Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

Academic Placement Tests

Each entering undergraduate student will take one or more placement tests depending on the nature of the student's previous academic program and intended academic program at Michigan State University. The results of these tests will be used by the student and the academic advisor to develop an academic learning plan. Following is a brief explanation of the use of the various placement tests:


First-Year Writing

Although some international students place in WRA 101 after completing their required ESL courses, placement in First-Year Writing (WRA) is usually determined based on relevant ACT or SAT scores.  There are three possibilities for placement in WRA courses: general (WRA 101); honors (WRA 195H); and preparatory (WRA 1004). Students who place into and complete WRA 1004/0102 must subsequently enroll in the WRA course numbered 101. Students placed into WRA 1004 who wish to appeal their WRA placement have the opportunity to write a placement essay during the fall welcome period immediately preceding the start of classes.



All students entering MSU are required to complete the un-proctored Math Placement Services (MPS) Assessment online before attending their scheduled New Student Orientation (NSO)  Program with the following exceptions:

  1. students who have either an ACT Math sub-score of at least 28 or an SAT Math sub score of at least 660,

Students are urged to take the assessment online before their NSO, preferably by May 1. The assessment, in addition to practice assessments, can be accessed at However, a student choosing the option of fulfilling the university math requirement via waiver must complete the assessment in a proctored setting at NSO or at one of Michigan State University’s Testing Centers to be eligible for the waiver.

Questions regarding the math placement exam can be emailed to


Foreign Language

A student who has studied a foreign language in high school and (1) wishes to enroll for a course in the language or (2) wishes to use it to meet the graduation requirement will need to consider the following. Students anticipating AP or IB credit (HL) in a foreign language should NOT take a language placement test and will need to contact the appropriate language adviser regarding placement. For students with prior language study but without anticipated AP/IB credit: Online placement testing for Chinese, French, German and Spanish is available at Students should plan to take the placement test prior to their NSO date.

Students with additional questions about a language or language options should reach out to the specific advisor for that language by visiting