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Doctoral Application Process

Admissions Deadline for Fall 2024: December 1, 2023

Please Note:

The link to start the application is:

Contact the School Psychology Program Coordinator at for questions that may arise.

We are glad to see you are interested in the MSU School Psychology Ph.D. Program! We encourage you to learn about our student group and our faculty, or take a tour of the MSU campus.

We invite you to reach out to a current Ph.D. student or contact a faculty member with any questions about the program or the admissions process.

Admissions Criteria for Ph.D. Program

We seek applicants who are interested in working as doctoral-level school psychologists. Professional activities include research, assessment, intervention, and consultation with the school-aged population, their caregivers, educators, and other professionals.

We believe our profession benefits from the perspectives of those who differ by gender, ethnicity, race, culture, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, socioeconomic class, and varying abilities. We encourage diverse individuals to apply to our program and to seek out opportunities to serve divers clients and systems.

Faculty Members Accepting New Doctoral Advisees for the Fall 2024 semester are:

  • Dr. Kristin Rispoli
  • Dr. John Carlson
  • Dr. Courtenay Barrett
  • Dr. Dante Dixson
  • Dr. Charis Wahman
  • Dr. Martin Volker

Checklist of Application Steps (Details can be found below)

  1. Complete the University Application
  2. Submit your fee of $65 OR e-mail to explain your fee waiver
  3. Provide contact information for three recommendation letter writers
  4. Upload your Academic Statement and Personal Statement
  5. Upload your Writing Sample
  6. Upload your Curriculum Vita or Resume
  7. Upload a brief Written Statement indicating that you can complete an internship of 2000, full-time, clock hours
  8. Have one official copy of your Transcripts sent from each previous institution attended
  9. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) score submission is optional for Fall 2024 admissions applications. The GRE will be mandatory for future admission cycles.
  10. For International students only: Complete Step 4 outlined below
  1. Step 1: Start your University Application
    • Create account and complete the University Application
      • All applicants should be for Fall Semester (FS). If you are a returning applicant, or you need to select a new term, please contact the program coordinator (
      • Provide Personal Background Information
      • Provide contact information for three recommendation letter writers
        • For each recommender, include: Title (e.g., Dr. or Ms.), first and last name, job title, employer, and e-mail address. Ensure you have a mutual agreement with your recommender prior to submitting their information into the system. You may need to follow up with your recommenders regarding missing letters to complete your application. Seek recommendations from individuals who are knowledgeable about your academic performance and ability to work effectively with people.
      • You will come to a supplemental questions page; please leave the “what influenced your decision” question blank but please answer all other questions on application. Your applicant statement will answer that question for us and we need an uploaded document.
  2. Step 2: Upload Supplemental Materials
    All materials required by the program need to be entered in order to be considered by the admissions committee. If you forget to upload documentation, or are waiting to submit documentation, you can login to the application portal after you have submitted the application to upload your supplemental documents, request letters of recommendation, and check the status of your application. There is a section at the bottom titled “upload materials”. The University application does not request all the items required by the program, so please make sure the requested items below are added to your application.
    • Required Materials:
      • Please submit a statement describing both your Personal and Academic reasons for applying to graduate school in School Psychology. Upload the statement to BOTH the personal and academic statement sections.
        • This document is a key component of your application. See description of content and formatting of this statement. Use this statement to make a case for why you’re a good fit with the research team of one or two of the school psychology faculty.
      • Upload your Writing Sample
        • Submit an example of academic or professional writing. Present evidence of previous research experience (e.g., a master’s thesis or scholarly paper, work on a research project, publication in a professional journal, or a presentation at a professional conference).
      • Upload your Curriculum Vita or Resume (specify “Resume” as the document type)
        • A teaching certificate is not required, however evidence of experience working with children, youth and families in school, community or agency settings is desirable.
      • Upload a brief written statement (one sentence) indicating you can complete an internship of 2000, full-time, clock hours. Specify “Applicant Statement” or “other” as the document Type.
  3. Submit your fee of $65
    • Applicants whose graduate application fee is waived MUST notify the School Psychology program assistant at to ensure your application is reviewed by the admissions committee. If you need to request a fee waiver, please contact the School Psychology Program Coordinator. Waivers cannot be fulfilled until you have submitted an application, stopping on the payment portal page.
  4. Step 3: Other Application Materials
    • Have one official copy of your Transcript sent to our program from each previous institution attended.
      • These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution; please contact the registrar’s office at your institution for the procedures. Transcripts must indicate a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution either conferred or in progress. Individuals with advanced degrees (e.g., M.A., M.E., Ed.S.) are encouraged to apply; students entering the program with an advanced degree may have some requirements waived.
      • Supply evidence of previous successful academic performance, including a minimum grade point average of 3.0 in the last two years on undergraduate coursework and a minimum grade point average of 3.5 in graduate coursework.
      • If you have taken coursework at other institutions, but did not earn a degree (i.e. took a couple of courses), you may use unofficial transcripts for these.
      • Have your institution send the transcripts directly to: School Psychology Program Assistant
        620 Farm Lane, Rm 435
        East Lansing, MI 48824-1034, USA
      • Applicants from Chinese Universities: Please see the link provided below.
    • Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE):
      • Please Note: GRE score submission is optional for Fall 2024 admission applications. It will be mandatory for all future academic cycles. Designate Michigan State University (1465) as an official recipient of your scores.
        • The verbal, quantitative and analytical portions of the GRE should be submitted. Typical scores for students admitted into our program fall within the above average range. The college requires that the GRE must have been taken no longer than five years prior to the application for admission.
        • Information on testing may be obtained from:
  5. Step 4: (For INTERNATIONAL students only)
    International students must meet additional university-level requirements for admissions.
    • Demonstrate proficiency in English:
    • Upload Proof of Financial Support to the GEA portal
      • International applicants are required to submit an Affidavit of Support and financial proof. This statement, which is found on the Grad School’s International Applicants information page, must originate from your source of support and must be a certified, original statement with stamp and original signature.

Interview Day

The admissions committee review all applications and select a group of approximately 10-15 applicants to invite to campus for a day-long interview. Invited applicants are expected to participate in the on-campus interview with current faculty and students. If a campus visit is not feasible, program staff work with applicants to make other arrangements. Interview Day will be 1/19/2024.