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Academic Policies

Doctoral Planning Guide

Core Course Experiences:


*Year one cohort classes, Ed.D. and Ph.D., on Saturday 9 am – 1 pm


EAD 920*

  Political Economy of Schooling

3 Cr.

08/24/13 – 11/09/13


EAD 922*

  Analyzing Educational Systems

3 Cr.

11/16/13 – 02/15/14


EAD 923*

  Organizing for Learning

3 Cr.

02/22/14 – 05/10/14

Fall - spring

EAD 921

  Leadership and Transformation (online)

3 Cr.

09/02/13 – 05/02/14


EAD 980

  Engaged Leadership and Summer Forum

3 Cr.

05/12/14 – 08/15/14


EAD 991A

  Human Resouces Special Topics

3 Cr.

05/12/14 – 08/15/14



EAD 924

 Data and Decisions

3 Cr.

08/27/14 – 12/12/14


EAD 926

 Finance and Operations

3 Cr.

01/05/15 – 05/01/15


 EAD 991A

Social Justice Issues( Online)

3 Cr.

08/27/14 – 05/01/15


EAD 980

Engaged Leadership and Summer Forum

3 Cr.

05/11/15 – 08/14/15


EAD 929

Collaborative Inquiry

3 Cr.

05/11/15 – 08/14/15



EAD 981A

  Capstone Project I (with Coach)

4 Cr.

08/26/15 – 12/11/15


EAD 982A

  Capstone Seminar I (with Faculty)

2 Cr.

08/26/15 – 12/11/15


EAD 981B

  Capstone Project II (with Coach)

4 Cr.

01/11/16 – 05/01/16


EAD 982B

  Capstone Seminar II (with Faculty)

2 Cr.

01/11/16 - 05/01/16



Requirements for Certification


The Michigan Department of Education is currently finalizing the application process for preparation programs to follow in seeking approval of their programs to qualify graduates for the Central Office Administrator Certificate. Michigan State University is preparing its application for approval of the Doctor of Educational Leadership program. Approval should be complete by commencement of Cohort 1.

DEL prospective and current students, however, should be aware of the following restrictions.

1. How to apply for Administrator Certification.


Applying for a certificate, renewal, license or additional endorsement is a two step process. To apply, applicants must:

  1. Submit materials required by the MSU Certification Office in a single packet to 134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 (to view materials required by MSU.

____Application for the Administrator Certificate, completed, signed (in ink) and dated
____ Conviction Disclosure Form, completed, signed (in ink) and dated
____ Applicants with convictions must also submit a Register of Actions or Judgment of Sentence from the court in which they were convicted, or a letter from the MSU Certification Officer indicating that the conviction has already been reviewed.
____ Clear copies of all Michigan certificates issued to the applicant (Provisional, Professional, renewals, additional endorsements, etc.).
____ An MSU transcript will be obtained by this office; however, official transcripts for non-MSU credits that will be applied to this certificate must be on file. Applicants will be notified if additional transcripts are needed. Transcripts must be sent directly to the MSU Certification Office by the institution. Transcripts designated as “student copy” or official transcripts sent by the applicant will not be accepted.
Transcript(s) will be sent from ______________________________________________________________________.
____ Evidence of legal name change, if applicable (driver’s license, marriage certificate, etc.)


  1. Initiate an application with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) using the Michigan Online Educator Certification System (MOECS).


Instructions for Initiating a Certification Application Using MOECS

These two steps can be completed in either order or concurrently; however, both steps must be completed before the certificate can be issued. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.  

*A $50.00 certification processing fee is required         

2. Reciprocity regulations for Michigan State University.

Hybrid, on-line, and off campus programs are considered "distance-learning" programs. Michigan State University arranges reciprocity agreements with other states. There are some restrictions, however, of which prospective students should be aware.

State Authorization
The U.S. Department of Education requires an institution offering distance education programs to acquire authorization from the states in which it operates. Specific regulations vary from state to state.

Michigan State University is not seeking authorization in Arkansas or Maryland. Students whose resident address is in Arkansas or Maryland at the time of application for admission to Michigan State University are not eligible to apply to MSU online programs.

Students whose resident address at the time of application for admission to Michigan State University is in one of the following states are eligible to apply to MSU online programs, but they should note the following disclaimers.

Alabama ‐ State authorization to provide a program related to the preparation of teachers or other P‐12 school/system personnel does not indicate eligibility for an Alabama certificate. Applicants for an Alabama certificate based on reciprocity must meet Alabama’s test requirements and submit a valid, renewable professional educator certificate/license issued by another state at the degree level,
grade level, and in the teaching field or area of instructional support for which an Alabama certificate is sought and for which Alabama issues a certificate. Applicants for Alabama certification in an area of administration must also document at least three years of full‐time employment as an administrator in a P‐12 school system(s). ‐

Louisiana ‐ Michigan State University is currently licensed by the Board of Regents of the State of Louisiana. Licenses are renewed by the State Board of Regents every two years. Licensed institutions have met minimal operational standards set forth by the state, but licensure does not constitute accreditation, guarantee the transferability of credit, nor signify that programs are certifiable by any professional agency or organization.

Minnesota ‐ Michigan State University is registered as a private institution with the Minnesota Office of Higher Education pursuant to sections 136A.61 to 136A.71. Registration is not an endorsement of the institution. Credits earned at the institution may not transfer to all other institutions.

For additional information, please visit and

For a map showing up‐to‐date authorization by state, please visit:

Enrollment Status


All students using University services (faculty consultation included) for graduate work must be registered for each semester in which they access these services. Minimum registration consists of one course of 1 credit.

Graduate students may carry up to 16 credits each semester.   The maximum number of credits, however, is determined by the department or school. A student load above 16 credits requires approval by the student's dean. Enrollment in doctoral dissertation research (course number 999) credits need not be counted in determining maximum credits.

Full Time Student Status
In order to be considered full time for academic purposes, students must carry the minimum number of credits per semester [excluding summer] as defined below:

Doctoral level . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 credits

Continuous Enrollment:
A student must be enrolled for at least 1 credit each semester while completing the degree. (Academic Programs, p. 58)

Residency Requirement

There is a residency requirement for the doctoral program: at least six credits in two consecutive semesters must be earned on the MSU campus. Most doctoral students will complete their residency by completing the first year required core courses.

Time Limitation
For the Doctor of Educational Leadership degree, all of the examinations must be passed within five years and all remaining requirements for the degree must be completed within eight years from the time when a student begins the first class at Michigan State University that appears on his or her doctoral program of study.

Application for extensions of the eight-year period of time toward degree must be submitted by the department/school for approval by the Dean of the College and the Dean of the Graduate School. Upon approval of the extension, doctoral comprehensive examinations must be passed again.

Transfer Credits

A decision to accept transfer credit is made by the admission committee at the same time an acceptance decision is made.  Because of the compressed timeframe of the Ed.D. and the careful scaffolding of experiences throughout the program, approval of transfer credits will be a rare occurrence.

Transfer courses need to have been completed within the time limits approved for earning the degree (a total of 8 years). Only graduate-level courses in which at least a 3.0 (b) grade was received will be considered for transfer.

Academic Standards

Michigan State University is committed to high academic standards and expects all doctoral students to excel in their programs of study.

Attendance: Regular attendance is expected, instructors will inform the students of course attendance requirements and penalties that may be incurred as a result of failure to comply with these requirements.

Grades: A 3.0 cumulative grade-point average in the degree program is the minimum University standard. However, attainment of the minimum grade-point average is in itself an insufficient indicator of potential for success in other aspects of the program and the field. The grading system is as follows: 4.0, superior; 3.5, excellent; 3.0, good; 2.5, fair; 2.0 poor; 0/1.0/1.5, failure and in specific courses, P-N (Pass- No Grade). Once grades have been submitted in to the registrar’s office, they may only be changed by the course instructor through written application. A student whose semester grade point falls below a 3.0 receives a written warning indicating unsatisfactory academic performance. 

Academic Provisional Status and Probation: At times, students are admitted to the program on “academic probation” due to concerns with their prior record, usually related to low entering grade-point average and/or test scores. The terms of admission on provisional status are stipulated in the students’ admission letter and are evaluated upon their completion. Students whose cumulative grade-point average falls below a 3.0 will be placed on academic probation the following semester. The student will work with her/his academic advisor and guidance committee to be restored to good standing. Students on academic probation should regularly meet with the academic advisor. Students shall have the right to appeal in accordance with the GSSR guidelines.

Students who do not earn a Pass on the Preliminary Portfolio Exam can re-submit the portfolio again the next semester. Students who do not earn a Pass after the second review will not be permitted to continue in the DEL program. Under exceptional circumstances a student may petition the DEL faculty for a third review opportunity. The written petition needs to provide sufficient evidence of the student’s ability to succeed in the program and should be developed in conjunction with the academic advisors. Petitions are reviewed at a regularly scheduled faculty meeting.

Incompletes, Defers, and Extensions

A student who, for compelling reasons, finds it necessary to postpone the submission of required course work may petition their instructor for the grade of Incomplete (I), Defer (DF), or Extension (ET). A form for this request must be completed by the instructor of the course and contain all information requested, including a description of the work the student will complete and the due date, which cannot be later than the date specified in the academic calendar. The form must be signed by the student, instructor, and department chair (or designee). The last day to request an incomplete and submit the form is indicated in the academic calendar. 

The grade of I, DF, or ET remains on the student's transcript along with the final grade, once submitted by the instructor. 

  • A grade of “I” or incomplete may be given after a student has satisfactorily completed 12 weeks of the course but is unable to complete the work within the allotted time period because of “illness or other compelling reason,” and the professor believes that the student can complete the work without repeating the course. The work must be completed and a grade turned in no later than next academic term, whether or not the student is enrolled. (If the student does not enroll in subsequent semesters than s/he has up to a year to complete the course requirements.)

  • A grade of “DF” or Deferred may be given only to graduate students who are doing satisfactory work but cannot complete it because of reasons acceptable to the instructor. Deferred grades need to be resolved within six months with the option of a six month extension, although the instructor may stipulate a shorter time frame. 


If a student fails to submit the outstanding work to the registrar's office by the specified due date, the grade will be converted to the alternate letter grade previously submitted by the instructor or a “0”. In special circumstances, the department chair has the authority to grant an extension for the submission of overdue work as long as it is agreeable to the instructor. This extension must be sent in writing.

Writing Standards

Scholarly writing has its own set of rules and conventions that are different from those of creative or technical writing. As a graduate student in the DEL program, you will be required to meet rigorous writing standards and APA Style (See Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). 

Plagiarism: In essence, plagiarism is the use of another person's words or ideas without proper acknowledgment. It is imperative that writers appropriately paraphrase, use quotation marks (direct citations), and credit their sources both within the text and in a reference/bibliography. An instructor that suspects that a student has committed plagiarism will provide the student with an opportunity to present and explain the origin of the work. In addition, the instructor will explore whether the student understands the relevant standards of academic conduct. If the instructor determines that a minor offense has occurred s/he may require the student to resubmit the assignment or assign a penalty grade – either a reduction or a “0” -- to the paper. In this case, the instructor must follow reporting procedures presented in the GSSR manual. Questions about the handling of plagiarism cases should be directed to the Department Chair.

Clear and cogent scholarly writing takes practice. Here are two important resources for the graduate student:

A. Overview of scholarly writing:

B. APA Style Information: