Frequently Asked Questions



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 check. To register for a background check, visit the Certified Background website.

How do I find a job as a teacher?

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.

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.

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 Division of Education 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 are the four phases of the MSU-Meridian Teacher Education program?

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, must become familiar with the College of Education Undergraduate Handbook, and must select a major and concentration area. The Phase I form must be completed by the student and the advisor before a student can be admitted into the Division of Education.

Phase II requires the completion of 44 semester credit hours of coursework, which includes the 36-hour MSU general education requirements, with a minimum GPA of 2.5 for special education majors and a minimum GPA of 2.75 for elementary education and secondary education majors. 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 I Examination (Reading 172, Writing 173, Mathematics 172). Students must have the following items submitted to the Division of Education prior to being admitted to the program:

  • Praxis I scores (if required)
  • two letters of recommendation
  • verification of 40 hours of work experience with children or youth
  • A background check (go to the Certified Background website and enter code (MI43)

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 one semester prior to the internship. In addition, all required portions of the Praxis II exam must be passed prior to enrolling in the internship, and all Praxis II scores must be submitted to the College of Education.

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.

What do I need to do to be admitted to one of the MSU-Meridian Division of Education teacher education programs?

The first step is to be admitted to Mississippi State University-Meridian. You may apply online at: or click on the Apply Now tab at the top of the page.

Are the deadlines for admission flexible?

Due to the large volume of applications received each year, the deadlines are usually not flexible.

Can I pursue the master's or education specialist degree on a part-time basis?

The master's and educational specialist degrees in Counseling, Elementary Education, and Secondary Education can be pursued on a full-time or part-time basis. Most full-time master's students complete the program in two years, including summers. Part time completion of the master's program will take longer depending on the number of credit hours for which the student is enrolled each semester.

The master’s in education administration is pursued as a cohort group and usually takes three semesters to complete.

Can I take courses before I am admitted into the program?

Prospective students can take up to nine unclassified graduate hours. Taking unclassified hours does not guarantee admission into a program. For more information please consult the Bulletin of the Graduate School at:

Do I have to take comprehensive exams?

Students in the master's programs and education specialist’s programs are required to pass a comprehensive exam as part of their program requirements.

Do I have to take the GRE?

The GRE is a requirement for all prospective graduate students. Visit to find a testing center near you.

What opportunities are available for student professional development?

Many opportunities are available for student engagement in professional development activities while completing the master's and education specialist’s programs. Students are expected to seek membership in professional organizations and to become involved in advocacy for the profession

What types of financial aid opportunities are available?

A variety of financial aid is available to eligible students. Information about student financial aid may be obtained via the Mississippi State University website at

When are comprehensive examinations taken?

Comprehensive examinations are usually taken the last semester of enrollment in your degree program.