COVID-19 Updates

Program Overview

  • How many applicants do you accept each year?

    The number of students admitted to the doctoral program each year has ranged from one to five, but is typically two or three.

  • How long does it generally take to complete the program?

    Generally, students take five years to complete the program. That gives students the best chance at completing research projects prior to the job market in order to make them highly competitive.

  • Can I study part time and work full time?

    The doctoral program is strictly a full-time, on-campus program. We require students to be on campus on a full-time basis, as doctoral students have a broad range of responsibilities including coursework, assistantships and independent study. Thus, there is no online option.

  • Where do MSU graduates get hired?

    Our graduates have accepted faculty appointments at many universities, including:

    • Arizona State University
    • Cornell University
    • Pennsylvania State University
    • Purdue University
    • Rutgers University
    • Texas A&M University
    • University of Florida
    • University of Georgia
    • University of Maryland
    • University of Michigan
    • University of South Carolina
    • University of Washington

    See the Students and Placements page for more details.


  • I’m an international student. Do I need to take the TOEFL?

    Yes, all international students must submit valid TOEFL scores (less than two years old) in order to be considered for admission.

    The Michigan State University code is 1465.

  • Do I need to take the GMAT or the GRE?

    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).

  • Are there minimum GMAT or GRE test scores for successful applicants?

    No, we do not have minimum cut-off scores on the GMAT or GRE. However, admission to the doctoral program is highly competitive, and successful applicants typically score above the 80th percentile on both the verbal and quantitative portions of the test. Regardless of test scores, each applicant is fully reviewed by the admissions committee.

  • What is the deadline for applications?

    January 1 to guarantee you receive consideration for an assistantship or fellowship.

    We normally review applications in January and again in late March or early April. All applications reviewed are for an August admission. It is generally recommended that applications be completed for review in this time frame.

Financial Aid

  • What kind of financial aid is available?

    We provide every student admitted to the program with a graduate assistantship and/or a fellowship. The assistantship is usually at a half-time level. A half-time appointment requires that the student be a teaching assistant and/or a research assistant for 20 hours a week. Renewal of financial assistance is contingent on the student making satisfactory progress in the program. Assistantships include a nine-credit-hour tuition waiver (i.e., tuition is covered for up to nine credit hours per semester) for each of the fall and spring semesters, a waiver for the out-of-state portion of tuition for non-Michigan residents, and health insurance.

    For more information about funding sources, visit the MSU Graduate School.