How to Apply

Graduate Program Admission

Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. Before viewing the specific admission process, please take a moment to review the following frequently asked questions.

Pre-Evaluation of Admissibility

A fair appraisal of admissibility to our department cannot be provided without a complete application package, including personal and academic statements, transcripts, test scores, and recommendation letters. Please note the guidelines below that may be helpful in your self-assessment.

Standardized Test Guidelines

The GRE General Examination is required of all applicants. High GRE scores are necessary for the department to nominate candidates for college or university-wide competitive fellowships such as the UDF/UEF. However, outstanding US students who are making a late decision on graduate school may be considered for admission without GRE scores.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide proof of English proficiency, sent directly from the testing agency, with the following exceptions:

  • Bachelor’s degree earned at MSU, the majority of credits earned while on campus.
  • Bachelor’s degree earned in the U.S. or other English-speaking country, the majority of credits earned on campus in an English-speaking country.
  • Master’s degree earned at an AAU institution on a U.S. campus. 

Applicants who meet any of these criteria are encouraged to submit old exam scores to admissions if available.

TOEFL or IELTS results are preferred. We strongly encourage taking the TOEFL iBT (internet-based test). Admitted international students achieve a total score of 90 or above on the iBT with the following suggested sub scores: Reading = 22, Listening = 19, Speaking = 24 and Writing = 25 or above. On the GRE, international students admitted to our program typically score above 1200/1600 or 310/340 on the Q+V tests and 4 or above on the analytical writing test.

When applying for the GRE and TOEFL tests use the institution code 1465 for Michigan State University. The GRE test department code to use is 1001 for chemical engineering and 1403 for materials science. The TOEFL test department code to use is 64 for chemical engineering and 69 (engineering other) for materials science.

Selected applicants from China will be invited to take the SPEAK exam in either Beijing or Shanghai.  This exam is administered by MSU's English Language Center, and will be weighted heavily in comparison to the speaking portion of the TOEFL.  The exams are typically offered in late January, with invitations sent to Chinese applicants in mid- to late-December.

Application Deadlines

The application deadline is January 15. The University requires on-line applications (with the exception of international students living in countries where on-line access is limited.) Most admission decisions are made in January and February, with offers extended immediately upon a favorable decision. Applications received after this date will be reviewed; however, only the most outstanding students will have a realistic chance of being admitted.

International students are encouraged to apply by December 15 in order to facilitate screening for the SPEAK exam.

Faculty Contact

Faculty advisors are not assigned until after students arrive on campus. You are welcome to consult our faculty and research pages to identify programs that match your interest.  While it is not necessary to contact faculty prior to admission, we will be happy to answer research-related questions. 

Waiver of Application Fees

Please note that we cannot waive application fees under any circumstances. Applications received without the fee cannot be evaluated.

Transfer During The Graduate Program

It is our general policy not to admit students who want to transfer to our department in the middle of a graduate program at another institution. Unless there are compelling extenuating circumstances, we will only consider such students after they have fulfilled their commitment to their current university. If you are working towards a Masters degree, we will be happy to consider you for admission to our Ph.D. program after you have completed your MS degree.

Graduate Admission Requirements

Admission decisions will only be made when the applicant has a complete and official application(please see checklist to ensure all steps have been followed). Applicants are evaluated based on their whole application package, so the department encourages everyone to apply. The applicant must have completed a Bachelor's or equivalent degree by the start of the semester applying for. Provisional admission is not granted except in very rare extenuating circumstances.

Admission Process 

Application may be made directly through the Web, or you may download forms to mail, or you may request an application to be sent by postal mail.


Graduate Secretary
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Michigan State University
2527 Engineering Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
FAX: (517)432-1105