Information for counselors

Information for counselors

Thank you for your professional partnership with MSU’s Office of Admissions. We strive to provide you and your students with useful information about Michigan State University’s admissions process.

Promoting the Publics

High school counselors and career center coordinators from around the nation are invited to attend the 18th Annual Promoting the Publics Conference, which will be hosted virtually by the public universities of Michigan. This free event features 30 minute pre-recorded admission presentations and live Q&A sessions from the 15 public universities in Michigan.

We invite you to view the Michigan State University admissions presentation below.

To view the presentations from the other 14 public universities and to sign up for their live Q&A sessions, visit

Connect with an MSU admissions counselor

Our admissions counselors are ready to connect with you and answer any questions you or your students may have. To connect with an MSU admissions counselor, please visit our contact page.

Are you working with a student who is interested in MSU? They can reach out directly to our office or complete our inquiry form.

Admission review process

The counseling staff in the Office of Admissions reviews each application for admission on a variety of components, with special emphasis on:

High school preparation

  • Strength of high school curriculum (see recommendations below)
  • Recalculated GPA using only core academic courses (English, mathematics, physical and biological sciences, social studies and foreign language)
  • Academic performance trend beginning in ninth grade

Test optional

Personal information

  • Essay
  • Activities, leadership evidence, community service, and special talents as indicated by the student
  • Community impact question: opportunity for students to explain how a community disruption such as COVID-19 and natural disasters have impacted their health and well-being, safety, family circumstances, future plans and education, including access to reliable technology and quiet study spaces

Fall 2020 freshman profile*

  • High school GPA: 3.5-4.0
  • Composite ACT: 23-29
  • Total SAT: 1,110-1,280

* middle 50% of enrolled freshmen

Cost and aid

All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarships from MSU. Explore our scholarships and financial aid options that awarded $1.1 billion to students in 2018-19.

In-state freshmen

  • Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $14,524
  • Room and board (double room/silver meal plan): $10,522

Total for two semesters: $25,046

Non-Michigan freshmen

  • Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $39,830
  • Room and board (double room/silver meal plan): $10,522

Total for two semesters: $50,352

International students may have additional fees and expenses. For more information, review our detailed costs.

Virtual visit options

While MSU has canceled all in-person admissions events, we do have several virtual visit options on our visit page. We invite you and your students to explore these resources, which include virtual campus experiences and our YouTube playlist with video tours and campus highlights.

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 freshman 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