Apply as an international student if you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and you are on a temporary visa or will require any type of visa to study in the United States. Students with dual U.S. citizenship should apply as a U.S. citizen even if they currently reside outside the United States.
Freshman admission criteria
Freshman admission is based on:
- Academic performance in high school
- Strength and quality of curriculum
- Recent trends in academic performance
- Class rank
- Standardized test results
- English language proficiency for non-U.S. citizens or permanent residents whose first language is not English
- Leadership, talents, conduct and diversity of experience
Fall 2018 Freshman Profile*
English language proficiency
- Entering class: 8,395
- High school GPA: 3.5-3.9
- Composite ACT: 23-29
- Total SAT: 1,130-1,300
Standardized test requirements
Although an ACT or SAT exam is not required for international undergraduate admission, MSU strongly encourages students to submit one of these exam scores if possible. In many cases, ACT English or SAT critical reading scores will meet the English proficiency requirement. Further, MSU uses ACT and SAT scores in course placement and consideration for Honors College eligibility. Students with an ACT or SAT score may receive higher consideration for scholarships as well.
Students should request that the testing agency send scores directly to Michigan State University. MSU’s TOEFL and SAT code is 1465; the ACT code is 2032.
Minimum English requirements
International applicants whose first language is not English
must meet one of the following language proficiency requirements for regular admission to Michigan State University. Students with acceptable academic credentials who do not meet language proficiency requirements may be admitted on provisional status with the scores indicated below.
The following requirements pertain to undergraduate students only. Graduate applicants should consult MSU's Graduate School
for minimum English language requirements.
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
- Internet-based test: score of 79 with no subscore below 17
- Paper-based test: score of 550 with no subscore below 52
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Internet-based test: 60-78
- Paper-based test: 500-549
Score of 6.5 or higher
Score of 6.0
SAT Critical Reading
Critical reading score of 480 (old SAT) or evidence-based reading and writing score of 510 (new SAT)
Subscore of 18 or higher on the English section
Michigan State University English Language Test (MSUELT)
Average score of at least 80 with no subscore below 80, OR Average score of at least 85 with no subscore below 78
Average score of 65-79
Advanced Placement English Language
Score of 4 or higher
Michigan English Language Assessment Battery (MELAB)
Average score of 80 or higher
International applicants taking the MELAB must also complete the MELAB speaking test.
Michigan State University Certificate of English Language Proficiency (CELP)
Score of 65 with no subscore below 15
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE A)
Regular admission (undergraduate):
Minimum score of 53; minimum subscore requirement of 48
Provisional admission (undergraduate):
Average overall score of at least 46
Provisionally admitted students must take the MSU English Language Test (MSUELT) upon arrival on campus to determine eligibility to enroll in academic courses. Students admitted provisionally will receive information about registering for the MSUELT prior to arriving at MSU. The results of the MSUELT will determine if you are able to enroll in:
- Full-time academic courses
- A combination of academic and English language courses
- Full-time English language courses through MSU’s English Language Center
If MSU receives a new test score that fulfills the English proficiency requirement for an incoming provisionally admitted student prior to the start of the semester, MSU will change the student’s admission status from provisional to regular admission. If MSU has already issued an initial I-20 and the student subsequently meets the English Language proficiency based on a new test score, MSU will not issue a new I-20 until after the student arrives on campus.
Students remain at provisional status until attaining the minimum competency. As a provisionally admitted student, MSU will still classify you as an undergraduate student in your requested major preference; you will live on campus in residence halls with other MSU students and have full access to MSU facilities and support services.