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Graduate Advising FAQ


What is the first thing you must do if you are interested in being admitted to graduate teacher education program in the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education (CISE)?

You must first be admitted to Mississippi State University. For information on being admitted to the university, visit after admittance, attend orientation.

What financial aid opportunities are available to me at MSU?

To learn about financial aid opportunities, including scholarships and assistantships, at MSU, visit the following sites:

Assistantships are available in CISE each year. For more information, contact the Department Head at 662.325.3747

Possible funding for a CISE graduate

Apply for financial aid by completing the FAFSA. Financial aid may be available.

Look for other resources provided by the state of Mississippi and federal programs. Detailed information is available at the Mississippi Department of Education Teacher Center web page: Some programs that you might be eligible for include:

  • GTS Scholarship: Pays up to $125 per credit for full time teachers earning the first Master's degree and AA license. Must apply by March 31 and be admitted to a degree program. Funds are first come/first served.
  • Mississippi Teacher Fellowship Program: Can provide support for graduate study for teachers in geographic critical shortage areas (includes Noxubee and Kemper County).
  • TEACH Grant: Grants for students in initial licensure programs who agree to teach in a high needs field. May also include teachers getting reading certification.

Who is my academic advisor?

Once you have declared your major and a concentration area and/or minor, a CISE faculty advisor is assigned to you. You will receive a letter of notification to let you know who your advisor is.

In addition to MSU's academic policies, are there any College of Education policies I should be aware of?

Yes, there are additional COE and CISE policies that apply to graduate students. To learn about applicable College of Education policies, please refer to the Bulletin of the Graduate School and the Curriculum, Instruction, and Special Education Graduate Handbook.

How do I register for classes?

Contact your advisor to determine which courses to take.

Before contacting your advisor, you should carefully review each of the following:

  • the Program of Study for your major/concentration (located on the CISE Graduate Teacher Education page)
  • your transcript of completed coursework, or your CAPP compliances (located on MSU Banner)
  • your CAPP compliance report (located on MSU Banner)
  • current class offerings (located on MSU Banner)

After reviewing the items listed above, you must contact your advisor to receive your Registration Access Code (RAC).

After being advised which courses to take, your advisor will provide you a RAC and your appointed earliest possible time of registration.

Once you have received your RAC, you must enroll in classes using the MSU Banner system. (You will not be allowed to register until your appointed time. However, you may register at any time after that point.)

How is my committee and program of study created?

Once admitted, a graduate student is assigned a faculty member who serves as their major professor. The major professor's role is to assist the graduate student in establishing a committee and to advise a student in all academic matters, to guide the process for developing the plan of study, and to confirm that all degree requirements are met. When a student is admitted into an elementary education graduate program, an elementary education academic advisor is assigned to the student. When a student is admitted into a secondary education graduate program, an academic advisor is assigned based on the student's area of concentration. When a student is admitted into a special education graduate program, a special education academic advisor is assigned to the student. When a student is admitted into a CISE doctoral program, an academic advisor is assigned based on the student's research interests. Depending upon a doctoral student's research interest, there is the option of having a major professor and dissertation director who are not the same person.

When a student's committee has been named, the members' names and signatures are submitted to the Office of the Graduate School on the committee request form, available at A list of Level 1 and Level 2 graduate faculty members by department is available on the Graduate School Web site at To serve on a student's graduate committee, a faculty member must have a current Graduate Faculty appointment.

It is the student's responsibility to schedule meetings with their advisor and to confer with their advisor regularly to make sure all degree requirements are met. The Office of the Graduate School strictly enforces the graduation deadlines as posted in the Bulletin. Students must apply for graduation and pay the graduation fee through the Office of the Registrar. If a student applies for graduation for a semester but degree requirements are not met, the student must reapply for graduation, and another graduation fee must be paid.