Academic Programs Catalog

Undergraduate Education

Neighborhood Student Success Collaborative

Office of the Provost

Genyne Royal, Assistant Dean and Director

The Neighborhood Student Success Center (NSSC) is committed to empowering students to pursue knowledge, access resources, and develop skills needed for intellectual, social, local, and global success. These skills instill a lifelong desire to learn and effect positive change in the world. NSSC brings together the key elements necessary to help students transition from high school successfully, helps students graduate in less time with greater success, and to guide students toward activities that are designed to enhance their personal and professional growth.


Exploratory Preference Major

Many students come to the university uncertain about a preferred area of academic interest. Other students find their academic interests shift or expand as they are introduced to the many and varied academic experiences associated with attendance at the university. The Exploratory Preference major option allows students to investigate the wide variety of majors available at Michigan State University. University advisors assist students with major and career advice, as well as course selection.

University Advising

University Advisors are housed in each Engagement Center across campus. They assist students with adjusting to university life, guide students in the selection of a major, facilitate and support academic skill building, and make appropriate referrals to enable students to take advantage of other resources and services the university offers. Neighborhood Advisors' efforts promote self- sufficiency, self-responsibility and self-development that will enable students to achieve academic, career and life goals long after their days on the MSU campus have passed.
Students who declare major preferences are assigned to academic advisors in the colleges of their major preferences. University Advising also enrolls and is administratively responsible for Exploratory Preference Majors and students with less than 56 credits who are not admitted to a college (including James Madison College, Lyman Briggs College, and Residential College in the Arts and Humanities). University Advising is responsible for coordinating administrative actions (withdrawals, late drops, readmissions, etc.) and making decisions concerning retention and academic status.

Neighborhood Engagement Centers

At MSU, every undergraduate student is a part of a Neighborhood, where they have access to resources to succeed academically, gain global perspectives, make connections, learn by doing, and live a healthy life. The Neighborhoods bring MSU resources to where students live and connect. The Engagement Centers are unique spaces located in each neighborhood and serve as the main access points to important resources such as neighborhood advisors, tutors, help rooms, health practitioners, and other resources that can help you navigate through your college career. Services available in the neighborhoods include: academic advising; assistance with math coursework, writing papers, and other academic subjects; recreation and fitness programs; health clinic; intercultural dialogues; and exploring majors and careers. When you have a question, need support or want to connect with other Spartans, visit the Engagement Center in your neighborhood.

While students are encouraged to visit the Engagement Center in their Neighborhood, students can visit an Engagement Center in any of the locations listed below.

Brody Neighborhood Engagement Center
Brody Hall, Room 160

River Trail Neighborhood Engagement Center
E. McDonel, Hall Room C101 

South Neighborhood Engagement Center  
East Holden Hall, C137

East Neighborhood Engagement Center
Hubbard Hall, Room C130

Visit our website maps, hours, and more:


Collaborative Learning Center

The Collaborative Learning Center (CLC) is MSU’s source for training peer educators—including tutors, supplemental instruction leaders, undergraduate learning assistants, recitation leaders, and academic coaches—to deliver effective study skills and learning strategies, collaborative learning techniques, and classroom assessment techniques. The CLC provides training in “how to learn” with “what to learn.” Peer educators learn about academic success skills and study skills and how to apply them to their role. The CLC also provides Academic Success skills workshops available to all MSU students, with a focus on first and second year students who are either on probation, enrolled in a Freshman Seminar (UGS) course or have time management or anxiety issues. In addition to training peer educators and providing success skills workshops, the CLC are also experts on non-cognitive indicators of academic success.  


Detroit M.A.D.E. Scholars

The Detroit M.A.D.E (Mastering Academics Demonstrating Excellence) Scholars Program focuses on college retention, graduation, and career development for students who are both Detroit residents and graduates of Detroit Public or Charter high schools. Funded by the Gilbert Family Foundation, the Detroit M.A.D.E. program promotes personal and academic excellence through pre-college outreach, as well as individualized academic advising and cohort activities while in college. Students in the program engage in specialized, high-impact practices spanning four years—including a first-year seminar, service-learning projects, education abroad or study away, and undergraduate research. Through these opportunities and initiatives, Detroit M.A.D.E. students will enter conversations and experiences connecting them back to the city of Detroit. 


Dow STEM Scholars

The Dow STEM Success Scholars (DSS) Program is designed for in-state first-year students who scored under an 11 on the MSU Math Placement Test and are planning on a Science, Technology, Engineering, or Math (STEM) major. The Program allows students to take a specially-focused online Math course during the summer prior to their starting at MSU. From specifically designed Dow STEM chemistry and math courses to activities and field trips, this program is demonstrated to boost DSS students’ academic success in STEM fields with a dedicated Dow advisor and peer mentors. Enrollment is limited to the first 120 students who apply, so—if you are a Michigan resident planning on a STEM major as an MSU freshman and scored under 11 on the Math Placement Test.

Visit to complete an application.


Spartan Success Scholars

Spartan Success Scholars is designed to support first generation, Pell Grant eligible students during their transition to MSU, offering academic and social support with solid, research-supported positive results. Spartan Success Scholars receive continuous communications and support from dedicated NSSC Neighborhood staff members. Not only does students who engage in the activities offered through this opportunity have better grades, they are statistically more likely to stay on course for graduation in four years. Spartan Success Scholars have advanced opportunities to enhance their academic achievement, gain life skills, and build strong social networks. First generation students, Pell Grant eligible, recipients of Spartan Advantage, international students, and/or students in Developmental Writing (WRA 1004) and math (MTH 1825) are automatically enrolled in this program upon admission to MSU.

For more information on these programs, visit