Prospective Students

Welcome from the faculty of the Department of Biological Sciences at Louisiana State University. We hope the information at this site will help you in your selection of a university for your graduate studies. Please explore our site to learn more about our Department, the Divisions, our Faculty and our Graduate Program.

Our graduate program is designed to be flexible in order to meet the many needs of our students. We have two degrees, biochemistry and biological sciences. The biochemistry degree is the more rigorously defined of the two, with more specifically required courses. Since the biological sciences degree is applicable to more fields, the specific courses required are tailored to meet individual student requirements.

All accepted students can receive support from the department as a Teaching Assistant for up to 5 years (3 years for the Masters) assuming that they continue to make progress toward their degree. Additional support may come as a Research Assistantship (arranged via the major professor) or student fellowships. Minimum stipends for Ph.D. students are presently $23,000 over 9 months, with many advisors providing summer support as well.

We encourage you to use the information contained here to help select an area in which you are interested. Our faculty listing includes research descriptions, as well as recent publications lists. The LSU Graduate School pages are also a good resource.

To ensure full consideration of your application, please submit all material by September 28 (for Spring admission) or January 3rd (for Fall admission).  Applications may stack up over the winter holiday, so earlier submission for Fall admission (by 17 December) is encouraged.

To apply to our program, follow the link to the LSU Graduate School. They will request that you complete a form with several sections, not all of them exactly what we need.  To aid in the selection process, we would appreciate applications that have been tailored to our interests as follows:

Academic Experiences - Use this section to highlight experiences that have prepared you for the research you aim to pursue.

Statement of Purpose - Use this to explain why you want to go to graduate school (history of interests, career goals), what you hope to learn (specific fields and techniques), and how our  faculty match your needs.  We encourage you to contact specific professors who match your interests before applying.  To assist us in reviewing your application, at the end of this statement please include a line indicating which section (BMB, CDIB, SEE) you are most interested in and listing 1-4 professors you are most interested (this list is not binding).

We do not require or use a writing sample (that's one of the things we use your Statement for). As of Fall 2020, we no longer require a GRE score. 

If you are an International student or on tight finances and would like to have your application pre-evaluated, send your GPA and TOEFL scores, and statement of purpose, along with references for any publications, to Dr. Hellberg directly ( Please be aware that international students are rarely admitted to the Masters program; again, inquire to Dr. Hellberg if you have a question regarding this. If you have further questions or need additional information, you may contact us at:

Graduate Program
Department of Biological Sciences
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA 70803 USA
Phone: 225-578-1556
Fax: 225-578-7299

You may be able to get an application fee waiver if you are a US citizen or permanent resident who belong to under-represented group or hold active or veteran military status. Graduate School Fee Waivers.

LSU is an equal opportunity/access university