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Admission for Post-Bachelor's Teacher Certification Candidates

Applying to the Post-Bachelor's Teacher Certification Program

Applicants must apply separately to (1) Michigan State University and (2) the teacher preparation program in the College of Education at MSU.

(1) Admission to Michigan State University

Post-bachelor’s applicants typically apply to MSU as undergraduate students pursuing a second degree (although degree completion is not necessary for certification). Applicants not previously admitted to MSU as undergraduate students should apply for undergraduate admission as transfer students. Applicants who have already earned undergraduate degrees from MSU should apply for readmission to MSU. Whether applying for admission or readmission, post-bachelor’s applicants should not list Education as their major. This major is available only to traditional undergraduate students in Elementary Education. Instead, a degree major related to the teaching major or teaching minor should be selected (again, it is not necessary to complete the degree for certification purposes). Questions about what to declare as a major should be discussed with a post-bachelor’s advisor in 134 Erickson Hall. Applicants should answer “no” to the question on the application that asks if the credits earned will be applied toward certification (answering “yes” routes the application to our office for review; this step is unnecessary in the case of post-bachelor's applicants). Applicants who apply as second degree undergraduate students will pay the undergraduate tuition rate (see the Tuition, Fees and Housing Calculator for more information).

In some cases, post-bachelor’s applicants apply as Lifelong Education (non-degree) students. These applicants should also answer “no” to the question on the application that asks whether credits will be applied toward certification. Lifelong Education students are assessed at the Lifelong Education tuition rate. There are no additional fees associated with this status, which minimizes cost (note that out-of-state rates still apply and international students still pay an additional fee); however, Lifelong Education students are not eligible for most sources of financial assistance (the Mildred B. Erickson Scholarship is an exception). A post-bachelor’s advisor in 134 Erickson Hall can advise applicants about the most appropriate application and enrollment status.

(2) Admission to the College of Education

Applicants must also apply to the College of Education for admission to the Post-Bachelor’s Teacher Certification Program. Admission criteria include (but are not limited to) GPA (a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required), experiences related to teaching and diversity, a written essay and demonstration of basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing using a test approved by the Michigan Department of Education (see detailed information below).

Online Application

A portion of the College of Education application is completed online and includes scheduling a timed and proctored essay. An active email address is required to login to the application. After logging in, a unique password for the application will be sent to your email address. The password is necessary to complete the application process, so please treat it carefully.

There is a $50 nonrefundable application fee and a $20 essay fee. Applicants who are not offered admission the first time they apply may submit one additional application within the following 12 months without paying another application fee. The $50 application fee must be paid online using a credit card or checking account. The $20 essay fee is paid separately as part as the online application.

Choosing Majors/Minors and a Certification Level

Applicants pursuing elementary certification must choose one of four elementary teaching majors.  The Special Education and Child Development majors are "add on" elementary certification options that require completion of the full elementary certification program, including one of the four elementary teaching majors. Applicants pursuing elementary certification can also add elementary minors but they are considered extra and optional.

Applicants pursuing secondary certification must choose at least one of the secondary teaching majors and one of the secondary teaching minors offered at MSU (exceptions to that requirement are the Art Education, Music Education, Physical Science, IDS SSE and JMC majors which do not require a minor).

Timed and Proctored Essay

At the end of the online application, you will be given information about how to schedule a timed and proctored essay. Essay sessions for the fall semester are scheduled on Saturday, December 2; Saturday, December 9; and Sunday, December 10. Scheduling the essay requires online payment of a $20 essay fee using a credit card or electronic check. After you have reserved space in a session, you will receive an email message confirming the date, time and location. Please print and keep that information so you know where and when to write your essay. You must bring picture identification, your application login and password, and your essay fee receipt to the testing site. Please arrive at the assigned testing site at least 20 minutes early. You will need this time for instructions and pre-test paperwork. You will not be permitted to enter a session late. Do not bring a dictionary, thesaurus, backpack, books, computer disk, computer software, food or drink to the testing site. You will be given one hour to complete the essay using word-processing software. You will not be permitted to print or save copies of your essay, except as directed at the testing site. Software used to detect cheating is applied to all essays. Evidence of plagiarism, cheating or falsification will result in denial of admission. Essays that do not directly address the essay prompt will not be considered (view a sample essay question, sample essay answer and essay scoring guide).

Test Scores Required for Admission

The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) requires that all teacher candidates demonstrate basic skills in reading, writing and mathematics.

The MDE will accept passing scores on the MTTC Professional Readiness Exam (PRE), the ACT (if taken before 9/23/17) and the "new" SAT (if taken on or after 3/5/16) for this purpose. If you have already taken the PRE, the ACT, or the new SAT and have scores that are considered passing, you have met the testing requirement. If your scores do not meet the passing criteria established by MDE, you will need to take or retake the SAT. Although PRE scores and ACT scores from before 9/23/17 are acceptable, SAT is the only test that can be taken after 9/23/17. Passing SAT scores may be combined with passing PRE scores and passing ACT scores until October 1, 2025 (only ACT scores from test administrations before 9/23/17 are acceptable). If you have taken the PRE, ACT or SAT more than once, we will use your best score in each subarea across multiple test dates.

SAT scores required for admission are:

  • Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 480 or higher
  • Mathematics: 530 or higher

ACT scores (from tests administered before 9/23/17) required for admission are 22 or better on the Reading, Mathematics and English + Writing subtests. 

Although the MDE requires an ACT score of 22 in English + Writing, ACT no longer offers an English + Writing subtest. Effective September 1, 2015, the ACT English + Writing subtest was replaced by a new ACT Writing subtest. A score of 22 or higher on an ACT English + Writing subtest taken prior to September 2015 is still acceptable. A score from the new ACT Writing subtest (taken September 2015 or later) can be combined with your best ACT English score using the ACT Writing/English Combined Score table and several simple steps:

  1. If you took the ACT Writing test between 9/1/2015 and 9/1/2016, you will need to convert your ACT Writing subscore to a “concordant value” using the two horizontal rows at the top of the table. Find your ACT Writing subscore in the top (green) row and convert it to the concordant value in the (gold) row below it. If you took the ACT Writing test on or after 9/1/2016, you may skip this step.  
  2. Combine your best ACT English score in the vertical column on the left with your ACT Writing score taken after 9/1/2015. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in green, your score is 22 or greater and acceptable for admission. If your combined score lies in the area highlighted in red, it is less than 22 and does not qualify for admission to the teacher preparation program.

For applicants who have passed two subtests on the PRE and/or ACT (e.g., for those who have passed two PRE subtests, have passed two ACT subtests, or have passed one PRE subtest and one ACT subtest), a scaled PRE score within -1 Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) of the PRE passing scaled score (220) may substitute for a pass in the third area. SAT scores (or MTTC Basic Skills scores) may not be combined with PRE subtests or ACT scores for this purpose. Minimally acceptable scores (within -1 SEM of the passing score) for each test administration have been posted on the MTTC website. Generally speaking, scores within -1 SEM of the passing scaled score (220) are:  193-200 (depending on the test administration) for Reading, 196-198 (depending on the test administration) for Mathematics, and 197-202 (depending on the test administration) for Writing.

In Summary:

  1. The final administration of the MTTC PRE was on 9/23/17. PRE results will always be valid (as will the results of an earlier test, the MTTC Basic Skills Test).

  2. ACT scores must be based on test administration dates before 9/23/17. ACT scores and PRE -1 SEM scores from test administrations before 9/23/17 will be valid until 10/1/2025.

  3. On October 1, 2025, ACT scores and PRE -1 SEM scores will no longer be acceptable as alternate pass measures, even if the test administration was on or before 9/23/17.

  4. For students who do not meet minimum test scores for either the ACT or PRE based on tests taken prior to or on 9/23/17, the only acceptable test (after 9/23/17) is the new SAT test (administered 3/5/16 or later). Acceptable scores are 480 or higher on Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and 530 or higher on Mathematics. Applicants must take the entire SAT. Taking only portions of the SAT will make it impossible for us to use the results for admission to the teacher preparation program. Taking the additional Writing test is not necessary.

  5. Until October 1, 2025, scores on SAT subtests may be combined with scores on ACT subtests and PRE subtests.

Additional Assistance

If you need to improve your SAT scores, you will find free test preparation information on the College Board SAT website.

Application Deadlines

Applications for admission to the Post-Bachelor’s program are reviewed on a rolling basis. To be considered, applications must be complete by the following deadlines (or the closest business day when the 15th falls on a weekend). Incomplete applications cannot be considered. Admission decisions will be communicated approximately four to six weeks prior to the start of the admission semester. Please contact the Student Affairs Office at (517) 353-9680 with questions.

  • May 15 for Fall Semester
  • November 15 for Spring Semester
  • March 15 for Summer Semester

The Application Package

A complete application package for admission to the teacher preparation program includes the items listed below. Paper materials (Pre-admission Experience Forms for admission to Special Education, and unofficial copies of transcripts) must be sent to 620 Farm Lane, 134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824. Official transcripts should be sent to the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships. You must submit the following:

  • Online payment of the $50 application fee
  • A complete online application
  • A timed and proctored essay (scheduled and paid for within the online application)
  • Demonstration of basic skills in Reading, Mathematics and Writing using a test approved by the Michigan Department of Education
  • For Special Education applicants, completed Special Education Pre-Admission Experience Forms
  • Unofficial copies of transcripts from all colleges and universities attended (sent to 620 Farm Lane,134 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824)
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended sent directly from the issuing institution to the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250 Hannah Administration Building, East Lansing, Michigan, 48824.

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