A transfer student is a student who has attended another college or university before attending MSU, with the exception of the summer immediately following high school graduation.
Direct Transfer Admission to the Teacher Preparation Program
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 passing 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 +
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:
- 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.
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Until October 1, 2025, scores on SAT subtests may be combined with scores on ACT subtests and PRE subtests.
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
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.
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:
- Are currently enrolled at MSU
- Have earned at least 28 credits (or will have earned at least 28 credits by
the end of the application semester)
- Have a cumulative GPA of at
least 2.5 at the end of the application semester
- 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 (SAT)
- Have successfully
completed any developmental coursework required in mathematics and/or
writing (e.g., MTH 1825)
FAQs for Transfer Students