2017-18 Academic Catalog

Admission Procedure

A prospective applicant who has researched admissions requirements of the Graduate School at Mississippi State University and requirements of the academic program of interest can access information and apply online at http://www.grad.msstate.edu/.  An applicant who is unable to apply online should contact the Office of the Graduate School at grad@gradapps.msstate.edu.

The academic year comprises two regular semesters, beginning in August and January, and a four-term summer session beginning in May.  For specific dates, see the Graduate Academic Calendar.  An individual who submits an admission application should act promptly and ensure that the application has been completed by the deadlines. An individual must be admitted to a degree program or as an unclassified graduate student to register for graduate courses.

Application for graduate admission, including the application and other requirements listed, must be submitted in the following instances.

  • An individual admitted to a graduate degree program who wants to pursue a subsequent second graduate degree
  • An individual enrolled in a graduate degree program who decides to change to a different program
  • An individual who was admitted to a program but did not enroll within three semesters (including semester of admission)
  • An individual pursuing a graduate degree and wishes to pursue a second degree concurrently
  • A student who has graduated with a degree and wishes to take another course(s)

Degree Level Change

A student admitted to a degree program may subsequently want to change degree levels (e.g., from Ph.D. to M.S.) in the same program.  This student should submit to the Graduate School a Request for Change of Degree Level or Concentration form, including all required signatures.  No other document is required.   Once admitted, a degree-level change cannot occur within the current semester; this change can be made effective only for the following semester. 

Concentration Change

A student admitted to a major with two or more concentrations may change concentrations within the same department or the same umbrella major by submitting to the Graduate School an approved Request for Change of Degree Level or Concentration form.  No other document is required.  Once admitted, a concentration change cannot occur within the current semester; this change can be made effective only for the following semester. 

Graduate students may pursue a maximum of two concentrations within one degree/major program at the same time.  Requirements for both concentrations must be fulfilled prior to graduation.  Once a student graduates, a second degree in the same program with a different concentration cannot be earned.  The student must submit the Request to Change Degree Level, Concentration or Add Secondary Concentration form, including all approval signatures.  No other documents are required.  A secondary concentration addition cannot occur within the current semester; this addition can be processed only for the following semester.

Dual (Concurrent) Degrees

An applicant may apply and be admitted into more than one degree program concurrently. Concurrent degree matriculation requires prior approval of each department. If the student is approved to pursue two degrees concurrently at MSU, no more than 9 hours of coursework used in one degree program may be applied toward meeting the requirements for the second degree.  

Campus Change

Students are admitted to the Starkville Campus, the Meridian Campus, or via the Center for Distance Learning.  An admitted student who wishes to change to another campus where the program is also offered must submit the Graduate Request to Change Campus form to the Graduate School. The form must be signed by the student and approved by both the current graduate coordinator, the graduate coordinator of the new campus, and the Provost's Office.  If the student is Unclassified, the Dean of the Graduate School will approved for both campuses.  Once admitted, a campus change cannot occur within the current semester; this change can be made effective only for the following semester. 

Recommendation Letters

New recommendations are required from students in the following situations.

  • applying to a different major
  • applying to a different degree level
  • applying to a second concurrent degree (dual degree)
  • updating after three semesters (including semester of admission) when the student was admitted but did not attend; or student cancelled; or the application was incomplete; or the department made no decision
  • applying to the same program after being rejected due to academic deficiencies

Previous recommendations from the student’s file may be used for students in the following situations.

  • deferring to a later semester within three semesters of being admitted
  • updating within three semesters (including the semester of admission) when the student cancelled; or the application was incomplete; or the department made no decision
  • applying to the same program within three semesters of being rejected due to lack of funding, available faculty, or openings in the program.

Graduate coordinators may request by e-mail that the Office of the Graduate School waive the requirement for new recommendation if the applicant is applying within the same department at the same level or a lower level.