Our department has never established minimum cut-off values on any indices. Comparisons are made among all applicants for each area of specialization and we attempt to select those persons with the most promise for superior achievement. In the final analysis, the minimum standards are those of the reviewing faculty. The following serve as general guidelines. 

Admission at the Master's level:

  • A bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university.
  • A grade-point average of 3.25 or better during the last two full years of undergraduate study in courses other than military science, physical education, and skills courses (e.g., typing).
  • A major in psychology or at least 12 credit hours in psychology (semester system) with grades of B or better, including courses in experimental psychology and statistics.
  • Favorable evaluations of the applicant by at least three former instructors, preferably in the applicant's undergraduate major. If this major was not psychology, an evaluation from one or two psychology instructors who know the applicant would be highly desirable.
  • Satisfactory scores on the Graduate Record Examination.
  • A reasonably diversified background of undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, including such subjects as english, history, philosophy, mathematics, foreign language, physical and biological sciences.
  • Applicants are admitted to the program only if judged to be qualified to complete the doctoral degree.
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 575 for international students.

Admission at the doctoral level for students with a master's degree earned elsewhere:

  • A graduate program, with a major in psychology, in which a thesis was required, leading to a master's degree from a recognized graduate school (or 30 semester hours) of approved graduate study.
  • A grade-point average of 3.5 or better in all previous graduate courses.
  • Graduate course work in psychology equivalent to those courses required of a candidate for a master's degree in psychology at Michigan State University.
  • Favorable evaluations of the applicant by at least three previous instructors (preferably in psychology).
  • A reasonably diversified undergraduate background in the liberal arts and sciences including such subjects as english, history, philosophy, foreign language, physical and biological sciences, and mathematics.
  • Satisfactory verbal ability and quantitative ability scores on the Aptitude Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
  • If the applicant's master's degree did not include a research thesis, admission may be offered on a provisional basis. Subsequent admission to regular status will require presentation to the faculty of an acceptable equivalent research project completed here or elsewhere.
  • If the applicant has not completed the master's degree because of unexpected circumstances by the admission date at Michigan State University, the student is given one academic year to complete the final requirements.
  • Minimum TOEFL score of 575 for international students.

Members of Minority Groups

The Department of Psychology at Michigan State University recognizes the value that cultural diversity plays in the educational enterprise. Our aim in graduate student selection is to identify individuals who will become outstanding psychologists.

MSU provides support and assistance through The Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions (OCAT). OCAT supports individual students in their navigation of cross-cultural encounters, and in their own understanding, exploration and development of cultural identity. Student-to-student interaction is the key to benefiting from diversity, and OCAT strives to bring together individuals as well as groups of students from diverse racial, ethnic, international, and domestic backgrounds for meaningful interactions. In part, OCAT accomplishes this mission by building critical alliances with peoples, programs, and ideas throughout the university. Additionally, OCAT helps students to better understand themselves and others through cultural, social, and academic activities. For more information about this office, visit http://ocat.msu.edu/about/.

Transfer from Other Graduate Programs at Michigan State University

MSU graduate students who wish to transfer into the Department of Psychology are considered in the same way as new applicants. Students in other departments who wish to apply for admission to psychology should submit the regular department application form. They also need to request their department to either forward their file to us for copying (it will be returned immediately) or to send us a copy of the file. The deadlines and requirements mentioned above apply to students seeking admission by transfer, since their applications must be reviewed in the same way and at the same time as those of students from other universities. Applications involving a transfer between departments at Michigan State University are not processed by the Office of Admissions and Scholarships. All application materials in such cases should be submitted directly to the Department of Psychology.