Undergraduate FAQ

General Admission Questions

What is the application deadline?

Michigan State University uses rolling admission, so early application is strongly encouraged. However, the number of qualified applicants has exceeded available space in recent years. For maximum admission and scholarship consideration:

  • high school seniors are encouraged to apply between August and November 1 of their senior year.
  • transfer students are encouraged to apply six months prior to the desired term of enrollment.
  • international students applying for Fall semester (August) admission are encouraged to apply during the fall of the prior year for maximum consideration.

Learn more about the timeline for admission by clicking the Timeline for Admission and Deadlines link in the left navigation.

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Are letters of recommendation required for applicants?

No. Michigan State does not require letters of recommendation..

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When do students receive an admission decision?

Admission decisions are typically made eight to 12 weeks after all application materials are received. (Please note that an initial admissions decision may be a "withhold" decision, in which a student is asked to provide more information to the Office of Admissions.)

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How long is my application for admission valid?

Applications are valid for one year beyond the semester of submission. It is not necessary to submit a new application form or application fee during this period. To be considered for an alternate semester, use your personalized "Be a Spartan" online student portal to change your term.

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Freshman Admission Questions

Is the new version of the SAT with the writing section or the optional ACT writing test required for freshmen?

Yes. Students must submit scores from either the new SAT Reasoning Test, which includes a critical reading, math, and writing section, or the ACT with the optional writing assessment. Students who have previously taken an SAT or ACT exam without a writing component are required to either take the SAT again or submit an ACT writing test score. (International students are encouraged to submit SAT scores, if available.)

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Is it better for freshmen to only send MSU the highest ACT or SAT score if a test is taken more than once?

No. Michigan State considers the highest combined SAT or composite ACT score on file. There is no disadvantage in sending multiple test scores to the Office of Admissions since the lower test scores are disregarded. MSU does not combine subscores from different sittings of the SAT or ACT to make a "best" combined or composite score.

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What if a freshman applicant wants to change the senior year course schedule listed on the application?

MSU does not approve or decline course schedule changes; however, students must upload any schedule changes by logging in to their "Be a Spartan" online student portal and using the upload function. Students should be aware that changes which result in a less academically rigorous course of study may jeopardize their admissibility or offer of admission.

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Does Michigan State accept dual enrollment credit from high school students?

Yes. High school students who are dually enrolled at an accredited college or university may be eligible to receive credit for course work completed at that institution. Mathematics courses for high school completion should extend through the level of a calculus preparatory class. Courses beyond these basic expectations that are transferable to MSU will be considered for credit. Learn more about dual enrollment

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Does Michigan State accept precollege credits from Advanced Placement (AP) and the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program?

Yes. High school students can receive credit through AP examinations and through the IB Diploma Program. Strong scores may allow for a course waiver or course credit. Learn more about precollege credit

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Transfer Admission Questions

How do I know if I'm a transfer student?

Any student who has attended a postsecondary institution after graduating from high school (with the exception of attendance during the summer term immediately following graduation) is considered a transfer student.

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What should I do if I was previously admitted but did not enroll, and now I want to attend Michigan State?

Students who are admitted as a high school student but did not enroll need to visit their personalized "Be a Spartan" online student portal to submit a change in desired term and also submit transcripts from all other institutions attended to the Office of Admissions. Please note that when changing your desired semester of enrollment, your application will undergo a new review process. If more than one year has elapsed, another application form and application fee must be submitted.

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As a transfer student, does my GPA from my previous college transfer to MSU?

No. Previous GPAs do not transfer to MSU. When a student enrolls at MSU, a new GPA is established after the first semester of classes. However, all grades, all courses, and all previously attended institutions are counted in the admission process. Applicants with a GPA below 2.0 are not admissible to the university.

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I am planning to transfer to MSU. How do I know what classes I should take if I'm interested in a specific major?

Transfer applicants are able to use MSU's Degree Navigator as a guest to see the courses required for each major. Students also find it beneficial to take courses that fulfill MSU's Integrative Studies requirements.

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I'm transferring to MSU. When will I find out if credits transfer?

Admitted students with college or university credit will be able to access their official transfer credit evaluation approximately six weeks after their required Advanced Enrollment Deposit is received. This evaluation, available on the student's StuInfo page, shows how courses completed at other institutions transfer to Michigan State University. Until then, transfer students are encouraged to use the Office of Admissions' searchable transfer credit equivalency system, Transfer MSU. This database contains hundreds of courses from other colleges and universities and indicates if they are eligible to be transferred to MSU.

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Why is my course/institution not listed in the Transfer MSU searchable credit equivalency system?

Michigan State's transfer credit evaluators add courses to the Transfer MSU searchable credit equivalency system as they are reviewed. If you do not see your course or institution listed, that does not mean you will not receive credit. It simply means your course, or a course from your institution, has yet to be reviewed by an MSU transfer credit evaluator.

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I'm from Michigan. Will MSU accept my MACRAO stamp?

Michigan State University is a member of the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers and recognizes most course exchanges. Michigan State University's requirement for graduation (math, English, and Integrative Studies) can oftentimes be satisfied while a student completes the coursework required for MACRAO. MSU does not, however, accept the MACRAO stamp to automatically waive MSU general requirements to graduate.
Learn more about MSU's Integrative Studies requirements

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International Admission Questions

What are the English language proficiency requirements for international students?

International students whose first language is not English must demonstrate a language proficiency for regular admission. Students with acceptable academic credentials who do not meet the language proficiency requirement may be admitted on a provisional status. View minimum English language requirements

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When do I receive my I-20 form?

MSU will promptly issue an I-20 or DS-2019 to an admitted international student after they have completed the following steps:

IMPORTANT: After completing the steps above, you will be sent an email that allows you to select delivery options for your I-20. To receive your I-20 through express mail, you MUST utilize the delivery service eShipGlobal. Receiving your immigration documents through express mail is at your expense. You must use the eShipGlobal website – do not go through the DHL or FedEx website directly. For more informaiton on this process, carefully review the email you receive from MSU after you have completed the steps listed above.

All international students are required to present the I-20 form when applying for an F-1 Student Visa and again at the port of entry into the United States. Students applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa will need to present a DS-2019 form. This form is available from the organization/program sponsoring the student or from the Office for International Students and Scholars at MSU. Applicants enrolled at another U.S. institution with an F-1 Student Visa must be released from SEVIS by their current institution before MSU can issue a new I-20 form.

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Finance Questions

What scholarships are available?

Michigan State University is proud of its extensive program of merit scholarships, many made possible by the generosity of alumni and friends of the university. Scholarship selection criteria vary. In most instances, students do not need to submit an additional application. Admitted students are automatically considered for scholarships. For maximum consideration, submit the application for admission by November 1 of your senior year of high school. View scholarships for new students

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How does financial aid work?

Financial aid consists of scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. Students who want to be considered for federal financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible after January 1 of their senior year. After MSU receives the results of the FAFSA and the student is admitted to MSU, aid will be awarded based on need (as determined by the FAFSA) and the financing MSU has available. Learn more about financial aid

Although international students are not eligible for federal financial aid, students can investigate other financial resources, including educational loans, grants, and on-campus employment. View additional financial resources for international students

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Campus Life Questions

Where is MSU located?

Located in East Lansing, adjacent to Lansing, the capital of Michigan, Michigan State is in close proximity to Chicago, Detroit, and Toronto, and the freshwater beaches of Lake Michigan. Drivers can exit the interstate highway system and be on campus in fewer than five minutes. Students with homes a far distance from MSU appreciate the convenience of the Amtrak train station on the west edge of campus, and Lansing is home to the Capital City Airport. Learn more about East Lansing

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What is Michigan State's campus like?

MSU's 5,200 acre campus is located in East Lansing, Michigan. The size of the campus is relatively large with more than 600 buildings, 700 acres of protected natural areas, 100 miles of walkways, and 50 miles of roads. Divided by the Red Cedar River, MSU's buildings are a mix of historic ivy-covered halls and modern structures. Although upper division students can bring cars to campus, most students choose to walk, bike, or use the bus system to travel around campus. Learn more about student life

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Am I required to live on campus?

Freshmen must live on campus unless they live with a parent or legal guardian and wish to commute. Many students choose to live on campus because of the convenience and affordability and convenience of housing options.

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What are the housing options on campus?

Michigan State operates one of the largest single-campus residence hall systems in the United States. Freshmen are required to live on campus, and the residence halls are also popular with returning students. Most of the rooms in the 25 undergraduate residence halls are double occupancy and are furnished with twin beds and linens, desks and chairs, chest of drawers, closet and shelf, and a telephone connection with voice mail. All halls contain bathroom accommodations (either community baths with ample private showering and toilet facilities or suite baths shared between two rooms), study lounges, laundry facilities, cable TV access, Ethernet access, meeting spaces, snack and beverage vending machines, TV lounges, and postal stations. All halls are close to (or contain) dining facilities, ATMs, computer labs, and exercise facilities. Learn more about housing at MSU

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What are the housing options off campus?

Incoming transfer and graduate students who are searching for off-campus living options have an online resource available to assist them. MSU's Off Campus Listing Service features multiple property listings and includes advanced search filters, a roommate finder, message boards, and educational resources. Learn more about off-campus housing options

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What are the dining options on campus?

The campus is divided into five housing and dining zones. Within minutes, from anywhere on campus, students can find a variety and service from 15 different dining rooms. Students can combine meal plans with Spartan Cash, allowing for tasty convenience at more than 40 locations on campus. The dining rooms provide a minimum of three entrées and at least one meatless entrée; fresh-baked desserts; signature soup, deli, and salad bars; more than 30 kinds of cereal; Totally Takeout (carry-out) in six dining locations; and special events every week. Several meal plan options are available, ranging from just a few meals per week to unlimited access to the undergraduate dining halls during hours of operation. Learn more about dining and meal plans

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What is Spartan Cash?

Spartan Cash is a debit card program. This prepaid account may be used in all Sparty's Convenience Stores, Sparty's Cafes, campus food courts, Owen Cafeteria, Cyber Cafes, and even in laundry machines on campus. The Premium Meal plan includes $100 in Spartan Cash. All other plans may add this popular option at any time. Learn more about Spartan Cash

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Can I bring a car to campus?

First-year undergraduate students are not permitted to have vehicles on campus. Most students walk, bike, or use MSU's bus system, which travels through campus and into nearby cities, stopping at shopping malls, grocery stores, and select off-campus apartment complexes. Once students reach sophomore status, they are permitted to have a registered vehicle on campus. Although several parking lots are available, parking is limited. Learn more about transportation on campus

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Can I work on campus?

Campus jobs are plentiful, and the Student Employment Office is a good resource to locate a job that fits your skills, interest, and availability. Freshmen can work part time beginning their first semester. Learn more about on campus employment

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