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How to apply

Transfer 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. International transfer students are required to pay the international application fee of $75 and are not eligible for a fee waiver.

Once you have submitted your online application for admission, you must update your academic record by submitting grades for any completed courses and inform our office of any courses currently in progress. Do not submit any official transcripts until after you have been admitted.

Full instructions for self-reporting your academic record

Have an official copy of score results sent to the Office of Admissions if you have taken an Advanced Placement (AP), College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), A-Levels, or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams. All scores must be sent to the Office of Admissions directly from the testing agency.
Students with 42 or more completed credits must select a major. The majors of exploratory preference, pre-nursing and pre-veterinary cannot be chosen. Many majors at MSU have additional admission requirements. Applicants to these limited enrollment majors should review the additional requirements carefully before applying.
MSU does not require letters of recommendation as part of the application for admission.

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.
If you have completed less than 28 semester credits, you must also:

Transfer applicants with less than 28 semester credits must have their official transcript(s) sent directly to from any high schools they attended to MSU. 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 
Transfer applicants with less than 28 semester credits are required to submit an ACT or SAT score. Have your ACT or SAT scores sent directly to MSU by the testing agency. The ACT code is 2032; the SAT code is 1465. The writing portion is recommended, but not required. For more information about having your scores sent from the testing agency, visit ACT or SAT online.

Application validity

Applications are valid for one year beyond the semester of submission. It is not necessary to submit a new application or application fee during this period. To be considered for an alternate semester, contact the Office of Admissions before the application expires. Students should also provide an up-to-date transcript, a list of current courses, and a list of other activities (such as employment) occurring between the application submission date and start of desired semester of enrollment.


Start your application

There are three 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

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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Dates and deadlines