Admission Deadline: December 1
Doctoral Admission Procedures
The first step to applying to Michigan State University and the Special Education doctoral program is to complete the University Application (with payment, see step 1 below). After completion of the University Application, you will receive an email inviting you to complete application materials in the GEA portal. (see step 2 below).
Complete your application on MSU’s application management system. Follow the steps listed below:
- Create account and login.
- Start New Application: Select Graduate from dropdown menu and Create Application.
- Provide Personal Background information.
- Under Other Information, select the first semester you wish to enroll in classes. To select Major Preference, scroll to the College of Education and select Special Education (Doctoral). Provide additional details about Enrollment Information, Communications preferences, and Financial Aid. It is not necessary to include the Personal or Academic Statement as requested in Other Information. Providing information on your experiences in the COVID-19 section is optional. Provide responses to Conduct Questions and Other from the dropdown menus and in text boxes where appropriate.
- Include all Academic History information. To begin, click on Add Institution.
- Test Scores: The GRE (Graduate Record Exam) is not required. All international applicants and applicants whose first language is not English must be able to be proficient in English as a condition for regular admission to MSU. Such applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standards. See Multilingual and International Applicants below for more information.
- Employment/Activities Page: Leave blank.
- References: Using Add Recommender, provide contact information for three people who are familiar with your academic and professional accomplishments and potential for success. The portal will then send out recommendation requests to the people you listed. The requests come from firstname.lastname@example.org. It is strongly recommended that one letter is from a current or past professor, academic advisor, or field instructor. If possible, the other two letters should be from current or past supervisors. Letters from friends or colleagues will not be considered. The letters must be current and specifically for the MAED. Letters previously used for other purposes cannot be accepted.
- Provide your Signature electronically by typing in your full legal name, then select Confirm.
- The Review section will provide you with a list of potential errors if a section has not been completed. Please return to those sections and make the appropriate corrections before finalizing the application and submitting your payment.
- Once you have finalized your application, you will complete the payment ($65 for domestic applicants of $75 for international applicants).
Once you have finalized your application, you will receive a confirmation email. You can then login to the application portal to upload and track your application materials. If you cannot submit the required materials in PDF format or have any questions, please contact the Special Education Program at email@example.com and (517) 353-1842
- Add the following documents in the application portal:
- Resume or Vita
- Academic statement and personal statement
- Provide a writing sample or we can provide you with a prompt.
- Request the registrar of each college or university attended to send one copy of each official transcript. We cannot accept transcripts sent by applicants. Transcripts of work taken at MSU need not be requested. Colleges and universities generally require both fees and time to process requests for transcripts. To be considered “official” the transcripts must have a university seal or notarization mark and be sent directly by the institution electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the following address:
Michigan State University
Counseling, Educational Psychology & Special Education
620 Farm Lane, Room 335
East Lansing, MI 48824
Requirements for English Language Proficiency
Applicants whose first language is not English are required to be proficient in English as a condition for regular admission to MSU. Such applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standards on any one of the following tests:
- Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
- Michigan State University English Language Test
More details about these assessments and minimum scores required by the University are given in the “application for Graduate Study,: p. 10, and can be found at www.grad.msu.edu
A few suggestions
As you prepare your application materials for submission, here are some specific suggestions to consider.
- Shop widely for doctoral programs, in and out of the College of Education, and make sure that Special Education is right for you. If you are not sure, contact us.
- If possible, don’t wait until the December 1st deadline to apply. Access to fellowships and the program itself are facilitated by submitting your materials before the deadline.
- Like it or not, GRE scores matter in doctoral admissions decisions, here and elsewhere. If you are not happy with your score, construct a plan to do a little study and retake the examination.
- Give close attention to your Professional and Scholarly Goal statement and make sure that it articulates your research interest(s), how that interest has arisen, and why it is compelling for you. If possible, describe how you have been thinking about exploring that interest and draw links to SPED faculty whom you think are doing related work.
- If possible, select a Writing Sample that is linked to your research interest.
- Understand that you are responsible for making sure that Recommendation Letters are submitted in a timely fashion. Access to fellowship support and admission to the program require 3 letters of recommendation.
- Most of all, make sure that you are ready for 5 years (typically) of demanding and exciting work to become a educational researcher and scholar!
- Department Application Forms
- MSU Graduate School
- Information for International Students
- Recommendation for Admission
In general terms, the special education program is looking for bright, well-prepared, highly-motivated applicants who feel strongly drawn to research and scholarship in special education. All applicants must be ready for full-time study that is more demanding and consuming than all their prior education. They must be ready to learn, to conceptualize, carry out and report innovative research.