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Exchange Program Admissions Requirements

Exchange students are short-term, non-degree seeking students who study at MSU for one or two semesters while also being enrolled and completing degree requirements at their home universities. Students enrolled at one of MSU's exchange partner institutions may apply to study at MSU as an exchange student for one or two semesters after they have been nominated by their home university.

Exchange Student Criteria

Students should work with their home university to apply for an exchange program at MSU. To be eligible to become an exchange student you must meet the following criteria regardless of institution, country, or field of study.

  • There must be a formal two-way exchange agreement between MSU and the partner university.
  • The home university must nominate the student for the exchange program.
  • MSU must be able to accept the student's application.

Payment of Fees

Students will pay regular fees to their home institution; tuition at MSU is waived. Room and board, health insurance, and other miscellaneous fees (residence hall association fee, gym memberships, bus passes etc.) are paid by the student. Exceptions may apply and are applied as outlined by the exchange agreement.

Course Enrollment and Visa Requirements

Exchange students at MSU will be enrolled as short-term, non-degree seeking students. Exchange students do not not earn a full degree at MSU, but instead work with their home university to count credits taken at MSU for their degree at home. 

Students who enter the U.S. on student visas must pursue a full-time course load during the semester. Before MSU can extend an offer of admission, MSU must determine that a full course schedule can be created for that semester. This means a minimum of 12 credits for undergraduate (bachelor's) and 9 credits for graduate (master's) students. Individual exchange agreements may allow students to take up to 15 credits (bachelor's) and 12 credits (master's) per semester.

Course enrollment depends on student academic background and the space available in the course.

Admissions Requirements

Prospective exchange students interested in applying to study at MSU for short-term programs must meet all of the below admissions requirements. For questions about these requirements, refer to your home institution or the MSU Exchanges Coordinator at msuex(at)

Nomination by Home University

Interested students must first contact the education abroad office at their home university to talk about exchange opportunities and what that means for their academic program. Potential exchange students must be nominated for the exchange by their home university before MSU can consider their application.

Proof of English Language Ability

TOEFL results are required unless English is designated as the primary language of instruction. The Exchange Coordinator (at MSU) may also contact prospective students to schedule a Skype interview to ensure all internal requirements at MSU are met. The requirements are:

  • Internet Based TOEFL (IBT) 79, with no sub-score below 17.
  • An IELTS score of 6.5 with no sub-score below 6.0.

Please note that graduate level students may have different requirements pending their intended coursework or faculties. Please contact our team for more information.


Students must be in good academic standing with their home university. Students must submit all applicable academic transcripts (reports of classes completed and grades earned) and course descriptions for courses completed at the home university. Specific requirements and prerequisites may apply to certain courses, or to be approved to take courses in certain departments.

Proof of Financial Support (POF)

To obtain a visa to study in the U.S. all prospective exchange students must provide documentation verifying that they'll have sufficient funds to support themselves during their studies at MSU. This documentation must be included with the initial application and can be personal (student or parent) bank account statements or bank letters stating the student will have sufficient funds for each semester at MSU.

  • All documents must be in English, on bank letterhead and stamped, signed and dated by the bank.
  • Financial funds must be liquid and available to the student during their exchange program at MSU.
  • If a student submits financial information for a sponsor, the Proof of Financial support form must be submitted with the application This is the affidavit of support verifying that your financial sponsor is willing to support you.

Statement of Interest

Students must submit an essay (about 500 words) with their application describing the following:

  • Why you want to study abroad and why you would like to study at MSU.
  • How studying abroad will help you meet your academic, professional and personal goals.
  • What personal strengths you have that support your acceptance into this program.
  • How you plan to apply your experience upon returning to your home institution.


If you meet all of the requirements listed above, please continue to the application required by Michigan State University.

Continue to Exchange Application >

For more information, please contact


Office Location:
International Center, Room 109