Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

Admission

An undergraduate student at Michigan State University may choose a major field of study from among more than 150 programs. To earn a bachelor's degree, students must complete requirements prescribed by the university, their colleges, and their departments. Careful planning of selectives and choice of electives permit design of a program of study around the student's particular interests and abilities.

In recent years, many students entering the university as first-time freshmen have taken more than four years to complete the requirements for the bachelor's degree. This is a national trend in all universities and has many causes.

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

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 computer that can connect to the Internet using a high speed connection.

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 require all of their students to have a laptop computer. Others strongly recommend using particular computer operating systems.

If there are no specific computer requirements for the student’s program of study, then the computer may be either a desktop or a laptop. The student’s computer may be any brand running any operating system. 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. MSU does not recommend students rely on tablet devices, mobile phones, or netbook computers as their primary computer due to software limitations.

If a laptop computer is chosen, students should consider having a machine that is equipped to access both the wored and wireless MSU networks. 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.)

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 https://tech.msu.edu/about/guidelines-policies/aup/.

Some course sections may be taught with the expectation that students use laptop computers in class. For each section, this is noted in the Schedule of Courses. Therefore, a laptop may provide expanded instructional opportunities for students.

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 www.tech.msu.edu.

 


Undergraduate Admission to the University


Admission Application Deadlines

Regular Applicants. The application deadline for undergraduate applications is normally 30 days before the beginning of the semester; however, the deadline is subject to earlier closing without notice, especially for fall semester. In recent years, the number of qualified freshman applicants has exceeded available spaces. Those persons who qualify for admission after having completed the eleventh grade fill the freshman class initially. For fullest consideration, apply as early as possible during senior year of high school.

If a person submits an application for admission to an undergraduate program at Michigan State University for a specific semester, and is accepted but does not enroll for that semester, the application may be reactivated within a period of one year subject to the deadline for filing applications for admission and a new application review will be conducted.  If, after one year, the person still has not enrolled at Michigan State, a new application for admission must be submitted.


Application Procedure for High School Seniors

Admission to Michigan State University is open to all candidates on the basis of academic preparation and ability, 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 freshman, you should:

  1. Apply online at www.admissions.msu.edu
    1. Complete the online application including your personal statement.  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 using an online check. Refer to Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations 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 personal statement 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. The ACT code is 2032; the SAT code is 1465.

Application Procedure for Transfer Students

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

  1. Apply online at www.admissions.msu.edu.
    1. Complete the online application including your personal statement.  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 using an online check. Refer to Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations 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 and entities attended verified, you will be asked to self-report your academic record for all U.S. institutions of higher education for admission consideration. Do not self-report course work for international institutions. Sealed official paper transcripts from all international institutions must be submitted.
      1. Upon admission, all transfer students are required to provide current, official transcripts from all institutions attended.
      2. Applicants who have accumulated fewer than 28 transferable credits must also submit an official high school transcript and standardized test scores.
         

Freshman Admission

A high school student planning to apply as a freshman should submit an application as soon as possible at the beginning of the 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, and all students are strongly encouraged to apply by January 1. Students should apply using the online application available at www.admissions.msu.edu.

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), a personal statement, and official ACT or SAT scores.

The university seeks to admit students who provide evidence of intellectual performance, good character, and potential, which will permit them to profit from programs of the academic rigor of those offered by Michigan State University. The admission decision takes into account all available academic data, including grades, test scores, caliber of high school program and principal and counselor comments. The university may consider non-academic factors in its admission decisions, including information it receives on an applicant’s leadership qualities, exceptional talents, conduct and community involvement record. Typically, the most important element in the admissions process is high school academic achievement. Each application receives individual attention. Applicants who are admissible will be granted admission pending confirmation of satisfactory status with regard to final grades and other admission criteria.

Priority is given to applicants who have strong high school records supported by comparable test scores. The chief academic officer of the university has authority to grant waivers of usual entrance requirements.

Admission to the university is conditioned upon the applicant providing accurate and current admissions information and upon the applicant updating such data if circumstances arise that make the previously provided information inaccurate, misleading or incomplete in an important 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. For more information, please visit www.admissions.msu.edu/visit.


Examinations

Michigan State University requires scores from either the ACT or the SAT for every domestic freshman applicant. Freshman applicants are recommended to take the writing portion of either the ACT or the SAT. SAT II exams are not required by Michigan State University.

Scores should 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 www.act.org and on the SAT at www.collegeboard.com.


High School Requirements

Entrance Requirements:  Michigan State University continues to support a multifaceted approach to admissions where factors such as grades, test scores, talent and experience are considered along with a critical component of specific course requirements. 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., high-achieving students, students whose high schools do not offer all of the appropriate 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.

High School Curricular Requirements:  Michigan State University recognizes that adequate preparation for collegiate level programs demands comprehensive work in the academic subject matter areas and substantial training in writing. High school course work requirements provide the foundation on which university work is built by providing basic competencies in the following areas.

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 all 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. The successful student 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 years of algebra and one 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 skill in such basics as the solution of equations and inequalities, and the simplification of algebraic expressions. Students who take less than four years of mathematics in high school, or who do not take mathematics in their senior year, often find it necessary to make up a deficiency prior to beginning work in their major area of concentration.  Students are strongly advised to pursue mathematics courses beyond the three–year minimum required for admission. In particular, 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. As science and technology become increasingly important in everyday life, college bound students, in particular, need an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts. They must know enough about laboratory and field work 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 some 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 year of history and one 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 will be particularly useful.

Foreign Languages: Two 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 five additional academic college preparatory courses is recommended.

 


Advanced Payments and Deposits

Refer to Costs in the General Information, Policies, Procedures and Regulations section of this catalog for information.

 


Office of Supportive Services

The Office of Supportive Services (OSS), located in Room 209 Bessey Hall, is an academic support unit specifically designed for TRIO students and other MSU students, who, feel the need for additional support to prepare for the rigorous demands of higher education.

OSS assists students in developing their abilities and skills and in planning realistic objectives and goals. Special services designed to facilitate the development of coping and self–management skills in students are available. OSS services include academic advising, tutorial assistance, academic skill enrichment workshops, social counseling, career exploration, peer counseling, graduate study planning, and orientation programs.

Students are encouraged to utilize the intensive services regularly until they have established satisfactory academic progress and have made the necessary adjustments to the rigorous demands of the University.

 


Opportunities for High-Achieving Students

Michigan State University recognizes the educational value of a number of pre-matriculation programs by granting academic credit, waiving requirements, and/or placing students in advanced courses. Please refer to the listed online guides for current information. Other special opportunities for high-achieving students are described in the Scholastic Honors section.

 


Advanced Placement Program

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

Equivalencies for waivers or Michigan State University course credit are available at www.admissions.msu.edu/documents/MSU_AP_Equivalencies.pdf. Students must have their AP scores sent directly to the Office of Admissions.

Students who wish to request removal of Advanced Placement credit 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 credit by submitting a request to the Office of the Registrar. 


College-Level Examination Program

The College Board has examinations designed to assess competence usually attained by 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.

CLEP equivalencies are available at www.admissions.msu.edu/documents/MSU_CLEP_Equivalencies.pdf.

 


Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support - Subject Standardized Tests

Prometric has examinations designed to assess competence 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.

DANTES equivalencies are available at http://admissions.msu.edu/documents/MSU_DANTES.pdf.


International Baccalaureate Program

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

International Baccalaureate (IB) equivalencies are available at www.admissions.msu.edu/documents/MSU_IB_Equivalencies.pdf.



Opportunities for High-Achieving High School Students

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 www.gifted.msu.edu.

A student must complete the Application for Admission for High Achieving High School Student, submit the 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 which 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 make regular application for their desired degree programs with the Office of Admissions in accordance with established application deadlines. Application information may be found at www.admissions.msu.edu.

 


Dual Enrollment by High School Students

Effective for freshmen entering Fall 2013.
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. For information on transfer courses and credits, visit:
http://www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Print.aspx?Section=505

Transfer Student Admission

A transfer student is a student who has attended any post-secondary institution after high school graduation, with the exception of the summer immediately following high school graduation.

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 conditioned upon the applicant’s providing accurate and current admissions information.  Any changes to the admissions information provided including courses taken or in process and grades received, 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, if not corrected the consequence of the discrepancy may lead to the revocation of an offer of admission or dismissal from the university. 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 input courses and grades (where earned) via their online student portal.
  • 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 Michigan State University, Office of Admissions, in an official, sealed envelope. In addition, where the original documents are not issued in English, also 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 28 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 his or her 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 "B" (3.0) or better. The chief academic officer of the university has authority to grant waivers of usual entrance requirements.

Students admitted from institutions whose entrance requirements, programs, and grading systems are equivalent to those of Michigan State University may receive full credit for their past work. See Credits in the Undergraduate Education section of this catalog. Students must take such courses in their programs that have not been covered by equivalent work. Only grades of 2.0 and above are eligible for transfer credit. Credits in which grades were earned of any designation less than "C" (2.0), such as C minus (less than 2.0), are not acceptable in transfer. Grades that are less than 2.0 are not accepted in transfer to Michigan State University regardless of a student's overall GPA.

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 which may be applied toward a Michigan State University degree is 60 semester credits. Though all courses from two-year institutions will be evaluated and transferable courses posted on the student's record, no credits will be accepted towards graduation once 60 total credits are accumulated chronologically.

The university strongly urges students to complete courses that satisfy the Integrative Studies, Mathematics, and Tier I writing requirements and prerequisites to courses for limited enrollment majors upon advice of your advisor.  Students are strongly recommended to 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 103, 110, 116, 124, 132 or higher course
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 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 Study Abroad Programs or Michigan State University Co-Sponsored Study 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 at www.transfer.msu.edu.

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 at https://www.reg.msu.edu/AcademicPrograms/Text.aspx?Section=112#s505.

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 employed in certain other institutions, 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, either by completing appropriate Michigan State University courses or by transferring courses and credits which are evaluated 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).  For further information regarding the MTA, please visit the MACRAO Web site, www.macrao.org.

During the early stage of their academic work, students who anticipatetransferring to Michigan State University should consult the Office of Admissions Web site, www.admissions.msu.edu/transfer.asp.

 


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 is found on the Office of Admissions Transfer Guide Web site at https://admissions.msu.edu/apply/transfer/before-you-apply/admission-standards.aspx.

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. A number of science-based programs require alternate tracks with specified disciplinary courses. Consult requirements for the major or contact the Office of Admissions.
  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. Visit https://admissions.msu.edu/transferguide/ or contact an academic advisor for additional information.
    300 level: Interdisciplinary social science courses from four-year institutions may be transferable. Community college transfers must 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.  Visit https://admissions.msu.edu/transferguide/ 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; and
      2. One of the following courses: MTH 112 Finite Mathematics: Applications of College Algebra, MTH 114 Trigonometry, or MTH 201 Elementary Mathematics for Teachers I; or STT 200  Statistical Methods or STT 201 Statistical Methods.
    2. Complete one of the following:
      1. MTH 110 Finite Mathematics and Elements of College Algebra, 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 enrolled at a four-year institution transfer credits 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 in order to have their 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 whether a degree or other credential will be awarded by the community college. Any community-college degree or other credential 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 at:
https://reg.msu.edu/ROInfo/ReverseTransfer.aspx.

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.   Michigan State University encourages prospective students to use the online application available at www.admissions.msu.edu.

Students from abroad, 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 freshman admission, see www.admissions.msu.edu/apply/international. For information on transfer admission, see www.admissions.msu.edu/apply/transfer.

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. Students, however, must 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 I-20 Form 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 I-20 Form.

Details are available at https://admissions.msu.edu/admitted/international/reserve-your-place/obtain-your-immigration-documents.aspx.

Students who enter the United States with an I–20 Form 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 I-20 Form issued by MSU. Additional up-to-date information concerning immigration guidelines can be found at www.oiss.msu.edu.


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.

Information on A-level equivalencies is available at https://admissions.msu.edu/documents/MSU_International_A_Levels.pdf. The SAT or ACT examinations are not required for international students, but are highly recommended. To receive an invitation to and be eligible for merit-based scholarships from the Michigan State University Honors College, SAT or ACT scores are required.


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 correct their deficiency 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 550 (paper version), 79 (Internet version) or above with no subscores below 52 (paper version) or 17 (Internet version) is required. Visit www.ets.org/toefl for details.
  2. International English Language Testing System (IELTS). A score of 6.5 or higher. Visit www.ielts.org 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 above 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 English Language (APIEL) A score of 4 or higher. Visit https://apstudent.collegeboard.org/apcourse for details.
  6. SAT Verbal. A score of 480 or higher. Visit www.collegeboard.com for details.
  7. ACT English. A score of 18 or higher. Visit www.act.org for details.
  8. Pearson Test of English Academic (PTEA) A minimum score of 53 and no subscore below 48.
     


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 500 and 549 (paper version) or 60 and 78 (Internet version) on the TOEFL; 6.0 on the IELTS; or between 65 and 79 on the MSUELT; or between 46 and 52 on the PTEA.

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 because of an English language deficiency must reach English language proficiency within three (3) consecutive semesters of enrollment in appropriate English as a Second Language (ESL) courses (Summer 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 remove the language deficiency 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 required to have health and accident insurance. Students are required to purchase the Michigan State University Student Accident and Health Insurance Plan unless they have evidence of alternative insurance equal in benefits and provisions to the Michigan State University plan. Fees for the student's insurance are included with the bill for tuition and fees during registration. Waivers to allow purchase of alternative plans must be submitted via a student's StuInfo account at https://stuinfo.msu.edu


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 at www.admissions.msu.edu/your-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 tentative orientation schedule is available through the Office for International Students and Scholars at www.oiss.msu.edu


Readmission Procedure

Any undergraduate student whose enrollment at this university is interrupted for any reason so that he or she 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 his or her major, or who has completed prior courses of study, should submit a readmission application to the Office of the Registrar via the web at www.reg.msu.edu 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.

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 who have matriculated at Michigan State University and have achieved junior standing (56 semester credits) may not earn credits from two-year institutions.

Students who have matriculated at Michigan State University and have not yet achieved junior standing (56 semester credits) may earn credits from two-year institutions, up to the 56-semester credit limit.