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How to apply

International application checklist

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

The $75 application fee is required to officially submit your application for admission.

Request that all secondary schools, colleges, universities attended and/or examination boards send original or attested copies of all transcripts, marks sheets, certificates and diplomas earned directly to the Office of Admissions at Michigan State University. These can be sent through the online services listed below or by mail. If sending by mail, any hard copy of academic records must be sent in an official, sealed envelope.

Office of Admissions
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824-2604 

In addition, if the original documents are not issued in English, an official translation of each document must be provided along with the original language documents. Translations may be done by the school, college or university attended or an authorized/official translator in the country of study. Review MSU's International transcript requirements for country-specific transcript information.

Note: Documents submitted to MSU as part of the application process will not be returned.

As a first-year student you do not have to officially declare your major yet, however you will be asked to select your major preference on the application. If you are undecided, select the "Exploratory preference" option.

Changing your major preference
After submitting the application, fall first-year applicants have until May 1 to change their major preference in their account. Any student who applies, or is admitted, after May 1 cannot change their major preference until New Student Orientation (NSO).

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.

Have the testing agency (TOEFL, IELTS, SAT, MSUELT or MELAB accepted) provide proof of English proficiency directly to MSU if your first language is not English. MSU's TOEFL code is 1465. MSU is test optional, which means international students are encouraged, though not required, to submit SAT or ACT scores. The SAT code is 1465; the ACT code is 2032.

Review our full overview on English language proficiency for details on temporary exceptions due to the impact of the novel coronavirus — including additional tests being accepted and expanded opportunities for provisional admission.

In order to obtain the documents needed to file for a student visa (I-20 or DS-2019), admitted students must show adequate proof of financial support. Upon acceptance, admitted students will be required to upload a signed affidavit of support and bank statement with the name of the account holder in English through your admissions account. Please do not send financial documents in paper form at the time of application.

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 2023 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. Reflect on something that someone has done for you that has made you happy or thankful in a surprising way. How has this gratitude affected or motivated you?
  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.
Do not send letters of recommendation, photographs, portfolios or additional personal essays. Doing so will delay processing of your application.


Applicants must certify that all documents submitted as part of the application for admission are authentic. Any falsification of academic records through omission or misstatement may result in cancellation of admission and/or other disciplinary action by Michigan State University. Each student is responsible for all information contained in the student’s application for admission even if a consultant is employed in the application process.

Start your application

There are four ways to apply to MSU. 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 (MSU application, Common or Coalition).

MSU application

Apply through MSU.

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Common App

Apply through the Common App.

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Apply Coalition with Scoir.

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International transfer

Apply as an international transfer student.

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Dates and deadlines