While applications are considered throughout the year, students wishing to be considered for university and college multiyear fellowships must have their applications completed no later than December 1.
On this page you will find:Review Process
Required Application Materials
- University Application and Fee
- Current Curriculum Vitae
- Statement of Professional Goals
- Writing Sample
- Letters of Reference
- Graduate Record Examination
Additional Required Application Materials for International Students
Each application is reviewed by a committee of faculty members from the Department of Teacher Education. The review committee considers the following factors in assessing applicants:
- Strength of academic and professional education record.
- Potential for intellectual, educational, professional, or civic leadership.
- Fluency in oral and written expression.
- Compatibility of applicant’s stated goals with those of the program.
- Conformity with university and college admission requirements.
There are no fixed deadlines for applications. The committee reviews applications on a regular basis throughout the year. The committee may recommend acceptance or denial of admission to the program, or it may recommend holding an application and requesting more information. If the decision is to admit the applicant, a temporary advisor will be assigned to the applicant. Applicants are notified of the department’s decision by mail and e-mail as soon as possible after the review.
Although applications for admission can be reviewed at any time during the year, it is in the best interest of students to complete their applications as early as possible in the academic year. Anyone wishing to qualify for one of the competitive fellowship awards must have a complete application on file. Moreover, assistantships and departmental fellowship monies are awarded in early spring, and it is easier to match students’ interests with available opportunities if the Department knows earlier rather than later who is in the new entering cohort.
The Department reserves the right to make a provisional acceptance to the program in the case of any student whom it perceives to have deficiencies that preclude an outright acceptance decision, but which are not so great that rejection would be the appropriate admissions decision. In general, the Department will not admit students who cannot eliminate deficiencies within one year of admission to the program. At the time of provisional acceptance, how the student can meet the provisions will be spelled out in detail in the letter of provisional acceptance, including specification of date when failure to eliminate deficiencies will mean that the student cannot continue in the program.
Note: All forms needed for application are linked in this document.
University Application and Fee
Those seeking admission to an MSU graduate program must complete a university application to graduate school. The Graduate application is completed online, and the payment (payable in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank or with credit card) is $50 for both domestic applicants and international applicants. The MSU Office of Admissions website also includes considerable information about related issues at the university. As part of the university application, international students are required to submit a statement of financial proof. Completed forms can be submitted via the internet or mailed.
Materials to be sent by (or on behalf of) the applicant
Most of the following materials should be sent electronically to the Doctoral Program Secretary.
Current Curriculum Vitae
Applicants may choose their own format of a curriculum vitae or use the format of the sample vitae provided (provide link). A copy of the CV should either be sent electronically (as a PDF or Word document) or mailed to the Doctoral Program Secretary.
Statement of Professional Goals
Applicants also submit a statement of their professional and personal goals. The statement should discuss reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree. In the statement, applicants should respond to the following questions: How have your experiences and intellectual growth shaped questions that an advanced graduate program might help you to explore? What sorts of academic and professional leadership roles would the program and degree help you to assume? This statement is a very important part of the file for the review committee. Candidates should present a thoughtful and extended verbal portrait (2-3 pages long single-spaced) of their reasons for pursuing advanced graduate study, the match between their goals and the program’s characteristics, and the major issues of scholarly and professional interest that they wish to explore during their graduate career. Statements should also include a discussion of any leadership roles the applicant has held as well as any professional/personal obstacles the applicant has overcome. This statement should either be sent electronically (as a PDF or Word document) or mailed to the Doctoral Program Secretary along with the CV and the writing sample described below.
Applicants submit one or more examples of academic writing (e.g., something that they have published, a master’s thesis, or a paper submitted to fulfill graduate course requirements). The sample must have been authored exclusively by the applicant. The purpose is to demonstrate the candidate’s ability to write academic English in order to give the review committee a clear idea of how well the candidate will be able to carry out the kind of analytical writing that is such a central component of advanced graduate study. The paper should be at least 10 pages long (double spaced). International students in particular need to see this sample as a way to demonstrate their command of English. Toward this end, a translated abstract of a master’s thesis is of no help. (If a student does not have an appropriate extended piece of academic work in English that can be submitted along with the application, please contact the PhD Program Coordinators.) Copies of the writing sample(s) should either be sent electronically (as a PDF or Word document) or mailed to the Doctoral Program Secretary.
Letters of Reference
Applicants should submit three letters written by those who can attest to their academic ability or their professional qualifications (e.g., professors with whom courses were taken, a master’s degree advisor, or a professional supervisor). Reference writers should be given a copy of the recommendation of admission PDF DOC (signed by the student) and asked to attach a letter to this form. The purpose of these letters is to elaborate the qualities the applicant brings to the program that are likely to make him or her successful in advanced graduate study. As a result, it is most helpful to solicit letters from individuals who know the candidate’s academic and professional skills. Letters from instructors who taught the candidate at the master’s or undergraduate level are particularly effective for this purpose. Letters should be mailed directly by the reference writer to the Doctoral Program Secretary.
Applicants must have one copy of their official (sealed) transcripts sent from all degree granting institutions attended, except from MSU. Transcripts should be sent directly to the Doctoral Program Secretary.
Graduate Record Examination
Applicants must take the GRE General Test as part of their application (If you have taken the test in the past, test results are valid for five years). The GRE is administered on computer at a number of centers across the United States (including on campus at MSU), and scheduling is quite convenient. When registering to take the GRE test, please make sure you provide them with the following two codes: The MSU code is 1465. The department code is 3101. Since test results are sent directly by GRE to the program, providing GRE with the correct codes will ensure your results reach us. It normally takes 2-3 weeks for GRE to send us the results, so please make sure to allow for that time in considering the timeline for your application. To expedite the review process, applicants may wish to send an unofficial copy of the GRE results via mail (or email) to the Doctoral Program Secretary.