To be considered for significant
financial support in the form of fellowships and assistantships,
the application must be complete by December 1. The admissions
committee will review completed applications at other times during
the year, but because the program is small and only a limited
number of the most qualified applicants can be admitted each year,
applicants whose files are complete by December 1 are at a competitive
The committee may recommend acceptance or denial of admission
to the program, or it may recommend holding an application and
requesting more information. If the decision is to admit the applicant,
the program coordinator assigns a temporary faculty advisor. Applicants
are notified of the department's decision by mail and e-mail as
soon as possible after the review.
- University Application Form and
For applicants seeking admissions to the Educational Policy
Ph.D. Program at MSU, you must apply online through the Graduate
School. Please do not use the Graduate Schools Recommendation
for Admission Form; use the Educational Policy alternative version,
referenced below. The MSU program code number for the Ph.D.
program in Educational Policy is 2293. The application fee (payable
in U.S. dollars drawn on a U.S. bank) is $50 for both domestic
applicants and international applicants. The
also includes considerable information about related issues
at the university.
- Current Vita
Applicants should use the format of a sample
vita, which is available online. Vitae are sent to the Educational
Policy Ph.D. Program Secretary as a .doc attachment at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Statement of Professional Goals
From an autobiographical perspective, applicants should discuss
their reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree in educational
policy. Applicants should respond to the following questions:
How have my experiences and intellectual growth shaped questions
that an advanced graduate program might help me to explore?
What sorts of academic and professional leadership roles would
the program and degree help me to assume? What obstacles to educational achievment for professional growth have I overcome? This statement is
a very important part of the file for the review committee.
Candidates should present a thoughtful and extended verbal portrait,
perhaps two pages long, single-spaced, of their reasons for
pursuing advanced graduate study, the match between their goals
and the program's characteristics, and the major issues of scholarly
and professional interest that they wish to explore during their
graduate career. It is important to mention shared interests with specific MSU Educational Policy faculty members. The statement should be sent to the Educational
Policy Ph.D. Program Secretary electronically. Please note, you do not need to fill in the personal or academic statement on the online graduate application. Your statement of professional goals replaces these two sections.
Applicants must have one copy of their official (sealed) transcripts
sent from all universities attended, except MSU since we can
secure MSU transcripts directly from the Office of the Registrar.
Transcripts are sent to the Educational Policy Ph.D. Program
Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, Room 205 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East
Lansing, MI 48824.
- Writing Sample
Applicants submit one or more examples of academic or professional
writing, e.g., something that they have published, a master's
thesis, or a paper they might have submitted to fulfill course
requirements. The applicant must have authored the sample exclusively.
The purpose is to demonstrate the candidate's ability to write
analytical English prose in order to give the review committee
a clear idea of how well the candidate will be able to carry
out the kind of analytical writing that is such a central component
of advanced graduate study. It may be a good idea to submit
several such papers. International students in particular need
to see this sample as a way to demonstrate their command of
English. Toward this end, a translated abstract of a master's
thesis is of no help. If a student does not have an appropriate
extended piece of analytical prose in English that can be submitted
along with the application, the program coordinator will be
glad to work out a paper topic with the student so that he or
she can write an original piece for this purpose. Copies of
the writing sample(s) should be sent to the Educational Policy
Ph.D. Program Secretary as a .doc attachment.
- Graduate Record Examination
Applicants submit the official results of the GRE General Test
(taken within the past five years). GRE scheduling is quite
convenient and results are immediate, when taken on the computer.
You can explore the GRE
website for testing and scheduling information. Applicants should
have official test results sent to institution code 1465. To
expedite the application process, particularly if the application
deadline is drawing near, send copies to the Educational Policy
Ph.D. Program Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, 205 Erickson Hall. You may even want to
e-mail the numbers to email@example.com
because official results often take a long time to arrive.
- Letters of Reference
Applicants should submit three letters written by those who
can attest to their academic ability or their professional qualifications
-- e.g., professors with whom courses were taken, a master's
degree advisor, or a professional supervisor. Reference writers
should be given the approved forms (signed by the student) and
asked to attach a letter to this form. (The form by itself is
not adequate.) The letter
of recommendation form is available online. The purpose
of these letters is to show the review committee the qualities
the applicant brings to the program that are likely to make
him or her successful in advanced graduate study. As a result,
it is most helpful to solicit letters from individuals who best
know the candidate's academic and professional skills. Letters
from instructors who taught the candidate at the master's or
undergraduate level are particularly effective for this purpose,
while letters from workplace supervisors may be less so. Letters
should be sent directly by the reference writer to the Educational
Policy Ph.D. Program Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, 205 Erickson Hall.
The application process for international students is somewhat
International applicants must apply online and use the application found on the MSU
Graduate School website.
As part of this application, you need to fill out a statement
of financial proof. This statement, a copy of which is included
in the application, must originate from your source of support
and must be a certified, original statement with stamp and original
signature. The university cannot accept photocopies unless notarized,
signed and sealed.
Your application fee ($50) should be
paid by check or money order payable to Michigan State University
and attached to the application form. Checks drawn outside the
U.S. must be payable in U.S. funds through a U.S. bank. Checks
drawn on foreign banks that do not have a correspondent U.S. bank
may be returned. Do not send cash or international coupons.
- English Proficiency Proof: TOEFL
Applicants for whom English is not their primary language are
required to submit TOEFL scores. The test must be taken within
two years of the application. The university's minimum on the
Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) is 80 with no subscore below 19 for reading, listening, and speaking and no writing subscore below 22. Our program expects applicant scores to be higher than the univesity's minimum requirements. Our program will review all section scores when reviewing applicants for admission. No international candidates will be
considered for admission review until they have taken the TOEFL
test and achieved the above listed scores or higher. Some international
candidates ask to be admitted provisionally, with the idea that
they will take courses in English after arriving on campus.
The program will not accept students on this basis. We require
that international candidates demonstrate adequate skill in
English before being admitted to the program.You
can contact the TOEFL
program online. Results should be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions, 426 Auditorium Road, 250 Administration Building.
To expedite an application, copies of the results are sent to
the Educational Policy Ph.D. Program Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, 205 Erickson Hall.
If the student has completed a degree program in an English
speaking country, he or she can request a waiver of the TOEFL
requirement. Once the program admissions committee is convinced
of the student's English language skills based on past program
completion and other evidence, it will ask the university to
waive the requirement. This waiver is usually granted, but the
university may require the student to take the English proficiency
test upon arrival at MSU.
- Special Information
Sources of Information for International Students
If you have questions about how to fill out the international
application, please get in touch with the MSU
Office of Admissions, 426 Auditorium Road, 250 Administration
of International Students and Scholars (OISS) is able to assist with the following items:
Visa types and requirements.
International student immigration matters.
Travel to the U.S.
Finances for international students.
Support services for international students.
Summary of Application
Send the following to the Educational Policy Ph.D. Program
Secretary, 620 Farm Lane, 205 Erickson Hall, Michigan State University, East
Lansing, MI 48824:
1. One official copy of all college transcripts
2. Reference letters
3. Photocopy or .pdf scan of GRE scores
4. Photocopy or .pdf scan of TOEFL scores (international students only)
Send the following as .doc or .pdf email attachments
to the Educational Policy Program Secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember to include your last name in the file name (ie., Smith
Vita.doc, or Jones Goals.doc).
2. Goal Statement
3. Writing Sample
Send the following to the MSU Office
of Admissions, 426 Auditorium Road, 250 Administration Building, Michigan State University,
East Lansing, MI 48824:
1. Official GRE scores
2. Statement of financial proof (international students only)
3. Official TOEFL scores (international students only)