Honors College Admissions

Incoming Freshmen

Eustace-Cole Hall

The Honors College at Michigan State University seeks students who have demonstrated exceptional academic performance and potential, who are intellectually curious, and who have a record of pursuing academically rigorous courses. Further, ideal candidates for the MSU Honors College are leaders who use their talents to contribute to their communities.  

Students can demonstrate performance and potential by:

  • having high grades, class rank, and test scores 

Students can demonstrate intellectual curiosity by:

  • excelling in a diverse set of honors and advanced courses where available 

Students can demonstrate academic rigor by:

  • taking honors, AP, IB, and/or dual enrollment classes where available 

Students interested in becoming members of the Honors College should first apply for admission to Michigan State University. A completed application for MSU admission serves as the application for Honors College membership; there is no separate application process. Invitations are extended approximately four to six weeks after the MSU admission to high school students who:

  • Rank in the top 5 percent of their high school graduating class
  • Have an ACT composite score of at least 30 or an SAT score of at least 1360 (Critical Reading plus Math sections only). MSU requires an ACT or SAT with a writing component.

The Honors College may also request additional information, such as 7th semester grades, before extending an invitation to membership.  

Students who have outstanding records and are close to the criteria also will receive a comprehensive individualized evaluation and may be invited based on all of the characteristics listed above. 

If you have not heard from the Honors College approximately four to six weeks after your MSU acceptance and you have exhibited a commitment to intellectual curiosity and academic rigor, you may submit an additional essay to receive further consideration. 

The essay should address a way in which you have demonstrated thinking “outside the box.” Essays should be headed with name and MSU Personal Identification (PID) number.  Please also include a copy of your 7th semester/1st semester senior year (or equivalent) high school transcript.  All materials should be sent via U.S. mail to Dr. Bess German, Assistant Dean, Honors College, Michigan State University, 105 Eustace-Cole Hall, 468 E. Circle Drive, East Lansing, MI, 48824. Decisions will be sent via U.S. mail within six weeks of receipt of materials on a rolling basis until May 1. Supplemental materials will not be accepted after April 15 for students who plan to enroll at MSU in the fall.   

Students who are close to the Honors College invitation criteria also may be invited directly to the Academic Scholars Program www.msu.edu/~asp which offers enhanced academic opportunities during the first two yearsat MSU. Academic Scholars may be invited to join the Honors College after their first semester at MSU; the following section describes the admission process for current MSU students.

Contact the HC Admissions Staff

We encourage your further exploration of our program through individualized visits and recruitment programs. If you have any questions, please contact:

Bess German, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean
germanr@msu.edu

Ryan Elizabeth Arey, M.S.Ed.

Admissions Counselor
areyry@msu.edu

Current Students

Admittance to the Honors College is by invitation only. The admission process begins early each spring semester and closes by the end of February.

At the beginning of each spring semester, the Honors College will target the top 10 percent of first-year students in each college (based on cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester) and examine each student’s record for evidence of academic excellence. In addition, successful and sustained involvement in one of MSU’s key enrichment programs will also be taken into consideration as this participation  indicates a student’s interest in personal growth and academic achievement. Invitations will be sent to students’ MSU email accounts through the Confidential Message System maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

The annual review process that occurs each spring semester will include all first-year students who have been at MSU for one calendar year or less.

The Honors College at MSU is designed as a four-year experience, and current students will only be reviewed for admission during their first year at MSU. Students who decline a membership invitation or who are not invited to membership as part of the annual review process will not be considered in future reviews.

Students who are not invited to Honors College membership may still enhance their educational experience through Honors Options in regular courses or by requesting an override into a specific Honors course/section (overrides are granted based on availability and a review of students’ overall academic progress and program). Students may also graduate from the university with honor (top 7-20 percent) or high honor (top 6 percent) designations by meeting cumulative GPA standards, regardless of Honors College membership.

If you are a current MSU student with questions about this process, please email the Honors College at hcadvise@msu.edu.

Transfer Students

Admittance to the Honors College is by invitation only. All transfer students who have been at MSU for one calendar year or less are automatically included in the annual review process each spring semester, which targets the top 10 percent of first-year students in each college (based on cumulative GPA at the end of the fall semester) and examines each student’s record for evidence of academic excellence. Invitations will be sent to students’ MSU email accounts through the Confidential Message System maintained by the Registrar’s Office.

The MSU Honors College is designed as a four-year experience, and membership is not available to students who will reach junior standing (56 credits) by the end of the spring semester in which their record is reviewed.

Students who are not invited to  Honors College membership may still enhance their educational experience through Honors Options in regular courses or by requesting an override into a specific Honors course/section (overrides are granted based on availability and  a review of students’ overall academic progress and program). Students may also graduate from the university with honor or high honor designations by meeting cumulative GPA standards, regardless of Honors College membership.

If you are a potential transfer student with questions about this process, please email the Honors College at hcadvise@msu.edu.