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How to Apply

MPS Admission Requirements

MPS is a dual major program. Students must apply and be accepted into both a primary department or program (MSU Application Form) and the MPS program (short MPS Application Form).

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum grade point average of 3.0 (equivalent to letter grade B)
  • Grades of 3.0 or better in biological science courses

Student Expected Preparation In:

  • Calculus
  • Introductory genetics
  • Chemistry through organic
  • Basic biology
  • Introductory biochemistry and physical chemistry are strongly recommended.

In some circumstances, deficiencies in one or more of these areas may be rectified by taking appropriate undergraduate or graduate courses concurrently with graduate courses in the MPS program curriculum.

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Primary Department Application

To apply, you must first submit a Michigan State University application form. On this form, there is a place to indicate the primary department but no place to indicate a particular interest in the MPS program. After completing the general MSU application, fill out the “MPS Program Application” (see below).

Go to MSU Application


Selecting the Primary Department

Students should choose a primary department depending on their principal interest related to molecular plant sciences. Admission to the MPS program will not be affected by an applicant’s choice of primary department.

On the MSU application form indicate on line 17 the primary department in which you are interested. The participating degree-granting departments and programs have application information on their websites (links in table).

Students who select either BMB, CMB, or GEN as a primary department will automatically be transferred to the Biomolecular Sciences (BMS) Gateway. No special action is required by applicants, nor will this affect the admissions decision process.

Ph.D. program requirements differ by department. See Supplemental Primary Department Requirements for details.


Required MSU Application Documents

All materials, except transcripts, should be uploaded via the MSU Graduate School website.

  1. MSU Application for Admission to Graduate Study

  • MSU has a single web portal for all graduate school applications. Complete the interactive application for domestic or international applicants. All information is SSL encrypted and secured.
  • When a completed application form is received by the University, it will automatically be sent to the primary department (question 17 on the form).
  • Once we have received a completed application we will confirm this with you. If you do not hear from us in a timely manner, please contact the MPS graduate secretary.
  1. Resumé

  • Please list each activity that accounts for your time since earning a bachelor's degree (e.g. employment, military service, travel).
  • List the most recent activity first. 
  • Be sure to include the type of activity, name of your employer, city/state, and dates.
  1. Academic and Personal Statements

  • Two written statements are required and should be submitted, via your student portal, as separate documents.
  • The Academic Statement (1-2 pages) should include a moderately detailed explanation of your plans for graduate study, your future professional goals, and how the MPS graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives.
    Be sure to indicate your specific area(s) of research interest and include any research experience you have had prior to applying to graduate school at MSU. Please indicate specific faculty whom you may wish to work with in the MPS program.
  • The Personal Statement should explain how your background and life experiences, including social, economic, cultural, familial, educational, or other opportunities or challenges motivated your decision to pursue a graduate degree in molecular plant sciences. You may also wish to explain how these factors have motivated you in pursuit of higher education and how they will help shape your contributions to the MPS graduate program.
  1. Letters of Recommendation

  • Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from professors or others who can assess your promise of success in the graduate program.
  • Applicants should upload letters of reference via the web portal.
  1. Transcripts

  • Please arrange to have official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning that you have attended sent to the following address:

Attn: Graduate Secretary
Michigan State University
Molecular Plant Sciences (MPS) program
612 Wilson Road, Room 106
East Lansing MI 48824-1312
email: molplant@msu.edu

  • MSU has special rules for verification of transcripts from applicants currently pursuing, or who have earned, degrees from universities in China. The MPS program will reimburse you for the cost of the verification upon your enrollment at MSU.
  1. TOEFL scores (International applicants only)

  • Please have the originals sent to the Office of Admissions per the Graduate School
  • You may also upload a copy with your application to be sure we receive all materials before December 1. The Institution code for MSU is 1465.


Deadlines, Financial Aid, and Curriculum

Students normally start the program in the Fall semester, but they can enter at other times by special permission. Although the MPS program submission deadline is January 1, some departmental deadlines are earlier, and many fellowship nominations are made in early January. It is strongly recommended that all materials be submitted by December 1.

Some financial aid is provided through the primary departments, and so all MPS applicants are urged to follow precisely the application procedures for the prospective primary department. Once you have completed your MSU application, fill out the MPS application form (see below).

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MPS Program Application

You should fill out a short application form directly to the MPS program. Note that you must also submit a Michigan State University application, found under the "Primary Dept. Application" section above, to be considered for admission to your primary department.


MPS Application Form


Required MPS Application Information

  • Contact information
  • Permanent address
  • Current address
  • Primary department of interest for the joint degree, as specified in the MSU application form
  • Degree(s) received or expected
  • A one-page statement of the basis of your interest in the MPS program and how it fits into your long-term professional goals.
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Checklist of Application Materials

The checklist is available to help you manage the admissions process. 

Primary Department Materials

(Note: some departments might have additional requirements)

  • University Application titled "Application for Admission to Graduate Study"
  • Application Fee
  • Resumé
  • Academic Statement
  • Personal Statement
  • Letters of Recommendation (usually 3)
  • Two Official Copies of Transcripts
  • GRE Scores
  • TOEFL Scores
  • Statement of Financial Proof (International Students only)

MPS Materials

  • MPS Application
  • A one-page statement of the basis of your interest in the MPS program and how it fits into your long-term professional goals (upload into MPS Application).

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