New Student Orientation

New Student Orientation (NSO) at MSU has been carefully planned to help students transition into college life at MSU and provide them with a strong foundation for achieving their goals. Because of this commitment to student success, MSU requires new students to attend NSO. The NSO staff can be reached at 517-355-8490 or nso@msu.edu to answer questions about orientation or the start of your undergraduate experience here at MSU.

Since much of the New Student Orientation (NSO) experience is personalized, it is important that students attend NSO on their reserved date. If students have extenuating circumstances it is important to contact the NSO staff as soon as possible by calling (517) 355-8490. MSU reserves the right to cancel or defer a student’s admission if prior notice of absence from NSO is not received.

Attendance at New Student Orientation is not required for the following transfer students:

  • Those who already have a bachelor’s degree
  • Registered nurses admitted to the baccalaureate completion curriculum who are taking an online class
  • Those admitted to the Early Care and Education major in the Great Plains IDEA Program
  • Those admitted to an Evening Degree Completion Program
  • Those transferring from the two-year Michigan State University Veterinary Technology Program
  • Those transferring from the two-year Michigan State University Agricultural Technology Program

Students who are not required to attend the New Student Orientation Program must submit their exemption.


January (Spring Semester) NSO

Students who are admitted for the Spring Semester should plan to attend New Student Orientation on January 3rd and 4th. More details, including a schedule of events, will be available in early December. Students who are planning to live on campus will be able to begin moving into their residence hall the morning of January 3rd.


May, June, July, & August (Summer & Fall Semester) NSO

New Student Orientation dates, schedules, and details for summer and fall semester admitted students are still being finalized. Registration information for NSO will be shared with admitted students via their MSU email address once it is available. In the meantime, you will continue to receive communications about next steps leading up to orientation.


What to bring

  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, state ID or passport
  • A backpack to carry the material received during NSO
  • Spending money for snacks and other personal items

Valuable items should not be brought to NSO, as Michigan State University cannot be responsible for lost, stolen or damaged items.


Before arriving

In order to be prepared for NSO and the start of the academic year, it is important that students log into their account and complete a personalized “next steps” list. The most critical items include the following:

  • Activate MSU NetID and MSU email account
  • Take math and foreign language placement tests online
  • Complete the online Student Background and Experiences Assessment and the Spartan Persistence Survey
  • Fill out the Immunization Self-report
  • Become familiar with the MSU computer requirement
  • Submit a Spartan ID photo online
  • Send any Advanced Placement (AP) and college transcripts to the MSU admissions office (if applicable)
  • Contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to arrange for needed assistance during NSO or during the academic year

Students can expect to receive the following materials before NSO:

  • Mailings from academic colleges
  • Immunization information
  • Financial aid information (if applicable)

Accommodating students with disabilities

Accommodation at NSO for students with disabilities should be requested at least two weeks prior to the NSO attendance date by contacting the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD). Students who require personal assistance for dressing, eating, carrying items, communications or moving around should discuss these needs with RCPD.


Travel information

Check out travel and accommodations for information about airports, public transportation and lodging for families. Other helpful sites provide general driving directions to campus and a downloadable campus map.


Emergency information

While it is unusual for a student to be injured while attending NSO, Michigan State University reserves the right to call for emergency assistance, including an ambulance, should an injury occur. If transportation by ambulance is necessary, the student will be responsible for meeting any expenses.