Application Process

Students reportingPlease read the “Identifying a major professor and funding” page before you begin the application process! To be accepted, incoming graduate students are required to have a faculty member who agrees to be their major professor, and to have sufficient funding identified.

Application questions? Contact Heather Lenartson-Kluge, graduation secretary, at

Required application materials for domestic applicants

Fill out MSU’s online Graduate School Application Form and pay the required application fee. Once you create an online application to the Graduate School, you also create an online portal where your application materials are uploaded and received.

The materials to upload to your portal are:

  • Resume or CV.
  • Official transcripts from previous undergraduate and graduate study are required. Official transcripts must be sent from the Office of the Registrar of your previous institution(s). If they are unable to have official transcripts uploaded to your application portal, please request the official transcripts be mailed to:
    Heather Lenartson-Kluge, Graduate Secretary
    Department of Entomology
    288 Farm Lane, Room 243
    East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Important! Do not have transcripts sent to either The Graduate School or The Office of Admissions. Transcripts that are marked "Issued to Student" are not official and are not acceptable.
    • All applicants to graduate school must have obtained at least a bachelor's or science or a bachelor's of arts degree.
    • Applicants must have a minimum of 3.0 grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) in the most recent four semesters of their education. Under some circumstances, applicants are admitted with lower averages on a probationary status.
    • Note to international applicants: Official transcripts and diplomas, mailed in an official, sealed envelope, to the address noted above, from each institution attended are required. Documents must be submitted in their original language accompanied by an official word-for-word English translation. Photocopies and scanned copies sent through email are not acceptable for admission. Original documents issued directly to students (in an open, unsealed envelope and/or documents only issued once to students) are also not acceptable for admission. Documents must have the official seal/stamp of the issuing school and official signature.
  • Academic statement (2 pages maximum). Suggested topics for academic statement: aspects of entomology you are interested in, prior training/experience in entomology or biology, identified lab or professor in our department, areas of interest for research, teaching aspirations, graduate school goals, career goals.
  • Personal statement (2 pages maximum). Suggested resource for writing a personal statement: Purdue Online Writing Lab.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
    • You will receive an email providing a link for references to upload their letters to your application portal once your application fee has been paid and online application has been submitted. Please be sure to forward this information to your references.
    • Make sure to ask people ahead of time whether they agree to write a letter of recommendation for you, and be sure to remind them as the deadline approaches.
    • Choose letter writers who know you well academically and/or professionally and can speak to your potential suitability for graduate school.
  • Official Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) scores.
    • The Department of Entomology does not require applicants submit GRE scores; however, they are strongly encouraged. GRE scores can be useful during the graduate student selection process and are often required for students who wish to be considered for many university recruitment fellowships.
    • If you have taken the GRE, please request that ETS send your GRE scores to MSU electronically. MSU’s code is 1465 and no department code is required. Your scores will be uploaded to your application portal by MSU.

Required application materials for international applicants

International applicants are required to supply all of the information mentioned above for domestic applicants, in addition to:

  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores. These should be sent electronically to MSU (code 1465). Your scores will be uploaded electronically to your application portal by MSU.
    • Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide official scores from a TOEFL test. Test scores cannot be more than two years old.
    • The minimum internet-based (iBT) TOEFL score for regular admission is an average score of 80 with no subscore below 19 for reading, listening, and speaking; no writing subscore below 22. The Paper-based test (PBT) minimum average score should be 550, with no subscore below 52 at MSU.
  • Applicants from China: Michigan State University requires all incoming ADMITTED Chinese students who earned bachelor’s degrees in mainland China to submit a degree conferral verification report from the CDGDC and a transcript verification report from CHESICC. Both of these reports must be made available electronically to MSU’s Office of Admissions.
    • Degree Verification – Admitted MSU graduate students who completed postsecondary undergraduate degree programs in mainland China must contact the CDGDC and request an electronic degree verification report. This report must be 1) emailed directly to the Office of Admissions from the CDGDC or 2) the CDGDC verification report application number emailed to the Office of Admissions by the student or the CDGDC. The Office of Admissions email address is:
    • Transcript Verification – Admitted MSU students who completed postsecondary undergraduate degree programs in mainland China must contact CHESICC and request an electronic transcript verification report in English. The report must include an official copy of the final transcript (in Chinese and English, or just English) along with an English version of the report, which includes all courses taken, program start and end dates, etc. This report must be sent electronically via Parchment directly to the Office of Admissions from CHESICC.