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How to Apply


The next entering Finance PhD class will be Fall 2019. No applications for Fall 2018 will be considered.

Students are typically accepted on a biennial basis. Our next round of admissions will be 3-4 students for Fall of 2019. All application materials for the Fall 2019 entering class must be received by January 15, 2019. The department will begin reviewing applications after this date and will inform applicants of the admission decision and any financial support in March, 2019. If we are unsure of an applicant’s suitability for our program, we may arrange either a phone or, when practical, an on-campus interview. If we discover items missing from your application packet that will materially affect our decision, we will contact you by email in January 2019. It is very important that you list a valid email address in all application materials. All correspondence with the PhD program should be made via email. (all e-mail correspondence concerning the M.S. in Finance program should be sent to, or you may click here). Due to the large volume of emails submitted to our program, we cannot guarantee that we will reply to all messages.

Required application materials

  1. A completed application. Application forms are available from the graduate school. The application fee should be paid online. Note that international students do not need to fill out the “Affidavit of Support” form as we expect that all admitted students will be offered graduate assistantships. For more information on these assistantships, see the financial assistance link on our web page.
  2. A GMAT score that is less than 5 years old. (We prefer the GMAT, but will consider a GRE score.) To learn more about the standards we hold regarding the GMAT and the GRE scores visit Frequently Asked Questions.
  3. A TOEFL within the last 2 years for all students for whom English is not their native language. If you have earned a degree from a U.S. school, you are exempt from the TOEFL requirement. The Department of Finance accepts only TOEFL (we do not accept IELTS or any other English language test, although other departments at MSU might accept them). Open the link to see the current TOEFL score requirements. When registering for TOEFL and selecting the schools to send your score, choose institution code 1465, Michigan State University. If you are given a choice of “Graduate Schools” and “Graduate Schools of Management,” choose “Graduate Schools.”
  4. Transcripts:

    A. Request the registrar of each college or university attended to send one copy of each official transcript (translated into English, if needed) directly to the Department of Finance. Transcripts of work taken at Michigan State University need not be requested.
    B. International students: One official copy of all records of any previous schooling (mark sheets, transcripts, diplomas, certificates, etc.) must be submitted as official documents directly from each institution. These records must show courses taken and grades earned, and must be translated into English if the original records are in another language. If a document is translated, it should be certified as accurate and correct by an appropriate public or school official, or sponsoring agency or government. The original record should be also included.

  5. Three letters of recommendation discussing your suitability for doctoral training in finance. We highly recommend that letters be submitted online. After completing your application and making the payment, you should logon to your account with the Office of Admissions, and click “Letters of Recommendation” under “Control Panel.” This will guide you through the process of providing contact information for the recommenders.
  6. Any additional supporting materials you believe will help the department evaluate your candidacy (e.g., a resume detailing work experience, copies of any publications, etc.).

Application form

Your official application form must be submitted through the Graduate School’s online graduate application system. The major code for our department for the application is 1139 and the program name is Finance PhD program. The application fee can be paid for online. If you have no online access, send a paper version of the application directly to the department along with all supporting materials.

Other application materials

All materials except the application and recommendation letters should be sent directly to the department at the following address:

Doctoral Program in Finance
Eppley Center
645 N. Shaw Lane, Rm 315
East Lansing, MI 48824-1121

It is best to mail all materials in one envelope. If possible, please include a printout of the online application, unofficial transcripts and unofficial test scores. Official copies of transcripts and test scores should also be sent. When ordering official GMAT scores, our institution code is QH0-5P-03. For GRE scores our institution code is 1465 and our department/major field code is 4102. For TOEFL scores our institution code is 1465 and our department code is 02.


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