Frequently Asked Questions
Is GRE/GMAT required?
Currently, GRE or GMAT is not required
Can I start the program any semester?
Yes, you can start any semester. For the deadlines, please review our Admission page.
When is the application deadline?
For the deadlines, we have 3 semesters: For fall admission, the deadline is 7/1; spring is 11/1, and summer is 5/1. But, if you are an international student, fall deadline is 5/1; spring is 9/1, and summer is 3/1 – two months ahead of domestic applications.
How long does the program take for graduation?
It’s depending on the program. For example:
a. MSIT: The program requires 33 hours. Depending on how many courses taken per semester, most students can complete the program within 1-2 years.
b. Ed.S.: The program requires 31 hours. Same as the master program, most students can complete the program within 1-2 years.
c. Ph.D.: Overall, the program requires 90 hours after the bachelor degree, including 20 dissertation hours. Depending on the numbers of transferred hours from your Master’s or Ed.S. program, on average, most students spend the first 2 years for the coursework, then would depend on the students’ progress on their proposal and dissertation. According to the MSU policy, the students have 5 years to finish their dissertation after they pass the comprehensive exams.
After I am admitted, who do I have to contact first?
After you are admitted to our grad. program, you will receive a departmental acceptance letter that indicates your advisor(s) and contact information. You can contact him or her directly, and/or Program Coordinator too.
Is it completely online?
Yes, our program is completely online. So, it is not required for students to travel to the campus at all.
Would I be required to travel and participate on campus at any time during the program?
No travel is required any time for the program. The department and committee will accommodate students for scheduling their comps and/or defense online as well.
What is the duration of each course (8-week, 16-week etc.)?
All of our courses are offered online, and there are approx. 16-week in regular fall or spring semester. In summer, we offer 10-week or 5-week long classes as well.
Will I have one on one contact with professors?
Yes, you can work with the faculty one on one basis. You are also welcome to contact the faculty anytime to schedule face-to-face or online meeting as well.
Which learning management system does your institution utilize?
Currently, MSU uses Canvas.
How many courses is one expected to take simultaneously?
It’s up to the student. For a grad. student, a full-time course load in fall and spring semesters is enrollment in 9-13 credit hours, that’s approx. 3-4 classes. But, if you want to take more within a semester, you can take overload by filling out the overload form.
Is there a cohort and set timeline for progress or is the program individually-paced?
No, there is no cohort in our program, so students can always schedule their classes based on their own pace and schedule.
Where in the field have former graduates been placed? Can you provide an idea of the marketability of this degree?
Depending on students, it’s quite diverse. Some of our former students are working as faculty members or administrator in other university; director or supervisor, and more. If you like to explore more, please check out our alumni page in our web site.
What is the time commitment while I am in the program?
Depending on students. Overall, more courses you take, the earlier you expect to graduate. In general, 1-2 years to complete Master and Ed.S., and 4-5 years to complete a Ph.D. degree. But, it all depends on students themselves.
What are some individualization and/or specialization options?
Based on your interest and career plan, you can choose and tailor the program as you wish (e.g., electives). You can also have a minor in the different program too. We encourage you to speak with your advisor about course work, individualized curriculum and research focus you’re interested in too.
What steps would I take to get my master coursework evaluated and devise a course of study and timeline to complete the ISWD program?
You can discuss your master coursework with your advisor (or Graduate Coordinator) who can help review and finalize your transfer hours.
Can I get to choose my advisor to work with?
Yes, we encourage you to review our faculty page and contact the faculty to discuss your research agenda and work with you.
What is the total cost of the program?
You can check and review this link: https://online.msstate.edu/iswd/tuition/ for the information.
Are there fellowships/scholarships/grants/assistantships or other forms of funding available?
We have assistantships (working as our departmental Grad. Assistants) in our department, but they are limited. We also encourage you to search for other units on campus, for example, MSU library, Center for Distance Education, would offer the assistantships as well. For the GA positions, you have to enroll as a full-time student to serve as a Grad. Assistant and most likely you need to be physically on campus due to the nature of the GA job.
I am entering as Unclassified because I was told that I might not have time to gain official entry into a program before classes begin. Is this plan advisable? I was also told I would have to get departmental permission to take courses.
Yes, that is right. As unclassified, you can apply for the ‘official’ program later on. A maximum of 9 unclassified hours can be transferred to the program when you are admitted officially.
Would it be possible to continue full-time employment while I am in the program?
Yes, very possible! The majority of our students are working full-time and taking the courses at the same time too.