Application Materials

Required Application Documents

Each link contains more details regarding that document

  1. MSU Application for Admission to Graduate Programs M.S. code: 7018 Ph.D. code: 7019
  2. CV/Resume
  3. Academic Statement Upload directly as a PDF to your Student Portal.
  4. Personal Statement Uploaded directly as a PDF to your Student Portal.
  5. Letters of Recommendation Uploaded as PDF by your recommender.
  6. Official Transcript Directly sent to MSU Admissions by the institutions you attended.
  7. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores Directly sent to MSU Admissions from the Educational Testing Service. Institution Code: 1465 Department Code for Plant Biology is 0205
  8. Faculty and Research Interest Form Upload directly to Student Profile
  9. TOEFL scores (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY) Institution Code: 1465 Department Code for Plant Biology is 35
  10.  Financial Affidavit and Proof of Financial Support (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY)

Thank you for your consideration to apply! Contact Jessica Leadbetter with questions.

Description of Documents
MSU Application for Admission to Graduate Programs         [Back to top
The interactive application form for domestic or international applicants must be filled out online. Do not send in applications to the Department of Plant Biology. All information is secured with SSL encryption. Use the major codes 7019 for Ph.D. applicants and 7018 for M.S. applicants when asked “Major Preference”. When a completed application form is received by the University, it will automatically be sent to the Department of Plant Biology.         
Resume                                                                                       [Back to top]  
Please list research experience and each activity that accounts for your time since earning a bachelor's degree (e.g. employment, military service, travel). Be sure to include the type of activity, name of your employer, city/state, and dates; List the most recent activity first.                                             

Academic Statement                                                                   [Back to top
The Academic Statement should include a moderately detailed explanation of your plans for graduate study, your future professional goals, and how the graduate program in the Department of Plant Biology will help you meet your career and educational objectives.

Be sure to indicate your area(s) of research interest and include mention of any research experience you have had prior to applying to graduate school at MSU. Please indicate specific faculty who you may wish to work within the Department of Plant Biology.

Personal Statement                                                                  [Back to top]
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. You may also explain how these factors have motivated you in pursuit of higher education and how they will help shape your contributions to the Plant Biology Graduate Program.

Letters of Recommendation                                                           [Back to top]

Three letters of recommendation must be submitted from professors or others who can assess your promise of success in the graduate program. You cannot upload the letters of reference. Your recommenders must upload letters of reference via the Student Portal.

Register your recommenders through the Student Portal.

  1. Log in and click “Letters of Recommendation” under “Control Panel”.
  2. In the gray box, click “Register Recommender” and enter in their information.
  3. Decide if you want to waive your right to access your letters of recommendations, and then click either “Add Recommender” or “Back” to take you to the Letters of Recommendation page.

Official Transcript Back to top
You cannot send your own transcript(s). It must come directly from the institution. Please arrange to have official transcripts from all institutions of higher learning that you have attended sent to the address below. If an institution offers an electronic version, please have your institution sent the verification link to

Office of Admissions

Michigan State University

Hannah Administration Building

426 Auditorium Road, Rm 250

East Lansing, MI 48824

Applicants pursuing or who have earned degrees from universities in China must submit certified copies (sealed and stamped by institutions) of all university transcripts, graduate certificates and degrees directly to The Office of Admissions. MSU requires these documents in the original language (Chinese), as well as, an official English translation. If you are admitted, you must also obtain verification of your undergraduate (or equivalent) transcript from the China Academic Degrees and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). Please refer to their website: Please note, there is a fee to have your transcripts verified. The Department will reimburse you upon your enrollment at MSU.

Graduate Record of Examination (GRE) Back to top
Have an official report of your GRE scores sent directly from the Educational Testing Service. The MSU’s Institution Code is 1465, Plant Biology’s Departmental Code is 0205. Subject exams are not required for our program. Since there is often a delay before such reports are received by the University, you may wish to also upload a copy of your score report to your Student Portal, to be sure that we receive at least a copy of your GRE scores before the November 25, 2019 deadline.

Please ensure that your GRE scores are sent to MSU at least 6 weeks in advance of the deadline date (October 20th). Processing incoming GRE scores during October through February may take up to 6 weeks following receipt of scores from ETS due to the high volume of scores received.

Faculty and Research Interest Form Back to top
This form will help connect applicants with faculty members who are actively recruiting graduate students to join their labs. Please complete this form and upload it to your Student Portal and select “Supplemental Application” as the document type. Downloadable Research and Faculty Interest Form.


Please have the original test results sent to the Office of Admissions at the address listed below. You may also upload a copy with your application to ensure we receive all materials before November 25, 2019. The institution code for MSU is 1465 and the Plant Biology program code is 35.

Office of Admissions

Michigan State University

Hannah Administration Building

426 Auditorium Rd., Room 250

East Lansing MI 48824-13

Financial Affidavit and Proof of Financial Support (INTERNATIONAL APPLICANTS ONLY) Back to top
Financial proof must be provided in order to comply with U.S. Government regulations. Final admission is not granted until the Office of Admissions confirms that all documents are complete and correct. At the time of final admission, your immigration document will be issued.

Your Affidavit of Support for Graduate International Students must originate from your source of support. Submit your Affidavit of Support for Graduate International Students in your Student Portal. Required Affidavit of Support download.

If you cannot provide proof of financial support, contact the Graduate Secretary at

Verification of Finances
Verification of finances can be either option below. Both are not required.

1. Certification by a bank that you have funds available AND certification by person(s) responsible for your finances.  This person must sign the Affidavit of Support for Graduate International Students.


2. Certification by a government, educational institution, or official agency. Proof of finances from a government, educational institution, or official agency must appear on official stationery and contain an original seal and signature(s).