Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

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.