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Michigan State University: Academics, Admissions & Tuition Info

Learn what degree programs Michigan State University offers. Research its academics and read about its admission and financial aid info to make an informed education decision.

About Michigan State University

Founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan and gaining its current name in 1965, Michigan State University was the first American institution to teach scientific agriculture. From this heritage, MSU has grown to house 19 academic units - 15 of them degree-granting colleges - offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. MSU is located in East Lansing, MI, three miles east of the state capital.

MSU's commitment to research has resulted in many projects, including a selection by the U.S. Department of Energy to design and create a Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, dedicated to understanding nuclear isotopes and their part in cosmic evolution. MSU has also been awarded a $25 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish a Science and Technology Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. In its history of research-fueled academics, MSU's Spartans have made discoveries such as the homogenization of milk and the creation of the anticancer drug cisplatin.


Four of MSU's 19 academic divisions aid students in understanding and pursuing the options available to them while attending the university. These include the Undergraduate University Division, the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, the Lyman Briggs College, the Honors College, and the James Madison College.

Among the degree-granting colleges, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources was the first school of MSU and now trains students to work with sustainable agriculture, nutrition, and technology management. The College of Arts and Letters recently celebrated its 50th anniversary of preparing students with reasoning ability and civic responsibility. The National Research Council ranked two of the College of Communication Arts and Sciences Ph.D. programs in the top 10 of the nation in 2010. The College of Social Science is the largest of the MSU schools, offering 13 disciplines to over 6,300 undergraduate and graduate students. The College of Human Medicine sets aside the last two years of the program for intensive clinical experience. The College of Veterinary Medicine runs a veterinary training hospital with one of the largest caseloads in the nation, as well as the Animal Cancer Care Clinic and the Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health.

The College of Osteopathic Medicine has three branches: East Lansing, Macomb, and Detroit. The College of Natural Sciences houses the biological, mathematical, and physical sciences of MSU study. The College of Music offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as a performance diploma program, which focuses intensively on performance skills over a four-semester period. Each of the other six colleges offers a wide array of degree opportunities.


An MSU undergraduate application requires the online application form, a personal statement based on one of two questions in the application, a $50 application fee, a high school transcript, and SAT or ACT scores. There are fee waivers available; applicants should check the website to see if they qualify. MSU encourages applicants to apply by November 1 for scholarship consideration; the general deadline is rolling, although the College of Osteopathic Medicine requires applications be in by February 1.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Along with filing the FAFSA, MSU encourages applicants to work with the Office of Financial Aid for available student employment, institutional scholarships, and academic loans to help cover tuition. As a public school, MSU does have different tuition rates for resident and non-resident students.

School Type Public, 4 year**
Degrees Offered Certificate programs, bachelor's, master's, doctoral degree programs**
Religious Affiliation None**
Academic Calendar Semesters*
School Setting Rural**
Student Body 47,954 students (36,675 undergraduate) in fall 2011*
Student Housing 25 undergraduate residence halls, 1 graduate hall, and 3 apartment villages*
Schools and Programs 14 degree-granting colleges and schools offering 200 programs*
Student-Faculty Ratio 16 to 1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (Number of Recipients) In 2010-11:
Bachelor's: Psychology, General (374)
Master's: Accounting (155)
Doctoral: Osteopathic Medicine/Osteopathy (202)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 49% (in 4 years)
77% (in 6 years)
79% (in 8 years)
(for students beginning in fall 2003)**
Admission Rate 73% of fall 2011 applicants admitted**
First-Year Retention Rates 91% of full-time students
54% of part-time students
(from fall 2010 to fall 2011)**
Undergraduate Application Due Date Rolling*
Decision Notification Date 8-12 weeks after application is received*
Tuition Per Year $12,202 for in-state undergraduate students
$31,148 for out-of-state undergraduate students
(for 2011-12; figures include tuition and accompanying fees)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (Percentage of Students Receiving it) In 2010-11:
Federal grants (27%)
State and local grants (22%)
Institutional grants/scholarships (39%)
Federal loans (50%)
Other loans (3%)**
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 71% in 2010-11**

Sources: *Michigan State University, **College Navigator, National Center for Education Statistics

Contact Information

  • Address: MSU Hannah Administration Building, 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250, East Lansing, MI 48824-2604
  • Phone Number: (517) 355-8332
  • Website:

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