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Michigan State University

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Michigan State University
Michigan State University Seal
Motto Advancing Knowledge. Transforming Lives.
Established February 12, 1855
Type Flagship
Land grant
Sea grant
Endowment US$1.4 billion (2012)
President Lou Anna Simon
Academic staff 4,985
Admin. staff 6,355
Students 47,954
Undergraduates 36,675
Postgraduates 11,279
Location East Lansing, Michigan
Campus Suburban
(21 km2) campus
10,000 acres (8 km2) in existing or planned development

Green & white

Sports Spartans
Michigan State University wordmark.svg

Michigan State University (MSU) is a public research university located in East Lansing, Michigan, United States and is the first land-grant institution that was created to serve as a model for future land-grant colleges in the country under the 1862 Morrill Act.

MSU pioneered the studies of packaging, hospitality business, supply chain management, and telecommunication. Today its study-abroad program is the largest of any single-campus university in the country, offering more than 200 programs in more than 60 countries on all continents including Antarctica.

It is considered to be one of America's Public Ivy universities, which recognizes top public research universities in the United States. Following the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is the eighth-largest university in the United States, with 47,800 students and 2,954 faculty members. The school's nuclear physics, economics, engineering, business, education, osteopathic medicine, political science, journalism, packaging, fisheries and wildlife, forestry, and criminal justice programs are among the nation's best.

MSU's Division I sports teams are called the Spartans. They compete in the Big Ten Conference in all sports except ice hockey, in which the team is part of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. MSU's football team won the Rose Bowl in 1954, 1956 and 1988 and boasts six national championships. Its men's basketball team won the NCAA National Championship in 1979 and 2000 and is currently enjoying a streak of six Final Four appearances over the last 13 seasons. MSU men's ice hockey won national titles in 1966, 1986 and 2007. Cross country has historically been Michigan State's most successful sport, especially during a four-decade period spanning roughly 1930–1970 during which the Spartans won eight NCAA championships and numerous other conference and national titles.


Agriculture school

USPS commemorative stamp showing the first federal land-grant colleges for their states in 1863.
Beaumont Tower marks the site of College Hall.

The Michigan Constitution of 1850 called for the creation of an "agricultural school", though it was not until February 12, 1855, that Michigan Governor Kinsley S. Bingham signed a bill establishing the United States' first agriculture college, the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan. Classes began on May 13, 1857, with three buildings, five faculty members, and 63 male students. The first president, Joseph R. Williams, designed a curriculum that required more scientific study than practically any undergraduate institution of the era. It balanced science, liberal arts, and practical training. The curriculum excluded Latin and Greek studies, since most applicants did not study any classical languages in their rural high schools. However, it did require three hours of daily manual labor, which kept costs down for both the students and the College. Despite Williams' innovations and his defense of education for the masses, the State Board of Education saw Williams' curriculum as elitist. They forced him to resign in 1859 and reduced the curriculum to a two-year vocational program.

Land Grant pioneer

In 1860, Joseph R. Williams became acting lieutenant governor and helped pass the Reorganization Act of 1861. This gave the College a four-year curriculum and the power to grant master's degrees. Under the act, a newly created body, known as the State Board of Agriculture, took over from the State Board of Education in running the institution. The College changed its name to State Agricultural College, and its first class graduated in the same year. As the Civil War had just begun, there was no time for an elaborate graduation ceremony. The first alumni enlisted to the Union Army. Williams died, and the following year, Abraham Lincoln signed the First Morrill Act of 1862 to support similar colleges, making the Michigan school a national model.

Oakland University

In 1957, the donation of 1,500 acres (6.1 km2) in Pontiac Township, Michigan prompted creation of Michigan State University – Oakland. This donation was indicative of the University's benefactor community that continues today. That campus became officially independent in 1970 as Oakland University.

Co-ed college

The Alice B Cowles House is the official home of the university president and is the oldest existing building on campus.

The college first admitted women in 1870, although at that time there were no female residence halls. The few women who enrolled either boarded with faculty families or made the arduous stagecoach trek from Lansing. From the early days, female students took the same rigorous scientific agriculture courses as male students. In 1896, the faculty created a "Women Course" that melded a home economics curriculum with liberal arts and sciences. That same year, the College turned the old Abbot Hall male dorm into a women's dormitory. It was not until 1899 that the State Agricultural College admitted its first African American student, William O. Thompson. After graduation, he taught at what is now Tuskegee University. President Jonathan L. Snyder invited its president Booker T. Washington to be the Class of 1900 commencement speaker. A few years later, Myrtle Craig became the first woman African-American student to enroll at the College. Along with the Class of 1907, she received her degree from U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, commencement speaker for the Semi-Centennial celebration. The City of East Lansing was incorporated in that same year, and two years later the college officially changed its name to Michigan Agricultural College (M.A.C.).

Big Ten university

During the early 20th century, M.A.C. expanded its curriculum well beyond agriculture. By 1925 it had expanded enough that it changed its name to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (M.S.C.). In 1941 the Secretary of the State Board of Agriculture, John A. Hannah, became president of the College. He began the largest expansion in the institution's history, with the help of the 1945 G.I. Bill, which helped World War II veterans to receive an education. One of Hannah's strategies was to build a new dormitory building, enroll enough students to fill it, and use the income to start construction on a new dormitory. Under his plan, enrollment increased from 15,000 in 1950 to 38,000 in 1965. In 1957 Hannah continued MSU's expansion by co-founding Michigan State University–Oakland, now Oakland University, with Matilda Dodge Wilson. Hannah also got the chance to improve the athletic reputation of M.S.C. when the University of Chicago resigned from the Big Ten Conference in 1946. Hannah lobbied hard to take its place, gaining admission in 1949. Six years later, in its Centennial year of 1955, the State of Michigan renamed the College as Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science. Nine years after that, the University governing body changed its name from the State Board of Agriculture to the MSU Board of Trustees. The State of Michigan allowed the University to drop the words "Agriculture and Applied Science" from its name. Since 1964 the institution has gone by the name of Michigan State University.

Global leader by 2012

The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory features one of the most powerful instruments of its type in the world.

Since the end of the Hannah era, Michigan State has shifted its focus from increasing the size of its student body to advancing its national and global reputation. In September 2005, current president Lou Anna Simon called for MSU, one of the public ivy institutions, to become the global model leader for Land Grant institutions by the year 2012. Her plans include creating a new residential college and increasing grants awarded from the National Institutes of Health past the US$100 million mark. While there are over 100 Land-grant universities in the United States, she has stated that she would like Michigan State University to be the leader.

Michigan State, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University created the University Research Corridor in 2006. This alliance was formed to transform and strengthen Michigan's economy by reaching out to businesses, policymakers, innovators, investors and the public to speed up technology transfer, make resources more accessible and help attract new jobs to the state.


MSU's main campus lies north of the CN Railway and south of Michigan and Grand River Avenues.

MSU's sprawling campus is located in East Lansing, Michigan. The campus is perched on the banks of the Red Cedar River. Development of the campus started in 1856 with three buildings: a multipurpose building called College Hall, a dormitory later called " Saints' Rest", and a barn. Today, MSU's contiguous campus consists of 5,200 acres (21 km2), 2,000 acres (8.1 km2) of which are developed. There are 556 buildings: 100 for academics, 131 for agriculture, 166 for housing and food service, and 42 for athletics. Overall, the university has 22,763,025 square feet (2,114,754.2 m2) of total indoor space. Connecting it all is 26 miles (42 km) of roads and 100 miles (160 km) of sidewalks. MSU also owns 44 non-campus properties, totaling 22,000 acres (89 km2) in 28 different counties.

View of Beaumont Tower from the north.

North campus

The oldest part of campus lies on the north bank of the Red Cedar.

It includes Collegiate Gothic architecture, plentiful trees, and curving roads with few straight lines. It was in this area that the College built its first three buildings, of which none survive. Other historic buildings north of the river include Cowles House, the president's official residence, and Beaumont Tower, a carillon clock tower marking the site of College Hall, the original classroom building. To the east lies Eustace–Cole Hall, America's first freestanding laboratory for horticulture. Other landmarks include the bronze statue of former president John A. Hannah, the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden, and the painted boulder known as " The Rock", which is a popular spot for theatre, tailgating, and candlelight vigils. On the northwest corner of campus lies the University's hotel, the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Centre. The university also has a museum, initiated in 1857. MSU Museum is one of the oldest museums in the Midwest and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

South campus

The Wharton Centre for Performing Arts hosts many productions throughout the year and was host to the final US Presidential Debate before the 1992 election.

The campus south of the river consists mostly of post-World War II International Style buildings with sparse foliage, relatively straight roadways, and numerous parking lots. The "2020 Vision" Master Plan proposes replacing these parking lots with parking ramps and green space, but these plans will take many years to reach fruition. As part of the master plan, the University erected a new bronze statue of The Spartan in 2005 to be placed at the intersection of Chestnut and Kalamazoo, just south of the Red Cedar River. This replica replaced the original modernist terra cotta statue, which can still be seen inside Spartan Stadium. Notable academic and research buildings on the South Campus include the Cyclotron and the College of Law.

This part of campus is home to the MSU Horticulture Gardens and the adjoining 4-H Children's Garden. South of the gardens lie the Canadian National and CSX railroads, which divide the main campus from thousands of acres of university-owned farmland. The university's agricultural facilities include the Horse, Dairy Cattle, Beef Cattle, Sheep, and Poultry Teaching and Research Farms, as well as the Air Quality Control Lab and the Diagnostics Centre for Population and Animal Health.

Dubai Campus

In 2007, Michigan State University established an education centre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The chief officer of the campus was Brendan Mullen, Dean, Michigan State University Dubai. MSU Dubai was the first American university with a presence in Dubai International Academic City, with classes beginning in August 2008. The University offered six undergraduate programs: Business Administration; Child and Youth Development; Construction Project Management; Early Childhood Education; Media Management and Research; Computer Engineering, which later was changed to Electrical and Computer Engineering; and a Master's Degree in Human Resources & Labor Relations. The University attracted 100 students from all over the Middle East and beyond. However, in 2010 MSU closed the program and the campus because of low enrollment, before any students had graduated. MSU made plans for the existing students to transfer either to the main campus in East Lansing or to other universities in the UAE. MSU said the program would have needed 100–150 new students admitted each year to be viable, but was able to recruit only one-third of that number.

MSU Dubai currently runs a small campus at Dubai Knowledge Village. It offered at first only one program, a master's program in human resources and labor relation. In 2011 in added a master's programs in Public Health. In April 2012, MSU Dubai announced that it hopes to begin in 2013 two program in law: a LL.M program as well as a Master of Jurisprudence program.

Kellogg Hotel and Conference Centre

The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center doubles as a 4-star hotel and a business friendly conference centre. It is located on the northwest corner of Michigan State University's campus, across from the Brody Complex, on Harrison Road just south of Michigan Avenue. The hotel has 160 rooms and suites which can accommodate anyone staying in East Lansing for a business conference, sporting event or an on-campus visit, but it originally served as a dormitory for MSU students. Besides a lodging facility, the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center serves as a "learning laboratory for the 300–400 students each year that are enrolled in The School of Hospitality Business and other majors." The Kellogg Hotel and Conference Centre strives to facilitate education by hosting conferences and seminars.


The MSU Library is located on the oldest part of campus between Beaumont Tower and the river.

MSU has the ninth largest student body in the U.S. For the fiscal year of 2009–10, the Office of the Registrar conferred 11,140 degrees. The student body is 55% female and 45% male. While 89% of students come from all 83 counties in the State of Michigan, also represented are all 50 states in the U.S. and about 130 other countries. In 2011–2012 5,898 international students enrolled at MSU. The top five countries represented: China, Korea, India, Taiwan and Canada. MSU has about 4,500 faculty and 6,000 staff members, and a student/faculty ratio of 19:1. Listed as a Public Ivy, Michigan State is a member of the Association of American Universities. Michigan State University Ombudsman is the longest continually operating ombudsman office at a college or university in the country. Albert Fert, an Adjunct professor at MSU, was awarded the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physics together with Peter Grünberg. MSU's study abroad program is the largest of any single-campus university in the United States with 2,461 students studying abroad in 2004–2005 in over 60 countries on all continents, including Antarctica. MSU has six faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS); Martin Bukovac (1983), James Dye (1989), Pamela Fraker (2007), Richard Lenski (2006), Michael Thomashow (2003), and James Tiedje (2003).

Its admissions are difficult; for 2009's entering class, the 25th/75th percentiles for the SAT were 1030 and 1240/1600, and its 25th/75th percentiles on the ACT were 23 and 27/36.


University rankings
Forbes 250
U.S. News & World Report 72
Washington Monthly 33
QS 174
Times 94

Michigan State ranks 96th in the world, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, which measures scientific research. U.S. News & World Report ranks MSU 72nd in the U.S. The 2011 QS World University Rankings placed Michigan State University at 164th internationally.

The university has over 200 academic programs. U.S. News has ranked MSU's graduate-level elementary education", secondary education, and Industrial and Organizational Psychology programs No.1 for the last 14 years. The National Communication Association (NCA) ranks MSU's PhD programs as No. 1 in educating researchers in the rapidly growing fields of health communication and communication technology.

MSU is also ranked number four in several other fields, including international/intercultural communication, mass communication, and interpersonal communication based on the November 2004 NCA report.

The Eli Broad College of Business was ranked No. 9 among public institutions and No. 20 nationally in 2010 by Business Week. The 2008 U.S. News ranked Michigan State's Supply Chain Management program in the Eli Broad College of Business No.1 in the nation for the second year in a row. In addition, the Eli Broad College of Business undergraduate accounting program is ranked 11th overall and 9th among public schools, the graduate accounting program is ranked 8th overall and 6th among public schools, and the doctoral program is ranked 8th overall and 5th among public schools according to the 2010 Public Accounting Report's Annual Survey of Accounting Professors.

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences was established in 1955 and was the first of its kind in the United States. The college's Media and Information Studies doctoral program was ranked No. 2 in 2007 by The Chronicle of Higher Education in the category of mass communication. The communication doctoral program was ranked No. 4 in a separate category of communication in The Chronicle of Higher Education's 2005 Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, published in 2007. The college's faculty and alumni include eight Pulitzer Prize winners and a two-time Emmy Award winning recording mixer.

MSU's graduate program in nuclear physics is ranked No. 1 in the nation by U.S. News. In primary medical care, U.S. News ranks MSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine at No.5, College of Veterinary Medicine at No.9, and the College of Human Medicine at No.18. MSU's graduate program in Mathematics has been ranked 23rd in the US according to the latest National Research Council ranking.

Other programs of note include criminal justice, hospitality business, packaging, political science, dietetics and communications. The Sustainable Endowments Institute awarded Michigan State with an overall grade of "B" on the 2009 Campus Sustainability Survey, including "A"s in the categories of Administration, Transportation, Endowment Transparency, and Investment Policies.


The Computer Centre once housed the early research computer MISTIC

The university spent nearly US$405 million in 2008–09 on research, capping a long history of academic research. In 1877, botany professor William J. Beal performed the first documented genetic crosses to produce hybrid corn, which led to increased yields. MSU dairy professor G. Malcolm Trout invented the process for the homogenization of milk in the 1930s. In the 1960s, MSU scientists developed cisplatin, a leading cancer fighting drug.
Today Michigan State continues its research with facilities such as the U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored MSU-DOE Plant Research Laboratory and a particle accelerator called the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science named Michigan State University as the site for the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB). The $550 million facility will attract top researchers from around the world to conduct experiments in basic nuclear science, astrophysics, and applications of isotopes to other fields.

The Veterinary Research Farm.

In 2004, scientists at the Cyclotron produced and observed a new isotope of the element germanium, called Ge-60 In that same year, Michigan State, in consortium with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the government of Brazil, broke ground on the 4.1-meter Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope (SOAR) in the Andes Mountains of Chile. The consortium telescope will allow the Physics & Astronomy department to study galaxy formation and origins. Since 1999, MSU has been part of another consortium called the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor, which aims to develop biotechnology research in the State of Michigan. Finally, the College of Communication Arts and Sciences' Quello Centre researches current issues of information and communication management.

Big Ten Committee on Institutional Cooperation

Michigan State University is a participant in the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) is the academic consortium of the universities in the Big Ten Conference plus former conference member, the University of Chicago. The initiative also allows students at participating institutions to take distance courses at other participating institutions. The initiative also forms a partnership of research. Engaging in $8 billion in research in 2010, CIC universities are providing powerful insight into important issues in medicine, technology, agriculture, and communities. Students at participating schools are also allowed "in-house" viewing privileges at other participating schools' libraries. They also employ collective purchasing, which has saved member institutions $19 million to date.


MSU's (private, non-Morrill Act) endowment started in 1916 when the Engineering Building burned down. Automobile magnate R.E. Olds helped the program stay afloat with a gift of $100,000. There was a time when MSU lagged behind peer institutions in terms of endowments. As recently as the early 1990s, MSU was last among the eleven Big Ten schools, with barely over $100 million in endowment funds. This changed dramatically in the 2000s (decade), when the University started a campaign to increase the size of the endowment. At the close of fiscal year 2004–2005, the endowment had risen to $1.325 billion, raising the University to sixth of the 11 Big Ten schools in terms of endowment; within $2 million of the fifth-rated school. The rapid increase in the size of the endowment will help to improve outdated facilities, such as the Music Building, which the College of Music hopes to soon replace with money from its alumni fundraising program.


The South Campus skyline

MSU has over 200 academic programs offered by 17-degree granting colleges.

Residential colleges

MSU has several residential colleges, based on the Oxbridge "living-learning" model. By putting classes in student dormitories, these colleges improve student access to faculty and facilities. MSU's first residential college, Justin Morrill College started in 1965 with an interdisciplinary curriculum. MSU closed Morrill College in 1979, but today the university has three residential colleges, including the recent opening of the Residential College in Arts & Humanities (RCAH) located in Snyder and Phillips halls.

Established in 1967, James Madison College is a smaller component residential college featuring multidisciplinary programs in the social sciences, founded on a model of liberal education. James Madison College is housed in Case Hall. Classes in the college are small, with an average of 25 students, and most instructors are tenure track faculty. James Madison College has about 1150 students total, with each freshman class containing about 320 students. Each of Madison's four majors—Social Relations and Policy, International Relations, Political Theory and Constitutional Democracy, and Comparative Cultures and Politics—requires two years of foreign language and one semester of "field experience" in an internship or study abroad program. Although Madison students make up about 4% of MSU graduates, they represent around 35% of the MSU's Phi Beta Kappa members.

Snyder-Phillips Hall was built in 1947. The building was recently expanded to make room for a new residential college.

Also established in 1967, Lyman Briggs College teaches math and science within social, historical and philosophical contexts. Many Lyman Briggs students intend to pursue careers in medicine, but the school supports over 30 coordinate majors, from human biology to computer sciences. Lyman Briggs is one of the few colleges that lets undergraduates teach as "Learning Assistants."

MSU's newest residential college is the Residential College in Arts & Humanities. Founded October 21, 2005, the college provides around 600 undergraduates with an individualized curriculum in the liberal, visual and performing arts. Though all the students will graduate with the same degree, MSU encourages students in the college to get a second degree or specialization. The university houses the new college in a newly renovated Snyder-Phillips Hall, the location of MSU's first residential college, Justin Morrill College.

The MSU Law School Building

Professional schools

The Michigan State University College of Law is an independent, non-profit corporation affiliated with the public institution. Founded in Detroit in 1891 as the Detroit College of Law, the law school moved to East Lansing in 1995 becoming an integral part of the university. Students attending MSU College of Law come from 42 states and 13 countries. The law school publishes the Michigan State Law Review, the Michigan State Journal of International Law and the Journal of Medicine and Law. The College of Law is the home of the Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute, the first trial practice institute in the United States. The Intellectual Property and Communications Law program was ranked seventeenth nationally, in 2006.

The Eli Broad College of Business has programs in accounting, information systems, finance, management, marketing and supply chain management, and hospitality business. The school has 4,775 undergraduate students and 776 graduate students. The Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, which Business Week magazine ranks 11th among public institutions, offers three MBA programs, as well as joint degrees with the College of Law. The opening of the Eugene C. Eppley Centre for Graduate Studies in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management brought the first program in the United States to offer a Master of Business Administration degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management to MSU.

The Michigan State University College of Nursing grants B.S.N., M.S.N., and PhD degrees.

Medical schools

MSU Secchia Centre

The Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine was the world's first publicly funded college of osteopathic medicine. It has a long-standing tradition of retaining its alumni in Michigan to practice – more than two-thirds of the college's graduates remain to practice in Michigan. Recently, the Michigan State University Board of Trustees approved a resolution endorsing the expansion of the College of Osteopathic Medicine to two sites in southeast Michigan, a move board members and college officials say will not only improve medical education in the state, but also address a projected physician shortage.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the College of Osteopathic Medicine ( D.O. degree) ranked No.17 medical schools in the country for primary care and the College of Human Medicine (MD degree) has regularly ranked among the top forty medical schools in the country for primary care.

The College of Human Medicine graduates students with Doctor of Medicine M.D. degrees and is split into seven distinct campuses located in East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Flint, Saginaw, Marquette, Traverse City and Grand Rapids. Each campus is affiliated with local hospitals and other medical facilities professionals in the area. For example, the Lansing campus includes Sparrow Hospital and McLaren–Greater Lansing Hospital. The College of Human Medicine has recently gained attention for its expansion into the Grand Rapids area, with the new Secchia Centre completed in the Fall of 2010, that is expected to fuel the growing medical industry in that region.

Though Michigan State has offered courses in veterinary science since its founding, the College of Veterinary Medicine was not formally established as a four-year, degree-granting program until 1910. Ranked ninth in the nation, the college has over 170,000 square feet (16,000 m2) of office, teaching, and research space, as well as a veterinary teaching hospital.

Other academic units

In recent years, MSU's music program has grown substantially. Music major enrollment increased more than 97% between 1991 and 2004. In early 2007, this growth led the university board of trustees to spin the music program off into its own college unit: The MSU College of Music. The new college faces many new challenges, such as working with limited space and funding. Nevertheless, MSU's music college plans on continued success, placing an annual average of 25 graduate students in tenure stream university positions.

The College of Education at Michigan State University offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in several fields, including counseling, educational psychology, special education, teacher education and kinesiology. The college has had high-ranked programs in elementary, educational technology, educational policy, and secondary education. In addition, Michigan State ties the University of Wisconsin–Madison for the top spot in rehabilitation counseling. The College of Education is currently housed in Erickson Hall.

Erickson Hall

Founded in 1956, the MSU Honours College provides individualized curricula to MSU's top undergraduate students. Though the college has no majors of its own, it has its own dean and academic advisers to help Honors students with their educational pursuits. High school students starting at MSU may join the Honours College if they are in the top 5% of their high school graduating class and have either an ACT score of at least 30 or an SAT total score of at least 1360. Once admitted, students must maintain a 3.20 GPA and complete eight approved honors courses in order to graduate with Honours College designation on their degree.

After three years of planning, The College of Engineering successfully launched the first stages of its Residential Experience for Spartan Engineering, formally known as the Residential Option for Scientists and Engineers (ROSES), the new program is located in Wilson Hall after being housed in Bailey Hall for a number of years. The Residential program essentially combines with a brand new academic component, Cornerstone Engineering, where freshman engineering students not only get an overview of the engineering field(s) but get a hands-on experience along with it. Global Engineering is a new subject that is of certain interest for not only the Cornerstone Engineering and Residential Experience programs but for the entire College of Engineering at MSU. Engineering in today's society has shown to have a monumental impact on the global economy due to advancements in education, interdependence on economics with infrastructure, computers, transportation, technology and other manufactured goods as well as Michigan State University's study-abroad program being ranked No. 1 in the nation, allowing for students to experience education and learn cultures in hundreds of countries. Also of note is the innovative Visiting International Professional Program, which connects professional education to the expertise of Michigan State University, a world leader in global research and leadership training. VIPP creates practical links between the world-class faculty at MSU and global industries, businesses, governments and societies. The newly established Cornerstone Engineering and Residential Experience programs for College of Engineering have started programs abroad for more courses in engineering including Study abroad seminars.

MSU currently offers a 30 credit graduate program for Masters in Educational Technology in 3 different formats; completely online, hybrid in East Lansing, Michigan, or overseas. The overseas program is offered at universities around the world. Past locations have included England, France, Switzerland and Thailand. The program lasts one month a summer for three summers, with each summer covering 9 credit hours. One online class is required between the second and third summer. The classes are focused on preparing teachers in integrating technology into their classrooms and helping them understand the affordances and constraints of using different programs. The courses are taught by MSU professors and are open to students around the world.


Michigan State's NCAA Division I-A program offers 12 varsity sports for men and 13 for women. Since their teams are called the Spartans, MSU's mascot is a Spartan warrior named Sparty. The university participates in the Big Ten Conference in all varsity sports except ice hockey, which competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The current athletic director is Mark Hollis, who was promoted to the position on January 1, 2008. Hollis replaced Ron Mason, who served as head hockey coach from 1979 to 2002, retiring with a record total of 924 wins, and a 635–270–69 record at MSU.

In 1888 Michigan State University (then as known as Michigan Agricultural College) along with Olivet, Albion and Hillsdale Colleges was a founding member of the nation's oldest athletic conference, the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA). MAC left the conference in 1907.


Spartan Stadium hosts varsity football games and other events.

Football has a long tradition at Michigan State. Starting as a club sport in 1884, football gained varsity status in 1896. MSU football teams won the Rose Bowl in 1954, 1956 and 1988. The Spartans accounted for four of the top eight selections in the 1967 NFL Draft, the only time a college football program has accomplished such a feat.

Today, the football team competes in Spartan Stadium, a renovated 75,005 seat football stadium near the centre of campus. The current coach is Mark Dantonio, who was hired on November 27, 2006. Dantonio had an 18–17 record in his three-year tenure at the University of Cincinnati, including a 1–0 Bowl Game record. He led the team in its first season to a 7–6 record. The Spartans played in the Champs Sports Bowl against Boston College on December 28, 2007 and the Capital One Bowl against Georgia on January 1, 2009. MSU's traditional archrival is the University of Michigan, against whom they compete annually for the Paul Bunyan Trophy. Their overall record against the Wolverines currently stands at 32–67–5 and 23–34–2 since 1953 when the Paul Bunyan Trophy was established and MSU joined the Big Ten Conference. Dantonio's Spartans have won 4 of the past 5 contests dating back to 2008. Michigan State is one of three Big Ten teams to have an annual non-conference football game against Notre Dame. MSU's record against the Fighting Irish is 25–44–1 but the Spartans have had much success against the Irish recently, becoming the first team ever to win six straight games at Notre Dame Stadium. In 2010, the Spartans finished 7–1 (11–2) in conference play were Co-Big Ten Champions along with the University of Wisconsin and Ohio State. In 2011, the Spartans finished 1st in the Legends Division of the Big Ten with a 7–1 (11–3) conference record. While beating Wisconsin (Leaders Division Champions) in regular season play on a last second Hail-Mary pass, they lost in dramatic fashion to the Badgers in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game played in Indianapolis. Though the Spartans did not win the Big Ten Conference Championship they did gain some revenge by beating the SEC's University of Georgia Bulldogs in the 2012 Outback Bowl. The Spartans outlasted the Bulldogs 33–30 in a triple overtime thriller. Dantonio got his first Bowl victory as the Spartans coach, the team finished the 2011 season with 11 wins. High expectations are growing in East Lansing after back to back 11 win seasons, a first time in Spartan Football history. The Spartan Football final ranking in 2011 was No. 10 USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 11 in the AP.

The Jack Breslin Student Events Centre is home to the men and women's basketball teams.

Men's basketball

MSU's men's basketball team has won the National Championship twice: in 1979 and again in 2000. In 1979, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, along with Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent and Mike Brkovich, led the MSU team to a 75–64 win against the Larry Bird-led Indiana State Sycamores. In 2000, three players from Flint, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell and Mateen Cleaves, led the team to its second national title. Dubbed the "Flintstones", they were the key to the Spartans' win against the University of Florida. On December 13, 2003, Michigan State and Kentucky played in the Basketbowl, in which a record crowd of 78,129 watched the game in Detroit's Ford Field. Kentucky won 79–74. The basketball team currently plays at the Jack Breslin Student Events Centre under head coach Tom Izzo, who has a 403–166 record as of February 2012 (70.8% winning percentage). The student spirit section at Breslin is called the Izzone. Izzo's coaching has helped the team make six Final Fours since 1999, winning the title in 2000, and thirteen consecutive NCAA tournament appearances (beginning in 1998). In 2009 the Spartans made it to the National Championship game and lost 89–72 to North Carolina. In 2010, the Spartans made it to the Final Four and lost 50–52 to Butler. The Spartans lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2011 to UCLA 76–78.

Men's ice hockey

Munn Ice Arena was named for former football coach Clarence L. "Biggie" Munn.

The Michigan State University men's ice hockey team started in 1924, though it has only been a varsity sport since 1950. The team has since won national titles in 1966, 1986 and 2007. The Spartans came close to repeating the national title in 1987, but lost the championship game to the University of North Dakota. They play at MSU's Munn Ice Arena. Former head coach Ron Mason is college hockey's winningest coach with 924 wins total and 635 at MSU. The current head coach is Tom Anastos. MSU Retrieved March 6, 2008. Since the Big Ten Conference does not include Division I men's ice hockey, Michigan State competes in the Central Collegiate Hockey Association. Michigan State leads the CCHA in all-time wins, is second in CCHA Conference championships with 7, and is first in CCHA Tournament Championships with 11. Along with the University of Michigan (U-M) and the Ohio State University, it is one of three Big Ten schools in the CCHA. As with other sports, the hockey rivalry between MSU and U-M is a fierce one, and on October 6, 2001, MSU faced U-M in the Cold War, during which a world record crowd of 74,554 packed Spartan Stadium to watch the game end in a 3–3 tie. In the 2006–2007 season, the Men's Ice Hockey team defeated Boston College for its third NCAA hockey championship.

Men's cross country

Between World War I and World War II, Michigan State College competed in the Central Collegiate Conference, winning titles in 1926–1929, 1932, 1933 and 1935. Michigan State also experienced success in the IC4A, at New York's Van Cortlandt Park, winning 15 team titles (1933–1937, 1949, 1953, 1956–1960, 1962, 1963 and 1968). Since entering the Big Ten in 1950, Michigan State has won 14 men's team titles (1951–1953, 1955–1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1970 and 1971). Michigan State hosted the inaugural NCAA cross country championships in 1938 and every year thereafter through 1964 (there was no championship in 1943). The Spartans won NCAA championships in 1939, 1948, 1949, 1952, 1955, 1956, 1958 and 1959.

Student life

Hubbard Hall is a twelve-story residence hall on the eastern edge of campus. It is MSU's second tallest building, surpassed by Spartan Stadium

East Lansing is very much a college town, with 60.2% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24. President John A. Hannah's push to expand in the 1950s and 1960s resulted in the largest residence hall system in the United States. Around 16,000 students live in MSU's 23 undergraduate halls, one graduate hall, and three apartment villages. Each residence hall has its own hall government, with representatives in the Residence Halls Association. Yet despite the size and extent of on-campus housing, the residence halls are complemented by a variety of housing options. 58% of students live off-campus, mostly in the areas closest to campus, in either apartment buildings, former single-family homes, fraternity and sorority houses, or in a co-op.

The MSU Union, designed by Pond and Pond is home to many events on campus.

Greek life

With over 3,000 members, Michigan State University's Greek Community is one of the largest in the nation. Started in 1872 and re-established in 1922 by Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, and Alpha Phi Sorority; the MSU Greek system now consists of 55 Greek lettered student societies. These chapters are in turn under the jurisdiction of one of MSU's four Greek governing councils: National Panhellenic Conference, North American Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Independent Greek Council. National Pan-Hellenic Council is made up of 9 organizations, 5 Fraternities and 4 Sororities, that were founded on Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU's). The Interfraternity Council and the Women's Panhellenic Council are each entirely responsible for their own budgets, giving them the freedom to hold large fundraising and recruitment events. MSU's fraternities and sororities hold many philanthropy events and community fundraisers. For example, in April 2011 the Greek Community held Greek Week to raise over $260,000 for the American Cancer Society, and $5,000 for each of these charities: Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Listening Ear and previous charities include: the Make-a-Wish Foundation (MSU Chapter), Share Laura's Hope, The Mary Beth Knox Scholarship, and the Special Olympics.

Student organizations

The Student Services Building houses the MSU Department of Student Life, as well as ASMSU and the Greek governing councils.

The Associated Students of Michigan State University (ASMSU) is the undergraduate student government of Michigan State University. It is unusual amongst university student governments for its decentralized bicameral structure, and the relatively non-existent influence of the Greek system. ASMSU representatives are nonpartisan and many are elected in noncompetitive races. Their mission is to enhance the individual and collective student experience through education, empowerment, and advocacy by education to the needs and interest of students. Some services they offer include: free blue books, low cost copies and faxes, free yearbooks, interest free loans, funding for student organizations, free legal consultation, health insurance, and iClicker rentals. There are many ways of getting involved such as: Freshman Class Council, Senior Class Council, appointments to General Assembly, and employment.

Students pay $16.75 per semester to fund the functions of the ASMSU, including stipends for the organization's officers and activities throughout the year. Some students have criticized ASMSU for not having enough electoral participation to gain a student mandate. Turnout since 2001 has hovered between 3 and 17 percent, with the 2006 election bringing out 8% of the undergraduate student body.

Student-run organizations beyond student government also have a large impact on the East Lansing/Michigan State University community. Student Organizations are registered through the Department of Student Life, which currently has a registry of over 550 student organizations. One example is the Tower Guard honour society. Tower Guard is the oldest and one of the most respected student organizations on campus.

The Eli Broad College of Business includes 27 student organizations. The three largest organizations are the Finance Association (FA), the Accounting Student Association (ASA), and the Supply Chain Management Association (SCMA). The SCMA is the host of the university's largest major specific career fair. The fair attracts over 100 companies and over 400 students each year.


Activists have played a significant role in MSU history. During the height of the Vietnam War, student protests helped create co-ed residence halls, and blocked the routing of Interstate 496 through campus. In the 1980s, Michigan State students convinced the University to divest the stocks of companies doing business in apartheid South Africa from its endowment portfolio, such as Coca-Cola. MSU has many student groups focused on political change. Graduate campus groups include the Graduate Employees Union and the Council of Graduate Students. Michigan State also has a variety of partisan groups ranging from liberal to conservative, including the College Republicans, the College Democrats and several third party organizations. Other partisan activist groups include Young Americans for Freedom and Young Americans for Liberty on the right; Young Democratic Socialists, Students for Economic Justice, Young Communist League and MEChA on the left. Given MSU's proximity to the Michigan state capital of Lansing, many politically inclined Spartans intern for state representatives.


The MSU Office of Sustainability works with the University Committee for a Sustainable Campus to "foster a collaborative learning culture that leads the community to heightened awareness of its environmental impact." The University is a member of the Chicago Climate Exchange, the world's first greenhouse gas emission registry, and boasts the lowest electrical consumption per square foot among Big Ten universities. The University has set a goal of reducing energy use by 15%, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15%, reducing landfill waste by 30% by 2015.

The university has also pledged to meet LEED-certification standards for all new construction. In July 2009, the University completed construction of a $13.3 million recycling centre, and hopes to double their 2008 recycling rate of 14% by 2010. The construction of Brody Hall, a residence hall of Michigan State University Housing, was completed in August 2011 and qualified for LEED Silver certification because the facility includes a rain water collection tank used for restroom fixtures, a white PVC roof, meters that will monitor utilities to make sure they are used efficiently, and the use of recycled matter and local sources for building materials.

The Environmental Steward's program support's president Simon's "Boldness by Design" strategic vision to transform environmental stewardship on campus within the seven-year time frame. Environmental stewards promote environmental changes among co-workers and peers, be points of contact for their department for environment-related concerns, and be liaisons between the Be Spartan Green Team and buildings.

ECO is the leading student-run sustainability organization on campus. They are also affiliated with regional and national groups such as Campus Climate Challenge and the Michigan Student Sustainability Coalition.

The Student Organic Farm is a student-run, four-season farm, which teaches the principals of organic farming and through a certificate program and community supported agriculture (CSA) on ten acres on the MSU campus. The certificate program consists of year round crop production, course work in organic farming, practical training and management, and an off-site internship requirement.


The current president of the University is Lou Anna Simon who took over on January 1, 2005, after being appointed by MSU's governing board, the Board of Trustees. The Board receives its mandate from the Michigan Constitution since MSU is a state-owned school. The constitution allows for eight trustees who are elected by statewide referendum every two years. Trustees have eight-year terms, with two of the eight elected every other year. As of 2007, the Board is made up of three Republicans and five Democrats.

19th century

Eustace-Cole Hall was the United States' first freestanding horticulture laboratory. It is the only MSU building on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, Eustace-Cole Hall houses the offices of the Michigan State University Honours College.

Important College leaders in the 19th century include John C. Holmes, who kept the Agriculture School from being a part of the University of Michigan and is widely credited with being the prime mover for the school's founding; Joseph R. Williams, the first president; and Theophilus C. Abbot, the third president who stabilized the College after the Civil War. Also of importance was botany professor William J. Beal, an early plant (hybrid corn) geneticist who championed the laboratory teaching method. Another distinguished faculty member of the era was the alumnus/professor Liberty Hyde Bailey. Bailey was the first to raise the study of horticulture to a science, paralleling botany, which earned him the title of "Father of American Horticulture". William L. Carpenter, a jurist who was elected to the Third Judicial Circuit of Michigan in 1894, and member of the Michigan Supreme Court from 1902 until 1904. Other famous 19th century graduates include Ray Stannard Baker, a famed " muckraker" journalist and Pulitzer Prize winning biographer; Minakata Kumagusu, a renowned environmental scientist; and William Chandler Bagley, a pioneering education reformer.

The Human Ecology Building

20th and 21st centuries

There are currently around 442,000 living MSU alumni worldwide giving the school one of the largest number of alumni of any institution of higher learning. Famous MSU alumni include former Michigan governors James Blanchard and John Engler, U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Tim Johnson, U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Donna Hrinak, former Jordan prime minister Adnan Badran, billionaire philanthropists Tom Gores and Eli Broad, Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court Wallace B. Jefferson, trial lawyer Geoffrey Feiger, former Food and Drug Administration official Peter Rheinstein, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford, Teamsters president James P. Hoffa, Quicken Loans founder and Cleveland Cavaliers owner and billionaire Dan Gilbert, Sergeant at Arms of the U.S. House of Representatives Wilson Livingood, former Michigan U.S. Senator and Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham, former Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Harry Moniba, and former U.S. Ambassador to Italy Peter Secchia. Alumni in Hollywood include actors such as Anthony Heald, Robert Urich and William Fawcett; comedian Dick Martin, comedian Jackie Martling, film directors Michael Cimino and Sam Raimi, and film editor Bob Murawski, as well as screenwriter David Magee Puerto Rican comedian Sunshine Logroño (who has played the occasional Hollywood movie) was a graduate student at MSU. Journalists include NBC reporter Chris Hansen, AP White House correspondent Nedra Pickler, and NPR Washington correspondent Don Gonyea. Novelist Michael Kimball graduated in 1990. Novelist and true crime author R. Barri Flowers, who in 1977 a bachelors and in 1980 a masters in criminal justice, was inducted in 2006 into the MSU Criminal Justice Wall of Fame. Author Erik Qualman graduated with honours in 1994 and was also Academic Big-Ten in basketball. Susan K. Avery, the first woman president and director of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, received an MSU bachelor's degree in physics. In addition, two of the Little Rock Nine attended Michigan State, including Ernest Green, the first black student to graduate from Little Rock Central High School, and Carlotta Walls LaNier. The University awarded an honorary degree to Robert Mugabe in 1990, but revoked it in 2008.

Spartans formerly or currently in the NBA include Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Greg Kelser, Jay Vincent, Steve Smith, Scott Skiles, Jason Richardson, Mateen Cleaves, Alan Anderson, Zach Randolph, Morris Peterson, Charlie Bell and Shannon Brown. On the American Football League's All-Time Team are tight-end Fred Arbanas and safety George Saimes. In the National Football League, MSU alumni include Carl Banks, who was a member of the Giants teams that won Super Bowls XXI and XXV. Banks was a standout in their Super Bowl XXI victory in which he recorded 14 total tackles, including ten solo tackles, as well as being part of the NFL's 1980's All-Decade Team Morten Andersen, Plaxico Burress, Andre Rison, Derrick Mason, Muhsin Muhammad, T. J. Duckett, Flozell Adams, Julian Peterson, Charles Rogers, Jim Miller, Earl Morrall, Wayne Fontes, Bubba Smith and Drew Stanton. Former MSU quarterback Jeff Smoker now plays in the Arena Football League. Former Michigan State players in the National Hockey League include All Star Defensemen Duncan Keith, Rod Brind'Amour, Anson Carter, Donald McSween, Adam Hall, John-Michael Liles, Justin Abdelkader, brothers Kelly Miller and Kip Miller, as well as their cousins, brothers Ryan Miller and Drew Miller. Former Michigan State players in Major League Baseball include Hall of Fame inductee Robin Roberts, Kirk Gibson, Steve Garvey and Mark Mulder. Olympic gold medalists include Savatheda Fynes and Fred Alderman. The Spartans are also contributing athletes to Major League Soccer, as Kevin Reiman, Doug DeMartin, Dave Hertel, Greg Janicki, Kenzo Webster, Rauwshan McKenzie, John Minagawa-Webster and Ryan McMahen have all played in Major League Soccer. In addition, Alex Skotarek, Steve Twellman and Buzz Demling played in the North American Soccer League, with Demling playing in the 1972 Summer Olympics and the United States Men's National Soccer Team in the 1970s.

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