Frequently Asked Questions
What is the major code?
Doctoral Program in Special Education: 1727
When is the application deadline?
Doctoral Program in Special Education: December 1
Do you require the GRE test and if so what scores do you need?
Yes, the GRE Verbal, Quantitative, and Analytical scores are required for admission into the Ph.D Special Education program. Please schedule your test early enough to insure your tests results can be scored and sent to MSU by the December 1 deadline. Test scores should be sent directly to MSU (Code 1465) Delays in score submission will delay decision-making about admission status and possibly decrease the probability of admission.
What has the greatest weight in terms of all the application materials?
There is a common misconception that there is one factor over all others that we emphasize in the evaluation of each application. The review is comprehensive and faculty consider each component of the application for the applicant's fit with the program philosophy, knowledge about the program and faculty members' interests and expertise, and experiences that reflect preparedness to assume graduate-level work.
What are the average GPA and GRE scores of students in the program?
For our program, the review commitee have found that GPA, GRE scores, AND other required components of the application materials (i.e., professional narrative, research, teaching, and leadership experiences, values) also have been found to significantly predict success. Applicants are cautioned about making a decision about applying based solely on GPA and GRE scores given the ranges found within each student cohort. Consequently, there have been cases where some applicants with extraordinarily high GPAs and/or GRE scores have not been admitted and those with more modest status have.
When are admissions decisions made?
Applications are due on December 1 and decisions typically will be made within 4-6 weeks.
When are you assigned an advisor?
Student advisor assignments are made by placing the student with a faculty member with similar goals and/or research interests.
Where can I get my grades, class schedule, billing information, account detail, etc?
You can visit Stuinfo
If I had a different major than special education (and related fields), could I still apply to the Special Education Program?
Yes, you may apply if your undergraduate or master's degree is in a field other than special education. Your personal goal statement should reflect your career or goal shift and include a brief explanation for your decision-making. Be aware that you may be required to take additional coursework in special education depending on your career aspirations and background.
Where can I get answers to other general questions I might have?
The Registrar's Office is open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m and can be reached at (517) 355-3300. Information is also available on the Office of the Registrar site. You may also make after hours and weekend inquiries with the university operators at (517) 355-1855.
For general technology questions, contact the ATS Help Desk at (517) 432-6200, or visit tech.msu.edu/support.
How do I enroll for classes?
Students may enroll for classes Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on weekends from 8:00 a.m. Saturday until 8:00 p.m. Sunday (subject to availability). You must have MSU NetID and password or your PID and PAN to enroll. Students cannot access the enrollment system until their assigned appointment time. All holds must be cleared before enrolling. For more information, read about Enrollment Information
How do I drop a course?
You can drop any course on the enrollment system through the middle of the term of instruction. Click on the section number in the Schedule of Courses to see important drop dates.
To drop a course after the middle of the term you must follow the regulations as enumerated in the General Procedures and Regulations section of Academic Programs.
If you wish to drop a course but have a hold, call the Registrar's Office at 517-355-3300 for assistance.
What type of funding is available (other than loans)?
The Special Education doctoral program currently offers 5 years guaranteed funding. In addition, students who meet the December 1 deadline for admissions are automatically considered for University and College fellowships and other awards, as well as Department graduate assistantships (such as a teaching assistantship). In the case of teaching assistantships, students must identify courses for which he or she might be suitable and apply for the teaching assistantship. The application may be found here.
The following are websites that provide potential options for students seeking funding opportunities in support of graduate education:
Please review each of these opportunities carefully; keeping in mind that although assigned advisors will support student's applications for funding upon request, each student must assume full responsibility for securing funding. Once a source of funding or employment position or assistantship has been identified, each admitted student must notify faculty of the site, provide a description of the position, and indicate the contact person and campus address. Where no letter is required, assigned academic advisors' contact information may be listed as references in the application process. Remember that it is imperative that this process occurs as soon as possible given that due to 9 month appointments, faculty are not as available for contact during the summer months as they are during the regular academic year.
Do I need to apply to graduate?
Yes, The first week of the semester you expect to graduate, submit the graduation application. If you expect to graduate in the summer submit this application in the first week of spring.
When will I receive my diploma?
Your diploma will be mailed to the address you provided on your graduation application approximately four weeks after the end of the semester that you graduate.
Where do I find information about commencement?
Go to the MSU Commencement website.
How do I set up a MSU Mail account?
Go to netid.msu.edu to set up your MSU NetID and e-mail account. Additional MSU technology resources are available at tech.msu.edu.
Do I need to use my MSU email account?
Your MSU email address is the only email address that the university will use to send official communication to students. However you may auto forward all incoming email to another service or account. Click on "MSU Prefs" in the sdiebar meu to access this setting.