Michigan State University (MSU) Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Rankings

In this article, we have analyzed the admission process and the acceptance rate at Michigan State University including factors concerning academics at MSU.

Michigan State University is one of the earliest public research institutions in North America. It began as a small institution with less than 70 students and 10 faculty members.

Today, Michigan State University has become one of the top public institutions in America, with global recognition. The degree program offered at Michigan State covers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate studies. Most of the programs offered at Michigan State are accosted with intensive research, predominantly undergraduate studies.

As one of the prominent institutions in the United States, Michigan State University attracts thousands of applicants during its annual application cycle. The applications were submitted by domestic and international high schoolers who perceive Michigan State as the perfect destination to obtain a degree.

Applying to Michigan State University is one thing, and getting to know the acceptance and admission requirements at MSU is another. If it interests you to find out about the admission process, admit rate, and tuition at Michigan State University, then read this article thoroughly to the end.

Michigan State University Acceptance Rate

About Michigan State University

Michigan State University is a public research institution in East Lansing, Michigan. Established in 1855, Michigan State held its first class in 1857 with just 5 faculty members and 63 students.

The year is 1862, and then president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, had just signed the Morrill Act. After the Morrill Act was introduced, Michigan State became the first land grant university in the United States.

Michigan State University initially started as the Agriculture College of the State of Michigan and was renamed severally over the years before settling for its present name.

Michigan State University has a large student body with almost 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a semester-based academic calendar. The university’s main campus spans 5,300 acres in East Lansing, with other campuses in Detroit, Midland, Southfield, Flint, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, and Troy.

Michigan State offers over 200 academic programs and 300+ education abroad programs. Its main campus holds the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, the Eli and Edythe Board Arts Museum, and the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

Michigan State University competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 Big Ten Conference. The Michigan State Spartans football team won 6 national football championships, and so have the Spartans men’s basketball team won 2 NCAA National Championships.

Also Read: University of Michigan Acceptance Rate, Admissions, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Rankings

List of Colleges at Michigan State University

Below are the 17 colleges at Michigan State.

  • College of Agriculture and Natural Resources 
  • College of Arts and Letters 
  • College of Communication Arts and Sciences
  • College of Education
  • College Engineering 
  • College of Human Medicine
  • College of Law
  • College of Music 
  • College of Natural Sciences 
  • College of Nursing 
  • College of Osteopathic Medicine 
  • College of Social Science 
  • College of Veterinary Medicine 
  • Eli Broad College of Business/Eli Broad Graduate School of Management 
  • James Madison College
  • Lyman Briggs College
  • Residential College in Arts and Humanities

Michigan State University Rankings

Here are the recent rankings of Michigan State University.

Times Higher Education

Times Higher Education ranks Michigan State as the 93rd university in the world and 81st in the United States. According to Times Higher Education, Michigan State University occupies 66th position in Arts and Humanities, 75th in Life Sciences, and 60th in Social Sciences.

U.Snews & World Report

The latest rankings released by U.Snews and World Report place Michigan State as the 83rd institution in National Universities. 46th in Best College for Veterans, 58th in Best Undergraduate Teaching, and 46th in Most Innovative Schools. 


According to Niche.com, Michigan State is the 14th best college for athletics in America, the 15th best college for communications, and the 19th top party school. 

In terms of top public universities in America, Michigan sits in the 19th position and occupies the 20th position for best Greek life college.

At the state level, Michigan State is ranked 1st in the best college for communications and the best Greek life college. Michigan State is also the second-best college for biology and education as well as the third college with the best professors in Michigan.

Campus Life at Michigan State University

Besides discussing the acceptance rate at MSU, let us also look at what life on campus at Michigan State is all about.

Michigan State University’s main campus is diverse and accommodating. It’s the perfect place for college beginners to settle and get along with life on campus. Michigan State has up to 27 residence halls and over 30 dining options.

More than 900 students organization are available on campus and open for exploration. If you are passionate about athletics and recreation, Michigan State has one of the largest sports and fitness programs for students in America.

Michigan State University cares about the health, wellness, and safety of its students, therefore it provides counselling and psychiatric services on campus.

Still, on the Michigan State campus, there are internship and student jobs, volunteer opportunities, student health insurance, and student government advocating for students’ interests.

What is the Acceptance Rate at Michigan State University?

In the last few years, the acceptance rate at Michigan State University has admitted more than half its overall application. Applicants who applied to Michigan State in the 2020 admission year were 44,322, and 31,522 were admitted to the university.

Michigan State University in that particular year of admission had an acceptance rate of 71%. Fair enough, the acceptance at Michigan State University is above the national average for universities in the United States. 

Michigan State University does not release its admission statistics, but it’s projected that the acceptance rate at MSU will drop to 67.3% in the next admission year.

Also Read: Michigan University Admission Requirements, Tuition, Ranking

GPA Requirement

When it comes to GPA requirements, Michigan State University demands an average of 3.75. Looking at the latest freshman class at Michigan State, they had an average high school GPA of 3.5-4.0.

With an average high school of 3.75, you will probably get into any major at Michigan State.

SAT and ACT Requirements

The incoming freshman class at Michigan State University had an average SAT score of 1110-1310.

Here are the stats for SAT scores by section.

SATScore Range
Critical Reading 550-650

The latest freshman at Michigan State University had a composite ACT score of 23-29.

ACTScore Range

First-Year Admission Requirement

The admission process at Michigan State University is slightly competitive, and the admission committee strongly recommends course rigour for high schoolers. As a first-year applicant, Michigan State wants to receive your application early.

Upon graduating from high school, prepare your application materials and ensure you have all necessary academic records intact.

Michigan State first-year admission evaluates your; 

  • Performances in high school, by assessing your academic records to ascertain if you are qualified for admission
  • Admissions look at your curriculum to determine its stranges and quality
  • Your latest academic performance and trends, with class rank
  • Michigan State is test-optional but will evaluate your SAT or ACT scores
  • Extracurriculars, talent, experience, and your sense of leadership will also be evaluated

High School Preparation

Michigan State encourages all first-year applicants to include core academic courses in their semester schedule throughout this stay in high school.

All first-year applicants of Michigan State University are required to pursue a strong college-preparatory curriculum.

SubjectsRequired Duration
English (composition and literature)4 years
Mathematics3 years (2 years algebra and a  year of geometry)
Social Studies (history, economics, geography, government poetical science psychology or sociology and anthropology)3 years
Science (biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics)2 years
Foreign Language2 years

First-Year Application Process

Before applying to Michigan State, ensure you have the necessary application materials. 

Application Fee or Fee Waiver

Pay the application fee of $65 when submitting your application. Fee waivers are available for eligible applicants.

Submit Official Transcripts 

Your official transcripts must be sent directly to Michigan State from each school or institution attended. If you also have official transcripts from dual enrollment or college-level coursework, they must be submitted via online services or U.S mail. 

Below are the online services and U.S mail to submit your official transcript.

U.S mail: Office of Admissions Hannah Administration Building 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250 East Lansing MI 48824-2604

Select your Prefered Major 

During your application, there is no need to officially declare a major, even though you will be asked to do so in the application. If you are yet to decide on a major select the “Exploratory preference” option on the application. 

If you are a fall semester applicant and you want to change your major after applying, you have till May 1st to do so. The major preference can be changed by logging into your account.

Also Read: Top Tips for First-Year Students

Indicate Any College-Level Coursework

If you have completed any college-level coursework before attending Michigan State, you are required to indicate so in your application. 

Prepare for the Michigan State Essay

Essays are part of the application requirements for first-year admission. All first-year applicants are required to submit an essay of not less than 250 words.

Responding to the essay prompts enhances your admission chances and scholarship considerations. 

Letters of Recommendation

Letters of recommendation are not required by Michigan State for freshman admission.

Requirements for Transfer Admission

Transfer applicants to Michigan State are required to complete the following criteria.

They must complete at least one semester before the term they intend to enrol. If you intend to enrol at Michigan State in the fall term, you are encouraged to have met the criteria by the end of the spring term.

Here are the criteria you are required to meet.

  • Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above
  • You must have earned up to 24 or more high school credits transferable to Michigan State. Transfer applicants with less than 24 transferable credits must provide final secondary/high school transcripts.
  • Submitting SAT, and ACT scores are optional.
  • There are majors at Michigan State restricted to applicants and require additional admission materials.

Major Selection Requirement

During your application, you are required to select a preferred major. If you by any chance select a restricted major, you will need to provide 2 additional major choices on your application. One of the selected majors must not be restricted. 

If the requirements for your first choice restricted major are unmet, admissions will consider your other major selections. 

How to Apply as a Transfer Students

For a successful application to Michigan State, all transfer applicants should follow these steps.

Step 1. Pay the Application Fee or Fee Waiver

The application fee is $65 and you are required to pay it upon submitting your application. Fee waivers are also available for eligible students.

Step 2. Submit Your Official Transcripts

Your official college transcript must be sent directly to Michigan State University for admission evaluation.

U.S mail: Office of Admissions Hannah Administration Building 426 Auditorium Road, Room 250 East Lansing MI 48824-2604

Also Read: University of Wisconsin-Madison Acceptance Rate, Admission, SAT/ACT, Tuition, Rankings

Have Official Test Scores Sent To Michigan State

The official copy of your test scores must be submitted to the Michigan State Office of Admissions, including Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, College Level Examination Program, or A-Levels exams. All test scores must be submitted to the Michigan State Office of Admission directly from the appropriate testing agency. 

Review Restricted Majors

All transfer applicants with 42 or more transferable credits are required to apply to a particular major. Most Michigan State majors need additional requirements for admission.

Prepare Your Essay

Respond to the Michigan State essay prompt with no less than 250 words.

Select a Prefered Major

During your application, you will be required to select a specific major. Ensure you understand the restricted major criteria in the last step before selecting a major.

To find out the restricted majors at Michigan State University click here to head to the “restricted major page”.

What is the Acceptance Rate for Transfer Students at Michigan State University?

Michigan State University as we know it has a large undergraduate and graduate student body and arguable transfer students make up a good percentage at MSU.

In terms of the acceptance rate for transfer admission at Michigan State University, the value is estimated at 53.2%, which is competitive for most transfer applicants to applying to MSU.

 Transfer admission to Michigan State requires an average GPA of 3.73, with impressive test scores if you are submitting any. 

Admission Requirements for International Students

Despite having an acceptance rate of 71%, the admission process at Michigan State University is a bit competitive for international students.

As an international applicant, you should apply early to Michigan State University, and if there are college-preparatory curriculum available at your school, consider taking one. 

Michigan State University evaluates all first-year applicants in the same manner regardless of nationality, race, or religion.

Submitting your application to Michigan State, the university evaluates your;

  • Performance in secondary/high school
  • Quality and strength of your school curriculum 
  • Recent academic performance and class rank
  • SAT and ACT scores 
  • English language proficiency for students who are not permanent residents or citizens of the United States. International applicants from countries where English is not an official language.
  • Michigan State is also interested in your sense of leadership, talent, conduct, and experience.

Important Dates at Michigan State University

Decision timeline

decision by:
deposit by:
Early Action (non-binding)November 1January 15May 1
Regular admissionFebruary 1March 31May 1
RollingAfter February 1RollingMay 1

Michigan State University Tuition and Fee

Here is the estimated cost of attendance for in-state, out-of-state, and international first-year students.


  • Tuition and fees:                                 $15,436
  • Room and board:                                $10,990
  • Total for two semesters:                     $26,426

Out of State Tuition

  • Tuition and fees:                              $42,022
  • Room and board:                             $10,990
  • Total for two semesters:                  $53,012


  • Tuition and fees:                     $42,022 
  • Room and board:                    $12,020
  • Books and supplies:                $1,254
  • Personal/miscellaneous:          $2,862
  • Medical:                                   $2,284
  • Total for two semesters:          $60,442

Michigan State University Contact Address

Also Read: 30 Affordable Online Master’s Degree Programs

Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the Acceptance Rate at Michigan State University

Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the acceptance rate at MSU.

What is the average GPA to get into Michigan State?

Achieving an average GPA of 3.5 will enhance your admission chances at Michigan State. To meet this standard, you will need to be at the top of your class with more A’s in high school courses.

What is Michigan State University Acceptance Rate?

Currently, the acceptance rate at MSU is 71%. Michigan State accepts 71 students out of every 100.

Is Michigan State difficult to get into?

The acceptance rate at Michigan State University is 71%, which is slightly selective. Getting into Michigan State University will require an average high school GPA of 3.75, SAT range of 1100-1300, and an ACT score of 23-29.


Michigan State University seems less selective with an acceptance rate of 71% and some applicants may presume it’s easy to get into MSU. However, admission is not guaranteed for all intending applicants to Michigan State.

Getting into Michigan State University requires a near distinction academic record, especially if you are interested in enrolling in selective majors. 

From what we have discussed so far about the acceptance rate at MSU, you should already know what to include in your application profile.



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