Doctoral (Ph.D.) Admissions

Admissions Overview

Please note: The Admission Process was updated effective September 24, 2013. In particular, the GEA Portal has replaced some of the other steps that were previously required. If you previously applied, your application will be transferred for you. If you have any concerns, please contact Ayodele Webb (cepadmis@msu.edu). Otherwise, please follow the steps as outlined below.

The first step to applying to Michigan State University and the EPET doctoral program is to complete the University Application (with payment, see Step 1 below). After you complete the University Application and submit your payment, you will receive an email inviting you to access the MSU Graduate Education Application Portal (GEA Portal). (see Step 2 below).

Admissions Requirements

The admissions requirements are the same for the hybrid and the on-campus programs. You can get further information on the On-Campus Program (  Open in a new window) and the Hybrid Program (  Open in a new window).

  1. University Application and Fee
    • Please note that all on-campus applications should be for Fall Semester (FS),
      and all hybrid applications should be for Summer Semester (US).
    • In this application, please leave the “Personal Statement” and “Academic Statement” blank.
    • Note that application fees, payable to Michigan State University, are non-refundable.
    • Note that the recommendation form provided in the graduate application is not required, and does not need to be submitted in conjunction with recommendation letters. Your recommendation letters are to be submitted through the GEA Portal described below.
    • After you complete the University Application and submit your payment, an email inviting you to complete the GEA Portal will be sent to the email address submitted on your University Graduate School Application. The supplemental application will serve as an electronic depository for your student-generated application materials.
  2. MSU Graduate Education Application Portal (GEA Portal) (using the link emailed to you)
    • Provide contact information for 3 recommendation letter writers in GEA Portal
    • You will need to include: first and last name, job title, employer, email address.
    • Please ensure you have a mutual agreement and understanding with your recommender prior to submitting their information into the system. You are responsible for ensuring the required letters of recommendation are submitted on your behalf. You may need to follow up with your recommenders regarding missing letters to complete your application.
  3. Upload your Professional & Scholarly Goal Statement to the GEA Portal (specify “Other” as the document type)
  4. Upload your Writing Sample to the GEA Portal
    • Submit an example of academic or professional writing, e.g., something that you have published, a master’s thesis, or a paper you might have submitted to fulfill graduate course requirements. You must have authored the sample exclusively. The purpose is to demonstrate your ability to write analytical English prose in order to give the review committee a clear idea of how well you will be able to carry out the kind of analytical writing that is such a central component of advanced graduate student.
    • Samples whose content is close to the applicant’s stated interest are most useful.
  5. Upload your Vita or Resume to the GEA Portal (specify “Resume” as the document type)
    • List professional experience, awards, honors, publications, presentations, professional affiliations, and professional development activities.
  6. Send one official copy of your Transcripts from all previous institutions attended
    • These transcripts must be sent directly from the institution; please contact the Registrar’s Office at the institutions you attended for the appropriate procedures and fee information.
    • Have the transcripts sent directly to: (Note that Transcripts and the CDGDC report (for applicants from Chinese universities) are the only materials to be sent to this address.)

      Ayodele Webb, Admissions Secretary
      CEPSE Michigan State University
      620 Farm Lane, Room 447
      East Lansing, MI  48824-1034 USA
      517-355-6683
      cepadmis@msu.edu

    • International Applicants: Original or attested copies of all transcripts, diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates from all secondary schools and colleges attended and official English translations if original or attested documents are not in English. When applying for Fall semester please provide academic records with marks through the Fall semester prior to the term of application.
    • Applicants from Chinese Universities: Please arrange for a verification report of your university academic records with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). The report must be mailed directly to Ayodele Webb (see address below) by the CDGDC, rather than by you or any third party.
      • China Adademic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center Verification Division B-17, Tongfang Scientific Plaza No. 1 Wangzhuang Road, Haidian District, Beijing, 100083, P.R. China Tel: +86-10-82379480 Fax: +86-10-82378718 (24 hours) Email: cqv@cdgdc.edu.cn Website: www.chinadegrees.cn 
  7. Complete the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
    • The verbal, quantitative, and analytical portions of the GRE should be submitted. Applications should have official test results reported to institution code 1465.
    • Information on testing may be obtained from:
      • MSU Testing Office 207 Student Services Building East Lansing, MI  48824 517-355-8385

Have questions? Check out our FAQ list. Also, Ayodele Webb (cepadmis@msu.edu) is the department admissions officer and can answer questions related to the submission of your materials for both the hybrid and on-campus programs. Note that all admissions decisions are made by EPET program faculty. If you have questions about the hybrid program, feel free to contact us at epetphd@msu.edu, (517) 355-6683.

Requirements for the English Language Proficiency

Applicants whose first language is not English are required to be proficient in English as a condition for regular admission to MSU. Such applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standards on any one of the following tests:

  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
  • Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
  • Michigan State University English Language Test

More details about these assessments and minimum scores required by the University are given under the heading Minimum English Requirements at http://admissions.msu.edu/admission/international_requirements.asp.

A few suggestions…

As you prepare your application materials for submission, here are some specific suggestions to consider.

  • Shop widely for doctoral programs, in and outside of the College of Education, and make sure that Educational Psychology and Educational Technology is right for you. If you are not sure, contact us.
  • If possible, don’t wait until the December 1st deadline to apply. Access to fellowships and the program itself are facilitated by submitting your materials before the deadline.
  • Like it or not, GRE scores matter in doctoral admissions decisions, here and elsewhere. If you are not happy with your score, construct a plan to do a little study and retake the examination.
  • Give close attention to your Professional and Scholarly Goals Statement and make sure that it articulates your research interest(s), how that interest has arisen, and why it is compelling for you. If possible, describe how you have been thinking about exploring that interest and draw links to EPET faculty whom you think are doing related work.
  • If possible, select a Writing Sample that is linked to your research interest.
  • Understand that you are responsible for making sure that Recommendation Letters are submitted in a timely fashion. Access to fellowship support and admission to the program require 3 letters of recommendation.
  • Most of all, make sure that you are ready for 5 years (typically) of demanding and exciting work to become a educational researcher and scholar!

In general terms, the EPET program is looking for bright, well-prepared, highly-motivated applicants who feel strongly drawn to research and scholarship in educational psychology and/or educational technology. All applicants must be ready for full-time study that is more demanding and consuming than all their prior education. They must also be ready to learn to conceptualize, carry out, and report innovative research.