How to Get Into Michigan State (MSU) – Acceptance Rate & Admission Strategies

August 12, 2022

With over 38,000 total undergraduates, Michigan State University caters to more BA/BS-pursuing students than its in-state rival, the University of Michigan. The Michigan State acceptance rate is 83%, four times that of UMich. This gives members of The Great Lakes State a second terrific in-state option. Students flock to East Lansing for a vibrant campus, an elite athletics program, and strong academic offerings including engineering, nursing, business, and computer science.

In order to help you prepare for the pathway toward becoming a Spartan, this article will cover the following topics:

  • Michigan State acceptance rate
  • SAT, ACT, GPA, and class rank of accepted Michigan State applicants
  • Admissions trends
  • MSU’s system for rating applicants
  • A look at the demographics of current Michigan State undergraduates
  • The percent of accepted students that attend Michigan State (yield rate)
  • Tips for applying
  • How to assess whether applying to the Michigan State is even worth the $65 application fee (for you)

Many students applying to Michigan State may also find the following blogs to be of interest:

How to Get Into:

Let’s begin with an examination of the most recent admissions data.

Michigan State Acceptance Rate

There were more than 50,000 applicants to MSU last cycle. The Michigan State acceptance rate was 83% for the Class of 2025. This is a more favorable figure than the 76% clip the previous year. Class of 2026 figures have yet to be officially released.

Michigan State Admissions – SAT, ACT, GPA, and Class Rank

For Class of 2025 members, the mid-50% SAT was 1110-1310. The ACT range was 23-29. It is important to point out that Michigan State is test-optional through at least 2026. Further, the average GPA was 3.72 and 51% of entering 2021-22 freshmen earned above a 3.75. Twenty-three percent of this cohort placed in the top decile of their high school class and 54% finished at least in the top quartile. Lastly, 89% were in the top half.

Admissions Trends & Notes

  • Firstly, Michigan State will continue to be test-optional in 2022-23.
  • The Class of 2025 included 9,065 first-year students. This is largest cohort in MSU history.
  • 678 students joined the Honors College. This is 7.5% of the incoming class.
  • The 83% acceptance rate is the highest in the last decade. The admit rate has been as low as 65% in recent years.
  • The total number of students of color in the Class of 2025 is 2,328. This is a sharp rise from a decade prior when there were only 1,385 students of color in the freshman class.

How Michigan State Rates Applicants

Michigan State views just two factors as “very important” to the admissions process. These are: GPA and the application essay. Additionally, items that are “important” as part of the admissions process are rigor of high school course load, extracurriculars, talent/ability, character/personal qualities, geographical residence, and demonstrated interest.

For a look at the academic requirements, we go right to their own admissions office:

Any student considering attending Michigan State as a first-year should pursue a strong college preparatory curriculum. At a minimum, this includes:

  • Four years of English (composition and literature)
  • Three years of mathematics (two years of algebra, one year of geometry)
  • Three years of social studies (history, anthropology, economics, geography, government, political science, psychology or sociology)
  • Two years of science (biology, chemistry, physics or earth science)
  • Two years of a single foreign language

Michigan State Demographics

Next, let’s look at the demographics of the Michigan State undergraduate student body.

The regional representation among the Class of 2025 is as follows:

  • Michigan State: 78%
  • Out-of-State/International: 22%

Current students come from 126 foreign countries. The greatest percentage of international students come from the following countries:

  1. China
  2. India
  3. South Korea
  4. Canada
  5. Taiwan

In terms of ethnic identity, the breakdown of the undergraduate student body is as follows:

  • White: 68%
  • Asian: 7%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • African American: 8%
  • International: 7%
  • Two or more races: 4%

A look at the gender split reveals that university enrolls an even number of men and women.

  • Men: 48%
  • Women: 52%

Michigan State “Yield Rate”

Michigan State’s yield rate is 22%. For comparison, other notable public schools have the following yields: University of Washington (28%), UCLA (44%), and Binghamton University (18%).

Tips for Applying 

If you plan on joining the 50,000+ Spartan hopefuls for the next admissions cycle, you should know the following:

  • Firstly, we encourage you to check out the step-by-step application directions offered by the university.
  • Prospective Spartans can apply through the Common App or MSU application.
  • This school does not use interviews as part of their evaluation process.
  • Michigan State greatly values students who show demonstrated interest. Therefore, we recommend following them on social media, visiting campus, connecting with an admissions officer, etc.
  • Lastly, make sure to dedicate sufficient time and effort to the 2022-23 Common App essay prompts required by Michigan State.

 Should I Apply to Michigan State?

Most students admitted to MSU have a GPA above a 3.5, write a strong essay, and took a challenging course load in high school. If you check those boxes then you will be a competitive applicant and, if the school is a good fit for you, submitting an application will certainly be worth your time and $65. However, all students need to also have a proper mix or “target” and “safety” schools on their college list. More on creating a balanced college list can be found here.