campus at http://offcampusliving.lsu.edu/. Other sources of information include the International Cultural Center, the International Student Association and other student organizations comprised of students from your home country (if there is one).

Please note that there are many apartments in Baton Rouge. You may want to make sure to locate an apartment near campus and near the bus route to and from LSU if you do not plan on purchasing a car.

ExpandIs there somewhere on campus that I can stay temporarily while I look for permanent housing?

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The International Cultural Center (ICC) on campus offers limited, temporary housing. For more information, click here.

ExpandI-20 form

ExpandWhy are my first and middle names in the first name field on my I-20?

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The SEVIS database system (where the I-20 is issued) is currently in a transition. The database will have only a “surname field” and “given name field” while the “middle name field” will be eliminated. We entered your name on the I-20 so that it is in compliance with those upcoming changes.

ExpandIs the school name on my I-20 correct?

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Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College is the full and complete name of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU has three other Louisiana campuses in addition to the one in Baton Rouge. They are in Alexandria, Eunice and Shreveport. If Baton Rouge is the university campus that you applied to attend, then your I-20 is correct.

Note: Click here for a history of LSU.

ExpandI applied to the Master’s program, but my I-20 states that the length of my program is 36 months. Is this correct?

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The 36 months that is listed on the I-20 is the average amount of time it takes students to complete the Master’s program. It is certainly possible to complete your degree in less time, like 24 or 30 months. International Services puts the average length of time because we do not have the capability to customize each student’s I-20 to his/her specific Master's degree program.

If you want to know how long it takes most students in your program to complete their program, you can contact your academic department as they would have a better idea of that information.

Note: The same answer applies for the Bachelor’s program (average of 60 months) and the PhD/Doctorate program (average of 72 months).

ExpandCan I arrive at LSU after the date indicated in the “Remarks” section of my I-20 form as the last day to enroll?

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No. Students cannot come to the U.S. after the last day to enroll because of the University’s academic calendar: The date listed in the “Remarks” section is the last day to register for classes at LSU. Students must be registered or enrolled for classes in order to maintain their F-1 visa status.

International Services has to report LSU’s academic calendar to U.S. Immigration every semester, so we cannot change the dates on I-20 forms to accommodate individual international students (even if the arrival delays are through no fault of their own but due to visa, flight, and other delays).

ExpandWhat do I do if I can’t arrive at LSU by the last day to enroll (in the “Remarks” section of my I-20 form)?

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You may want to consider deferring your admission to the next semester of enrollment if you are unable to get to LSU before the last day to enroll. To receive instructions on how to defer your admission, you will need to contact the admissions office. (Graduate students can e-mail gradadm@lsu.edu. Undergraduate students can e-mail intrntladm@lsu.edu.)

ExpandMy I-20 is not signed on the third page. Does this make my I-20 invalid?

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The I-20 form that you have (with the signature on the first page only) is a valid I-20. The reason why there is no signature on the third page is because that area of the I-20 is signed after you arrive in the U.S. and want to travel for a short period of time outside of the U.S. This signature for travel will allow you to re-enter the U.S. (See the information on the third page of the I-20 directly above the signature area.)

ExpandImmunizations (vaccines)/Tuberculosis testing

ExpandDo I need to submit an immunization form?

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Yes. Louisiana state law requires proof of dates of immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus-diphtheria, and meningitis for all LSU students.

ExpandWhere do I get an immunization form?

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You can download the Immunization Compliance form from the LSU Student Health Center’s website: http://www.shc.lsu.edu/immunizations.html.

ExpandWhere do I send my completed immunization form?

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The LSU Student Health Center needs to receive your completed immunization form. (Their contact information is on the bottom of the second page of the form).

ExpandDo I need to be tested for Tuberculosis?

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LSU requires that certain students be tested for past exposure to tuberculosis (TB), depending on their country of origin or recent travel. For information about TB testing requirements, contact the LSU Student Health Center directly at immunization@lsu.edu.

ExpandWhen should I undergo the Tuberculosis (TB) skin test?

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You are strongly encouraged to undergo tuberculosis testing prior to departing for the U.S. If you wait to complete TB testing and treatment after your arrival to LSU, it could cost you about $700 USD, depending on your TB test results and any further medical evaluation that may be required. Please be aware that these additional expenses may not be covered by insurance or any other source other than your own personal funds.

Also, if you wait to be tested or treated for TB until you are in the U.S., you will NOT be allowed to register for classes until all necessary testing/treatment is complete. The testing/treatment process can take up to 4 weeks and would delay your course registration for the same amount of time. Failure to timely register for courses will affect your lawful student status with U.S. Immigration and your ability to remain in the U.S. Therefore, you are strongly encouraged to undergo tuberculosis testing prior to departing for the U.S. You will need to provide documentation of the tuberculosis skin test results and treatment for a positive skin test on LSU’s Immunization Compliance form. At risk students will not be exempted from tuberculosis screening or treatment under any circumstances.

ExpandMichigan English Placement Test

ExpandDo I have to take the Michigan English Placement Test?

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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. For more details, click here.

ExpandI received high marks on the TOEFL/IELTS test. Do I still need to take the English Placement Test?

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The TOEFL or IELTS rates your English proficiency. The Michigan English Placement test is used to determine what (if any) additional English writing courses you may need to take while at LSU so that you can be a successful student in all of your courses.

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. For more details, click here.

ExpandOrientation

ExpandDo I need to attend the International Student Orientation program?

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All F-1 and J-1 students who have never attended LSU must attend the International Student Orientation program. This is the venue in which you will report to International Services at LSU by completing immigration paperwork. (Reporting is required to maintain your F-1 or J-1 student status.)

International students who are not in F-1 or J-1 status are not required to attend International Orientation but are welcome to attend if they choose.

Click here for more you need to know about the International Student Orientation program.

ExpandI have already signed up to attend the freshman/transfer orientation. Do I also have to attend the International Student Orientation program?

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Yes. All F-1 and J-1 students who have never attended LSU must attend the International Student Orientation program, which is different from the freshman/transfer orientation. International Orientation is where you will report to International Services at LSU by completing immigration paperwork. (Reporting is required to maintain your F-1 or J-1 student status.)

ExpandHow much does it cost to attend the International Student Orientation program?

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There is no cost to attend the International Student Orientation program. Click here for more details.

ExpandDo I need to register for the International Student Orientation program?

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Registration is not required to attend the International Student Orientation program. Click here for more details.

ExpandDo I need to register for the Freshman or Transfer Orientation?

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Registration is required for the Freshman or Transfer orientation programs. Since these two programs are conducted by the LSU Office of Orientation, all questions regarding the Freshman or Transfer Orientation should be directed to orientation@lsu.edu.

For information about the Freshman Orientation, click here.

For information about the Transfer Orientation, click here.

ExpandOther

ExpandHow do I contact students from my home country who are already students at LSU?

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There are various student associations on campus that can put you in contact with LSU students from your home country. To find registered student organizations at LSU, click here and go to “Find an Organization.” The international students’ groups can be found by using the search type “cultural.”

If your home country does not have a registered organization, you can always reach out to the International Student Association on campus

ExpandI am bringing my family with me to Baton Rouge, and I need to find a school for my children to attend. Where can I find that information?

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The East Baton Rouge Parish School System’s Web site has information on local schools.

If you have any other questions that are not answered here, please visit the rest of the “Prospective Students” section of our website. If you still cannot find the answer to your question, you can e-mail isodoc@lsu.edu and someone will respond to your query as soon as possible. Thank you.