How to Apply

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Thank you for your interest in our graduate program. Please follow the procedure below to submit your complete application package. If you have questions, please check the Frequently Asked Questions.

  1. Fill out a complete MSU Graduate School Application. Use the on-line forms, or contact to check on the availability of a paper application. Note the following degree codes:
    CHEMS Degree Codes
    Chemical Engineering M.S. 2303
    Chemical Engineering Ph.D. 2304
    Materials Science & Engineering M.S. 8001
    Materials Science & Engineering Ph.D. 8002

    Please Note: Your application cannot be marked complete until your application fee has been paid.

  2. Completing the MSU application online will give you access to the Student portal. You will be able to:
    1. Upload Resume/CV
    2. Upload personal and academic statements
    3. Manage Letter of Recommendations (see guidelines below).
    4. Upload any other pertinent information for your application.
    5. For MS students only: Affidavit of Support and bank statements.
    6. Send Messages to Graduate Secretary and Graduate Director.
  3. The following items must be submitted in an official capacity:
    1. Copy of your official transcripts (undergraduate and graduate). Note: for paper copies, please have official correspondence sent to department. Please contact the Graduate Secretary if you wish to have electronic copies sent, as they must meet certain criteria.              
    2. GRE Scores are currently not required.
    3. Official TOEFL or IELTS scores (international applicants only). (See Guidelines).
    Official test scores (GRE and TOEFL) must be submitted to the University via the Educational Testing Service (ETS). Unofficial photocopies of score sheets are useful for review purposes, but we cannot admit applicants without a complete application, which requires official scores.
  4. Arrange for three recommendations from instructors and/or advisors familiar with your academic record who have agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you. This may be done via the student portal (step 2) or by mail. The student portal allows for the student to add referrers, send reminder emails and waive their right to view letters.

    For mail submissions, please use our CHEMS Recommendation Form (Word document, .doc) (rather than the form provided by the graduate school.) Fill out and sign the top portion of each form. Ask the recommender to complete the form, attach a letter if they wish, and return it to us at the departmental address given on the bottom of the form.

Address for Mailing ALL Printed Application Materials

Graduate Secretary
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Michigan State University
428 S. Shaw Ln Rm 2100
Engineering Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
Phone: (517) 355-5135
FAX: (517) 432-1105

Applications will only be reviewed when complete and official. Please utilize the student portal for up-to-date information about your application status.

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

Financial Aid

Each international student who is accepted into the Ph.D. program will be provided financial aid in the form of a research or teaching assistantship, or a fellowship. These awards are made upon admission to the Ph.D. program; therefore, no additional forms are required besides the application package. There is no financial support for students who wish to pursue the MS degree.

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

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 typically achieve a total score of 95 or above on the iBT with speaking and writing scores of 24 or above. 

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

MSU SPEAK Exam in China

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.

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.



Graduate Secretary
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Michigan State University
428 S. Shaw Ln, Rm 2100
Engineering Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1226
Phone: (517) 355-5135
FAX: (517) 432-1105