Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education


An undergraduate student at Michigan State University may choose from more than 200 majors. To earn a bachelor's degree, students must complete requirements prescribed by the university, their colleges, and their departments.  A broad choice of electives allows the student to design a program of study that encompasses their interests and abilities to meet future career aspirations. 

In recent years, many students entering the university as first-year students are encouraged to take 15 or more credits per term to complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree, in four years.

Lists of the colleges, schools, and departments, programs and areas of study, degrees offered, and the corresponding course designations are shown in The Academic Program section of this catalog. Some instructional units do not have programs that lead to degrees for undergraduates, but offer courses, e.g., Aerospace Studies,  Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Military Science, and Pharmacology and Toxicology, that may be of interest. 

Information relating to enrollment, payment of fees, credits, changes in enrollment, the grading system, facilities, and other general information is given in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section of this catalog.

Student Computer Policy

All undergraduate students at Michigan State University are required to have a laptop computer that can connect to the internet using a high-speed connection. Many course sections are taught with the expectation that students use laptop computers in class. For each section where it is required, this is noted in the Schedule of Courses. Therefore, a laptop computer provides expanded instructional opportunities for students.

All students should check with their prospective major, college and department to determine if their program has specific computer requirements for their academic programs. Some programs strongly recommend using particular computer operating systems.
If there are no specific computer or operating system requirements for the student’s program of study, then the student’s computer may be any brand running most recent Microsoft Windows or MacOS. Students will want to be sure the computer will run the applications software, e.g., office applications, they will use for their courses. The computer must be able to connect directly to Michigan State University's campus network and the internet using a high-speed Ethernet connection. The Michigan State University wireless network supports all current wireless communication protocols (i.e., 802.11a, g, and n. The 802.11n standard operates in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies.) MSU does not recommend students rely on tablet devices, mobile phones, or netbook computers (e.g., Chromebooks) as their primary computer due to software limitations. It is crucially important that all computers be equipped with virus protection and firewall software, and that the software be installed and running prior to connecting a computer to the Michigan State University network. All students that utilize MSU resources such as network, campus labs, etc., are expected to abide by the MSU Acceptable Use Policy, found at

The average costs related to this requirement will be included in the calculation of financial aid eligibility for need-based aid or federal or private loans. For the latest information on Michigan State University computing services, hardware, and software, visit

Undergraduate Admission to the University

Admission Application Deadlines

The application deadline for undergraduate applications varies by start term (Fall – May 1st / Spring – December 15th / Summer – April 15th) (early action, non-binding – November 1; regular admission – February 1; rolling – after February 1). In recent years, the number of qualified first-year student applicants has exceeded available spaces. Those persons who qualify for admission after having completed the eleventh grade fill the first-year students’ class initially. For fullest consideration, apply as early as possible during senior year of high school.

Deferment/Gap Year

If a person applies for admission to an undergraduate program at Michigan State University for a specific semester and is accepted but chooses not to enroll for that semester and the application has not been canceled, the applicant may extend their offer of admission up to a period of one year (a maximum of two consecutive terms, see for term deadlines).  If, after one year, the person still has not enrolled at Michigan State, a new application for admission must be submitted. University financial aid is not allowed to be carried over, unless otherwise stated in writing.

Application Procedure for High School Seniors

Admission to Michigan State University is open to all candidates based on academic performance and the availability of space in the desired academic program, and without regard to race, color, gender, gender identity, religion, national origin, political persuasion, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, height, weight, veteran status, age, or (in the case of U.S. citizens) financial need.

If you are a high school senior applying for entrance as a first-year student, you should:

  1. Apply online.
    1. Complete the online application including your essay. The application fee is required at the time you submit the online application. Payment must be made using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, or online check or ACH. Refer to Costs section of this catalog. Application fee waivers are available online or from your high school for eligible students. International applicants are not eligible for application fee waivers. 
    2. Submit your essay electronically in your application for admission. You should only answer one question.
    3. Have your ACT or SAT scores sent to Michigan State University by the testing agency, if you wish to be considered for admission with a test score. The ACT code is 2032; the SAT code is 1465.
    4. If you are applying test-optional a standardized test score is not required for admission consideration or merit review for admissions scholarships.

Application Procedure for Transfer Students

If you have had some college-level education after high school graduation and are applying as a transfer student, you should:

  1. Apply online.
    1. Complete the online application including your essay. The application fee is required at the time you submit the online application. Payment must be made using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, or by online check or ACH. Refer to Costs section of this catalog. Application fee waivers are available online for eligible students. International applicants are not eligible for application fee waivers.
    2. After your application is received, please submit official transcripts from all institutions you have attended
    3. Upon admission, all transfer students are required to submit additional official transcripts for course work not yet completed.
    4. Applicants who have accumulated fewer than 24 transferable credits must also submit an official high school transcript and standardized test scores. (submission of test scores is optional)
    5. All transfer applicants who are planning to use federal financial aid must submit an official high school transcript. 

First-year Student Admission

A high school student planning to apply as a first-year student should submit an application as soon as possible at the beginning of their senior year. There are many advantages to applying early. For example, some programs are filled on a first-admitted basis. Students interested in being considered for merit scholarships should apply by November 1, for maximum consideration, and the regular admission deadline is February 1. Students should apply using the online application.

The university requires students to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Students must submit official transcripts from all high schools attended, proof of GED (if applicable), an essay, and official ACT or SAT scores (if applicable, as MSU is currently test optional).

Admission to Michigan State University is competitive, but there are no minimum requirements. Freshman admission is based on your academic performance in high school; the strength and quality of your curriculum; recent trends in your academic performance; your class rank; your ACT or SAT results (if applicable, since MSU is test optional); and your leadership, talents, conduct and diversity of experience. Typically, the most important element in the admissions process is high school academic achievement. Applicants who are admissible will be granted admission pending confirmation of satisfactory status regarding final grades and other admission criteria.

Applicants may receive an offer of admission to the subsequent term if space is not available for the term in which they have applied. The chief academic officer of the university has authority to grant waivers of the usual entrance requirements. 

Admission to the university is conditional upon the applicant providing accurate admissions information and upon the applicant updating such data if circumstances arise that make the previously provided information inaccurate, misleading, or incomplete in an any way. Submission of an application authorizes the university to investigate the accuracy of statements made and data provided by the applicant and those who submit materials or information on behalf of the applicant. Falsifications, misrepresentations, or omissions in application answers or supporting data may constitute grounds to deny or revoke admission to the university. Admission to the university may be denied or revoked if the university learns that an individual has engaged in conduct that indicates to the university that the individual is not ready to be a responsible member of the university community. 

The university encourages all applicants to visit campus. Admissions presentations and campus tours are available Monday-Friday throughout the year and on select Saturdays during fall and spring. There is no charge, but pre-registration is required.


MSU is test optional, which means that prospective freshman students can apply for admission without submitting an ACT or SAT score. Students will indicate on the application whether they would like SAT or ACT exam scores included in their evaluation. Freshman applicants who would like to have test scores considered will have the ability to self-report 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 before they attend New Student Orientation. First-year student applicants have an option to take the writing portion of either the ACT or the SAT. SAT II exams are not required by Michigan State University. Michigan State University does not superscore for either test.

Scores must be sent to MSU directly from the testing agency. MSU's ACT code is 2032. MSU's SAT code is 1465. Information on the ACT is available at SAT information can be found at

High School Curricular Requirements

Michigan State University recognizes that adequate preparation for collegiate-level programs demands comprehensive work in academic subject matter areas and substantial training in writing. These high school course work requirements provide the foundation on which university work is built by providing basic competencies in the following core areas noted in the sections that follow. MSU recognizes that there will be students who have potential for academic success at Michigan State University, but who have not precisely met the high school course requirements, e.g., students whose high schools do not offer all the courses, non–traditional students, and international students. The absence of any particular component of high school course work should not be an insurmountable barrier to admission. Michigan State University urges all interested individuals to apply for admission.

English:  Four (4) years of college preparatory composition and literature courses. The ability to comprehend what is being read and to read critically is fundamental for success in college. A student must come to college with the basic ability to recognize assumptions, to identify intentions, to acknowledge the various forms of literary expressions, and to understand and react to the author's message. It is expected that a high school student is familiar with a wide range of literature representing various literary forms and drawn from a variety of cultures.

Clarity of expression is also important. College programs typically require the ability to organize, present and evaluate information and concepts in written form. A student must be able to use the conventions of written English to convey ideas in an effective and efficient manner. Successful students will be able to write analytically and critically, to construct arguments, and to see relationships between content and form, while reorganizing, revising, and refining to achieve a logical sequence of ideas leading to a conclusion.

Mathematics: Three (3) years of college preparatory mathematics, including two (2) years of algebra and one (1) year of geometry. College-bound students must understand the language, notation, and deductive nature of mathematics and be able to express quantitative ideas with precision. They must have skills in such basic areas as the solution of equations and inequalities, and the simplification of algebraic expressions. To be best prepared, students are strongly advised to pursue mathematics courses beyond the three–year minimum required for admission. It is recommended that a calculus preparatory course be included.

Biological and Physical Sciences: Two (2) years of college preparatory science courses from the areas of biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science. College-bound students need an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts. They must know enough about laboratory methods and fieldwork to ask appropriate scientific questions and to recognize experimental approaches to the solution of such questions. They should understand in some depth scientific concepts and should have a year of experience in laboratory methods. Additional science courses are highly recommended, particularly if a student is considering a scientific or technical field of study.

History and the Social Sciences: Three (3) years of college preparatory work in history and the social sciences with at least one (1) year of history and one (1) year of social sciences (from such areas as anthropology, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology or sociology). Through their study of history, college-bound high school students should be able to recognize historical trends and relationships. Students should understand the interactions among peoples of different civilizations, races, and cultures, and know the chronology of major historical events or periods and social movements. It is equally important to understand the underlying political, economic, social, or psychological forces that shape those events. Students should have basic factual knowledge of major social, political, and economic institutions within their historical context, as well as introductory knowledge of the content and concepts of the social sciences. A course which shows how the scientific method can be utilized in the social sciences to examine major issues and to address problems would be particularly useful.

Foreign Languages: Two (2) years of college preparatory work in a single foreign language. Students intending to major in areas that require foreign language are encouraged to complete additional work.

Additional Recommended Course Work: The courses noted above constitute minimum preparation for degree programs in the university. To enhance your application for admission and further prepare for academic success at Michigan State University, a minimum of three additional academic college preparatory courses is recommended.

Advanced Payments and Deposits

Refer to Costs section of this catalog for information.

Office of Supportive Services

The Office of Supportive Services (OSS) is a multifaceted holistic initiative designed to address the needs of TRIO students; first generation, income eligible, students with disabilities and students who meet other priority participant criteria. Through the collaborative efforts of MSU faculty and staff, the Supportive Services personnel implement intensive and comprehensive services. Students have access to program services from the time they enter the University, through graduation and placement into graduate school. The primary goal of OSS is to assist in the retention and graduation rates of program participants. This is accomplished by offering a variety of services which foster student academic achievement, self-confidence and leadership.

For more information about OSS and TRIO, please call 1-517-884-6670 or visit us at 434 Farm Lane, Room 209 Bessey Hall or online at

Advanced Placement Program (College Board AP Exams)

Credit or advanced standing may be granted to students who have earned specific scores on College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Examinations.

Visit the admissions Web site for Michigan State University's AP Equivalencies for waivers or course credit. Students must have their AP scores sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Students who wish to request removal of Advanced Placement credits from their academic record need to submit their request to their advisor before the end of the first term of enrollment. After the first term of enrollment, the associate dean of the student’s college will review each case, including its accordance with federal financial aid policy, and  may recommend the addition or the removal of Advanced Placement credits by submitting a request to the Office of the Registrar. 

College-Level Examination Program (CLEP)

The College Board has examinations designed to assess competence achieved prior to enrolling at Michigan State and this competence level would be equivalent to taking beginning college level courses. Individuals desiring recognition of CLEP examinations for credit at Michigan State University must present official CLEP Examination reports for all exams taken.

Visit the admissions Web site for Michigan State University's CLEP equivalencies.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support - Subject Standardized Tests (DANTES)

Prometric has examinations designed to assess competencies usually attained by taking college-level courses. Individuals desiring recognition of DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST) examinations for credit at Michigan State University must present an official DSST Transcript for all exams taken.

Visit the admissions Web site for Michigan State University's DANTES equivalencies.

International Baccalaureate Program

Michigan State University accepts the results of the International Baccalaureate Examinations for placement and course credit.

Visit the admissions Web site for Michigan State University's International Baccalaureate (IB) equivalencies.


Opportunities for High-Achieving High School Students (MSU Dual Enrollment)

Michigan State University offers programs for high-achieving high school students to take courses at Michigan State University and earn college credit while pursuing their high school programs. Credits earned in the High Achieving High School status may be applied to a Michigan State University undergraduate degree. For additional information on course applicability, see the Dual Enrollment by High School Students section of this catalog. Details and admissions requirements for High Achieving High School programs are available at Information about dual enrollment can be found at

A student must complete the Application for Admission for High Achieving High School Students, submit their high school transcript, and be recommended by the high school counselor or principal. Permission to enroll under the High-Achieving High School Students enrollment status is determined by the following criteria: (a) courses in which enrollment is desired represent advanced study for that student at a level not offered by the high school and are approved by the high school counselor/principal and representative of Michigan State University's Honors College as compatible with that student's academic program and qualifications. Performance in these courses will be monitored as a condition of continued high-achiever status; and (b) enrollment of a student as a high achiever does not assure regular admission to Michigan State University upon completion of high school graduation requirements.

Students who enroll in a course are charged lifelong education course fees and receive Michigan State University credit for each course successfully completed. Students who enroll in courses in the semester immediately preceding matriculation as a degree candidate will be charged regular undergraduate tuition and fees for those courses. Students are subject to all university rules and regulations that apply to regularly enrolled students.  Coordination of high school class schedules with enrollment at Michigan State University, transportation arrangements to and from the university, and parental approval for participation are the responsibility of the student and the high school.

Students enrolled under the High-Achieving High School Students enrollment status who wish to be admitted as undergraduate candidates must complete an application with the Office of Admissions in accordance with established application deadlines. Application information may be found at

Dual Enrollment by High School Students

High school students who dually enroll for courses at accredited institutions of higher education may receive credit for work taken at these institutions for courses that have been recognized for transfer to Michigan State University in accordance with the University’s transfer credit policy.

Students enrolling while still in high school are not eligible for financial aid from Michigan State University.

Early/Middle College Applicants

MSU welcomes applications from students in early/middle college programs. Early middle/college students should apply as first year students if they plan to attend MSU immediately after receiving a high school diploma. This includes students who receive a high school diploma at the same time as an associate degree. Early/middle college students are reviewed the same as other first year applicants and are eligible for first year scholarships. Tuition and financial aid can be affected by the number of credits transferred. Early/middle college students who have completed college course work must submit an official college transcript for credit consideration and an official transcript from the high school. For more information, visit


Transfer Student Admission

A transfer student is a student who has attended any post-secondary institution after high school graduation, except for the summer immediately following high school graduation. A student is considered to be a transfer student if they previously attended another college, university or proprietary school following graduation from high school, secondary school, or earned an equivalent credential (e.g. GED, A-Levels, etc.).

  • Applies only to attendance after completion of a high school diploma (or equivalent) with the exception of attendance during the summer term immediately following high school graduation.
  • ‘Attending’ an institution is defined by the existence of an academic record, displaying completion/attempted credit at that institution.

Submission of an application authorizes the university to investigate the accuracy of statements made and data provided by the applicant and those who submit materials or information on behalf of the applicant. Admission to the university is conditional upon the applicant providing accurate and current admissions information.  All changes to the admissions information  prior to matriculation to the university must be reported to the Office of Admissions.  If circumstances develop that make previously provided information inaccurate, misleading or incomplete, the consequence of the discrepancy may lead to revocation of an offer of admission and up to dismissal from the university if not corrected. Additionally, admission to the university may be denied or revoked if the university learns that an individual has engaged in conduct that indicates to the university that the individual is not ready to be a responsible member of the university community.

Prior to application review, transfer applicants are required to self-report their academic records – including courses currently in progress and future course work:

  • For domestic institutions, students should submit official transcripts for all institutions attended.
  • For international institutions, students should request that all international institutions attended, or examination boards, send original or attested copies of all transcripts, diplomas, mark sheets, and certificates directly to the Michigan State University Office of Admissions, in an official, sealed envelope. In addition, where the original documents are not issued in English, provide an official English translation of each document.
Upon admission, all transfer students are required to provide current, official transcripts from all institutions attended.

Applicants who have accumulated fewer than 24 transferable credits must also submit an official high school transcript and standardized test scores. Acceptance is determined by the applicant's previous academic record and their proposed program. All transfer applicants should demonstrate consistent high-quality academic performance. An international student must present an academic record equal to a minimum cumulative grade–point average of 2.5 or higher. The chief academic officer of the university has authority to grant waivers of the usual entrance requirements.

Students admitted from institutions whose entrance requirements, programs, and grading systems are comparable to those of Michigan State University may receive full credit for their past work. See Credits in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog. Courses that have not been covered by equivalent work must be taken to satisfy program requirements toward the degree. Only grades of 2.0 and above are eligible for transfer credit.  All transferable course work and acceptable credit earned from external examinations are evaluated and posted chronologically. The maximum number of credits from a two-year institution that may be applied toward a Michigan State University degree is 60 semester credits. 

The university strongly urges students to complete courses that satisfy the Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Tier I writing requirements and prerequisites for restricted majors upon advice from your advisor.  It is strongly recommended that students complete course work for the following areas at least one full semester (16 weeks) before the desired term of enrollment:
  • An equivalent to MSU WRA 101 or WRA 195H
  • An equivalent to MSU MTH 101, 102, 103, 116, or higher; or an equivalent to MSU STT 200 or 201
Selected correspondence and extension work up to 30 credits may be applied toward a Michigan State University degree, provided the credit is earned at an accredited institution recognized by Michigan State University. The university will grant credit for certain college–level U.S. Armed Forces Institute courses which are recommended by the American Council on Education. Credits are not granted for achievement on the General Educational Development tests.

Transfer credits accepted from another institution are included on the Michigan State University transcript as part of the student’s total credit hours earned. Only course work completed at this University, including Michigan State University Education Abroad Programs or Michigan State University Co-Sponsored Education Abroad Programs, is included in the Michigan State University grade–point average and appears on the Michigan State University transcript. To be eligible for graduation with honor, transfer students must earn a minimum of 50 semester credits at Michigan State University. For the honor to be listed in the commencement program, the 50 credits must be earned by the end of the semester prior to graduation.

Students intending to transfer to Michigan State University should consult the transfer equivalency database (Transfer MSU) for their institution to see which courses have already been determined transferrable to MSU.

Students requesting transfer credit of coursework from a higher-learning institution in China should consult Transfer Courses and Credits in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section of this catalog. Students can also visit for more information.

University Credits

Courses at Michigan State University are given on a "semester" basis, and credits earned are semester credits. To convert semester credits to the “quarter” systems, multiply by 3/2. To convert quarter credits to semester credits, multiply by 2/3.

Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Writing Requirements

Transfer students are expected to meet Michigan State University’s Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Tier I Writing requirements, which are similar but not identical to general education requirements at other institutions. The requirements can be met either by completing the appropriate Michigan State University courses or by transferring courses and credits as acceptable equivalents for Michigan State University courses.  Michigan State University is a member institution of the Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) and a participant in the Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA).

During the early stage of their academic work, students who anticipate transferring to Michigan State University should consult the Office of Admissions Web site.

Evaluation of Credits for Transfer Students for Michigan State University Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Tier I Writing Courses

Information on courses that will fulfill Michigan State University General Education requirements can be found on the Office of Admissions Transfer Guide.

Courses from postsecondary accredited institutions of comparable academic quality considered as acceptable equivalents that may be used by transfer students for MSU Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Tier I Writing courses include:

  1. Tier I Writing (4 credits)
    This requirement is satisfied with completion of a course (or combination of courses) equivalent to MSU WRA 101 or 195H.
  2. Integrative Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences (8 credits)
    May be satisfied by completion of a combination of one biological science and one physical science course, and 2 credits of equivalent laboratory course work. Consult requirements for the major to determine if additional courses in the sciences are required.
  3. Integrative Studies in Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (8 credits)
    May be satisfied by completion of:
    200 level:  One Integrative Studies in Social Science (ISS) course numbered 200 to 299. Students matriculating at Michigan State University for the first time have additional options within the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to satisfy this requirement. Consult the Office of Admissions transfer guide or contact an academic advisor for additional information.
    300 level: Interdisciplinary social science courses from four-year institutions may be transferable. Community college transfers typically complete this requirement through Michigan State University.
  4. Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities (8 credits)
    1st Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities course: May be satisfied by a completion of one IAH course numbered below 211 or equivalent plus completion of one year of English composition. Completion of this requirement also fulfills the Tier I writing requirement referenced in item 1. above.
    2nd Integrative Studies in Arts and Humanities course: One additional IAH course numbered 211 or higher.  Students matriculating at Michigan State University for the first time have additional options within the Arts and Humanities to satisfy this requirement.  Consult the Office of Admissions transfer guide or contact an academic advisor for additional information.
  5. Mathematics (3-5 credits)
     May be satisfied by completing courses equivalent to those in the options below:
    1. Complete both of the following:
      1. MTH 103 College Algebra or (MTH 103A and MTH 103B College Algebra I and II); and
      2. One of the following courses: MTH 101 Quantitative Literacy I, MTH 102 Quantitative Literacy II, MTH 114 Trigonometry, or MTH 201 Elementary Mathematics for Teachers I; or STT 200  Statistical Methods or STT 201 Statistical Methods.
    2.  Complete both of the following:
      1. MTH 101 Quantitative Literacy I and MTH 102 Quantitative Literacy II.
    3. Complete one of the following:
      1. MTH 116 College Algebra and Trigonometry, MTH 124  Survey of Calculus I, MTH 132 Calculus I, or MTH 152H Honors Calculus I.
Mathematics requirements for certain majors are more extensive than the university requirement. Consult requirements for the major or contact the Office of Admissions for more information.  

Reverse Transfer

Michigan State University has Reverse Transfer Agreements with several community colleges in Michigan. Reverse transfer is the process by which transfer students enroll at a four-year institution transfer earned credits from the four-year institution back to a community college for the purpose of attaining a degree, diploma, or certification from the community college.

MSU transfer students may indicate their interest in reverse transfer by completing a Reverse Transfer Transcript Release Form to have their Michigan State University transcript sent back to their community college. The community college will evaluate the course work to determine whether degree, diploma or certification requirements are met and credential will be awarded by the community college. Any community-college degree or other credentials will be awarded in the semester or year all final requirements are met at the community college.

Students interested in this opportunity should view the current agreements and complete the Transcript Release Form.

International Student Admission

Michigan State University is authorized under immigration regulations to enroll nonimmigrant students and welcomes applications from such persons. An international student is defined as a person holding a nonimmigrant visa.

Prospective students are encouraged to begin the application process one year prior to the anticipated semester of enrollment.

Students outside of the U.S. who are educated in academic systems whose requirements are comparable to 12 years in an elementary and secondary college preparatory education program in the United States, may apply for admission. Official copies of all mark sheets, transcripts, diplomas and certificates from high schools, and ALL other academic institutions must accompany the application. These records must show courses taken and grades earned, and must be translated into English if the original records are in another language. If a translation is supplied, it should be certified as accurate and correct by an appropriate public or school official, or sponsoring agency or government. The official record in the original language should also be included.

For information on international student admission, see international student admission.

When admitted, a digital letter of admission will be available on the student's online portal. All international applicants seeking an F-1 or J-1 visa are also required to submit adequate evidence of financial support to cover the cost of attendance for at least one full year of study at Michigan State University. However, students must also consider that financial resources will be needed for the entire four- to five-year period required to complete an undergraduate program. PLEASE NOTE: No need-based financial aid is available for international undergraduate students.

Evidence of adequate financial support and payment of the Advanced Enrollment Deposit must be received before the I-20  or DS-2019 forms will be mailed. All international students studying on an F-1 visa are required to present the Form I-20  when applying for an F-1 Student Visa and again at the port-of-entry into the United States. Students applying for a J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa will need to present a DS-2019 Form. This form is available from the organization/program sponsoring the student, or from the Office of International Students and Scholars at Michigan State University. Applicants enrolled at another U.S. institution with an F-1 Student Visa must be released from SEVIS by their current institution before MSU can issue a new Form I-20.

Details are available at obtaining your I-20 or DS-2019.

Students who enter the United States with a Form I–20 from another institution should be aware that they must enroll at that school before they are eligible to transfer to Michigan State University. Such transfers require both formal admission to Michigan State University and notification to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Only students intending to enroll at MSU should enter the United States with the Form I-20 issued by MSU. Additional up-to-date information concerning immigration guidelines can be found at

Opportunities for High-Achieving International Students

Michigan State University recognizes the educational value of certain pre-matriculation programs by granting academic credit, waiving requirements, and/or placing students in advanced courses. Such programs include the Form VI (A-level work) and those described in the Freshman Admission section of this catalog.

Visit the Office of Admissions Web site for information on A-level equivalencies.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

All international undergraduate applicants whose first language is not English must demonstrate English language proficiency. Michigan State University offers provisional admission to applicants who meet the academic and financial requirements, but whose English language proficiency does not meet the levels for regular admission. Provisionally admitted students must take an English Language Center placement test upon arrival at MSU to assess their need for additional language instruction at the English Language Center, and to reach English language proficiency within three consecutive semesters of enrollment. English Language courses taught through the English Language Center will likely delay the start of a student’s academic program.

For information regarding the number of credits that may count towards a bachelor's degree, refer to the Graduation Requirements for a Bachelor's Degree section of this catalog.

Minimum Requirement for Regular Admission

All international applicants are required to be proficient in English as a condition for regular admission to MSU. Applicants will be required to demonstrate their proficiency by meeting certain minimum standards on any one of the following tests:

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). A total score of  79 or above with no subscores below 17  is required. Visit for details.
  2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of 6.5 or higher. Visit for details.
  3. Michigan State University Certificate of English Language Proficiency (CELP). A score of 65 with no subscores below 15. 
  4. Michigan State University English Language Test (MSUELT). An average score of at least 80 with no subscores below 80, or an average score of at least 85 with no subscores below 78, is required. The MSUELT is given on the campus of Michigan State University at the English Language Center.
  5. Advanced Placement International English Language (APIEL). A score of 4 or higher. Visit for details.
  6. SAT Evidence Based Reading and Writing. A score of 510 or higher with a composite score of at least 1110. Visit for details.
  7. ACT English. A score  of 18 or higher with a composite core of at least 23. Visit for details.
  8. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic). A minimum score of 53 and no subscore below 48.
Michigan State University reserves the right to use alternative testing methods to demonstrate English language proficiency.

Minimum Scores for Provisional Admission

International applicants who have acceptable academic credentials may be admitted to Michigan State University on a provisional basis with scores between 60 and 78 on the TOEFL; 6.0 on the IELTS; between 65 and 79 on the MSUELT; or at least 46 on the PTE Academic.

Provisionally admitted students must take English as a Second Language (ESL) courses at the English Language Center, and restrictions are placed on the number of academic courses that they may take, if any. In order to remain enrolled, any international student admitted provisionally must reach English language proficiency within three (3) consecutive semesters of enrollment in appropriate English as a Second Language (ESL) courses (summer semester may be excluded) or demonstrate consistent progress in English language proficiency as determined by the Director of the English Language Center.

Students enrolled in English as a Second Language (ESL) courses who wish to test out of additional English language courses may submit official evidence of English language proficiency as noted in the Minimum Requirement for Regular Admission. In order to have the official score accepted as evidence of English language proficiency, students must also complete their current ESL enrollment successfully. Official scores of English language proficiency received after the first day of classes in any semester will not be reviewed until the student’s current ESL enrollment is completed successfully.

Required English Language Center Attendance

As the language requirement is a university policy, a decision by the English Language Center (ELC) for a student to enroll in its program is binding and is not negotiable by the student. Students who are required to attend ELC classes are obligated to show good class attendance and make an earnest effort to improve English language proficiency as soon as possible. The ELC program must be satisfactorily completed before regular admission status may be granted.

See Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section and the English Language Center in the College of Arts and Letters section of Academic Programs for additional information.

International Student Accident and Health Insurance

International students are automatically enrolled in the MSU student health insurance plan administered by the Blue Care Network. The cost of the student health insurance plan will be assessed to the student account at the time of enrollment in courses for each semester. International students are not allowed to waive this requirement. Learn more about the student health insurance plan on the MSU Human Resources Web site.

New Student Orientation

New undergraduate international students must attend the mandatory international orientation program. Admitted international students should access their "Next Steps" by logging onto their online account. The mandatory orientation program will introduce new international students to the services available to undergraduate students and provide academic advising. For regularly admitted students, academic advising includes the selection of courses, preparation of a class schedule, and registration in classes.  Information on orientation, instructions for arrival on campus and a tentative orientation schedule is available on the orientation Web site.


Readmission Procedure

Any undergraduate student whose enrollment at this university is interrupted for any reason so that the student has not been enrolled for three consecutive semesters, including the summer sessions,  who was recessed or dismissed from the university, who was not allowed to continue in their major, or who has completed prior courses of study, should submit a readmission application to the Office of the Registrar via the web at at least one month prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student intends to resume studies. International students should submit their application at least four months prior to the beginning of the semester in which the student intends to resume studies. Readmission is only available for spring and fall semesters for international students.

Students applying for readmission after academic recess or dismissal should refer to the section on Readmission After Academic Recess or Dismissal.

Transfer Credit Beyond Sophomore Standing

Students may transfer a maximum of 60 credits from two-year institutions. Those credits may be earned and transferred into MSU at any time in the student’s degree.  No more than 10 of the last 30 total credits toward a degree may be transferred without approval by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  Only grades of 2.0 and above are eligible for transfer credit.