Frequently Asked Questions



How do I apply for the MSPS program?

Admission to the Master of Science in Professional Science (MSPS) program is a two-step process. Prospective students must first apply to the MTSU College of Graduate Studies and select the "Professional Science" degree program. Admission procedures are at: There are additional procedures for international students, details of which are at:

How can I check the status of my application?

You can check your application status at: You will need the login ID and pin that you created when you began the process. Contact the College of Graduate Studies for assistance with questions about applying to the program at 615-898-2840.

What should I submit with my application?

The following must be submitted to the MTSU College of Graduate Studies (Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132):

  1. Application for admission:
  2. Application fee.
  3. Official transcripts certifying coursework from each college or university attended. Applicants must have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. The minimum GPA for unconditional admission is 2.75 at the undergraduate level and 3.00 at the graduate level.
  4. Official GRE Scores submitted from ETS: They must be current (within the past five years). A combined GRE score of 900 (under the testing scale prior to August 2011) or a combined score or 286 with a Verbal of 138 and Quantitative of 148 (under the new scale), is expected for unconditional admission to MSPS (Actuarial Science, Biostatistics, Biotechnology, Engineering Management and Geosciences only – Healthcare Informatics does not require the GRE). Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and other tests are not accepted.
  5. Three letters of recommendation, submitted directly to MTSU College of Graduate Studies, Box 42, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, electronically to or by fax to 615-904-8020. The College of Graduate Studies provides a recommendation form you may send to your evaluators:

What requirements do you have for the various MSPS concentrations?

Actuarial Sciences and Biostatistics candidates are expected to have completed undergraduate courses in both linear algebra and multivariate calculus with grades of C or better.

Biotechnology candidates must have a Bachelor's degree in either Biology, Chemistry or another with coursework in organic chemistry and three courses related to biotechnology, including genetics.

Engineering Management candidates must have an undergraduate degree in engineering, science, technology or a related area.

Geosciences candidates must have an undergraduate degree in geosciences or a related area (e.g. chemistry, biology, computer science, anthropology, engineering, etc.) and basic competency in word processing, e-mail, library retrieval systems, presentation graphics, spreadsheets, and databases.

Healthcare Informatics candidates must have an undergraduate degree in a clinically focused major (e.g. biology, chemistry, respiratory care, imaging, nursing or a related area). Applicants with non-clinical healthcare backgrounds (e.g., health information management, insurance, access management, etc.) without a relevant degree or clinical work experience may be admitted but will be required to complete appropriate prerequisite coursework. Applicants should be experienced with and enjoy computer use. Basic desktop software, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, is assumed and used as a foundation for the development of additional application skill sets.

What happens after my application is fully submitted?

Once complete, the admission materials of students accepted into the College of Graduate Studies are routed to and reviewed by MSPS admission coordinators for a final admission decision. Students may take up to nine hours of MSPS courses during one semester prior to being officially admitted, in case there are difficulties meeting all the requirements prior to the application deadlines. However, candidates must maintain a 3.0 GPA (out of 4.0) in those classes in order to be fully and formally admitted.

Where can I find the deadlines for admission applications?

Our deadlines are the same as those of the College Graduate Studies. The due dates for admission materials vary depending on status as a domestic or international student and the first semester of attendance. For full admission to the program, all required items must be received in ample time to be reviewed by the College of Graduate Studies and MSPS. More details can be found at:

If my GRE score does not meet the minimum standard, can I still be admitted to the MS-PS program?

For unconditional admission to MSPS, our concentrations in Actuarial Sciences, Biostatistics, Biotechnology, Engineering Management and Geosciences concentrations require a candidate's GRE results (within the past five years) to total:

  • either a combined score of 900 (under the old GRE testing scale prior to August 2011)
  • or a combined score of 286, with a Verbal of 138 and Quantitative of 148 (under the new GRE scale)

However, if your score is slightly below, you may still be admitted to the program with a conditional status based on other factors. This is reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

If I score low on the GRE, should I retake it?

It does not mean that you will not be admitted if you score low; you might be conditionally admitted. Talk to the MS-PS coordinator before deciding to retake the test:

Does the Healthcare Informatics concentration require a GRE score?

 No. The Healthcare Informatics concentration does not have a GRE requirement.

Can I take either the MAT or the GMAT instead of the GRE?

No. Miller Analogies Test (MAT), the GMAT and other tests are not accepted.

I took my GRE years ago. Is it still acceptable?

GRE scores are only retrievable for five years.

Are GRE workshops available at MTSU?

Each semester, the College of Graduate Studies offers a special, weekend workshop to assist students who are preparing to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). More information is available on this web page:

Will I be able to take classes before I have all of my admission materials turned into the College of Graduate Studies?

Yes, you may take up to nine credit hours during one semester before all of your admission materials have been received.

I applied last semester but did not attend. What do I need to do?

You will need to re-apply. You will not have to pay the application fee again; simply fill out the application and submit it so that your name will be updated into the system at

NOTE: Current Students who have been admitted but did not take any classes during the previous semester (Spring or Fall only) should go on PipelineMT and fill out a re-admission application. A re-admission application is free of charge. 


Registration Issues

I have been purged from my classes. What do I do?

You will be purged from your classes if you have not paid your tuition by the fee payment deadline. Make sure you are aware of the date fees are to be paid when you register for your classes. In most cases, you may register again a few days later; however, there may be a late fee charged if you are past the last day of registration.

I am having trouble registering for one of the business core classes. Who do I contact?

Contact Elizabeth Lamb, MSPS Executive Aide, for help registering for any of the following:

  • ACTG 6100, Accounting & Legal Issues for Managers
  • STAT 5140, Probabilistic and Statistical Reasoning (all but Actuarial Science students)
  • BCEN 6820, Managerial Communication
  • MGMT 6740, Leadership and Motivation

Contact Dr. Don Hong, Actuarial Science Coordinator, for help registering for:

  • ACSI 5140, Mathematical Foundations of Actuarial Science  (Actuarial Sciences students only)

After reviewing the internship program guidelines on this page:, Contact Dr. Vince Smith, Business Core Coordinator, for assistance registering for

  • BCEN 6910, Internship Program


I am having trouble registering for one of my concentration classes. Who do I contact?

Contact your concentration coordinator for guidance on the courses specific to your field of study. All students are urged to communicate at least one a semester with their coordinators to solve problems and plan for future semesters.

How many hours of coursework are required for the degree?

Each concentration requires 36 hours of coursework toward the degree. Prior to the completion of 24 credit hours each student's degree plan must be approved by advisor and filed with the College of Graduate Studies. Details about required courses for each concentration may be found on the MSPS website at


Graduate Assistantships (GA's) and other funding

Are there any assistantships available to students applying to the MS-PS program?

In the MSPS program, there are occasionally full and part-time graduate assistantships available. These cover full, or half, of
the cost of tuition in return for working in a variety of positions on campus through the College of Basic and Applied Science, the College of Liberal Arts or College of Behavioral and Health Sciences for 20 hours (if full-time) or 10 hours (if part-time) per
week. Out-of-state residents also receive a waiver of out-of-state fees.

Information regarding the assistantship process is: The link to the actual application is: Please send a copy of your entire graduate
assistantship application package to the College of Graduate Studies at:

Are there other assistantships available on campus?

Yes. Other departments offers graduate assistantships. You may also submit an application through these non-academic
MTSU departments: Accounts Payable, Business Office, Campus Recreation, Center for Health and Human Services, Dyslexic Studies, Information Technology Division, Instructional Technology Support Center, Learning Teaching and Innovative Technology Center, News and Public Affairs Office, Office of Compliance, Office of Development and University Studies. Current contact information for these departments is available here:

How can I be considered for a GA position?

A GA must be enrolled in and fully admitted to a graduate degree program, which means he or she has completed all graduate admissions procedures and has been approved unconditionally. After obtaining a GA position, you must maintain a 3.00 GPA.

Are any scholarships available?

The College of Graduate Studies offers a limited number of scholarships and you may wish to submit an application. There are
several scholarships for graduate students available through the MTSU College of Graduate Studies. The following website contains links and information regarding the guidelines for each scholarship: Search for private scholarships and learn the basics
of graduate school financial aid at this link:

Is there a fellowship program?

The College of Graduate Studies administers the Access and Diversity Fellowship program. To be eligible, the student must be

awarded a graduate assistantship and must be in a group that is under-represented in graduate education in general or groups who are under-represented in a particular discipline (e.g., women in computer science). Contact Graduate Studies for more information about the Access and Diversity Fellowship at 615-898-2840.

What will it cost to be a student?

This depends on several factors but this link can help you create a budget. Learn about MTSU's tuition, fees and other costs here: Also, select the "MTSU cost of attendance" link on the left side of the page to estimate other expenses.


Advancement to Candidacy

When should I fill out a candidacy form?

The Advancement to Candidacy Form should be filled out prior to the completion of 24 credit hours. In order to fill it out completely, you must list all courses taken and those that you are planning to take to complete your degree. This form must be signed by your coordinator before it is taken to the College of Graduate Studies.



Will I have to write a thesis to obtain an MS-PS degree?

No, the internship takes the place of writing a thesis. You will be obtaining "real world"; working experience instead of writing the thesis.

Can the internship be completed at any point during my graduate career?

No, the internship is to be done after you have completed most of your classes. You will have gained more knowledge and skills to apply to the projects that will be carried out during the internship.

Who will secure the internship?

Ideally, you will have in mind a place in which you would like to pursue an internship; however, your coordinator will also have some placement possibilities to share with you. The internship location and projects must be approved by your coordinator. Reviewing the internship program guidelines on this page:

Will the internship be a paid position?

Ideally, the internship will be a paid position, but that is entirely up to the employer.

May I complete an internship at the place I am now employed?

You may complete your internship at the place you are now employed if it is approved by your coordinator and employer. There will have to be additional duties or projects assigned to your existing position, or an entirely different position within the same company.



May I repeat a course?

A graduate student may repeat graduate courses in which a grade lower than B- was earned. A maximum of two courses, not to exceed eight credits combined, may be repeated for a grade chance. Refer to the Academic Regulations section of the graduate catalog for full details.

How many hours is considered full time for a graduate student?

Full time: 9 graduate hours

Three-quarter time: 7 graduate hours

One-half time: 5 graduate hours

Full time for a GA is 6 credit hours

If I need to withdraw from the MS-PS program, what do I need to do?

  1. Write a letter to the College of Graduate Studies addressing the reason(s) as to why you are withdrawing. This is to be documented in your student file.

  2. Withdraw on pipeline. If it is after the date to withdraw with a "W";, you will also have to contact Becky Garrett in the Withdraw office at 898-2808.

  3. When you return to MTSU, all that is required is to fill out the application form again to be reinstated in the system. You will not need to pay the fees again.

May I transfer hours taken at another college?

Coursework transferred or accepted for credit toward a graduate degree must represent graduate coursework relevant to the degree, with course content and level of instruction resulting in student competencies. The transfer credit requires the recommendation of the graduate advisor and approval of the dean of the College of Graduate Studies.