Academic Programs Catalog

The Honors College

Requirements for Membership

Incoming Students: The Honors College invites prospective Michigan State University students to be members based on outstanding high school achievement, a challenging curriculum, and nationally standardized test scores. Students who have exhibited a commitment to intellectual curiosity and academic rigor may submit an additional essay and current grades in order to receive further consideration. Honors College members are expected from the outset to pursue broader and more rigorous programs of study than other freshmen.

Current Students: Admittance to the Honors College is by invitation only. The admission process begins early each spring semester and closes by the end of February.  At the beginning of each spring semester, the Honors College will target the top 10 percent of first-year students in each college (based on cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester) and examine each student’s record for evidence of academic excellence. In addition, successful and sustained involvement in one of MSU’s key enrichment programs will also be taken into consideration as this participation  indicates a student’s interest in personal growth and academic achievement. Invitations will be sent to students’ MSU email accounts through the Confidential Message System maintained by the Office of the Registrar. The annual review process that occurs each spring semester will include all first-year students who have been at MSU for one calendar year or less. The Honors College at MSU is designed as a four-year experience, and current students will only be reviewed for admission during their first year at MSU. Students who decline a membership invitation or who are not invited to membership as part of the annual review process will not be considered in future reviews.  Students who are not invited to Honors College membership may still enhance their educational experience through Honors Options in regular courses or by requesting an override into a specific Honors course/section (overrides are granted based on availability and a review of students’ overall academic progress and program). Students may also graduate from the university with honor (top 7-20 percent) or high honor (top 6 percent) designations by meeting cumulative GPA standards, regardless of Honors College membership.

Transfer Students: Admittance to the Honors College is by invitation only. All transfer students who have been at MSU for one calendar year or less are automatically included in the annual review process each spring semester, which targets the top 10 percent of first-year students in each college (based on cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester) and examines each student’s record for evidence of academic excellence. Invitations will be sent to students’ MSU email accounts through the Confidential Message System maintained by the Office of the Registrar.  The MSU Honors College is designed as a four-year experience, and membership is not available to students who will reach junior standing (56 credits) by the end of the spring semester in which their record is reviewed.  Students who are not invited to Honors College membership may still enhance their educational experience through Honors Options in regular courses or by requesting an override into a specific Honors course/section (overrides are granted based on availability and  a review of students’ overall academic progress and program). Students may also graduate from the university with honor or high honor designations by meeting cumulative GPA standards, regardless of Honors College membership.

Continuing Membership: To remain in good standing, Honors College students must maintain a minimum all - university grade-point average of 3.20; complete an Academic Progress Plan for each year; demonstrate progress toward completing eight Honors experiences by completing at least three by the end of the second year; and use the enhanced academic resources available.