Michigan State University Doctoral Program Admissions Review Process 2015

Doctoral Admission – Informal Guidelines

Admission Decision Procedure

  1. Initial review of all applicants by each committee member
    • Rate each applicant acceptable/unacceptable
    • Rank-order all acceptable applicants
    • Average committee member ranks computed for each applicant
  2. Phone interviews conducted on short-list of highly ranked applicants
    • Applicants divided among committee members for interviewing
  3. Report given to other committee members on phone interview results
  4. Rank-ordering of all short-list applicants by each committee member
    • Average committee member ranks computed for each applicant
  5. Top average rank applicants recommended to chair for assistantship offers

Evaluation Criteria

  1. Prospect for being a productive scholar
    • Past research experience
      1. Conference papers, book & journal publications
      2. MA thesis
      3. Work on grants
    • GRE scores
      1. No set minimum scores (competitive comparison)
      2. Typically consider % rank rather than raw score
      3. No one category dominates. Average quant scores are higher than verbal or writing, but this may be due to people applying
    • GPA (review of transcripts)
      1. No set minimum scores (competitive comparison)
      2. Consideration of both BA and MA grades
      3. Consideration of course difficulty
    • TOEFL Scores
      1. Must meet MSU minimum (93 with no sub-score below 21)
    • Letters of recommendation
  2. Fit with program goals
    • Quantitative orientation
    • Career goals
      1. Professor at R1 University
      2. Work in public or private organizations as researchers, authors, entrepreneurs, and consultants.
      3. NOTE: Desire to do research in traditionally applied areas (e.g., health, environmental, public policy) is not a disadvantage, but interest only in doing applied work has been less valued
  3. Prospects for being an effective undergraduate instructor
    • Past teaching experience
    • Communication skills (English competency included)
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