Application Instructions for International Undergraduates

Students who are not citizens or permanent residents of the United States should apply to Michigan State University as international students. Citizens with dual U.S. citizenship should apply as a U.S. citizen even if they currently reside outside the U.S.

Admission to Michigan State University is competitive. Students applying for Fall semester (August) admission are encouraged to apply during the fall of the prior year for maximum consideration. Please note that the application for admission may not be available at certain times of the year.

Interested students should submit an online application for admission. Decisions are typically made eight to 12 weeks after all application materials are received.

Please note: Documents submitted to MSU as part of the application process will NOT be returned.

Application Submission Instructions

  • Complete the application for admission online, including the required personal statement.
  • Pay the $50 nonrefundable application fee (drawn on U.S. funds) using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or an electronic check.
  • Request that all secondary schools, colleges, or universities attended, and examination boards send original or attested copies of all transcripts, diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates directly to Michigan State University in an official, sealed envelope. In addition, where the original documents are not issued in English, also provide an official English translation of each document.
  • Submit official high school transcripts if you have completed fewer than 28 semester credit hours.
  • Provide proof of English proficiency (sent directly from the testing agency) if your first language is not English (TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, MSUELT, or MELAB accepted). MSU's TOEFL and SAT code is 1465. International students are encouraged, though not required, to submit SAT scores.
  • Do not send letters of recommendation, photographs, portfolios, or additional personal essays. Doing so will delay processing of your application.

Important: Applicants must certify that all documents submitted as part of the application for admission are authentic. Any falsification of academic records through omission or misstatement may result in cancellation of admission and/or other disciplinary action by Michigan State University. Each student is responsible for all information contained in his/her application for admission. Students who employ consultants in the application process are still responsible for the content and authenticity of their own applications.

Additional Requirements for International Transfer Students

Students who have studied at any college or university after high school graduation MUST apply as a transfer student to Michigan State University. In addition to the application instructions above, all transfer students must meet the university's transfer admission criteria to be considered for admission to Michigan State. Transfer students selecting a limited enrollment major may have additional requirements. International transfer applicants should also submit:

  • List of college or university courses in progress.
  • Descriptions and syllabi for any university course work completed outside of the United States.
  • Original or attested copies of all transcripts, diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates from all secondary schools and colleges attended and official English translations if original or attested documents are not in English. When applying for Fall semester please provide academic records with marks through the Fall semester prior to the term of application.
  • Explanation of activities since secondary school graduation if more than one semester has elapsed since graduation


Please arrange for a verification report of your university transcript with the China Academic Degree and Graduate Education Development Center (CDGDC). The report must be mailed directly to the MSU Office of Admissions by the CDGDC. IMPORTANT: Please ensure that your transcript includes Fall Semester grades. DO NOT send our office a transcript until you have completed your Fall Semester.

Information Regarding Student Visa

In order to obtain the documents needed to file for a student visa (I-20 or DS-2019), admitted students must show adequate proof of financial support. Upon acceptance, admitted students will be required to upload a signed affidavit of support  and bank statement with the name of the account holder in English via the online admission portal.  Please do not send these documents in paper form at the time of application.

Minimum English Requirements

International applicants whose first language is not English must meet one of the following language proficiency requirements for regular admission to Michigan State University. Students with acceptable academic credentials who do not meet language proficiency requirements may be admitted on provisional status. Students who may be admitted provisionally are still required to submit English language proficiency exam scores to the Office of Admissions.

The following requirements pertain to undergraduate students only. Graduate applicants should consult MSU's Graduate School for minimum English language requirements.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)

Regular admission:
  • Internet-based test: score of 79 with no subscore below 17
  • Paper-based test: score of 550 with no subscore below 52
Provisional admission:
  • Internet-based test: 60-78
  • Paper-based test: 500-549

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

Regular admission: Score of 6.5 or higher

Provisional admission: Score of 6.0

SAT Critical Reading

Regular admission: Score of 480 or higher

ACT Exam

Regular admission: Subscore of 18 or higher on the English section

Michigan State University English Language Test (MSUELT)

Regular admission:Average score of at least 80 with no subscore below 80, OR Average score of at least 85 with no subscore below 78

Provisional admission: Average score of 65-79

Advanced Placement English Language

Regular admission: Score of 4 or higher

Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)

Regular admission: Average score of 80 or higher

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009, international applicants taking the MELAB must complete the MELAB speaking test

Michigan State University Certificate of English Language Proficiency (CELP)

Regular admission: Score of 65 with no subscore below 15

Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)

Regular admission (undergraduate): Minimum score of 53; minimum subscore requirement of 48

Provisional admission (undergraduate): Average overall score of at least 46


Application Validity

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, contact the Office of Admissions before your application expires.

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