About Us

Graduate education at MSU is a highly diverse enterprise both in terms of the number and kinds of students served and the number and kinds of programs and degrees offered . . graduate education is also affected by the changes in the needs and interests of students and of society more generally . . . A vital Graduate School infuses the university with an intellectual energy and enthusiasm that comes from no other source . . . Graduate education and research activities are essential components of the mission of Michigan State University and major platforms upon which the national and international reputation of the university is built.

—Report of the Council on the Review of Research and Graduate Education, Michigan State University, 1991

Building upon the sentiments and recommendations of the MSU Council on the Review of Research and Graduate Education (CORRAGE), the Graduate School at Michigan State University elevates the importance of graduate education at the university; comprehensively supports student success; and provides strategic leadership in graduate education to advance knowledge and transform lives.

Committed to the university’s mission, core values (collaboration, equity, excellence, integrity, and respect), and Strategic Plan MSU 2030, we offer a range of unique support services and consequential resources to diverse groups of graduate students and those engaged in graduate education throughout the university. Collectively, the Graduate School’s accessible and forward-looking team has extensive expertise in all major areas of graduate education. Underpinning our work is an unwavering commitment to inclusive excellence in graduate education and the belief that every student that graduate programs admit has the ability to succeed and excel.

Approximately eighteen percent of graduate students enrolled in public universities in Michigan are enrolled in programs at MSU. Over 7,200 doctoral and master’s students are enrolled in hundreds of programs across campus and more than 3,100 students are enrolled in professional degree programs. More than 600 learners are also enrolled as certificate and non-degree seeking graduate students. Given this large and diversified population, the Graduate School strives to preserve a delicate balance between being a cross-university administrative unit and multi-dimensional resource center while respecting disciplinary and program diversity and distinctiveness.

As service-guided collaborators, we serve as a hub for cross-disciplinary collaboration and the sharing of innovative ideas, practices, and initiatives. The Graduate School partners and engages with representatives from all colleges, graduate program coordinators and directors, associate deans for graduate education, Student Life & Engagement, the Council of Graduate Students, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation, University Advancement, the Office for International Students and Scholars, the Office of Admissions, and many others in the expansive MSU community. In collaboration with the University Committee on Graduate Studies, the Dean of the Graduate School consults with the Provost on an assortment of policies pertaining to graduate education and graduate student success.

With our innovative, data-informed strategic program assessment process, we work with graduate programs as they revisit their goals and take fresh looks at their priorities and futures. The Graduate School administers the University Fellowship Programs and more than thirty other endowed fellowships for graduate students, in addition to facilitating support through Travel Funding, Emergency Fellowship Funding, Research Enhancement Awards, and Education Opportunity Fellowships. In line with our Guidelines for Graduate Student Mentoring and Advising, we also provide support to numerous faculty members in order to mentor graduate students through training program grants, career development grants, 3+2 joint bachelor’s-master’s programs, and other fellowships.   

The Graduate School understands the importance of advancing models for fostering students’ growth and well-being throughout their education. We provide a wide range of cutting-edge student success centered initiatives, activities, orientations, workshops, and cohort programs focusing on, among other topics:

  • formatting electronic theses and dissertations
  • responsible conduct of research
  • teaching, mentoring
  • diversity and inclusive excellence
  • novel recruitment strategies
  • career development
  • well-being
  • community engagement

Members of our team are cognizant of national trends in graduate education, share best practices with graduate education thought leaders, and actively participate in initiatives promoted the Council of Graduate Schools, the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools, the National Science Foundation, the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, and the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

In the first decade of the twenty-first century, the Commission on the Future of Graduate Education in the United States asserted, “graduate education is a strategic national asset. Like all valuable assets, it must be attended to and nurtured in order to remain viable and strong.” With our numerous partners, the Graduate School at MSU is committed to creating and maintaining inclusive cultures and innovative practices so that emerging scholars and professionals will learn, thrive, and accomplish their goals.

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