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Application Procedures

Application Deadline

To be considered for significant financial support in the form of fellowships and assistantships, the application must be complete and the application fee paid by December 1.

Applications completed after the December 1 deadline will still be reviewed by the admissions committee at other times during the year. Because the program is small and only a limited number of the most qualified applicants can be admitted each year, late applicants are at a competitive disadvantage.

Eligible Applicants & Application Evaluation (Statement and Criteria)

Persons who hold degrees from a variety of disciplines may apply for admission to the doctoral program. Applicants with limited backgrounds in education or the underlying policy disciplines of political science, sociology, history, and economics, however, might be required to complete collateral work. Applicants must submit a sample of scholarly writing, official transcripts from all institutions attended, all Graduate Record General Examination (GRE) scores and three letters of recommendation.

A committee of faculty members reviews each application. The review committee considers the following factors in assessing applicants:

  • Strength of academic and professional education record
  • Potential for educational and professional leadership
  • Fluency in oral and written expression
  • Compatibility of applicant’s stated professional goals with the objectives of the program
  • Conformity with university and college admission requirements

The committee may recommend acceptance or denial of admission to the program, or it may recommend holding an application and requesting more information. If the decision is to admit the applicant, the program coordinator assigns a temporary faculty advisor. Applicants are notified of the department’s decision by mail and/or e-mail as soon as possible after the review.

NOTE: Some applications may be held in a waiting cue, pending student acceptance of initial admissions offers. Notification to students in the cue will come at a later date.

Required Application Materials

International applicants – please read the International Applicant section below before submitting application materials as described here.

International Applicants

The application process for international students is slightly different. International applicants must apply online and use the International application found on the MSU Graduate School website. Your application fee of $75 (U.S. Dollars) should be paid by credit card. If you must submit payment in the form of a check or money order please make it payable to Michigan State University and mail it to the Office of Admission, Michigan State University, Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250, East Lansing, Michigan 48824-2604, U.S.A. Be sure to reference your application ID number on the check or money order. Checks drawn outside the U.S. must be payable in U.S. funds through a U.S. bank. Checks drawn on foreign banks that do not have a correspondent U.S. bank may be returned. Do not send cash or international coupons. Paying by check may delay access to the Portal.

Summary of Application Process

  1. Apply Online (with payment)
  2. Submit the following items into the Graduate Education Applicant Portal (supplemental application system):
    1. Resume/Vita
    2. Statement of Professional Goals (uploaded as “Goal Statement”)
    3. Writing Sample(s) – minimum 1
    4. 3 Letters of Reference (submitted directly from the recommender through the portal)
    5. Unique materials (submitted as “Supplemental Application” through the portal)
    6. For International Applicants Only:
      1. Statement of Financial Proof/Affidavit of Support
      2. Official Bank Statement
  3. Submit the following by mail to Education Policy Ph.D. Program Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, Room 205 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824 or by e-mail direct from your institution.
    1. Domestic and International Official Transcript(s), directly from the institution(s).
  4. Submit electronically, directly from Electronic Testing Services (ETS) to school/institution code 1465:
    1. GRE results
    2. English Language Proficiency test results (International applicants only)
  5. If the application deadline is near and you do not believe that we will receive your official results in time, please submit unofficial copies of the following via an upload to the Portal or by e-mailing them to edpolicy@msu.edu.
    1. GRE scores
    2. English Language Proficiency test scores (international applicants only)
    3. Unofficial transcripts