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Application & Admissions for Transfer Students

Applications Available

Do you already have your bachelor's degree?

View the instructions for Post-Bachelor's admissions here

Who is a transfer student?

A transfer student is a student who has attended any post-secondary institution after high school graduation, with the exception of the summer immediately following high school graduation.

Direct Transfer Admission to the College of Education

Direct transfer admission refers to admission to the teacher preparation program in the College of Education concurrent with admission to Michigan State University. Students who do not meet the eligibility requirements for direct transfer admission to the College of Education may transfer to MSU and then follow the regular admission process for MSU undergraduate students. MSU undergraduates typically apply in the Fall Semester of their sophomore year, but can also apply in a subsequent Fall Semester and accelerate their program.

Applying for Direct Transfer Admission

Test Scores Required for Admission

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires that all teacher candidates demonstrate basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

The MDE will accept passing scores on the MTTC Professional Readiness Exam (PRE), the ACT (if taken before 9/23/17) and the "new" SAT (if taken on or after 3/5/16) for this purpose. If you have already taken the PRE, the ACT, or the new SAT and have scores that are considered passing, you have met the testing requirement. If your scores do not meet the passing criteria established by MDE, you will need to take or retake the SAT. Although PRE scores and ACT scores from before 9/23/17 are acceptable, SAT is the only test that can be taken after 9/23/17. Passing SAT scores may be combined with passing PRE scores and passing ACT scores until October 1, 2025 (only ACT scores from test administrations before 9/23/17 are acceptable). If you have taken the PRE, ACT or SAT more than once, we will use your best score in each subarea across multiple test dates.

SAT scores required for admission are:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 480 or higher
  • Mathematics: 530 or higher

ACT scores (from tests administered before 9/23/17) required for admission are 22 or better on the Reading, Mathematics and English + Writing subtests. 

Although the MDE requires an ACT score of 22 in English + Writing, ACT no longer offers an English + Writing subtest. Effective September 1, 2015, the ACT English + Writing subtest was replaced by a new ACT Writing subtest. A score of 22 or higher on an ACT English + Writing subtest taken prior to September 2015 is still acceptable. A score from the new ACT Writing subtest (taken September 2015 or later) can be combined with your best ACT English score using the ACT Writing/English Combined Score table and several simple steps:

  1. If you took the ACT Writing test between 9/1/2015 and 9/1/2016, you will need to convert your ACT Writing subscore to a “concordant value” using the two horizontal rows at the top of the table. Find your ACT Writing subscore in the top (green) row and convert it to the concordant value in the (gold) row below it. If you took the ACT Writing test on or after 9/1/2016, you may skip this step.  
  2. Combine your best ACT English score in the vertical column on the left with your ACT Writing score taken after 9/1/2015. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in green, your score is 22 or greater and acceptable for admission. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in red, it is less than 22 and does not qualify for admission to the teacher preparation program.

For applicants who have passed two subtests on the PRE and/or ACT (e.g., for those who have passed two PRE subtests, have passed two ACT subtests, or have passed one PRE subtest and one ACT subtest), a scaled PRE score within -1 Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) of the PRE passing scaled score (220) may substitute for a pass in the third area. SAT scores (or MTTC Basic Skills scores) may not be combined with PRE subtests or ACT scores for this purpose. Minimally acceptable scores (within -1 SEM of the passing score) for each test administration have been posted on the MTTC website. Generally speaking, scores within -1 SEM of the passing scaled score (220) are:  193-200 (depending on the test administration) for Reading, 196-198 (depending on the test administration) for Mathematics, and 197-202 (depending on the test administration) for Writing.

In Summary:

  1. The final administration of the MTTC PRE was on 9/23/17. PRE results will always be valid (as will the results of an earlier test, the MTTC Basic Skills Test).

  2. ACT scores must be based on test administration dates before 9/23/17. ACT scores and PRE -1 SEM scores from test administrations before 9/23/17 will be valid until 10/1/2025.

  3. On October 1, 2025, ACT scores and PRE -1 SEM scores will no longer be acceptable as alternate pass measures, even if the test administration was on or before 9/23/17.

  4. For students who do not meet minimum test scores for either the ACT or PRE based on tests taken prior to or on 9/23/17, the only acceptable test (after 9/23/17) is the new SAT test (administered 3/5/16 or later). Acceptable scores are 480 or higher on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 or higher on Mathematics. Applicants must take the entire SAT. Taking only portions of the SAT will make it impossible for us to use the results for admission to the teacher preparation program. Taking the additional Writing test is not necessary.

  5. Until October 1, 2025, scores on SAT subtests may be combined with scores on ACT subtests and PRE subtests.

Additional Assistance

If you need to improve your SAT scores, you will find free test preparation information on the College Board SAT website. Tutoring and test preparation support is also available. Please call the Student Advising Office for more information (353 9680).

Using Your Scores to Apply for Admission to the Teacher Preparation Program

Before students can be admitted to the teacher preparation program, MSU must receive official notification that they have demonstrated basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing. Applicants who are registered to take/retake a test, but have not yet taken it, may apply; however, they cannot be admitted until official, passing results have been received.

For students in our current applicant pool, we will apply alternative pass measures automatically (i.e., it is not necessary for applicants to request this). However, we cannot speculate or advise students who are not in our current applicant pool about their scores, as we are unable to predict what MDE policies will be in effect if/when they apply for admission in the future.

Applying to MSU

Prospective transfer students interested in earning teacher certification must first submit an online application for undergraduate admission to the MSU Office of Admissions, and indicate on the application their intention to earn a teaching certificate. Students interested in becoming elementary or special education teachers should select Education or Special Education as their major. Students interested in becoming secondary education teachers should select the major corresponding to the subject they wish to teach (e.g., Mathematics, English, Biology, Art Education, etc.).

When a transfer applicant indicates an intention to pursue teacher certification, the MSU Office of Admissions determines if he or she is eligible for direct transfer admission to the College of Education. To qualify for direct admission a student must have: 

  • At least 42 transferable credits at the time of admission
  • An overall GPA of at least 3.1 (including all courses, all attempts, all schools)
  • No remedial math or writing courses required at the time of transfer to MSU (students must have exceeded the Intermediate College Algebra level by course credit or placement score prior to admission)

College of Education Online Application for Direct Transfer Admission

The MSU Office of Admissions determines eligibility for direct transfer admission and provides eligible students with a link to the online College of Education Direct Transfer Admission application. Students should apply as early as possible (i.e., once 30 or more credits have been earned and current enrollment is expected to yield 42 or more credits). Students selected for direct transfer admission must meet the following requirements at the time of their matriculation at MSU to retain their admission status in the College of Education: 

  • Transfer of at least 42 credits 
  • Completion of all remedial/developmental coursework (e.g. Intermediate Algebra)
  • Overall GPA of at least 3.1 (including all courses, all attempts, all schools) 
  • Demonstration of basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing using a test approved by the Michigan Department of Education 
  • Final transcripts sent to the MSU Office of Admissions

Students applying for admission to Special Education must complete the Special Education Pre-Admission Experience and submit the form to the Special Education advisor 134 Erickson Hall.

College of Education Online Transfer Application and Essay

Only students who receive a link from the MSU Office of Admissions are eligible to complete the online application for Direct Transfer Admission.

  • The online application contains information about how to schedule the required timed and proctored essay at a testing site on the MSU campus. There is a $20 essay scoring fee that must be paid online (within the application) using a credit card, debit card or checking account.
  • Paper materials should be returned to 134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • Official transcripts must be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships, Room 250 Hannah Administration Building, East Lansing, MI 48824.
  • Applications that are incomplete cannot be considered.

Application Deadlines

Applications for direct transfer admission are reviewed on a rolling basis. To be considered, applications must be complete by the following deadlines (or the closest business day when the 15th falls on a weekend). Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Admission decisions will be communicated approximately four to six weeks prior to the start of the admission semester. Please contact the Student Affairs Office at (517) 353-9680 with questions.

  • May 15 for Fall Semester
  • November 15 for Spring Semester
  • March 15 for Summer Semester

Traditional MSU Undergraduate Application Option

Students who are not eligible for direct transfer admission may transfer to MSU and then apply to the teacher preparation program through the regular MSU undergraduate application process which occurs during the Fall Semester of each year. Undergraduates who have transferred to MSU are eligible to apply if they:

  1. Are currently enrolled at MSU
  2. Have earned at least 28 credits (or will have earned at least 28 credits by the end of the application semester)
  3. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 at the end of the application semester
  4. Have demonstrated (or will demonstrate before end the application semester) basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing using a test approved by the Michigan Department of Education
  5. Have successfully completed any developmental coursework required in mathematics and/or writing (e.g., MTH 1825)

FAQs for Transfer Students

For More Information

Please contact the Office Of Student Affairs
134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, Michigan 48824 -1034
Telephone: (517) 353-9680