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Admission Criteria

Our admissions decisions are made after a consideration of all candidates who apply in a given year based upon (a) GMAT or GRE scores, (b) past GPA, (c) strength of letters of recommendation, (d) past experience in teaching and conducting research, (e) past work experience in business contexts and (f) quality of the personal essay by the applicant. Online or face-to-face interviews may also be requested in some cases, but not all.

We encourage international applications, although our experience has been that it helps a great deal if the student’s first experience in a U.S. educational institution is not at the doctoral level. International students without any former experience in U.S. institutions may be encouraged to first seek an MBA from Michigan State or some other school accredited by the AACSB, prior to seeking a Ph.D. in Management.

Application Requirements

Online application

Applicants must complete the online application for admission to graduate studies at Michigan State University with fees paid.

College transcripts

We require college transcripts showing grades received while pursuing all prior undergraduate degrees as well as graduate degrees, if any. Official copies should be sent directly to the Department of Management:

Department of Management
Business College Complex
632 Bogue St Rm N475
East Lansing, MI 48824

Address to be used when sending application documents via FedEx, UPS, DHL, or other expedited carrier:

Sue Polhamus – Broad College of Business
Michigan State University
166 Service Rd
East Lansing MI 48824

The Office of Admissions will accept the following as certified copies:

  • The copy is notarized with name/stamp/seal/date and submitted by the applicant in a sealed envelope.
  • The copy of the original is attached to an MSU faculty written translation signed and dated by faculty member when original is not in English.
  • The copy is stamped “true copy” or “duplicate” by the international institution (must be in sealed envelope).


We require three letters of recommendation from individuals who are able to appraise your personal interests, abilities and the likelihood that you will successfully complete your Ph.D. in Management program. There is no specific recommendation form. Letters of recommendation should be mailed either to the department’s address (see above) or emailed to the Department of Management’s doctoral program coordinator, Professor Brent Scott. Alternatively, you may use the recommendation portal that will be available when you complete the online application.

Standardized Test Scores

To be considered for admission, you must submit valid scores (less than five years old) from either the GMAT or the GRE. We accept either test. The Michigan State University code for the GMAT is QH0-5P-41 (Q-H-ZERO-FIVE-P-FOUR-ONE). The Michigan State University code for the GRE is 1465 (university) or 0591 (department).

International students must submit valid TOEFL scores (less than two years old) in order to be considered for admission. The Michigan State University code for TOEFL scores is 1465. A score of 27 on the speaking section is strongly preferred by the Management Department.

Due to cancellations of TOEFL tests MSU will be temporarily accepting the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition from applicants affected by these closures who are applying to begin their studies in fall semester 2021.

Written statement of personal goals

This statement should address (a) the area(s) of management in which you are interested, (b) why you believe the program and faculty at Michigan State University fit your interests and (c) your career objectives upon completion of your degree. This statement should be no longer than two pages (double-spaced).

Please note that when you complete the online application, you will be asked to complete an “academic statement” and a “personal statement.” Your statement of personal goals can be used for both the academic statement and the personal statement.

Take the next step to become a leader in business scholarship and research. Apply to the management doctoral program at Michigan State University.