orientation for graduate program directors n.
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  1. ORIENTATION FOR GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTORS Graduate College Staff September 28, 2010

  2. OPENING REMARKS Dr. Frank Einhellig Dean of the Graduate College Associate Provost

  3. DUTIES OF GRADUATE PROGRAM DIRECTORS Dr. Tom Tomasi Associate Dean of the Graduate College

  4. Purposes of this Document: Ensure that students receive the best guidance toward degree completion Ensure that no aspect of the process is inadvertently omitted Document for administrators the effort & commitment needed for successful grad programs Offshoots from this process: Collecting info from across campus on how graduate Program Directors are compensated Similar list of responsibilities (“manual”) for graduate advisors/mentors

  5. Document Sections: Recruitment Admissions Advising Record Keeping Limitations & Caveats: Not all responsibilities will apply to all programs Responsibilities may be delegated to a variety of people: Department Head Departmental Graduate Committee Advising office Faculty mentors/advisors Programs will divide responsibilities in a variety of ways . . . . . . and that’s OK

  6. Graduate College Minimum Admission Requirements Eric Eckert Coordinator of Admissions and Recruitment

  7. Minimum Requirements • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher OR • Last 60 hour GPA of 2.75 or higher OR (will only be calculated if cumulative falls below 2.75) • Satisfactory scores on the GRE, GMAT, or MAT • Satisfactory scores on GRE: Must score a 475 or higher on the verbal or quantitative section and no lower than 400 on the other section • Satisfactory score on the GMAT: Total score of 400 or higher

  8. Minimum Requirements • Students achieving the minimums – application materials will be “sent to the department” via our online GRADS system for further evaluation and admission decision (All program directors should have gone through GRADS training) • Students NOT achieving the minimums - will be sent a denial letter by the Graduate College • Coordinators and Directors can request an exception to the minimum requirements

  9. Application Process Materials Needed • Completing of Graduate College application • Paying application fee ($35.00) • Sending an official copy of transcripts to the Graduate College • Sending additional materials required by the program or department • Test Scores (GRE, GMAT, or MAT) • Letters of Recommendation • Resume • Program/Departmental Application

  10. Application Process Processing of Materials • Graduate College ensures that minimum requirements are met • Scanned copies of the application materials are made available to the program coordinator/director via GRADS (application, transcript information, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) • Admission Recommendation Form on GRADS • Complete the form and “submit” to the Graduate College • Letter and copy of Admission Form sent to the student

  11. Admission Recommendation Form You have four choices: • Admit • Deny • Reapply • Really a “deny” with a note explaining what the student should do before he/she reapplies • Admission Offered/Declined by Student • This option is only used by programs that offer admission and THEN inform the Grad College There is NO “conditional” or “pending” admission.

  12. Change of Academic Area Form Used when student changes from one program to another The form acts as their application Admission process for changing programs is the same as mention above Students must also submit additional materials to new program, if applicable

  13. PROCESSING INTERNATIONAL APPLICATIONS & ADMISSION Lisa Gibson Assistant Director, International Student Services Office of International Services

  14. International Student Services Staff • Jody Pritt, Director • Lisa Gibson, Assistant Director • Heejung Cromley, Admissions Coordinator • September Bickmore, SEVIS Coordinator • Kristina Guinn, Admissions Evaluator • Barbara Opfer, Administrative Specialist • Student Employees

  15. International Application Deadlines Published Application Deadlines Fall Semester – May 1   Spring Semester – September 1

  16. Required Application Materials • International application • $50 application fee • Transcripts • Proof of English • TOEFL, IELTS, ELI Completion • Graduate test scores (if required) • GRE or GMAT • Financial documentation • Statement of financial support (form or letter) • Sponsor’s bank statement or letter

  17. Evaluation of Application Files • Determine if the Institution is recognized or accredited • World Higher Education Database • EDGE (Electronic Database for Global Education) • by AACRAO • NAFSA/AACRAO References • Internet websites and list-serves • Professional Contacts • Credential Evaluation Services • Verify Bachelor’s degree equivalency if graduate applicant

  18. Evaluation of Application Files • Calculate GPA • Research the country’s educational system (Resources are the same as in #1) • For graduate students • Complete Credential Evaluation Form for graduate applicants using the GRADS Dashboard • Graduate College processes and when the Status goes to Sent to Department the electronic file is available to the department to review for an admission decision

  19. When a student is admitted we… • Check financial documentation • Personal/sponsor funding or scholarship • Write admission letter • Create immigration form (I-20 or DS-2019) • Mail admission packet by DHL • Approx. 3-5 days to reach the student’s country

  20. Student Receives Admission Packet • Apply for Student Travel Visa (Visa fee US $140) • Travel to Consulate (often in other cities) • NOTE Students are not guaranteed a visa Some students must make multiple appointments before obtaining the visa • Pay SEVIS fee ($200 for F-1’s and $180 for J-1’s) • Make appointments • Often available only weeks to months in advance • Find affordable plane tickets • Often available only months in advance

  21. Timing is Crucial • Visa and travel arrangements require a minimum of 2-3 months advance planning • Visa granted for a specific school, difficult to change • Students may receive admission packets from several schools • Students usually apply for visa based on first admission packet received

  22. Student Arrival & Orientation • Student should notify ISS of arrival plans • Student must arrive by program start date • ISS helps arrange transportation to campus • Temporary campus housing is not normally available in January for spring semester • Student is normally allowed to register for classes only after attending International Student Orientation

  23. Encumbrances (Holds) • IN First-time students for orientation and copies of immigration documents May be used for other immigration issues • IT After registration for first semester Sometimes takes several semesters to clear • EN English Language Institute

  24. Maintaining SEVIS ComplianceImmigration Regulations

  25. Enrollment Requirements • Full-time is • 12 hrs for undergraduate students • 9 hrs for graduate students • A student is considered Out of Status • When they enroll less than or drop below full-time without PRIOR approval of ISS • Under-enrollment permission • Only reasons approved by theDepartment of Homeland Security/Department of State can be considered for an exception

  26. Online Courses • Only one online or distance learning course (no more than 3 credit hours) per semester (fall and spring) will count toward a student’s full-time course load • Students may enroll in any number of online courses during the summer (summer course enrollment is not required)

  27. Failure to Maintain Status • Specific requirement and regulations to maintain status • Refer the student to, or contact our office directly • Students who fail to maintain status lose the privileges of their student visa status and become subject to deportation

  28. Questions?

  29. GETTING THROUGH THE GRADUATE PROGRAM Christy Graham Executive Assistant III


  31. Graduate Student Grade Requirements • A student becomes ineligible for graduate study if more than 9 credit hours of C+ or lower grades are earned in graduate courses, or if the student does not meet any specific retention requirements imposed by a degree or program • Once a student goes over the 9 hour limit, a hold is placed on his/her record preventing further registration • “C Grade letters” are sent to students following each semester – advisors also receive copies

  32. Thesis Research Funding • Each Fall and Spring semester graduate students can apply for thesis funding • Awards of approximately $500 are given to help defray real costs of conducting thesis research

  33. Thesis Research Funding: Things to keep in mind… • The student must be writing a thesis • Use of the funding can vary according to the nature of the project, but there are limits • Prohibited Expenses- books that would become the personal property of the student - payments to the student or hiring of another student for research related work- printing and binding of the final thesis document • Valid Expense • field work travel • consumable supplies (e.g. lab chemicals; survey postage) • instrumentation (which would remain with the department)

  34. Thesis Research Funding • Fall 2010 Application Deadline: Friday, October 8, 2010 • Spring 2011 Application Deadline: Friday, February 18, 2011 Application Available Online at

  35. Graduate Student Travel Funding • Graduate students can apply for funding assistance to present their thesis research findings at conferences, symposiums, etc. • The maximum award amount is $300  • There is no deadline for travel funding. However, the request must be received by the Graduate College at least two weeks prior to travel

  36. Graduate Student Travel Funding • An abstract of the research project being presented must be attached to the application • A letter of support from the research advisor must also accompany the application • If more than one student in a department or program will be attending the same conference, it is helpful to have the funding applications submitted together Application Available Online at

  37. Funding Process: Thesis Research and Student Travel Awards • Student funding awards are transferred directly into the appropriate departmental budget • Students must then work with departmental personnel, such as heads/directors or secretaries/assistants, to access their funding and complete any paperwork that might be required for purchases or travel reimbursements

  38. Advisor Approved Program of Study The Advisor Approved Program of Study is a form listing all of the courses that will be used to fulfill the degree requirements: • Students should meet with the advisor to determine the courses needed • Advisor’s signature is required on the form • The form should be submitted to the Graduate College (Carrington 306) • The student and the advisor will receive a copy of the approved form from the Graduate College

  39. Program of Study Important to Note: • The Program of Study should be submitted before 14 credit hours have been completed; students may be encumbered from registering if the form is not submitted by this time • Changes to a finalized program of study may be made by completing a Change of Advisor Approved Program of Study Form • No course with a grade C- or below may be applied to a Program of Study • The forms are available online at

  40. Forms Advisor Approved Program of StudyRequest for Change of Advisor Approved Program of Study

  41. Comprehensive Examinations • Eligibility • Approved Program of Study must be on file in the Graduate College • 3.00 GPA • Comprehensive Examination Application/Result Form should be submitted to the department • Department must forward results to the Graduate College by the posted deadline • Written notification of results will be sent by the Graduate College to the student; a copy will also be sent to the advisor • The form is available in the Graduate College (Carrington 306) or online at

  42. Application for Graduation An Application for Graduation needs to be submitted the first week of the semester in which the student plans to graduate (or anytime prior to that). • The application is available in the Graduate College (Carrington 306) or online at


  44. Graduate Certificate Programs • MSU currently offers 20 post-baccalaureate graduate certificate programs • Certificates can be completed as stand-alone programs or done concurrently with graduate degree programs

  45. Certificate Program Procedures • Certificate programs require the same admission process as other graduate degree programs • A “Plan of Study”, much like the Advisor Approved Program of Study for a master’s program, must be completed by the student and signed by the certificate program advisor • If a change needs to be made to a Plan of Study once it has been filed with the Graduate College, a “Change of Certificate Plan” form should be completed by the advisor

  46. Certificate Program Completion • A “Notification to Complete a Graduate Certificate Form” must be submitted to the Graduate College during the semester in which the student plans to complete the program requirements • This initiates the final check and provides the information needed by the Office of the Registrar to order the formal certificate • The formal certificate is mailed to the student 8-10 weeks following the end of the semester. Completion is transcripted

  47. Certificate Program Resources • 2010-2011 Graduate Catalog (page 50) • Information regarding graduate certificate programs, including all forms, are available on the Graduate College website at

  48. Graduate Assistantships Valerie Murphy Administrative Specialist II