Frequently Asked Questions

The Honors College Admissions Team has compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) in an effort to increase transparency around our process and clarify common misconceptions. For additional assistance outside of these questions, please reach out to at any time.

Q: How do I apply to be a part of the MSU Honors College?

A: There is no separate application process. All first year students who apply and are admitted to Michigan State University are automatically considered for an Honors College invitation. Incoming transfer students are considered separately through our Campus Admissions process.

Q: What GPA/Test score do I need in order to be invited to the Honors College?

We do not have a minimum or specific GPA or test score – instead, all applicants are reviewed holistically based on the criteria outlined on our High School Admissions page.

Q: When should I apply for the best consideration for an Honors College invitation?

A: We recommend applying early in the fall well in advance of the November 1st priority deadline that MSU uses for full scholarship consideration.

Q: I applied to MSU and was admitted but haven’t heard from the Honors College yet. What can I do?

A: Typically, we invite students to the Honors College within 8 weeks following admission to Michigan State University. If a student does not hear from us, we recommend reaching out via e-mail to for more information. Students may be able to send additional materials for review in January and February of their senior year and are typically due by February 15th. Please visit our High School Admissions page for details.

Q: Can I still join the Honors College if I am not invited as a high school student?

A: Yes. All first year students who are not already incoming Honors College students are reviewed again for an Honors College invitation after the conclusion of their first semester on campus. Please visit our Campus Admissions page for more details on our process.

Q: Are there any limitations to what I can study at MSU as a member of the Honors College?

A: No. Students that are members of the Honors College at MSU can pursue any of the university's 240+ undergraduate academic programs, or any combination of those programs. Students may also belong to one of MSU's three residential colleges: Lyman Briggs College, James Madison College, or the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH).

Q: What is the difference between the Academic Scholars Program and the Honors College?

A: The Academic Scholars Program (ASP) is a unique opportunity that provides high-achieving students a pathway towards Honors College membership. While ASP is administered and advised in the Honors College, membership is separate. Most students who complete the ASP program join the Honors College after their first year.

Q: I was invited to the Honors College. If I accept my Honors College invitation does that mean I have to attend MSU?

A: No – your response to our Honors College invitation is non-binding. All prospective students have until May 1st to make their final college choice.

Q: I was invited to the Honors College and admitted to MSU. What steps do I need to take in order to join?

A: All invited Honors College students who plan on joining us must accept their Honors College invitation and pay MSU’s Advanced Enrollment Deposit (AED) no later than May 1st of their senior year.

Q: Do I have to live on an Honors floor if I am a member of the Honors College?

A: No, Honors Housing is optional – each year you can decide whether to live on an Honors floor or not.

Q: How many Honors courses (experiences) do I have to take while at MSU if I am a member of the Honors College?

A: That’s up to you – students typically will take 1-2 Honors Experiences each semester, for a total of 8 Honors Experiences by time of graduation. These can be any combination of Honors Courses, Honors Options, Honors Research Seminars, or even Graduate-level courses. Some students prefer to take more Honors Experiences in their first few years, while others may take a consistent amount throughout their MSU careers.

Q: I received a scholarship from the Honors College. If I attend MSU can I still receive that award if I choose not to participate in the Honors College?

A: No. All students receiving merit aid scholarships from the Honors College must accept their Honors College invitation (and remain in good academic standing while at MSU) to receive the awards.

Q: When will I hear if I am awarded an Honors College merit scholarship?

A: Notification of scholarships may occur at any time during the admissions cycle (October – May) in your senior year. Scholarship notifications are sent via US Mail and E-Mail and will be reflected on your online Student Portal in the spring.

Q: I am a National Merit Finalist – am I eligible for additional scholarships?

A: Yes. Students who are National Merit Finalists who name MSU as their first-choice institution may receive additional scholarships from MSU. For details on these awards, please visit the MSU Office of Admissions website for more information on eligibility and selection criteria.

Q: When can I meet with an Honors College advisor to discuss my academic plans at MSU?

A: Incoming students to MSU will meet with their academic advisors, including an Honors College advisor if applicable, during the summer before fall enrollment as part of New Student Orientation (NSO). Prospective students do not meet with HC advisors during the recruitment process; however, the HC Admissions Team can arrange for you to meet with representatives or faculty from other departments while you are considering MSU.

Q: When will I be able to select Honors Housing?

A: Honors Room Selection for incoming students takes place each year during the summer before enrollment as part of New Student Orientation (NSO). Once students have paid their enrollment deposit and signed a housing contract, specific instructions and details will be communicated after May 1st.

Q: How do I learn even more about the Honors College?

A: Come and visit us! The Honors College welcomes on-campus visitors at any time during your college search. Additionally, we host a variety of in-person and virtual recruitment events over the course of the admissions cycle for prospective and invited Honors College students to attend and learn more about our program as well as connect with current Honors students.