Advanced study in the Department of Educational Administration leads to a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.
The doctoral program in K-12 Educational Administration enrolls professional educators and others interested in the intersections of leadership, school organizations, research and policy. Its mission is to improve leadership practice and to expand knowledge for educational leadership development and the improvement of school organizations and systems. Through courses and individual learning plans students critically examine current knowledge in these fields and learn inquiry and research methods used to investigate critical issues facing K-12 education. Throughout the program, students advance their capacity to frame questions and to conduct and communicate disciplined inquiries that contribute to professional practice and scholarship.
Each year’s cohort enrolls a mix of U.S. and international educators who go on to assume positions as school and district leaders, professors, researchers, policy analysts and consultants in the U.S. and beyond. Entering students are expected to possess knowledge equivalent to that represented in a masters degree in educational administration or a closely related field. Students from other fields may need to supplement the minimum requirements of the Doctoral program to meet program standards.
The program supports the inclusion of professional educators who enter as either part time or full time students by using evening, weekend and online learning in the scheduling of courses, symposia, colloquia and other key events.
PhD Program Mission and Philosophy
The mission of all programs in K-12 school administration at MSU is to develop professionals who work toward the creation of schools and education systems that are open and democratic, academically rigorous, genuinely extended to all, reflective of social and cultural pluralism and grounded in an ethic of care for the well being of all served.
Our programs are inspired by the principle that leadership matters. High quality, equitable schools require educational leaders who possess a broad range of professional experiences, well-formed personal and educational philosophies, a depth of knowledge and understanding of schools as complex organizations and a commitment to continuous inquiry and learning. We believe this leadership can be exercised by teachers, administrators, researchers, consultants, policy analysts and others seeking to improve K-12 schooling.
The program emphasizes inquiry and scholarship as a means to strengthening knowledge and practice for the field. Students examine assumptions, practices and policies related to the leadership and organization of schooling across a spectrum of K-12 settings, critically examining the evidence for contemporary theories and practices. Course work and independent study stresses theoretical and disciplinary perspectives on problems of practice, the development of analyses and arguments and the conduct of original research and scholarship. /p>
The program aims to build a learning community among students that challenges and supports a range of personal and professional goals. The initiating basis of this community is the first year core where students develop and revise understandings of critical issues in conversation with one another. As they progress in their studies, faculty assist the formation of study groups to support the development of individual learning plans, research knowledge and skills and dissertation design and completion.
PhD Program Expectations
Students in the doctoral program are expected to enter with interests in inquiry, research and scholarship in the areas of leadership, school organizational development and policy. For some students, this research and scholarship may be of a highly applied nature, for example the in-depth study of a particular problem of practice in order to develop knowledge and tools for practitioners. For others, the goal may be to develop specialized disciplinary knowledge as the basis for an academic career.
In the first year, course work is the main focus for learning and development. As they progress in their programs, students are expected to work with their guidance committee to develop comprehensive learning plans for acquiring content knowledge in their specific areas of interest and specialization. The expectations are that there will be a steady increase in in-depth learning through the years in the program, with the preliminary and comprehensive exams tapping basic and more specific content knowledge. Students are expected to acquire high levels of expertise in areas related to their dissertation research through independent study, involvements in faculty research and participation in the symposia and colloquia that regularly occur in the College of Education. It is also an expectation that doctoral students, as emerging leaders and scholars, contribute to the field through involvement in professional associations at the state, regional, national and/or international level.
Credit Accrual Preliminary
Candidates for the PhD degree must complete a minimum of 61 post-MA credits. Students entering the doctoral program without graduate level studies in administration or with gaps in their academic preparation may be required to take foundational or collateral courses. In close consultation with students, guidance committees determine what additional coursework will be necessary. Credits earned in foundational or collateral courses may not count toward the minimum credit requirements.
Credits are distributed across four areas:
Core study credits In their first year, students must complete a 9 credit sequence of core studies. Core studies review contemporary research and theory in school reform and improvement (EAD 920), school organizations (EAD 922), and learning theories (EAD 923). The core is designed to orient students to doctoral research and scholarship and to build learning community among cohort members.
*First year core course are taught Saturday mornings from late August to mid May (with semester and holiday breaks). Online learning is used some weeks, with face-to-face seminars most others.
Selective studies credits: Students work with their advisor and guidance committee to develop extensive knowledge in a selected area of study through a plan that may involve coursework, independent study, research practicum and interning. A minimum of 15 credits of selective study is required but students may need further study to adequately prepare for dissertation research.
Research and inquiry credits: Students complete a minimum of 12 credits of research and inquiry coursework including introduction to educational inquiry (CEP 930), qualitative research methods (EAD 955b or TE 931), quantitative methods (CEP 932) and a research practicum (EAD 995). Students may need additional study to learn research methods specific to their area and mode of doctoral inquiry.
Dissertation credits: After completing coursework and passing the comprehensive exam students must earn 24 dissertation credits; 1-3 hours may be allocated to dissertation seminars periodically offered by faculty. With the guidance of their advisor and dissertation committee, students draw from their courses and independent study to design the dissertation proposal. Then, while conducting their dissertation research, students meet regularly with their advisor, drafting and revising sections of the dissertation until a final version is ready for submission to the dissertation committee for review and recommendation. Participation in writing support groups is encouraged and facilitated during this stage of the program.
At the end of the first Summer students complete a preliminary exam which tests their knowledge of the field as presented in core courses. Faculty teaching the first year core prepares the exam questions. The preliminary exam is used to assess student’s capacity to explain critical concepts and issues and to construct an effective argument. Students take the exam during a designated week where they answer two questions in short essay form. The scoring rubrics used to assess student’s preliminary exams are shared and discussed with students during their first year studies to make clear how exams are evaluated and what a passing score requires.
To take the preliminary exam, students must have successfully completed all core coursework (EAD 920, 922 and 923) and be enrolled during the semester it is given. The exam is given to the students in August. Blind copies of students’ answers are assessed and scored by 2-3 faculty members using designated rubrics.
A student who does not obtain a passing score on an exam question must retake that question at a session scheduled by the faculty for late October or November. A student who does not pass the preliminary examination a second time will normally be counseled out of the program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition their advisor and the K-12 faculty for a third opportunity to take the exam.
Upon completion of almost all coursework (but prior to taking EAD 995), students must complete a comprehensive exam prior to the dissertation proposal. The comprehensive exam involves a scholarly question designed to demonstrate student knowledge in their specific area of concentration and expertise. The question is framed by the student’s advisor in consultation with the student and the student’s guidance committee.
The comprehensive exam is a take home exam intended to produce a high quality paper of 20-25 pages that works with key pieces of theory and research. The student is given a maximum of 4 weeks to respond and must turn the paper in by a clearly designated date. The paper is evaluated by at least 3 members of the student’s guidance committee (including the chair/advisor). Evaluations are compared and discrepancies resolved through faculty discussion. Three determinations are possible: pass, revise, or fail. A student who is asked to revise or redo their response will be given specific feedback by the examination committee and assigned a faculty mentor for the revision. Revisions must be completed within a 4 week period and turned in by a specified date. Students who do not successfully complete the revision are normally counseled out of the program. Under exceptional circumstances, a student may petition their committee for a third opportunity to revise their response.
Students must be enrolled for at least one semester hour of credit during the semester in which they take their comprehensive exam. Because summer is often a good time for students to take their comprehensive exam but not for faculty to monitor it, it is very important that students communicate with their advisor and committee members about scheduling this exam.
The comprehensive examination is a major landmark of a doctoral program. Evaluating a student’s performance at this stage is much more heterogeneous and inclusive than assigning a grade for a particular course or assignment. The penalty grade policy, referred to in the Integrity of Scholarship and Grades Policy, was developed in the narrow context of assigning a reduced or failing score on an assignment or a reduced or failing grade in a course, because of academic dishonesty. This policy was not intended to apply to Ph.D. comprehensive exams. Therefore, the Graduate School does not endorse the use of a penalty grade as a mechanism to fail a student on a comprehensive exam and expects that allegations of academic misconduct on a comprehensive exam be considered as part of the broad-based evaluation of the student at this critical stage. If a department or unit decides that in addition to failing the comprehensive exam, an act of academic dishonesty deserves additional sanctions, e.g., not permitting a re-take of the comprehensive exam which results in dismissal from the program, then the guidelines provided by GSRR 5.5.2 must be followed. To dismiss a student for reasons other than academic dishonesty, the department or unit should follow GSRR 2.4.9. If a student believes that the evaluation of his/her performance in the comprehensive exam was unfair, then the guidelines provided by GSRR 2.2.4 must be followed. Students can reference the procedures at the following College of Education Document for grievance hearings.
Exam Research Practicum
All students in the K-12 doctoral program are required to complete a research practicum (EAD 995), which is taken after a student has passed his or her comprehensive exam. The research practicum is aimed at providing students with the opportunity to develop their dissertation research. It offers students opportunities to:
- pose significant new questions in the light of existing theory and inquiry
- link methods to questions
- create or locate appropriate evidence
- subject that evidence to scrutiny and analysis
- reassess prior conceptualizations in light of subsequently gathered evidence
- receive input to shape an analysis or raise the possibility of gathering additional or new
- organize both written and oral presentations
- revise presentations after fair and open critiques
In addition, students provide comments on the work of their peers as a community of developing scholars.
Once all coursework and exams are successfully completed, students form a dissertation committee and prepare their dissertation proposal. The proposal is presented to the committee at an oral hearing and must be approved by the committee
A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is conducted and evaluated by the guidance committee and, at the discretion of the dean of the college, by one appointed faculty member whose voting status is determined by the college. Other interested faculty members may attend the examination without vote. The dissertation and the student’s performance on the final oral examination must be approved by a positive vote by at least three-fourths of the voting examiners and with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the guidance committee. Details on this process are provided below in Section V.
The final oral examination must be scheduled for a date not earlier than two weeks after the dissertation and abstract have been submitted to the chairperson of the guidance committee, other guidance committee members, and any appointed examiner.
Students must be registered for at least 1 credit during the semester they defend their dissertation.
Residency does not necessarily mean that a student attends the doctoral program full time. The minimum residency requirement for the doctoral degree is enrollment in two consecutive semesters with a minimum enrollment of six credits. This requirement is met during the doctoral program’s Year 1 core studies delivered Saturdays. (Students may also use dissertation credits to meet the residency requirement). Whenever possible, however, doctoral students are encouraged to find ways to be a full time student for some portion of their program.
The maximum allowable time period for completion of a doctoral degree is eight years from the date of the earliest course included in the student’s doctoral program plan.
All coursework requirements and exams (preliminary and comprehensive) must be completed within five calendar years from the date of the earliest course included in the student’s doctoral program plan. All remaining requirements for the degree must be completed within the remaining three years. Only the Graduate School can grant a request for an extension of time.
Policies regarding time limit can be found in the MSU Academic Programs Handbook.
Temporary Withdrawal from, and Readmission to, the Program, and Time Extensions
Students must be readmitted to the program if they are not actively enrolled for more than 2 consecutive semesters. They must complete the Application for Readmission form.
For various reasons, students may need to interrupt enrollment in the program. They may need to attend fully to professional responsibilities for a brief period or they may have earned necessary course and dissertation credits but plan to work on their theses away from campus. When these interruptions are brief (1 year) and do not inhibit the completion of all degree requirements doctoral, students will be readmitted to program without review.
If enrollment is interrupted for more than one year, however, the admissions committee of the PhD program will review the application and decide whether or not readmission will be granted and under what conditions. In these cases, it is critical for students to answer the Readmission Application form’s questions about the reasons for not enrolling.
If students have been absent from the doctoral program for more than 3 years, readmission is only considered in extraordinary cases.
In all cases, students are still responsible for meeting the university’s timelines for completing degree requirements. All of the comprehensive examinations must be passed within five years and all remaining requirements for the degree must be completed within eight years from the time of a student’s first enrollment in the program. Should the degree requirements not be completed within this eight-year period, students may be required to take a new set of all of the doctoral comprehensive examinations. In extraordinary cases it is possible to petition to have the university’s timelines extended in order to complete some phase of program work. Students needing extensions should work closely with their advisors in completing the Request for Extension of Time to Complete Degree Requirements form available from the Student Affairs Office. In order to gain an extension, the student and advisor must make a strong case that the student is making progress toward completion of the degree and enclose a detailed schedule that demonstrates the steps to be taken to reach completion.
Graduate credits may be transferred from other accredited institutions or international institutions of similar quality if they are appropriate to a student’s doctoral program and provided they fall within the degree’s time limits. Official transcripts and syllabi must be presented to the student’s advisor and guidance committee for review and approval. The department chairperson and dean also must grant approval. Only graduate-level courses in which at least a 3.0 (B) grade was received will be considered for transfer.
Students accepted for admission to the Doctoral program while enrolled in a specialist degree program or after completing a specialist degree must undergo a review of their programs to determine what may be applied to their doctoral program.
Policies regarding transfer credit can be found in the MSU Academic Programs Handbook.
Reference the Ph.D. Program Course Structure page
Selection of Advisor and Advisor Role
Upon admission to the doctoral program, students are assigned an initial faculty advisor. Newly admitted students should contact their advisor and arrange for a personal conference during their first term.
The K-12 doctoral program provides an opportunity for students to meet all members of the K-12 faculty during their first year core studies. At the end of their first year, students decide whether to retain their initially assigned advisor or to change to a new advisor. Selection of an advisor is based on a student’s personal, professional and programmatic needs and interests. A student has the right to change her/his academic advisor at any time and can seek the support of the Program Director or the Department Chair if he or she has any questions or concerns.
Students are responsible for initiating contact and staying in touch with their advisor and any committee members. If a student does not meet with an advisor, there is no guarantee that credit hours earned prior to that meeting will be accepted into their program plan.
The role of a doctoral program advisor is to:
- help students understand doctoral study, doctoral program requirements and the regulations of the department, the college and the university;
- assist students in course selection and program planning;
- help students develop their ideas, knowledge and skills through independent study, professional activity and other activities;
- connect students to services and resources of the College and the University which may assist their development and progress;
- suggest faculty members for guidance and dissertation committees;
- oversee the development and completion of the comprehensive exam, the dissertation proposal and the oral examination in defense of the dissertation;
- guide students through required meetings and benchmarks, including (1) Program planning meeting and approval, (2) dissertation proposal hearing and approval, and (3) the final dissertation examination;
- resolve conflicting issues which may arise between committee members and the student;
- assist in the preparation and filing of all forms and reports required in earning the degree;
- formally and officially represent the department, college, and university in awarding the doctoral degree.
Responsibilities of the unit administrator when a student and/or faculty advisor can no longer work together
If a student and/or an advisor discover that they can no longer work together productively, or either desires to end the advisee/advisor relationship, the Coordinator of the doctoral program should be informed by a letter, which also requests an appointment to discuss the situation so that the Coordinator is fully informed about the circumstances surrounding the decision to change the relationship. After this meeting, the Coordinator will inform the other party (i.e., the advisor if the student is seeking to end the relationship, the student if the advisor is seeking to cease advising) by letter of the wishes of the student or advisor to end the relationship. In all cases, the student will be asked in writing to meet with the Coordinator to consider advisory alternatives. Then, the program faculty expects the student to seek out a potential alternative advisor, continuing to do so until a replacement advisor is in place. This process would not be used in the course of regular changes in advisor or in moving from program advisor to dissertation director.
Formation of the Program Guidance Committee
Each graduate student admitted to a doctoral program has the responsibility to form a guidance committee in their second year of study or after completing no more then 12 credits. Typically, the chair of this guidance committee is the student’s advisor, who can assist in the formation of the committee.
The MSU Faculty Handbook (p. 124) defines a guidance committee as “at least four Michigan State University regular faculty, at least three of whom, including the committee chairperson, possess an earned doctoral degree….” Regular faculty members are those in the tenure stream. This means that if a student wants to include on the committee an MSU faculty member who is not in the tenure stream or a faculty member from another university, the committee must be expanded to five people. The four regular faculty need not all be from the Department of Educational Administration indeed, faculty from other departments and colleges can be important members. The four members may be augmented by additional faculty from other groups, including adjuncts, emeriti, and faculty from other universities. Representatives from such groups, however, may not substitute for the four regular faculty members.
Membership on the committee should reflect a student’s area of interest and offer guidance that contributes to their growth and progress. The Guidance Committee Membership form is used to constitute a guidance committee. The first form is customarily signed and filed in the Student Affairs Office in the second year of study. Check the forms for PhD students
In consultation with the student, the guidance committee plans the student’s program of learning and development. The plan includes whatever mix of courses, independent study, field-based learning, research practicum etc. is appropriate to the student’s stated professional goals and emerging research and dissertation interests. The program plan represents an understanding between the student and the guidance committee as to how the student will satisfy the requirements of the program and prepare to successfully complete a dissertation. A program planning report of the Guidance Committee should be filed within the first 3-4 semesters.
The planned program is subject to additions, deletions or substitutions. Proposed changes must be circulated to each committee member by the student using the Changes in Program Plan form available from the unit secretary. Any changes in the Report of the Guidance Committee must be approved by a simple majority and signed by all members of the guidance committee, by the student, and by the department chairperson before being accepted as valid in the Student Affairs Office. Students must obtain their guidance committee’s approval prior to any deviation from a formally submitted the plan. That is, all changes in the program plan must be approved by the guidance committee in advance.
Changes in Committee Membership
Changes in committee membership may be initiated by the student, with the concurrence of the program coordinator and acknowledgment of the other members. (GSRR 2.4.2; 188.8.131.52)
Membership on the guidance committee will often change after the program of study and comprehensive examinations are completed and students begin dissertation development. Dissertations ordinarily benefit from the specific disciplinary or methodological strengths of particular faculty. If a different dissertation committee is established, changes should be made before the proposal is approved.
All changes in committee membership, including the advisor/chairperson, need to be acknowledged by the signature of the student, each member of the existing and new guidance committees, and the program coordinator. Any changes to the program must be authorized by the committee, endorsed by the department chair, and filed with the Student Affairs Office.
For further information on program development and approval, and on the size, composition, and role of the permanent guidance committee, the student should consult the manual.
Dissertation Defense and Final Oral Examinations
A final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is conducted and evaluated by the guidance committee and, at the discretion of the dean of the college, by one appointed faculty member whose voting status is determined by the college. Other interested faculty members may attend the examination without vote. The dissertation and the student’s performance on the final oral examination must be approved by a positive vote by at least three-fourths of the voting examiners and with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the guidance committee. Details on this process are provided below in Section V.
The purpose of the dissertation is to learn how to carry out an ambitious scholarly project from beginning to end, with the support of an advisor and guidance committee. This is an opportunity for students to identify important questions and issues in their specialty area, become fluent in theory and research related to that issue and deploy particular methods to craft an inquiry that is original, significant and useful. The dissertation also demands excellent integrative writing skills, that portray completely and honestly how the investigation was conceived, carried out, and how it strengthens understanding of a significant issue. The program faculty expect most dissertations to result in work that is published in either scholarly or practitioner venues.
The Dissertation Final Oral Exam
Before completing the dissertation, students must have registered for at least 24 semester credits of EAD 999 (Dissertation Research). Students must also be registered for at least 1 credit during the semester they schedule a final oral examination of their dissertation.
Once the dissertation is complete, the student and committee schedule a final oral examination at a mutually acceptable time. Completed copies of the dissertation, with finished diagrams and proper formatting (but not bound), must be presented to all members of the dissertation committee in preparation for the final oral defense. The final oral examination must be scheduled for a date not earlier than two weeks after the dissertation and abstract have been submitted to the chairperson of the guidance committee, other guidance committee members, and any appointed examiner. The University Calendar specifies a series of dates each semester that should be consulted when scheduling the examination, completing revisions, and submitting the final copies of the dissertation.
The final oral examination in defense of the dissertation is conducted and evaluated by the guidance committee and, at the discretion of the dean of the college, by one appointed faculty member whose voting status is determined by the college. Other interested faculty members may attend the examination without vote. The dissertation and the student’s performance on the final oral examination must be approved by a positive vote by at least three-fourths of the voting examiners and with not more than one dissenting vote from among the Michigan State University regular faculty members of the guidance committee. After the guidance committee and any appointed examiner have reviewed and approved the dissertation and after the student has passed the final oral examination in its defense, the student must incorporate into the dissertation any recommended change(s) and corrections before presenting it to the chairperson of the guidance committee for final review and signature of the bookplate.
After the oral examination on the dissertation has been passed, the committee chairperson completes final certification forms which are sent by the Student Affairs Office. These forms certify that the student has completed all courses listed on the program plan; has enrolled for at least 24 dissertation credits; has fulfilled the residency requirement; has completed a dissertation, and has passed an oral examination based primarily on the dissertation; has completed all requirements within eight (8) years of admission to the doctoral program (or has appropriate extensions on file); and has a grade point average of no less than 3.0 in graduate courses taken at MSU.
The University Graduate Council approved the switch to electronic submission to the Graduate School of theses and dissertations. As of the January 1, 2011, “Michigan State University will only be accepting electronic submissions via ProQuest. The Graduate School staff reviews only the PDFs that are uploaded through ProQuest. Be aware that a submission via ProQuest does not mean that the document has been ACCEPTED. The review process is interactive and can take anywhere from a few hours to weeks, depending upon the extent of the necessary revisions and how diligent the author is when making the necessary revisions.”
The dissertation, an abstract of the dissertation, and an abstract title page must be prepared in accordance with the specifications in the Graduate School Formatting Guide, a handbook that is available, along with a packet of required forms relating to the dissertation, from the Office of the Graduate School or from the Graduate Students Forms site.
Before the semester deadline indicated by the Graduate School the student must submit via ProQuest to the Office of The Graduate School a final copy of the dissertation and other forms required by and available from The Graduate School.
Submitting your Dissertation
Go to http://etdadmin.com/grad.msu and follow the directions for submitting your thesis/dissertation to Michigan State University via ProQuest.
Once you submit to ProQuest, your electronic submission will be reviewed by a Michigan State University Administrator for possible revisions BEFORE it is “officially” delivered to ProQuest for final publishing.
Before you begin, please be sure you have the following:
- Full text of the dissertation/thesis in PDF format. This must be one file. If your manuscript is in a Word or RTF format, you can convert the PDF using a PDF Conversion tool. You also must embed fonts in the PDF. After you have created your account and arrive at this section, you will find a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for the conversion tool and embedding fonts.
- ‘Optional’ Supplementary files. Please note that Michigan State University does NOT allow for supplemental files (audio, video, etc.) so please disregard this option on ProQuest site.
- Advisor and other Committee Members’ Names Subject Category. You will be asked to choose from ProQuest’s list of subject categories that best describes your dissertation/thesis subject area.
- Degree Granting Unit/Program. A list of the degree granting units/programs of Michigan State University is available at http://www.grad.msu.edu/etd/docs/DegreeGrantingUnits.pdf. You will encounter the same list at the ProQuest site.
- Type of Degree Awarded. Make sure you know the correct degree title. Michigan State University awards the following degrees: Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Master of Music, Master of Science, Master of Urban and Regional Planning, and Doctor of Philosophy.
You will be asked to create an account in order to submit. When creating your account, be sure to use an email address that you use regularly. In order to continue the submission process, you will be asked to ‘confirm’ your account using the email address that you provided.
Once you ‘confirm’ your account, then you are ready to begin the submission process. Please be sure that you are on the Michigan State University website within ProQuest. You can do this by confirming that the MSU logo appears in the upper right hand corner.
On the left-hand side of the site, you will see the submission steps. As each step is completed, a checkmark will appear in the appropriate box indicating that you have completed that step. In order to submit, you will need to go through each step of the process. If you need to finish your submission later (for instance, if you need to update your PDF file before uploading it), you can save your information and come back to finish. No information will be lost.
Once you submit to ProQuest, your submission will be reviewed by a Michigan State University Administrator for possible revisions. You will be contacted via email with required revisions or with a request for missing information, BEFORE your document is officially delivered to ProQuest for publishing. You will get a response with the necessary revisions from the Graduate School within two business days from the time you send your electronic submission.
After revisions are made and the document is approved, the MSU Administrator will submit your dissertation/thesis to ProQuest for publishing. You will receive an email message informing you that the document has been approved.
Once completed and successfully submitted, ProQuest will send you a congratulations email stating that they have finished processing your work. Your electronic document will be disseminated as directed by you in the publishing agreement.
Application for Copyright (Optional)
- Students and their major professors should give careful consideration to the desirability of registering the copyright.
- If the student intends to register, he/she has the option of signing the copyright application included on the UMI Agreement Form, or obtaining copyright through the U.S. Copyright Office (see address below). Copyright notice must be inserted immediately following the abstract of the thesis/dissertation in accordance with instructions in this guidebook.
- U.S. Copyright Office, Register of Copy, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20559, phone: 202.707.8250
MSU no longer collects fees when submitting electronic documents. All money transactions, including copyright fees, are now done online by the students directly with ProQuest.
Complete the Online Graduate School Exit Survey
- Please take a few moments to complete this survey the semester that you plan to graduate. Only students who have applied for graduation will have access to the online survey. Your participation is important and it is greatly appreciated by the Graduate School. The survey will ask you questions about your educational experience in your graduate program. The Graduate School uses data from this survey when reviewing graduate programs and to guide decisions about services and initiatives for graduate students.
- The identity of all respondents will be kept confidential and only aggregate (group) information will be made available to faculty and administrators. You will receive an e-mail message from the dean of the graduate school with a link to the survey as well; however, you do not need to wait for that e-mail message to complete the survey after applying for graduation. It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete the online survey. Please follow the steps outlined below:
- Access the following website:
- If you cannot open this survey, please contact Katey Smagur by email at email@example.com, and include your name, student ID #, degree level (PhD, MA/MS) and semester of graduation. You will then be notified when you are able to complete the survey.
Doctoral Students must complete the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) online
The Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and five other Federal agencies and conducted by National Opinion Research Center (NORC). The data from the survey are used to make important decisions about graduate education funding, developing new programs and supporting existing ones. Your responses reflect the contribution of Michigan State University to the intellectual workforce and will affect future generations of doctoral recipients.
You are now able to register directly via the web and instantaneously receive a PIN and password as well as the URL to the survey. With this information, you can access and complete the survey on-line.
Michigan State University requires verification of completion of the survey. At the end of the questionnaire, there will be two options, select the first option. This will get you to an email notification screen were you can enter this email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and a notification of completion will be sent to the Michigan State University Graduate School Office.
Confidentiality Assurance: The information provided on the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) questionnaire remains confidential and is safeguarded in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 and the NSF Act of 1950, as amended. The survey data are reported only in aggregate form or in a manner that does not identify information about an individual. The federal agencies and the data collection contractor for the SED take the strongest measures to safeguard respondent confidentiality. All staff members sign binding confidentiality pledges. All processing facilities and computer systems are carefully designed and continuously tested to safeguard the information provided by institutions and respondents.
If you have any questions about the web survey, please contact NORC: 1-800-248-864 or email@example.com.
Human or Animal Subjects Form
- All students must complete and submit this form, even if no human or animal subjects were used.
- In cases where the student’s research involves human subjects, an approval letter from the Human Research Protection Program, Room 246 Administration Bldg. must be submitted with the thesis/dissertation.
- A similar letter from the University Committee on Animal Use and Care, C100 Clinical Center, overseeing research involving animals is required when the research involves animals.
Publishing a Printed / Bound Version of Your Dissertation
- If you would like a printed / bound version of your dissertation, one local printer is: Budget Printing Center, 974 Trowbridge Road East Lansing, MI 48823-5218, Phone: 517.351.5060, FAX: 517.351.0050, firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Bound copies are traditionally printed using the standard MSU format: Black cover
- with gold lettering. 3) Payment is typically done in advance, payable by check or cash.
- Normal delivery time is two weeks.
Procedures of Graduation
Requirements for Graduation
Students must be registered for at least 1 credit during the semester in which they take the final oral examination. A semester is defined as the period from the first day of class up to, but not including, the first day of class of the following semester.
The student is required to be enrolled only for the semester of the oral examination, not the semester of the submission of the final unbound copy to The Graduate School.
Complete an Application for Graduation
An Application for Graduation should be completed with the Office of the Registrar no later than five weeks from the start of classes. If you need a hard copy of the graduation form, this can be retrieved from: http://reg.msu.edu/Read/PDF/Graduation_Application.pdf
If you complete the Application for Graduation (needed at the beginning of the semester of expected graduation), A Graduate Credit Statement and Final Certification for Degree form will be mailed to your department. The Graduate Secretary, Graduate Program Director, and/or Department Chair will complete the form verify that the above information is completed, make their recommendation, sign and forward the form to your college for signature. They in turn will forward the form to the Registrar’s Office.
Here’s what the Registrar’s Office will do:
- Verify approval of the “Final Certification” form by department and college.
- Check your records for courses listed on the “Final Certification” form and their approved
- completion, including the required number of research credits.
- Check for any outstanding parking tickets, holds, or fees owed to the University.
- Check with The Graduate School to verify that your thesis/dissertation was submitted before the semester deadline.
If everything has been completed and verified, you should be receiving a copy of your diploma and degree-granting transcript four weeks after the commencement ceremony. Congratulations!
If one of the items above was not completed, a letter will be sent to you, your college, and your department, which indicates the criteria not met. If you have any questions about this letter, you can contact your department.
Doctoral candidates (other than Doctor of Musical Arts) should follow the online guidance from the Graduate School. If you have questions, please call this office at 517.355.0301 or visit The Graduate School Office at 118 Linton Hall, East Lansing, Michigan 48824.
The Graduate School accepts approximately 200 Doctoral Dissertations per semester. Our staff reviews each document for correct formatting. A single document can take anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to process, depending on the size and number of errors encountered. Most are accepted, but a small number must be returned to the students for corrections.
Responsibilities of the Department Chairperson or the School Director
The form Graduate Credit Statement and Final Certification for each candidate APPROVED for a graduate degree is transmitted to the office of the Registrar for the semester in which the degree is to be awarded.
A Graduate Credit Statement and Final Certification for each candidate DISAPPROVED for a graduate degree is transmitted to the Office of the Registrar for the semester.
How to Avoid Delays and Meet the Deadlines (Checklist)
To avoid a last-minute problem in receiving your diploma, use this checklist to make sure that you have completed all of the requirements.
Check your records, have you . . .
- Enrolled for the semester in which you wish to take the final oral examination? A semester is defined as the period from the first day of class up to, but not including, the first day of class of the following semester. The student is required to be enrolled only for the semester of the oral examination, not the semester of the submission of the final unbound copy to The Graduate School.
- Checked deadlines for submitting a Doctoral Dissertation to The Graduate School?
- Confirm commencement dates the semester of commencement
- Completed and passed all courses as outlined on your Guidance Committee Report? (deferred grades, DF, are not acceptable except for research credits 999)
- Completed the Application for Graduation form with the Office of the Registrar no later than five weeks from the start of classes?
- Applied for and received approval to use human or animal subjects (this should have been done prior to beginning your research)? ALL students must complete this form, even if human or animal subjects were not used. This form must be completed and signed by the student and major professor.
- Completed and passed the comprehensive exams as outlined by your department/program?
- Completed the Agreement Form located in Publishing Your Dissertation or Publishing Your Master’s Thesis handbook; must be completed and signed by the student?
- Reviewed the online requirements for completing your thesis/dissertation and a Formatting Guide from The Graduate School, 118 Linton Hall?
- Scheduled, completed, and pass your final oral exam/defense? Remember, you need to be enrolled during the semester in which you defend. A semester is defined as the first day of classes until, but not including, the first day of classes for the next semester.
- Was the thesis/dissertation acceptable to the thesis/dissertation director?
- Distributed an appropriate number of unbound copies of the thesis/dissertation to the guidance committee for the semester in which graduation is anticipated? The pages of the thesis/dissertation may be in a folder or box, but is not to be bound at this point.
- Submitted a preliminary copy of the thesis/dissertation via ProQuest to The Graduate School for proofing before submitting the final copy?. It only takes a couple of minutes to review a document for correct formatting.
- Typed the Approval Form, and have it signed/dated by the major professor or chairperson of the department?
- Submit a final copy of your approved thesis/dissertation to The Graduate School prior to the deadline for the expected semester of graduation? A stamped copy of your title page is sent by The Graduate School to the Registrar’s Office showing that your thesis/dissertation has been accepted.
Departmental Policies: Academic Performance
Course Performance Standards
Michigan State University is committed to high academic standards and expects all doctoral students to excel in their programs of study. Its policy on academic standards states that:
Regular attendance is expected. Instructors will inform the students of course attendance requirements and penalties which may be incurred as a result of failure to comply with these requirements.
Grades: A 3.00 cumulative grade-point average in the degree program is the minimum University standard, but colleges, departments, or schools may establish a higher minimum standard. However, attainment of the minimum grade-point average is in itself an insufficient indicator of potential for success in other aspects of the program and in the field. The guidance committee and academic unit are jointly responsible for evaluating the student’s competency (as indicated by grades in core and other courses, research performance, and development of professional skills) and rate of progress (as indicated by the number of courses for which grades have been unassigned or deferred, and progress towards exams and a proposal). Written evaluations shall be communicated to the graduate student at least once a year, and a copy of such evaluations shall be placed in the graduate student’s file. A student whose performance does not meet the standards of quality will not be permitted to continue to enroll in the degree program, and appropriate action will be taken by the college, department, or school.
The grading system is as follows: 4.0, superior; 3.5, excellent; 3.0, good; 2.5, fair; 2.0 poor; 0/1.0/1.5, failure and in specific courses, P-N (Pass- No Grade). Once grades have been submitted in to the registrar’s office, they may only be changed by the course instructor through written application.
The ability to write clear, analytical English prose and to organize one’s writing into an effective piece of scholarship is central to doctoral study. While the development of oral and written communication skills is a piece of the doctoral program, writing remediation is not. Doctoral students will be required to meet rigorous writing standards and to apply APA Style rules to their papers (See Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association). Students who demonstrate a lack of writing skills early in their program may be required to obtain added training in academic writing as a condition for remaining in the program. Effective writing is a central scoring component of student’s preliminary and comprehensive exams.
Students whose cumulative grade-point average falls below a 3.0 receive a written warning indicating unsatisfactory academic performance and may be placed on academic probation the following semester. The student will work with her/his academic advisor and guidance committee in order to be restored to good standing. Students on academic probation should regularly meet with the academic advisor.
At times, students are admitted to the program on “academic probation” due to concerns with their prior record (usually low entering grade-point average and/or test scores). Students will be evaluated after their first 9.0 credits. If at that time the student maintains a 3.5 average and has no deferred or incomplete courses, s/he will be taken off of academic probation.
Students shall have the right to appeal their probation status in accordance with the Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities (GSSR) guidelines.
Incompletes, Defers and Extensions
A student who, for compelling reasons, finds it necessary to postpone the submission of required course work may petition their instructor for the grade of Incomplete (I), Defer (DF), or Extension (ET). A form for this request must be completed by the instructor of the course and contain all information requested, including a description of the work the student will complete and the due date, which cannot be later than the date specified in the academic calendar. The form must be signed by the student, instructor, and department chair (or designee). The last day to request an incomplete and submit the form is indicated in the academic calendar.
The grade of I, DF, or ET shall remain on the student’s transcript until a grade has been submitted by the instructor.
- A grade of “I” or incomplete may be given after a student has satisfactorily completed 12 weeks of the course but is unable to complete the work within the allotted time period because of “illness or other compelling reason,” and the professor believes that the student can complete the work without repeating the course. The work must be completed and a grade turned in no later than the middle of the student’s next semester of attendance. If the student does not enroll in subsequent semesters than s/he has up to a year to complete the course requirements
- A grade of “DF” or Deferred may be given only to graduate students who are doing satisfactory work but cannot complete it because of reasons acceptable to the instructor. The required work must be completed and a grade reported within 6 months with the option of a single six-month extension. If the required work is not completed within the time limit, the DF will become U-Unfinished and will be changed to DF/U under the numerical and Pass-No Grade (P-N) grading systems, and to DF/NC under the Credit-No Credit (CR-NC) system. This rule does not apply to graduate thesis or dissertation work.
- Grades of “ET” or “extension” sometimes are given, but ONLY in courses specifically approved by the University Committee on Curriculum. Typically, these are courses involving fieldwork or research that extends beyond the end of a semester.
If a student fails to submit the outstanding work to the registrar’s office by the specified due date, the grade is automatically converted to the alternate letter grade previously submitted by the instructor or a “0”.
In special circumstances, the department chair has the authority to grant an extension for the submission of overdue work as long as it is agreeable to the instructor. This extension must be sent in writing.
Annual Review of Student Progress
A yearly written evaluation is developed by the student and her/his advisor using one of the following forms: (education.msu.edu/ead/forms/documents/PhD_AnnualEval3-3-10.pdf) or the Graduate School Annual Progress Report for Ph.D. Students (grad.msu.edu/forms/docs/progressreportphd.pdf). The advisor and student are required to meet and review the content of the document, which records the student’s accomplishments as well as agreed upon next steps. A copy of such evaluations will be placed in the graduate student’s file. A student who might disagree with her/his evaluation is encouraged to submit a letter in reference to this, which will be placed in her/his academic file. A student whose performance does not meet the standards of quality will not be permitted to continue to enroll in the degree program, and appropriate action will be taken by the college, department or school. The academic advisor, guidance committee, and academic unit are jointly responsible for evaluating the student’s competency (as indicated by, e.g., grades in core and other courses, research performance, and development of professional skills) and rate of progress (as indicated by, e.g., the number of courses for which grades have been assigned or deferred).
Departmental Policies: Integrity and Safety in Research
The EAD K-12 program concurs with the guidelines on research integrity presented by the University Task Force on Mentoring of Graduate Students: Guidelines for Integrity in Research and Creative Activities. This web page cogently defines a range of practices to ensure integrity and safety.
- Honesty in proposing, performing, and reporting research.
- Recognition of prior work.
- Confidentiality in peer review.
- Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest.
- Compliance with institutional and sponsor requirements.
- Protection of human subjects and humane care of animals in the conduct ofresearch.
- Collegiality in scholarly interactions and sharing of resources.
- Adherence to fair and open relationships between senior scholars and their coworkers.
- Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities.
A complete discussion of these guidelines can be found on the Grad School webpage. Doctoral students are required to honor these guidelines across their program of studies and are also required to submit their work to MSU’s Institutional Review Board. For full information on Human Research Protection Program (HRPP), please go to the website hrpp.msu.edu/.
Section 1.00 of the General Student Regulations under MSU Policies, Regulations and Ordinances Regarding Academic Honesty and Integrity states that: “The principles of truth and honesty are fundamental to the educational process and the academic integrity of the university. Therefore, no student shall:
(1.01) claim or submit the academic work of another as one’s own.
(1.02) procure, provide, accept, or use any materials containing questions or answers to any examination or assignment without proper authorization.
(1.03) complete or attempt to complete any assignment or examination for another individual without proper authorization.
(1.04) allow any examination or assignment to be completed for oneself, in part or in total, by another without proper authorization.
(1.05) alter, tamper with, appropriate, destroy or otherwise interfere with the research, resources, or other academic work of another person.
(1.06) fabricate or falsify data or results.”
According to MSU’s Procedures Concerning Allegations of Misconduct in Research and Creative Activities, “Misconduct means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or any other practice by a Respondent that seriously deviates from practices commonly accepted in the discipline or in the academic and research communities generally for proposing, conducting, or reporting Research and Creative Activities. Serious or continuing non-compliance with government regulations pertaining to Research may constitute Misconduct. Retaliation also constitutes Misconduct. Misconduct does not include honest error or honest differences in interpretation or judgment of data.” (Note – the MSU Procedures currently are under review.)
Plagiarism is the use of another person’s words or ideas without proper acknowledgment. Extensive discussion and definitions of what constitute plagiarism are provided at the MSU Ombudsmen website. It is a student’s responsibility to know and understand definitions and rules about plagiarism.
An instructor that suspects that a student has committed plagiarism will provide the student an opportunity to present and explain the origin and development of the work. In addition, the instructor will explore whether the student understands the relevant standards of academic conduct. If the instructor determines that a minor offense has occurred s/he may require the student to resubmit the assignment or assign a “0” to the paper. However, if an instructor determines that a major offense was committed s/he he will follow the procedures presented in the GSSR manual. Questions about the handling of plagiarism cases should be directed to the Department Chair.
Failure to maintain academic standards may occur as the result of unsatisfactory grades in academic coursework, failure to make satisfactory progress in completing program requirements, and/or unsatisfactory performance on Comprehensive Examinations.
At a graduate level, a grade of 3.0 represents work that adequately meets course objectives. A grade of 2.5 or 2.0 represents work that is below expectations to an increasing degree but that still is sufficient to qualify for graduate credit. Such a grade is cause for concern, however, both because it represents weak mastery of the material and because students must achieve an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher in order to qualify for graduation.
It is also important to remember that the University establishes timelines for completion of courses and of degree programs. Eight years are allowed from the time that a student begins the first course on his or her doctoral degree program until completion of all requirements for graduation. Students are provided with grade reports at the end of each semester by the University, so they are always apprised of their academic standing. The accumulation of multiple Incomplete or Deferred grades is another significant basis of concern about progress.
The following are offered as examples of circumstances or performances that may be the basis for dismissal action: academic dishonesty; criminal misconduct; unethical practices and/or unprofessional conduct. Due process rights of the student and faculty will be upheld by following the procedure outlined in the document, Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities. Grievance hearing procedures are outlined in the College of Education document on Graduate Student Academic Grievance hearing Procedures
To protect student due process rights as well as the rights of faculty to uphold the academic and professional standards, the following steps will be taken as part of the proceedings that may eventuate in the student’s dismissal from the K-12 Educational Administration Doctoral Program for disciplinary reasons:
- Student will be informed in writing by the program Coordinator (registered mail) of any charge, event, performance, or circumstance that may threaten the student’s immediate status within the program. Such charges or complaints may emanate from members of the program faculty, from other University faculty or personnel, from other students, or from professionals and agents outside of the University community
- As part of the above communication, the Coordinator may initially advise the student to seek an informal resolution of the charge or complaint with the accusing party and to inform the Coordinator of the outcome of this action within 30 days.
- If, however, informal methods of problem resolution are inappropriate or not satisfactory, the Program Coordinator will inform the student (in writing), the student’s advisor and other interested parties that the student’s status in the program may be in immediate jeopardy and that a formal meeting of the program faculty will be necessary to review the nature of the threat to the student’s status and to arrive at a decision regarding dismissal. The program Coordinator may invite any persons judged to have relevant information to submit their information either in person at this meeting or in writing prior to the meeting. In advance of the meeting the student will be given copies of all written materials under consideration. The student and his/her counsel (as defined in Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR 5.4.10) would be invited to attend this meeting and to present testimony. In addition, the student may invite other individuals who have relevant testimony to attend the meeting or to present written information. The student will provide the program Coordinator with a list of these individuals at least five days in advance of the scheduled meeting.
- Following the presentation of testimony and evidence, representatives of the program faculty will convene separately to deliberate and to arrive at a decision regarding the student’s standing in the program. The decision may result in either (1) a dismissal of the charges or threats against the student and a restoration of the student’s good standing in the program, (2) a judgment to allow the student to continue in the program pending satisfactory completion of or compliance with specified conditions, or (3) immediate dismissal of the student from the K-12 Educational Administration Doctoral Program.
Following completion of the program faculty’s decision-making, the program Coordinator will inform the student and the student’s faculty Advisor (in writing) of the faculty’s decision and, if appropriate, clearly specify what if any conditions must be satisfied by the student to maintain his or her standing within the program. The student will also be advised that if he or she wishes to grieve the outcome of the faculty’s decision, the grievance procedures specified in the GSRR should be followed.
- MSU Graduate School – Dean Karen Klomparens (517-353-3220). The Grad School promotes academic/research integrity via the PREP program that focuses on planning, resilience, engagement, and professionalism; a workshop series on Responsible Conduct of Research; and the Academic Integrity Website.
- University Intellectual Integrity Officer – Dr. Jim Pivarnik (email@example.com). The goal of this office is to safeguard the integrity of research and creative activities at MSU. The office web site includes links to MSU’s authorship and data management policies, well as the MSU Research Handbook.
- The Office of the Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies maintains the MSU Research Web with links to funding opportunities, as well as regulations and policies related to research. Faculty and students should be especially alert to the policies related to participation of human subjects of research and the use of hazardous substances in research.
- MSU Ombudsman – Dr. Robert Caldwell (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Ombudsman assists student with both academic (e.g., grades, exams, academic dishonesty, grievances, enrollment status) and nonacademic (e.g., financial aid, housing, special problems) disputes.
Human Research Protection Program (HRPP)
Mission: “The Michigan State University (MSU) human research protection program’s (HRPP) primary mission is the protection of individuals who are the subjects of research. MSU is committed to follow the ethical standards described in the Belmont Report, and all applicable federal, state and local regulations and university policies and procedures. The HRPP at MSU sets forth the structure, policies and procedures to implement this mission and commitment. The processes of education, review and monitoring described in the HRPP serve to ensure the safe and ethical conduct of research that will protect human subjects in an atmosphere of mutual trust and integrity in the pursuit of knowledge and human benefit.“ Section 3-1, “Michigan State University Human Research Protection Program Plan” of the Human Research Protection Manual.
As part of that mission, HRPP is an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Federal and University regulations require that all research projects involving human subjects be reviewed and approved by an IRB before initiation. Under the regulations, research is defined as a formal investigation designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. A human subject of research is an individual (1) from whom an investigator obtains data by interaction or intervention, or (2) about whom the researcher obtains confidential information.
All research involving human subjects or human materials must have prior approval by HRPP. This includes investigations conducted by faculty, students, staff or others on the premises of Michigan State University as well as investigations conducted elsewhere by any representative of Michigan State University in connection with that individual’s institutional responsibilities, unless the investigation is conducted under a cooperative research agreement as per 45 CFR 46.114. The type of IRB review required (exempt, expedited, or full board) depends upon the classification of the research proposal as to the levels of risk to subjects.
How the HRPP Review Process Works
The review process begins when an investigator submits a complete on-line application to the HRPP office. HRPP assigns the application an IRB log number. Depending upon the level of risk to subjects in the protocol, HRPP assigns the protocol to one of three review categories (exempt from full review, expedited review, full review) and sends it to one, two or five reviewers, respectively. If the reviewer (or reviewers) is satisfied that the rights and welfare of the human subjects are adequately protected, he or she approves it. However, if the reviewer has concerns, the reviewer returns written comments to the HRPP office for transmission to the investigator. The investigator must then send a response to each comment, on line to HRPP, which will forward it to the reviewer(s). If the proposal is either an exempt or expedited proposal, an approval letter can be issued as soon as the reviewer (or reviewers) approves. When a proposal receives a full (five-member subcommittee) review, an approval letter is issued after the proposal is discussed and approved by vote of the full committee at its monthly meeting.
There is a tutorial available online. Students must complete the tutorial in order to submit HRPP material for institutional approval.
All faculty members advising students in research are expected to communicate with their students the importance of being in complete compliance with HRPP and to read in detail the most recent instructions from HRPP. All faculty teaching graduate students in courses also are to emphasize complete compliance with HRPP principles and policies. Faculty teaching courses are also urged to determine when and how HRPP principles can be covered in graduate courses.
Any research that is conducted by a graduate student in Educational Administration that is not in compliance with HRPP regulations cannot be used to fulfill course or degree requirements. Should a student conduct research that is not in compliance with HRPP, at a minimum, the work will have to be repeated with no adjustment for time lost in carrying out the research that was not in compliance. Faculty members consider HRPP compliance to be very important. A very serious violation of HRPP standards by a student, or repeated violations, would result in a referral to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, who will refer the case to a college-level hearing board, as specified in University policy. Serious and/or repeated violations of HRPP policies could result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the graduate program.
Upon entering the program, students should go to the HRPP web site and read about the important committee. They should take the HRPP training, which requires about a half hour, before involvement in any research that might conceivably involve human subjects. It is critical to remember that absolutely no research data can be collected until a project is in complete compliance with HRPP and collecting data before receiving such approval is a serious ethical breach. Once a student files with HRPP, if the student receives any feedback that they do not understand, they should immediately consult with a member of the Educational Administration faculty or the HRPP staff for guidance as to how to proceed. Again, for emphasis, absolutely no data can be collected with our HRPP approval. If any such data is collected it cannot be used for any degree purpose.
Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution
Grievance Procedures (August 2015)
The “Academic Freedom for Students at Michigan State University” (AFR) and the “Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities” at Michigan State University (GSRR) documents establish the rights and responsibilities of MSU students and prescribe procedures for resolving allegations of violations of those rights through formal grievance hearings. In accordance with the AFR and the GSRR, the Department of Educational Administration (K12), College of Education, has established the following procedures for adjudicating student academic grievances, including non-disciplinary hearings regarding allegations of academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards and falsification of academic records when a failing grade has been issued.
The Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR) document establishes the rights and responsibilities of MSU graduate students and prescribes procedures for resolving allegations of violations of those rights through formal grievance hearings. In accordance with the GSRR, the Educational Administration (EAD) and the College of Education has established procedures for adjudicating academic grievances and complaints, please use the link above or go to the document for specific procedures.
Fellowships, Scholarships, Graduate Assistantships, and Other Funding
College Level Fellowships and Scholarship
Every year the College of Education awards millions of dollars to graduate students through an array of fellowships, scholarships, and graduate teaching and research assistantships. The awards range from small tuition scholarships to multi-year packages that can provide annual benefits in excess of $22,000 plus tuition and medical benefits. Both entering and continuing students are eligible for these awards, although specific awards are targeted to different groups of students.
You can locate more information on Fellowships/Scholarships for the College of Education.
Department of Educational Administration Fellowships and Scholarships
The Educational Administration Department offers some competitive scholarships – funded through endowment income – to continuing graduate students. Awards decisions are made at the start of each Calendar year in time to invite recipients and advisors to the College of Education annual awards dinner and reception in April. Announcements are posted and delivered to faculty advisors in November, with nomination materials due in January.
You can locate more information on Department of Educational Administration Fellowships/Scholarships at: http://education.msu.edu/resources/financial/gradscholarships.asp.
In addition to the scholarships awarded by the Office of Admissions, Michigan State University’s searchable scholarship database contains hundreds of scholarships awarded by individual colleges and departments based on academic level or major preference. Many of the scholarships listed in the database have specific criteria and require application forms and supporting materials.
For more information on a particular scholarship in the database, including criteria and application instructions, please contact the appropriate college or department awarding the scholarship.
Department of Educational Administration Unit (K-12) Awards
Clyde M. Campbell Endowed Fellowship Fund Recipients shall be admitted doctoral candidates in the Department of Educational Administration who have completed at least six semester hours of graduate-level course work in Educational Administration at Michigan State University. Recipients shall have had experience in serving as a practitioner in K-12 school administration and/or higher educational administration, and have demonstrated experience and appreciation for the role of the community in educational leadership. Recipients also shall have read widely and been educated broadly in education as well as in the liberal arts, social sciences or physical sciences.
Education Leadership Graduate Fellowship For recruiting (first-year) outstanding doctoral students intending to pursue full-time doctoral studies in either Higher Education or K-12 Administration.
Keith Goldhammer Endowed Scholarship in Educational Administration For doctoral students in educational administration who are completing his/her residency year, and who has a minimum graduate grade point average of 3.75. Additional detailed and specific criteria are available in the Department office.
Walter & Mary Jane Johnson Dissertation Research Award Best doctoral dissertation proposal
Ernest O. and Aurora H. Melby Endowed Fellowship Demonstrate belief in holistic view of education and have demonstrated an awareness that the educative community includes the family, neighborhood and community. Demonstrate understanding and belief in developing a multicultural society
International Students and Scholars Awards
The Office for International Students and Scholars offers the following awards:
Global Neighbors Scholarship Awarded to a limited number of international students displaying academic achievement.
Global Spartan Scholarship Awarded to a limited number of international students displaying academic achievement.
Legacy Scholarship Awarded to academically talented students with non-Michigan residency status for tuition purposes who are the dependents of MSU alumni.
Patricia A. Szymczyk Butler Expendable Scholarship Fund Awarded to an international student who is a graduate of a high school in Poland.
For more information, contact the Office for International Students and Scholars, 103 International Center, Phone: 517.353.1720, Fax: 517.355.4657, Email: email@example.com
Awards and funding from the Graduate School
Also, refer to the University Graduate School Funding Site http://grad.msu.edu/funding/.
Funds from The Graduate School are available for graduate students to travel to present their research at professional conferences. These funds are not available to support thesis/dissertation research projects or course work. This funding is only for graduate students pursuing a degree program. Requests for funding to travel to international meetings will be considered jointly by The Graduate School and the Office of International Studies and Programs; therefore, you need to submit only one form to the Graduate School for consideration by both offices. To acquire a Travel Funding Request Form refer to the Graduate School Funding site
Other travel supports from the Graduate School include:
- The MSU Travel Clinic for information on any health risks or immunizations
- The International Studies and Programs website for issues related to safety around the world
- MEDEX emergency health cards.
Emergency Funding The Graduate School has limited funding available for graduate students for unusual or unforeseen emergency expenses. This funding is only for graduate students pursuing a degree program. Please be aware that emergency funds are provided on a one-time only basis. To acquire an Emergency Funding Request Form refer to the Graduate School Funding site (bottom of page) application and instructions.
Alana (African-, Latino-, Asian-, or Native-American) Discretionary Funding
The ALANA emergency funds are available for ALANA graduate students for unusual or unforeseen emergency expenses. This funding is only for graduate students pursuing a degree program. Please be aware that ALANA emergency funds are provided on a one-time only basis. ALANA Discretionary Fellowship Forms should be sent to: Office for ALANA Student Affairs, 116 Linton Hall.
For additional information on Graduate School Funding, refer to the University Graduate School Funding Site.
The Funding Guide for Graduate Students, Graduate Professional Students and Postdoctoral Fellows is intended to help identify funding sources, such as grants, fellowships, scholarships and awards and lists a few hundred out of thousands of funding opportunities. Many funding opportunities are on-line or in CD-ROM databases. This guide also explains how to access these resources.
The Grants Database
The Grants Database (For this database you will need your MSU NetID and password.) This database contains 23,000 funding sources covering all disciplines. A user-friendly search capability allows you to fine-tune your search by keywords and subjects. Note: The Main Library also receives printed resources of interest and importance to grant seekers. For a listing of journals, books and other publications check the MSU Library Home Page, MAGIC, or visit the Social Science/Humanities Reference Desk.
Receipt of externally funded fellowships by students who have written their own grant applications and worth at least $20,000 (direct costs) now makes the students eligible for in-state tuition rate. The in-state tuition rate applies only to the semesters during which the student is supported by the fellowship. This policy applies only to grants funded through a competitive process by a US institution/agency/foundation. Funds obtained through noncompetitive processes (e.g., need-based fellowships) or from international sources do not qualify the students for in-state tuition rates. For more information contact Melissa Del Rio in 110 Linton Hall.
Faculty in the EAD K-12 program regularly appoint qualified doctoral students as research assistants on a variety of research initiatives. The nature of the assistantship (e.g., length of appointment, work load expectations, available resources, necessary proficiencies, travel, and so on) will be defined by the hiring faculty member. The processing of assistantships through the university is conducted by the Educational Administration Department’s Administrative Assistant. The faculty, program, and department adhere to the guidelines set by the MSU Graduate School Graduate Assistantships policy.
Graduate assistantships provide a waiver of course tuition for nine graduate credits (additional credits are charged at the Michigan resident rate), waiver of matriculation fees and includes health insurance. Graduate assistants must be enrolled in graduate programs and making satisfactory progress toward their degrees. A graduate assistant’s responsibilities require 10 hours per week for a quarter-time appointment, 20 hours per week for a half-time appointment, and 30 hours per week for a three-quarter time appointment.
Graduate assistantships fall into one of two categories: teaching or research. The Department of Educational Administration does not offer teaching assistantships at this time. Students interested in a teaching assistantship should investigate other departments in the College.
Research assistantships are provided by individual faculty on the basis of the research funding they have been able to obtain. Depending on the nature of their research faculty may need assistants who conduct statistical analyses, conduct field research, manage projects, manage large scale databases, review literature, write background papers and proposal and complete administrative and clerical tasks.
For additional information on Graduate Assistantship, refer to their site
View the current version of the Graduate Assistants contract
Office of Financial Aid
The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) is the main campus resource for federal and state programs for student financial aid. The staff can help students with both need-based and non-need-based aid. The office is up-to-date on all the latest state and federal regulations.
You can email the office at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517.353.5940. Office hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Students can look up their own OFA file on StuInfo. In order to sign-on you need to enter your MSU Net ID and password.
Statement of Integrity of Scholarship and Grades
(Academic Governance, Revised March 17, 2015)
The following statement of University policy addresses principles and procedures to be used in instances of academic dishonesty, violations of professional standards, and falsification of academic or admission records, herein after referred to as academic misconduct. [See General Student Regulation 1.00, Protection of Scholarship and Grades.
- The principles of truth and honesty are recognized as fundamental to a community of scholars. The university expects both instructors and students to honor these principles and, in so doing, to protect the validity of university education and grades. Practices that maintain the integrity of scholarship and grades include providing accurate information for academic and admission records, adherence to unit approved professional standards and honor codes, and completion of original academic work by the student to whom it is assigned, without unauthorized aid of any kind. To encourage adherence to the principles of truth and honesty, instructors should exercise care in planning and supervising academic work, and implement proctoring standards appropriate to the design of the course.
- If an instructor alleges a student has committed an act of academic misconduct, the instructor is responsible for taking appropriate action. Depending on the instructor’s judgment of a specific instance, the instructor may give the student a penalty grade. A penalty grade may be a reduced score or grade for the assignment or a reduced grade for the course. [For a definition of “penalty grade”, see Student Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) 11 and Graduate Students Rights and Responsibilities (GSRR) 8.1.18.]
- When an instructor gives an undergraduate or graduate student a penalty grade for academic misconduct, the instructor must complete and submit an Academic Dishonesty Report (available on the Registrar’s Form Menu under Instructor Systems). The report will be sent to the student, the student’s dean, the Dean of the Graduate School (for graduate students) or Dean of Undergraduate Studies (for undergraduate students) and be added to the student’s academic record provisionally. It will remain in the student’s record unless: a) the student successfully grieves the allegation; b) the instructor filing the report requests it be removed; or, for undergraduates only, c) upon conferral of their degree if only one report has been filed the student has successfully completed the required course on academic integrity, and no additional sanctions were requested.
- When completing the Academic Dishonesty Report, if the instructor gives a failing grade in the course, the instructor may request the student’s academic dean to impose sanctions in addition to the failing grade.
- When in the judgment of the student’s academic dean, a sanction in addition to a penalty grade is warranted (e.g., dismissal from a unit or program), the dean may call for an academic disciplinary hearing. In calling for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean may act independently or in response to a request by the instructor. [See SRR 7.V, GSRR 5.5., and Medical Student Rights and Responsibilities (MSRR) 5.3.]
- A student accused of academic misconduct may request an academic grievance hearing to contest the allegation before the appropriate hearing board. In cases involving academic misconduct, no student may be dismissed from a course or program of study without an academic disciplinary hearing.
- On the first offense of academic misconduct, the student must complete an educational program on academic integrity and academic misconduct provided by the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for undergraduate students or the Dean of the Graduate School for graduate students
- In cases involving undergraduate students in which the student’s academic dean, or designee, calls for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean will refer the case to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. The Dean of Undergraduate Studies will notify the student in writing of the call for a disciplinary hearing and will invite the student to a meeting to determine the appropriate judiciary for the hearing. (See SRR 7.V.)
- In cases involving graduate students in which the student’s academic dean, or designee, calls for an academic disciplinary hearing, the student’s academic dean will inform the student and then refer the case to the Dean of the Graduate School. The Dean of the Graduate School will notify the student in writing of the call for a disciplinary hearing and will invite the student to a meeting to discuss the hearing process. (See GSRR 5.5.)
- Either party may appeal a decision of an administrative disciplinary hearing or a disciplinary hearing board to the appropriate appellate board. (See SRR 7.VII., GSRR 5.4.12., and MSRR 5.8.)
The following is a list of useful quick reference information for University Resources:
Career Services and Placement
113 Student Services Building
355-9510 x 380
Rent/lease a vehicle
134 Central Services Building NW
English Language Center
A714 Wells Hall
118 Linton Hall
Green Light phones
911 or push emergency button
Judicial Affairs Office in Department of Student Life
101 Student Services
MSU Computer Store
305 Computer Center
MSU Safe Place
G-55 Wilson Hall
Office for International Students and Scholars
103 International Center
Office of Study Abroad
108 International Center
Office of Admissions and Scholarships
250 Administration Building
Office of Financial Aid
Main Office 252 Student Services
Office of Cultural and Academic
39 Student Services Building
Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities
120 Bessey Hall
Office of the Registrar
150 Administration Building
Olin Health Center
Room 129 North Kedzie Hall
353-8830 fax 432-2198
Service Learning Center
26 Student Services Building
Crisis Line or 355-3551
Student Employment Office
Room 110 Student Services Building
TDD/TTY Services For The Deaf
Testing Office & Test Preparation
207 Student Services Building
185 West Holmes Hall
300 Bessey Hall
Learning Resources Center
209J Bessey Hall
Administrative buildings are open from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and academic buildings generally are open from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. Academic buildings are scheduled to be open on weekends only as needed. Building access hours are posted on each facility. Access to individual classrooms, laboratories and programs is limited to those enrolled. Access to University residence halls is limited to residents and their invited guests, as explained on signs posted on all the doors and elsewhere in the living areas.
Landscaping and outdoor lighting on campus are designed for pedestrian safety and security and modified as needed. Sidewalks are designed to provide well-traveled, lighted routes from parking areas to buildings and from building to building. Landscape personnel trim shrubs from sidewalks, walkways, and building entrances to enhance lighting and visibility.
Campus walkways are inspected regularly to ensure adequate lighting and replacement of burned-out lights. The “Green Light” Emergency Telephone System follows major walkways. Maps showing the walkways and emergency telephones are available.
The following list provides information about the many health and safety resources available to you:
All university vehicles displaying the eyes and ears decal are available for assistance and safety. Employees operating these vehicles can report emergencies via two-way radios.
517-355-8270 | 517-353-7278 | 517-355-2310
The Counseling Center offers short-term professional counseling and self-help resources to MSU students of all ages. It offers ongoing programs, various support groups and graduate training.
Department of Police and Public Safety
The Department of Public Safety includes the MSU Police Department, the Parking Office, and the Safety and Health division. They are available around the clock to help prevent theft, threats to personal safety, accidents, and crime.
Healthy U aims to enhance and expand wellness efforts in partnership with units throughout the University and the community.
MSU Women’s Resource Center
The Women’s Resource Center at Michigan State University is committed to creating and implementing strategies that promote the status of women.
CATA Bus Services (Night Owl)
“We’ll Come to You” services provide curb-to-curb transportation on MSU’s campus. A small bus will arrive within 20 minutes of your call to take you to your campus destination. No advance reservations will be accepted.
Office of Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Safety (ORCBS)
The Office of Radiation, Chemical & Biological Safety (ORCBS) supports the mission and guiding principles of Michigan State University to promote and establish programs in health and safety, protection of the environment and regulatory compliance.
Olin Student Health Center
Olin Health Center provides medical, dental, and optometric care for students and their spouses during their enrollment at Michigan State University. The Health Center offers preventive medical care, treatment for illness or injury, and health education – all on an outpatient basis
Sexual Assault Crisis and Safety Education
517-355-3551 | 24 hour hotline: 517-372-6666
Provides information, education, counseling, and a 24 Hotline for victims of sexual assault.
Student volunteers accompany you when walking on campus after dark. Hours: Sunday – Thursday, 7:00pm – 1:00am
MSU Safe Place
Crisis line 517-372-5572
Business line 517-355-1100
Provides shelter support counseling and advocacy for victims of relationship violence as well as community education.
Council Against Domestic Assault and MSU Safe Place
East Lansing Police
24 hour duty
Protective Services for Children
Free, confidential, general crisis, and sexual assault intervention and advocacy.
Community Mental Health Center
812 E Jolly Suite 111, Lansing, MI 48910
An emergency phone or walk-in service providing crisis intervention assessment and screening for voluntary and involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Open 24-hours every day. Serving Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham Counties
Safety is an important issue for all of the Michigan State University community. Each member of the campus community–students, faculty, and staff–is responsible for taking an active role in both preventing and reporting incidents that jeopardize safety on and around campus. Please review the information below carefully. At Michigan State University, we are concerned about the health and well-being of all our students.
College of Education Resources
The College of Education has a website that can be accessed at education.msu.edu.
Information for College of Education students can be accessed at the resources site. This webpage has resources for undergraduate/teacher candidates and graduate students and for teacher education program applicants in the College of Education. You will find important information on application procedures, jobs, scholarships, financial aid, student organizations, workshops and other resources.
Office of Student Writing Assistance (OSWA) at the College of Education
Depending on a student’s interests and needs, Professor Campbell’s assistance will include attention to the specifics of (American) English grammar and vocabulary. More generally, he will work with students on the consistency of their writing, and its responsiveness, in relation to:
- the course or program requirements being met
- the types of writing involved
- the larger contexts that affect the writing expected and determine its persuasiveness
- the overall need of assuring the “fit” and “flow” across the components of a particular piece in the production of clear and coherent writing.
Professor Campbell brings long experience with graduate student writing support to the OSWA. Drop-in meetings and appointments can be made in person at the OSWA office (513-F Erickson Hall), phone ( 517-432-0425 ), or e-mail (email@example.com).
Students in the Educational Administration Department can access departmental resources.
Or go to our Facebook fan page at facebook.com/msueadk12
Learning Resources Center (LRC): provides instructional facilities, staff, and materials for MSU students interested in improving thinking, reading, writing, listening, study, time management, and test-taking skills. Appointments are not necessary. All services and workshops are provided free of charge.
Writing Center: experienced writing consultants talk one-on-one with writers of all levels of proficiency at all stages of a composition. Get assistance in brainstorming topics, organizing ideas, developing rough drafts, and fine-tuning your writing. For an answer to a quick question, use the Grammar and Usage. Hotline at the same phone and E-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Career Development Center (CDC): The CDC contains a comprehensive collection of books and files on thousands of career fields and 3,200 employers as well as career and employer directories, MSU curriculum files, graduate and student information, audio-visual aids, and self-evaluation modules. Students in the College of Education receive help in activating a Placement File, preparing resumes, researching employers, and preparing for job interviews. Assistance is also offered in teacher certification in career planning and teaching market research.
Service Learning Center: MSU students may receive placement assistance here for volunteer experiences and internships related to their majors. The office is open Monday – Friday, Noon – 5:00 pm.
The Testing Office: registration materials for the LSAT, GRE, MCAT, and GMAT are available here, as well as foreign language placement tests. Registration materials for the NMC are available in the College of Education Student Affairs Office, 134 Erickson Hall.
Overseas Study Office: Dr. Peter Briggs can assist students who want to include an international study experience in their program of study.
NOTE: When submitting the signed forms, you are required to use the most current version of the form (available online) and to ensure that only blue ink is used for all signatures
Forms for All Students
- Application for Change of Program and Status
- Graduation forms (to be completed the semester of graduation)
Forms for EAD Ph.D. Students
- Report of the Guidance Committee – Doctoral and Other Programs
- PhDGuidance Committee Form
- Change in Advisor and Guidance/Dissertation Committee Membership
- Project Agreement Form (EAD 990, 994)
- Dissertation Director Approval
- Dissertation Proposal Approval
- Notice of Doctoral Dissertation Oral Examination
- Record of Dissertation and Oral Examination Requirements for Doctoral Degree Candidate
- Packet Materials Dissertation Submission
- Request for Extension of Time to Complete PhD Degree Requirements
K-12 Administration Ph.D. Students
- K-12 EAD Annual Evaluation of Ph.D. Students
- K-12 Doctoral Planning Guide
- K-12 EAD Ph.D. Program Planner
Doctoral Flow Chart
- Complete EAD core coursework (EAD 920, 922, 923)
- Meet with Advisor to get more acquainted and to discuss independent reading, learning around areas of interest
- Take Preliminary Examination in May
- Hold annual progress evaluation with Advisor
Students should meet 1-2 times with their assigned Advisor. At the end of Year 1 students can retain this Advisor or select a new Advisor. It is important that students plan a program of summer learning to follow your first and subsequent years in the program.
- Take selective and/or inquiry, research coursework
- Finalize academic Adviser; work with Advisor to create doctoral program plan
- Also develop a plan of independent reading and learning fitted to specific areas of interest.
- Select Guidance Committee members
- Schedule Guidance Committee meeting to discuss, finalize doctoral program plan
- File Doctoral Program Plan
- Hold annual progress evaluation with Advisor
Year Three – Four
- Complete coursework as outlined on Program Plan.
- Progress with independent reading and learning on selected topic, begin literature review development
- Construct Comprehensive Exam Question with Adviser and Guidance Committee.
- Complete Comprehensive Exam Paper
- Discuss any changes in Advisor or Committee members necessitated by dissertation topic, other concerns.
- Hold annual progress evaluation with Advisor
Year Four – Five
- Complete EAD 995 Research Practicum (You must have passed Comprehensive Exam)
- Develop and finalize Dissertation Proposal.
- Develop dissertation research plan for human subject review, data collection and analysis
- Maintain a schedule of task due dates and meetings with your Advisor to review progress of dissertation
- Hold annual progress evaluation with Advisor
Year Five or later
- Maintain a schedule of task due dates and meetings with your Advisor to review progress of dissertation
- Pass Dissertation Defense examination