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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.

A: There is no separate application process. All high school students who apply and are admitted to Michigan State University in the fall semester of their senior year are considered for an Honors College invitation, generally between 6-8 weeks after admission to the university. Students who are incoming first-year students or transfer students can be considered separately through our Campus Admissions process after completion of their first fall semester.

We do not have a minimum or specific GPA or test score – our average test scores among students who submitted SAT/ACT scores in 2023 was a 1450 SAT and 32 ACT. Admitted MSU students are reviewed holistically based on the factors outlined within our Invited Student Profile on our High School Admissions page.

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

A: Typically, we invite students to the Honors College within 6-8 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 who do not hear from us are encouraged to send additional materials for review in their senior year – our deadline for receiving additional materials are typically in mid-Feburary for domestic students and in March for international students. Please visit our High School Admissions page for details.

A: Yes. All first year students who are not already incoming Honors College students can be 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.

A: No. Students that are members of the Honors College at MSU can pursue any of the university’s 200+ undergraduate academic programs, or any combination of those programs. Students may also belong to one of MSU’s three residential colleges: Lyman Briggs CollegeJames Madison College, or the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH).

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.

A: No – your response to our Honors College invitation is non-binding and can be declined if you are not interested in Honors College membership. All prospective students admitted to Michigan State University have until May 1st  of their senior year to make their final college choice, and those invited to the Honors College must also respond to their HC invitation by that date.

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.

A: The Housing sign-up process for incoming students takes place each year during the summer prior to the fall semester 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.

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

A: No. Due to the large volume of incoming students each fall, the spaces on the Honors floors across campus are reserved for HC students first.

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 undergraduate careers.

A: No. All students receiving merit aid scholarships from the Honors College must accept their Honors College invitation by May 1st of their senior year (and remain in good academic standing while at MSU) to receive the awards.

A: Notification of Honors College first-year scholarships may occur at any time throughout the admissions cycle (October – May) during your senior year. Most awards will be reflected in the “Scholarships” tab of your MSU student portal.

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

A: Incoming students to MSU will meet with their academic advisors, including an Honors College advisor if applicable, during the summer prior to the fall semester 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.

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.

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