ISWD Admission Requirements

Prerequisites for admission into the graduate program include all the general requirements of the Office of the Graduate School. International students must obtain a minimum TOEFL score of 550 PBT (213 CBT or 79 iBT) or a minimum IELTS score of 6.5.


Deadlines for Face to Face and Distance Programs

A student applying for admission into the Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development must submit the complete application packet to the Office of the Graduate School no later than:

Term Applying For Domestic Deadline International Deadline
Summer first 5-week April 1 March 1
Summer second 5-week April 1 March 1
Summer 10-week April 1 March 1
Fall July 1 May 1
Spring November 1 September 1

Admission Packet

No applications are accepted after these deadlines for the respective admission semester.

A complete admission packet consists of the following items:

Ph.D. Program

  • Application to the graduate degree program
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty and administrators who can comment about your scholarly ability)
  • Statement of purpose (a minimum of one-page single-spaced): In the statement, please make sure to address the following:
  • describe the purpose of applying for the Ph.D. degree in this program area
  • identify your research interest
  • discuss your career goals
  • Applicants with a graduate GPA of 3.50 or higher on previous graduate work from an accredited institution may qualify for a waiver of the GRE/GMAT requirement.
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • A copy of professional resume
  • Ph.D. applicants who pass the initial screening will be contacted for an online interview.

Master and Educational Specialist (Ed.S.)

  • Application to the graduate degree program
  • Three letters of recommendation (preferably from faculty and administrators who can comment about your scholarly ability)
  • Statement of purpose (a minimum of one-page single-spaced): In the statement, please make sure to address the following:
    • describe the purpose of applying for the degree in this program area
    • discuss your career goals
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended

Full Admission to any department graduate programs requires a minimum undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or higher from a four-year accredited institution or a minimum graduate GPA of 3.00 or higher on previous graduate work from an accredited institution.

Provisional Admission

If a student does not fully meet the admission requirements of the program, it may be possible for that student to be admitted provisionally. If admitted provisionally, the student must attain a 3.00 GPA on the first 9 hours of graduate courses at Mississippi State University after admission to the program.

Courses with an S grade, transfer credits, or credits earned while in Unclassified status cannot be used to satisfy this requirement. If a 3.00 GPA is not attained, the student shall be dismissed from the graduate program.

Contingent Admission

A student may be admitted to department graduate programs with conditional requirements identified by the department (e.g., writing requirement). If a prospective student has met all admission requirements and is in the final semester of previous degree work, the student may be eligible for contingent admission. If the student is admitted contingently, s/he has to fully complete the conditional requirements no later than the third semester after admission to the program.

Re-admission Criteria

The Department of Instructional Systems and Workforce Development requires that a student who has not been enrolled for three consecutive semesters must submit a readmission application that includes:

  • Three letters of recommendation (if they are older than three years since the last application), and
  • A revised statement of purpose that:
    1. describes the purpose of reapplying
    2. discusses the applicant's career goals
    3. explains how circumstances have changed making academic improvement a realistic goals,
    4. identifies the applicant's research interest (Ph.D. students only)