General Education Requirements

All bachelor's degree candidates at Michigan State University are required to complete a series of core courses, regardless of their chosen major. These University requirements include Writing, Mathematics, and Integrative Studies. Students may have additional requirements in these areas, depending on their major.

Typically, transfer students complete courses at other institutions which can satisfy some of these requirements. The chart below lists MSU's requirements and examples of courses that have previously satisfied the requirement at another institution.

The Office of Admissions' Transfer Guides lists courses from other institutions that may satisfy university requirements.

Michigan State's searchable transfer credit equivalency database, Transfer MSU, contains hundreds of courses from other colleges and universities.  In addition, please check our credit by examination website for the exams and scores required to earn credit to satisfy the following requirements.

Area Requirements Possible Equivalents
English/Writing (WRA) A course equivalent to MSU’s Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures (WRA) 101 While there may be a course equivalent to MSU’s WRA 101 at an institution, the student will need to comply with the prerequisite requirements at that institution. The combination of composition I and II usually satisfies this requirement.
An additional upper-level writing course must be completed at MSU. These courses are advance writing courses within the major.
Mathematics (MTH) A course equivalent to MSU’s MTH courses: Finite Mathematics and Elements of College Algebra (MTH 110), College Algebra and Trigonometry (MTH 116), Survey of Calculus I (MTH 124), or Calculus I (MTH 132).  These courses meet the university graduation requirement for math, however the level of math needed is based on the applicant’s selected major. An equivalent to MSU’s MTH 103 (College Algebra) is the base math course required for admission consideration. It must be completed a full semester before the start of the applicant’s desired term of enrollment.  MTH 103 serves as the foundation course in route to meeting the University’s requirement.
Integrative Studies
Area Requirements Possible Equivalents
Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (ISS) Four semester credits equivalent to any 200-level ISS course at MSU. A cultural anthropology, economics, human or economic geography, political science, psychology, or sociology course usually satisfies this requirement.
An additional 300-level ISS course must be completed at MSU.
Arts and Humanities (IAH)

Four semester credits equivalent to MSU’s Integrative Arts and Humanities (IAH) 201-210. 

A course in American history pre or post-Civil War plus completion of a course equivalent to MSU’s WRA 101.

Four semester credits equivalent to any IAH course 211-241.

A literature, philosophy, religion, music or art appreciation, or music or art history course usually satisfies this requirement.
General Science - Biological and Physical Sciences (ISB/ISP) Three semester credits equivalent to any 200-level ISB course at MSU. Biology or a biological science course usually satisfies this requirement.
Three semester credits equivalent to any 200-level ISP course at MSU. Chemistry, physics, or another physical science course usually satisfies this requirement.
Two semester credits of a science laboratory are also required.

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