Suggestions for a Campus Visit

  • Sit in on one or more graduate classes (in particular, the pro-seminar for first year doctoral students, a math or math education course, or some other course that fits your interests). With sufficient lead-time, it may be possible to get copies to you ahead of time of the readings for the class(es) you’ll be sitting in on, so you can make better sense of the class discussion.
  • Sit in on a course in the teacher preparation program.
  • Meet with our graduate students and get their insight on our graduate program. Usually, we can arrange for students to meet with you over lunch or dinner or to arrive early or stay late at a class you’ll be sitting in on. Since you’ll interact with a variety of students during your graduate studies, you may wish to talk with students outside of math education as well as math ed students. Depending on your interests and situation (e.g., if you’re coming to graduate school after having taught for many years, if you have a family, if you have strong research interests), there may be specific students who can be particularly helpful.
  • Meet with mathematics education faculty in the Mathematics Education Program, TE, CEPSE, and the Mathematics department. Depending on your interests, you’ll probably also want to meet with other faculty (e.g., the doctoral program coordinator, faculty who share other of your interests). If you wish to talk with faculty who won’t be available during your visit, ask whether there are other ways to connect with them (e.g., by phone, meeting at a conference).
  • Note: When you meet with grad students and professors, you may wish to ask about some of the things listed in our Suggestions for Choosing a Graduate Program page.
  • Visit a Professional Development School. These are schools that have a particularly strong relationship with MSU. Many interns and seniors in our teacher preparation program are placed at these schools, and the College of Education supports several initiatives involving teachers at these schools. In addition, they are often sites for research done by professors and graduate students.
  • Attend semi-regular events (e.g., a meeting of the Math Learning Research Group, the Math Ed Seminar, a colloquium or other math ed talk). (See Community)
  • Look through the Math Ed PhD Program Handbook.


  • Specific things may or may not be possible depending on the timing of your visit (e.g., math ed seminars are often biweekly, one of the professors you want to talk to may be out of town). If you have some leeway in your schedule, ask if there are better or worse dates for visiting.
  • It will likely be easier to set up a useful visit if you have the help of someone here at MSU. If you’ve already been admitted into the program, a temporary advisor should have been assigned to you, and that professor can help set up your visit; otherwise, ask the program coordinator who might be able to help with this. The more the person who’s helping to arrange your visit knows about your interests, the more likely it is that s/he will be able to arrange things that can help you decide whether MSU is the school for you (e.g., setting up meetings with faculty and graduate students who have interests related to yours).
Sparty Statue
Sparty Statue in Spring at MSU