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First-year admission criteria

Admission to Michigan State University is competitive, but there are no minimum requirements. MSU strongly encourages a college preparatory curriculum in high school. Students are also advised to apply early.

First-year admission is based on:

  • Your academic performance in high school
  • The strength and quality of your curriculum
  • Recent trends in your academic performance
  • Your class rank
  • Your ACT or SAT results — however, please note that MSU is test optional and prospective students have the option to apply to MSU without submitting an ACT or SAT score.
  • Your leadership, talents, conduct and diversity of experience

Fall 2023 first-year profile*

  • Entering class: 9,371
  • High school GPA: 3.8
  • Composite ACT: 27
  • Total SAT: 1210

*middle 50% of enrolled first-year students

High school preparation

MSU recommends that students include a majority of core academic courses in their schedules each semester throughout high school, including three such courses each semester during their senior year. In addition, MSU encourages students to select honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses when possible.

Any student considering attending Michigan State as a first-year should pursue a strong college preparatory curriculum. At a minimum, this includes:

  • Four years of English (composition and literature)
  • Three years of mathematics (two years of algebra, one year of geometry)
  • Three years of social studies (history, anthropology, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology or sociology)
  • Two years of science (biology, chemistry, physics or earth science)
  • Two years of a single foreign language

Applications showing a lack in one of these areas will still be considered; however, a less rigorous curriculum will put these applications at a disadvantage.

Detailed suggestions for students in grades eight through 12 are available in MSU's College Planning Guide.

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ACT/SAT optional