Michigan State University, often shortened to Michigan State or MSU, is a public university located in the city of East Lansing. Founded in 1855 as the nation’s first land-grant institution (an agricultural college), the school received university status in 1955. It was was also the first university in the United States to offer studies in agricultural science. The school maintains that emphasis today, offering thousands of acres on which to study agriculture and resource management. The university now awards bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional degrees and is home to more than 47,000 students.
The university defines its mission as “to discover practical uses for theoretical knowledge, and to speed the diffusion of information to residents of the State, the nation, and the world.” It has agricultural extension programs and various other outreach networks throughout Michigan.
In addition to the numerous classroom, dormitory, and administration buildings, MSU features several museums and specialized collections, a planetarium, several performing arts facilities, a herbarium, an arboretum, an entomology museum, and several other gardens.
Students can pursue over 200 programs of study at MSU, which is home to fourteen different degree-granting schools and colleges, including the Eli Broad College of Business, James Madison College, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, College of Human Ecology, and the College of Veterinary Medicine.
Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines, including agriculture, American studies, child development, education, liberal arts, fisheries and wildlife, food processing and technology, hospitality business, interdisciplinary programs, journalism, materials science, music, nursing, packaging, soil science, and pre-professional programs in dentistry, law, medicine, optometry, osteopathic, podiatry, theology, and veterinary medicine.
Graduate degrees are offered in all colleges except the James Madison College. There are also interdisciplinary programs. Graduate programs are offered at the master’s level, the MFA level and the Ph.D. There are professional programs for DO, DVM, JD, MBA, and MD degrees. Medical programs utilizing graduate students from MSU operate clinics throughout the state.
The MSU library has an astounding collection of nearly 5 million volumes and over 28,000 periodicals, 200,000 maps, and 40,000 sound recordings. The library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site. It has rare books and manuscripts, and its special collections covers areas such as popular culture, radicalism, the men’s movement, ethnic studies, and LGBTQ materials.
Sponsored research is a significant part of the academic experience at MSU, which has led the way in academic and agricultural research since 1870 when they first cross-fertilized corn. The university is home to the one-of-a-kind National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, which is the premier facility for research regarding rare isotopes.
Study Abroad Opportunities
The university also offers an extensive study abroad program, with over 270 locations. The program offers study abroad experiences in countries on every continent in the world.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Admission is competitive, with accepted students averaging a GPA of 3.34 or higher and an SAT combined score in the range of 1030 to 1250. In addition to the application form and modest fee, students must provide transcripts and tests scores. Applications can be submitted on-line.
Graduate students should consult their department for specific admission information. MBA students, law school students, medical school students, and veterinary school students will be admitted through their specific college and not through the graduate office.
Financial aid is available for eligible students as a combination of grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study programs. Some institutional scholarships and grants are awarded solely on admissions criteria; there are no other necessary forms or requirements for students to meet. The unviersity will notify applicants directly if they receive such aid. MSU also offers some unique aid opportunities, including the Michigan Education Savings Program and the Michigan Education Trust.
Student Financial Aid Details
Campus is home to over 500 registered student organizations, 53 Greek letter organizations, student newspaper The State News, and an FM radio station. The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts and the Breslin Student Events Center host countless entertainment events throughout the year, including concerts, graduation ceremonies, ice shows, conventions, banquets, and even circuses. The MSU Museum and the Kresge Art Museum together house thousands of works of arts spanning millennia, and are both accessible to students and visitors alike.
Michigan State has the largest student residence system of any university in the country, offering dozens of residence halls and apartment communities, including living/learning communities, graduate residences, and many other options.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletics department at MSU is known as the Spartans. The Spartans compete on the intervarsity level in the NCAA Division I-A and the Big 10 Conference. Men’s sports include baseball, basketball, cross-country, diving, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, soccer, tennis, track & field, and wrestling. Women’s sports include basketball, cross-country, diving, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, rowing, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field, and volleyball. There is a cheerleading team and a dance team as the university as well.
The Spartan Fight Song is perhaps one of the best-known fight songs in the Big Ten Conference, if not the country. The same can be said of the green-clad mascot, Sparty. One of the more unusual traditions at MSU is the annual BroomBall Tournament, held in Munn Ice Arena. The game usually follows a Spartan hockey game.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.