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Undergraduate Advising FAQ

What is the first thing you must do if you are interested in being admitted to the MSU 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, at MSU, visit the following sites:

Who is my academic advisor?

Once you have declared your major and a concentration area, a CISE faculty advisor is assigned to you. To learn who your advisor is, you can refer to the Undergraduate Advisor List.

I have heard the MSU Teacher Education program has four phases – what are the four phases?

Phase I requires students interested in the Teacher Education program to meet with an advisor and discuss the program requirements. To complete Phase I, students must be admitted to the University, become familiar with the College of Education Undergraduate Handbook, and select a major and concentration area. The Phase I form must be completed by the student and the advisor in order for the student can be admitted into the College of Education.

Phase II requires the completion of 44 semester credit hours of coursework, including the 36-hour MSU general education requirements, with a minimum GPA of 2.75, and an overall GPA of at least 2.5. A "C" or higher must be attained in 6 credit hours of English composition and 3 credit hours of mathematics (College Algebra or higher). In addition, teacher candidates must either have an ACT score of 21 (SAT 860) with no sub-score below 18 or meet the score requirements on the Praxis Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (Reading 156, Writing 162, Mathematics 150). Students must have the following items submitted to the College of Education prior to being admitted to the program:

  • ACT or Praxis CORE scores
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Verification of 40 hours work experience with children or youth
  • A background check (go to the Certified Background website and enter code (MI43))
  • Phase II application form, dispositions form, and licensure advisory form (to be completed with your advisor)

To determine if you are ready to apply for admission to Phase II please refer to the Teacher Education Admission Checklist.

Once all Phase II requirements have been met, the student and the advisor must complete the Phase II form so the student can be admitted to the Teacher Education program.

Phase III requires that teacher candidates complete all professional education and teaching field and/or concentration area courses with a grade of "C" or higher while maintaining a 2.5 overall GPA. To be admitted to the teaching internship, teacher candidates must submit an application to the Director of Clinical and Field-Based Instruction and Licensure (OCFBI) one semester prior to the internship. In addition, all required portions of the Praxis II exam (all candidates) and Pearson Foundations of Reading Assessment (elementary education candidates only) must be taken prior to the first day in the internship, and all Praxis II scores must be submitted to the Director of OCFBI before the end of the internship.

Phase IV requires teacher candidates to have a "C" or higher in all professional education and concentration area courses, to complete no more than half of the required degree hours at a community/junior college, and to successfully complete the teaching internship.

Do I have to undergo a criminal background check?

Yes. Prior to being admitted to the Teacher Education program (i.e., Phase II), all teacher education candidates must undergo a criminal background. To register for a background check, visit the Certified Background website.

How do I obtain my teaching license in the state of Mississippi?

Upon completion of the Teacher Education program, including the teaching internship, you must apply for a Class A Teaching License through the Mississippi Department of Education. To view the application and learn more about licensure in the state of Mississippi, visit the Mississippi Department of Education website. Also, review the Licensure Advisory Form. For more information about licensure, please visit the Office of Clinical and Field Based Instruction.

In addition to MSU’s academic policies, are there College of Education policies I should be aware of prior to entering the Teacher Education program?

Yes, there are additional COE policies that apply to teacher candidates. To learn about applicable College of Education policies, please refer to the College of Education Undergraduate Handbook.

How do I register for classes?

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

  • the Program of Study for your major/concentration (located on the CISE Undergraduate 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 schedule a meeting with your advisor during the preregistration advising period to receive your Registration Access Code (RAC). (See the MSU Academic Calendar for the dates of pre-registration advisement.)

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.)

What about finding a job?

The MSU Career Center can help you prepare for the job search, practice interview skills, and locate open positions.

In the state of Mississippi, information about finding a job, current vacancies, and schools can be found at the Mississippi Department of Education Teacher Center and by contacting individual schools and districts.

This list of Teacher Shortage Areas might also provide helpful information about states, regions, and districts looking for teachers.