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Exchange Course Availability

Exchange students are seen as fully integrated MSU students, able to choose courses from a large catalog of hundreds of offerings.


We work hard to ensure a large amount of course offerings for our students, no matter what they wish to study. Our vast network of colleges, advisers and professors allow us to enroll exchange students in courses throughout the MSU course catalog. While course offerings, subjects and college availability may change by semester, our below list of common colleges and subjects should be used as a guide to finding courses of interest for all future students.

IMPORTANT: exchange students have various requirements and credit limits depending on their partner university's exchange agreement and the current mobility status between institutions.

Students need to take a minimum of 50% of their courses with the MSU College that their home university has an exchange with. If it is more than one MSU College, they can spread out the 50% among the approved College partners. The remaining 50% of coursework is flexible.

Students should refer to both their home institution and the MSU Exchanges Coordinator for course questions.

When looking for courses, it is important to think about:

  • How many credits do I need to take?
  • Do I want to fulfill degree requirements at my home university?
  • Will my home university accept the courses I wish to transfer back?
  • When is the course offered?
  • Are there course pre-requisites or requirements?
  • Do I meet these pre-requisites or requirements?
  • Are there subjects I have never had a chance to take before but want to at MSU?

Individual course descriptions, prerequisites and semester offerings can be found at schedule of courses. Students interested in College of Law courses can find course offerings here.

For any questions you may have regarding course selections, pre-requisites or anything else, please contact msueex(at)

NOTE: the below college listings are to be seen as examples. Other colleges, like Lyman Briggs College, the College of Education and the College of Music, are also available.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

The first college established at the nation’s pioneer land-grant institution, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at MSU has been pioneering advancements in agricultural and natural resources research, scholarship, and outreach for more than 160 years. The college provides innovative leadership in science, technology, design, management, biofuels, the bioeconomy, and global agriculture. Students learn to use the principles of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, business, and creative design in tackling some of the world’s biggest problems related to food, energy, and the environment. The wide selection of academic programs and career pathways include food, nutrition, and their applications to health; community, family, and youth development; agricultural production; technology, management, and design; food processing; biofuels, the bioeconomy, globalization, international development, and sustainability.

Common subjects taken through CANR:

  • Agribusiness Management (ABM)
  • Agriculture, Food and Resource Economics (AFRE)
  • Animal Science (ANS)
  • Food Industry Management (FIM)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

College of Arts & Letters

Students in the College of Arts & Letters explore human expression, human experience, and human values through a wide variety of disciplinary subjects, as well as through interdisciplinary study. The college hosts many majors and minors in literatures, languages, global religions, cultures, philosophy, arts, design, digital media, and theatre. Faculty and students represent diverse backgrounds and cultures and work together to challenge past assumptions and set future directions in the arts and humanities. Beyond traditional course work, the college provides student and faculty collaboration, interdisciplinary course offerings in the liberal arts, and opportunities to engage the greater MSU community as well as those outside of campus. Engaged and forward-thinking faculty and scholars educate students and bring public focus to the arts and humanities as the threads that weave together numerous shared cultures and traditions.

Common subjects taken through CAL:

  • English (ENG)
  • Film (FLM)
  • Global Studies in Arts & Humanities (GSAH)
  • History of Art (HA)
  • Linguistics (LIN)
  • Philosophy (PHL)
  • Religion (REL)
  • Spanish (SPN)
  • Studio Art (STA)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

College of Communication Arts & Sciences

The College of Communication Arts and Sciences, the first of its kind in the nation, pushes the boundaries of communication research and teaching to improve lives and promote democratic values.  Working side by side, students and faculty discover and explore the next communication frontiers. Its work is vital to understanding how people communicate effectively with each other to increase productivity, reduce health and safety risks, and improve quality of life around the world. The college hosts international conferences, leads federally funded research projects and cross-college collaborations, and offers ever-expanding opportunities for students, including study abroad, internships, and participation in national competitions. 

Common subjects taken through CAS:

  • Advertising (ADV)
  • Communications (COM)
  • Journalism (JRN)
  • Media & Information (MI)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

College of Engineering

The College of Engineering prepares students to solve technical, as well as social, economic, and global problems while instilling the essence of engineering as the iterative process of designing, predicting performance, building, and testing. The college’s engineering programs provide future engineers with firm knowledge and understanding of the fundamental engineering sciences, engineering methods for the application of this knowledge, and the project management and communications skills to bring designs to fruition. Programs require a strong base in mathematics, computing, and the sciences as the tools of the engineer. An engineering education provides a teams-based, systems approach to societal problems and therefore prepares students for a wide range of career options, including those outside engineering.

Common subjects taken through the College of Engineering:

  • Mechanical Engineering (ME)
  • Chemical Engineering (CE)
  • Civil Engineering (CE)
  • Computer Science Engineering (CSE)
  • Electrical Engineering (ECE)
  • Environmental Engineering (ENE)
  • Materials Science & Engineering (MSE)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

College of Law

The MSU College of Law, formerly the Detroit College of Law, leads cutting-edge initiatives focused on ethics, human rights, and entrepreneurial lawyering that provide rich learning opportunities and fuel the college’s upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law offers a comprehensive curriculum that is constantly evaluated with an eye toward emerging trends to ensure graduates are ready to take on the latest challenges in the field of law. Students can customize their education from among 14 focus areas, 10 clinical programs, hundreds of externship locations, five study abroad programs, and more. MSU Law’s integration with Michigan State University also allows students to complement legal studies with a variety of cross-disciplinary courses and dual-degree programs.

Common subjects taken through LAW:

  • Law (LAW)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

College of Law course offerings are highlighted here.

Learn more at:

College of Natural Science

The College of Natural Science promotes excellence in research, teaching, and public service across the biological, physical, and mathematical sciences. Its innovative undergraduate and graduate programs prepare students to be leaders in an increasingly sophisticated scientific and technological society. These programs grow and evolve in an environment that values multidisciplinary and cross-college collaborations and builds on the advantages that a diverse student body brings to a dynamic community of scholars. Steadfast in its land-grant mission, the college strives to enhance student learning, promote basic scientific understanding of nature, and develop the technical and human resources necessary to address the current and future needs of society.

Common subjects taken through CNS:

  • Biology (BIO)
  • Chemistry (CEM)
  • Math (MTH)
  • Microbiology (MMG)
  • Physics (PHY)
  • Physiology (PSL)
  • Statistics (STT)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

College of Social Science

The College of Social Science at Michigan State University is a community of scholars committed to creating, disseminating, and applying knowledge in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. The college is the largest and among the most diverse at MSU and offers 13 major disciplines. Nearly 400 tenured and tenure-stream faculty provide instructional, research, and outreach services within its eight departments, three schools, and seven centers and institutes. Scholars in the college are diverse and dynamic intellectual leaders who seek to understand and address the myriad challenges facing our world at local and global scales through collaborative learning and responsive engagement with people and communities.

Common subjects taken through CSS:

  • Anthropology (ANP)
  • Criminal Justice (CJ)
  • Economics (EC)
  • Geography (GEO)
  • History (HST)
  • Political Science (PLS)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • Sociology (SOC)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:

Eli Broad College of Business

Among the largest business schools in the nation and consistently ranked among the top business schools in the country, the Eli Broad College of Business and the Eli Broad Graduate School of Management, commonly referred to as the Broad College, have been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International since 1953. The Broad College offers seven undergraduate majors, a Full-Time and Executive MBA, seven specialized master’s programs, seven doctoral programs, as well as an array of executive education programs and online certificates for business professionals. Faculty in the college are award-winning teachers and researchers, editors and reviewers of top journals, and former executives whose efforts combine in numerous research centers targeting specific topics for focused inquiry and in experiential labs that provide real-world opportunities for students.





Learn more at:

James Madison College

James Madison College provides a liberal education in public affairs for undergraduates. The college is dedicated to the highest standards of excellence, both for students and for faculty and staff. The curriculum and individual courses are multidisciplinary, cultivating in students the skills of rigorous thought, lucid prose writing, and articulate speech. The residential environment nurtures a collegium of scholars among students, faculty, and staff. The world-class resources of the wider university enrich the program as a whole. James Madison College was established in 1967. Since then the college has graduated numerous Rhodes, Truman, Marshall, and Fulbright Scholars, National Science Foundation Fellows, MSU’s first Mitchell Scholar, and regularly represents a high percentage of Michigan State University's Phi Beta Kappa class.

Common subjects taken through JMC:

  • Madison College (MC)

NOTE: the above list should be used as an example and should not be seen as the only available subjects.

Learn more at:



Students must be flexible and willing to work with academic advisers at their home institutions to identify courses they wish to take at MSU. If you are a gap year student, working directly with our office is very much preferred. We cannot guarantee requested courses will be approved for any student.

Once courses of interest have been identified, we work within our network of academic advisers to either enroll students in their requested courses, or offer other options if courses have been denied. 

Reasons why course access will be denied to an Exchange student:

  • Student does not meet course pre-requisites
  • Student does not have relevant academic experience or history
  • The course is not available during the intended semester
  • The course is closed to all non degree-seeking students
  • The course is a cohort course (unavailable to non-majors)
  • The course no longer has seat availability (no open slots)
  • The college denies access to the course

Course denial is very common and is not unique to international students. Domestic, degree-seeking students must also meet all above requirements. As such, we greatly suggest Exchange students be understanding and willing to work with our office and academic advisers to find the best courses for them!

Acceptance to MSU is dependent on course approvals and enrollments. Once we have a few courses approved for a student, we will work to issue an acceptance letter.

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