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How to apply

Guiding you through the process

We understand that applying for graduate study can be an anxious time, but we have put together some helpful information to guide you through the process.


Please read carefully the information in this section and follow the instructions given sensibly; this will help to ensure that everything runs quickly and smoothly. 

You will be able to track the progress of your application online. Most delays and confusion are caused when applicants do not follow our instructions.

You must apply early, as competition for programmes at LSE is intense. Your application will not be considered until we have received all your supporting documents. Wherever possible you should submit all of your documents with your online application. You should expect to wait an average of 8 weeks for a decision when applying for a taught programme; decisions for a research programme may take longer than this.

Important:  LSE expects all applicants to complete their application materials without the use of paid agents or other paid professional assistance. The use of such services may lead to the rejection of application materials, the revocation of an admissions offer, cancellation of admission, or involuntary withdrawal from the University.

Unscrupulous agents have been known to charge large sums to applicants, and then to submit fraudulent transcripts and references. They have refused to allow applicants access to their own records on our Graduate Applicant Portal Applicants have been left unable to attend LSE and having to sue the agent for financial redress. Agents who claim to 'guarantee' entry to LSE are lying. All applications are considered on their own merits and all applicants can and should submit their own information.

NOTICE: Please be aware of an issue that has come to our attention regarding email junk/spam filters. Some email software is filtering LSE emails to the spam/junk or ‘Deleted Items/Bin’ folder so please make sure to check there for important information regarding your application. If you do find any of our emails in any of these folders, please make sure to add the domain to your ‘Safe Senders’ or ‘Never Block’ list. Emails will be sent to you automatically from our database system once you have begun your online application and as your application progresses through each step in the process (application created; application submitted; application downloaded for processing). We will then send you a further email each time there is an update to the status of your application, including any requests for further information and the programme selectors’ decision on your application. It is essential that you ensure you can successfully receive our emails as soon as you begin your application.

Online application

You will need to create an account in the online application system using your email address. You should use the same email address for your application and any enquiries to us. You do not need to complete the online application form at one sitting; you can return to your partially completed application by logging back into the system using the email address and password you create at the start of the process.

You may submit an application via the online application system only ONCE within the application cycle (October 2023 to September 2024), so before submitting your application you should ensure that you have included all of the information you would like the selectors to review. Any further changes after your application has been submitted must be requested via the Graduate Applicant Portal and will be subject to our current processing times.

You must upload all of your supporting documents and nominate two referees via the online application system. The online application allows you to submit your complete application securely and quickly. Your submitted application will not be processed and considered until we have received all the required supporting documents, including a reference from each of the referees you nominate on your online application.

If you encounter any technical issues while completing your application, please use the “technical support” link located in the bottom-left corner of the application portal to contact us. If you begin a further new application you will not be able to transfer any information, documents, or references between them. 

Additional programme choices

When completing your initial online application, you may choose up to two programmes in order of preference. If you are applying for two programmes, please submit a separate statement of academic purpose for each programme. Your choices will be considered in sequence, and it is only possible to hold one offer of a place, so if you are offered a place on your first-choice programme you will not be considered for your second-choice unless you specifically request it. If you receive an offer on your first choice, and wish us to send your second choice to be considered too, please use the Add/Amend programmes form on the Graduate Applicant Portal, selecting your current second choice programme as the programme you wish to be considered for.

If you are unsuccessful in your application to both of your initially chosen programmes and you wish to be considered for further, additional choices, you may do this by submitting the Add/Amend programmes via the Graduate Applicant Portal and paying an additional administrative fee of £105. You should not use this form to add choices 3 and 4 before receiving a decision on each of your original programme choices, unless you wish to withdraw your initial programme choices.

Please note that changing your programme choices after you have submitted your online application may cause significant delays to your application being considered.

You are not permitted to submit an application using the online application system more than ONCE in the same admissions cycle. If you submit a second online application within the same admissions cycle, it will not be considered. To apply to further programmes after you have submitted your initial online application, you must use the process above.

Supporting documents

All applications must be accompanied by supporting documents. Some of these are required by all applicants, others are only needed for specific programmes. Details of specific requirements are given on the programme pages.

Please consult our guide to supporting documents for full information about what you will need.

  • Use common sense when reading this information. We are being as clear as we can about our requirements and there are no trick questions or hidden traps.
  • We ask you to provide the documents as requested (or as close to them as you can manage) so that we can make a good decision on your application.
  • Don't overload your application with extra documents - the selectors won't have time to read them and we really don't need them.
  • Don't panic about the length of your statement of academic purpose or research proposal - your statement of academic purpose should be typed and no longer than two sides of A4 paper. There is no fixed word limit, but we expect this to be no longer than 1,000 - 1,500 words. Some programmes have specific requirements which are different to this; please check the relevant programme page for information.
  • We offer guidance to help you. Read it and act sensibly on it.

Please do not send supporting documents directly to departments as this will delay your application.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that your application is complete, including both references, your statement of academic purpose and CV, your transcript(s), the application assessment fee, and, where applicable, GRE/GMAT scores, your research proposal and/or your sample of written work.

Double Degree programmes

LSE has developed a number of programmes which are administered jointly with other institutions such as Peking University in China and University of Southern California in the USA. Any additional requirements for these programmes will be listed on their individual programme pages. Selectors from both institutions consider your application, and this means that it may take a bit longer for a decision to be made on these programmes than on the single centre programmes, however we do expect the decision to be communicated to you within the 8 week turnaround window. We will advise you of the decision as soon as possible.

Fraud prevention

We take active steps to scrutinise and verify documents received during the application process. If we are unable to verify independently the accuracy of information supplied, your application may be cancelled and any offer withdrawn.