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Once you’re ready to apply, this is where it all begins. Prospective freshman students should submit an online application as soon as possible in their senior year of high school and by November 1 for maximum scholarship consideration.

Three ways to apply

Select the option that is right for you, but only submit one application for admission. MSU has no preference for which type of application you submit. Applicants who apply through the MSU application will receive an applicant ID that allows them to save their progress and submit when they are ready.

MSU application

Apply through MSU.

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Common App

Apply through the Common App.

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Coalition for College

Apply through the Coalition application.

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Application checklist

Here are the main things you need to have prepared to complete your application:

The $65 application fee (or application fee waiver, if you are eligible) is required to officially submit your application for admission.

Have your official transcript(s) sent directly from each school or institution attended to MSU. This includes all your high school transcripts as well as transcripts from any dual enrollment or early/middle college programs. These can be sent through online services or by U.S. mail.

U.S. mail:
Office of Admissions
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824-2604
If you anticipate the completion of any college-level course work prior to attending MSU, it is recommended that you indicate this on your application or contact the Office of Admissions to let us know.

As part of the undergraduate application for admission, each applicant is required to submit one essay (minimum 250 words, maximum 650 words) from the list of prompts. The essay may be considered as a positive factor to enhance admissibility, as well as for scholarship consideration.

Here are the essay prompts for the 2021 application for admission:

  1. Some students have a background, identity, interest or talent that is so meaningful they believe their application would be incomplete without it. If this sounds like you, then please share your story.
  2. The lessons we take from obstacles we encounter can be fundamental to later success. Recount a time when you faced a challenge, setback or failure. How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience?
  3. Reflect on a time when you questioned or challenged a belief or idea. What prompted your thinking? What was the outcome?
  4. Describe a problem you've solved or a problem you'd like to solve. It can be an intellectual challenge, a research query, an ethical dilemma — anything that is of personal importance, no matter the scale. Explain its significance to you and what steps you took or could be taken to identify a solution.
  5. Discuss an accomplishment, event or realization that sparked a period of personal growth and a new understanding of yourself or others.
  6. Describe a topic, idea or concept you find so engaging that it makes you lose all track of time. Why does it captivate you? What or who do you turn to when you want to learn more?
  7. Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.
MSU does not require letters of recommendation as part of the application for admission.