Applying to the Graduate Program

  • Where can I find information about applying?

Applications to MSU Department of Chemistry are completed online. Information on the requirements, the process, and links to the materials are available through the How to Apply section. DO NOT SUBMIT MORE THAN 1 UNIVERSITY APPLICATION, if you have questions or need assistance please contact the MSU Office of Admissions at 517-355-8332 option 2 or the MSU Department of Chemistry. Do not make another application to makes changes.

  • Does MSU Department of Chemistry offer an application fee waiver?

We understand that you will be prompted to pay the application fee however; you do not need to pay the application fee. The MSU Department of Chemistry can review your application without the payment and will process payment of the application fees for all admitted students.

  • When and where should I have my transcripts mailed?

Unofficial transcripts should be uploaded within the online Graduate Education Student Portal for evaluation purposes only.

Students admitted to the program must provide official transcripts or academic records, sealed and stamped, from each institution attended to the address listed below.

Domestic students please have your university mail your transcripts to:

Michigan State University
Chemistry Building
Attn: Anna Osborn
578 S Shaw Ln Room 320
East Lansing MI 48824

International students please have your university mail your transcripts to:

  1. Michigan State University
  2. Hannah Administration Building
  3. 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
  4. East Lansing, Michigan 48824-2604


  • How does your review process work? When will I know if I’ve been accepted?

We use a rolling review process due to the high number of applications we receive. The admissions committee generally starts reviewing applications in December and finishes by the end of April. Admission offers are made throughout the review process and may continue until mid-April. You will be notified via email of our decision for admissions status.

  • Can I contact a professor in the department prior to being admitted?

If you are especially interested in a particular professor’s research, you can email him or her directly to begin to establish contact. Nonetheless, the admissions committee reviews all applications and approves admittance into the program. Even though you are in touch with a faculty member, they will not have an answer regarding your admissions status. You will be notified via email of our decision for admissions status.

  • What is the Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose? How long should it be?

Your Personal Statement should concisely describe 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.

When preparing your Personal Statement, please address the following questions:

  • How well do your personal goals for education and research fit with the interests of our faculty and the research activities within our department? Briefly describe research areas or questions that you find interesting and identify any specific faculty, labs or research projects at MSU that are of particular interest to you.

  • How have you demonstrated your leadership skills, or your potential as a leader? For example, you might share specific examples of how you made contributions as an officer in a student organization or how you assumed a leadership role within a team or during a professional internship. You could also discuss your potential for leadership in graduate school and afterwards by sharing your career goals and discussing your capacity to make a distinctive professional or scholarly contribution in your field.

  • How have you contributed to a diverse educational community, or how will you do so as a graduate student? How have you promoted understanding among persons of different backgrounds and ideas, or how will you do so as a graduate student? Examples might include service activities, leadership roles, education abroad, language study, etc.

  • If applicable, please describe any barriers or obstacles that you have overcome in pursuit of your educational or personal goals. Examples might include economic, social or health challenges, being the first in your family to attend college, family obligations, etc.

  • If applicable, please describe aspects of your personal background that will enhance the diversity of MSU's graduate student body, such as being multi-lingual, participating in a McNair or TRIO program, attending a minority-serving institution, etc.

  • If applicable, please describe anything else in your personal history, experience, or aspirations that distinguishes you from other applicants to our graduate programs.


  • What is the Academic Statement? How long should it be?


Your Academic Statement should be a concise statement of your plans for graduate study, your career goals, and how MSU's graduate program will help you meet your career and educational objectives. If you have already been in contact with faculty or staff at MSU regarding your application for graduate studies, please list these contacts in your Academic Statement.

When preparing your Academic Statement, please include the following information:

  • Briefly describe key experiences that led you to graduate studies. Examples might include research experiences, internships, coursework or extracurricular activities.

  • Share specific, relevant examples of how these experiences helped you develop skills for success as a graduate student. For instance, you might demonstrate ways that you have synthesized knowledge from the classroom, developed research skills, communicated effectively, acted as a leader, or gained skills and responsibility over time.

  • Make a clear connection between your previous experiences and your current interest in graduate studies. If your intended area of specialization in graduate school differs significantly from your previous experiences, please briefly explain why you decided to change focus.

  • If applicable, explain any gaps or discrepancies in your academic record and share unusual obstacles or hardships that you have overcome in pursuit of your educational objectives.

  • Explain how your goals for graduate study relate to your longer-term career plans, including the pursuit of additional degrees or certifications if applicable.