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We strive to support high school counselors and advisers of prospective college students with useful information about Michigan State University’s admissions process. Thank you for your professional partnership with the MSU Office of Admissions!

Preparing for MSU

Application checklist

A helpful list of steps for first-year students planning to apply to MSU

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Admissions deadlines

Dates and deadlines for the first-year admissions process at MSU

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Dual enrollment

Information for dual enrollment students, as well as other advanced credits

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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 take honors, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses when possible.

Any student considering attending Michigan State as a first-year student 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 that are lacking in one of these areas will still be considered; however, a less rigorous curriculum may put these applications at a disadvantage for admission.

Detailed recommendations for students in grades eight through 12 are available in MSU's college planning guide.

The counseling staff in the Office of Admissions evaluates each application for admission on a variety of components, with special emphasis on the following areas.

High school preparation
  • Strength of high school curriculum (see recommendations above)
  • 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
  • MSU is test optional, which means that freshman applicants have the option to apply without submitting an ACT or SAT score. Students who would like to submit an ACT or SAT score will be asked to self-report their scores on the application. Admitted students who chose to apply with self-reported test scores will be required to provide official test results to the university.
  • International students are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score, but must still meet English language proficiency requirements.

Personal information
  • Essay
  • Activities, leadership evidence, community service and special talents as indicated by the student
  • Community impact question: opportunity for students to provide additional information not reflected in the application, including explaining how individual, family or community disruptions (such as COVID-19 and natural disasters) have affected their academic records or educational experiences

Official transcripts
  • Official transcripts must be sent directly from the high school to MSU, either through U.S. mail or the following online services.
U.S. mail:
Office of Admissions
Hannah Administration Building
426 Auditorium Road, Room 250
East Lansing, MI 48824-2604

All admitted students are automatically considered for scholarships from MSU. From 2021-22, $2.2 billion was offered in financial aid to students. Explore our scholarships and financial aid optionsThe Office of Financial Aid also has sample budgets and cost calculators to help students estimate costs.

In-state first-year students
  • Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $15,436
  • Room and board (double room/silver meal plan): $10,990
  • Total for two semesters: $26,426

See detailed cost breakdown

Out-of-state first-year students
  • Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $42,022
  • Room and board (double room/silver meal plan): $10,990
  • Total for two semesters: $53,012

See detailed cost breakdown

International first-year students

The totals below reflect expenses included in the undergraduate financial proof requirements for MSU to issue an I-20. The cost for room and board includes the three weeks between fall and spring semesters.

  • Tuition and fees (12-18 credits per semester): $43,522
  • Room and board (double room/silver meal plan): $11,355
  •  Books and supplies: $1,254
  •  Personal/miscellaneous: $2,862
  •  Medical: $2,284
  • Total for two semesters: $61,277

See detailed cost breakdown

The College of Music and the Broad College of Business have additional review processes for prospective first-year students.

Broad College of Business

First-year business applicants are first reviewed by the Office of Admissions for admissibility to the university. Then they are reviewed by the Broad College of Business for direct admission to the College of Business. During this time, the student's major will appear as business preference in their account (no additional action is required).

The Broad College of Business has a competitive admission program with limited space for direct admission. There are two pathways for admission:

  1. direct admission from high school
  2. secondary admission for current MSU students

College of Music

Applicants to the MSU College of Music must also complete the College of Music supplemental application by Dec. 1. During this time, the student's major will appear as music preference in their account. To be considered for admission into the College of Music, candidates must:

  1. submit the College of Music supplemental application by Dec. 1;
  2. submit required supporting documents;
  3. complete a successful audition.

Fall 2022 first-year profile

Middle 50% of enrolled first-year students

Entering class

average high school GPA of first-year class

composite ACT score

total SAT score

Counselor events

Promoting the Publics

At this event, high school counselors will get the most important updates from each of the 15 public universities in Michigan.


Connect with an admissions counselor

MSU's admissions counselors are ready to connect with you and answer any questions you or your students may have. 

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Visit options

Explore MSU's in-person and virtual visit options for prospective and admitted students and their families.

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More resources

MSU at a Glance

See a quick summary of the need-to-know facts about MSU.

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MSU College Planning Guide

Share this college planning guide with your students.

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MSU Viewbook

This publication gives an in-depth overview of MSU for prospective students.

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MI Public Universities Admissions Guide

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B1G10 Academic Alliance Admissions Guide

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