Academic Policies

Academic Policies

Classification of Students

For purposes of enrollments and determining eligibility for certain student activities, a division of students by class is made by the Office of the Registrar at the end of each semester on the basis of the number of credits earned and according to the following schedule:

  • less than 28 (freshman)
  • 28 to 55 (sophomore)
  • 55 to 87 (junior)
  • 88 and above (senior)

Students who have matriculated at Michigan State University and have achieved junior standing (56 semester credits) may not transfer additional credits to MSU from two-year institutions.

Email Communications

The College of Engineering utilizes the Confidential Message Center to send important messages regarding such topics as college admission, academic warnings, etc.  If you receive a message from the Confidential Message Center it will have a subject line that reads "Office of the Registrar Confidential Message" and you will be directed to a sign-in page. Sign in with your MSUNetID and password to retrieve your message.  You may also retrieve your message from the Office of the Registrar's website (login).

You are given the option to delete messages from view, but you're not deleting messages from the system.  You can retrieve past messages by clicking on the "View All Messages" button.

MSU Student Email Communications Notice can be found on the Technology at MSU Guidelines & Policies website.

Tuition, Fees & Refunds

Tuition, Fees and Refunds information can be found on the MSU Controller's Office website.

Late Drops, Adds & Changes

See the Registrar's Office Academic Calendar for all important dates regarding enrollment and registration.

After the first 1/14th of the term of instruction (the fifth class day of the Fall and Spring semesters), students must process adds and section changes at the teaching department and must obtain approval from the authorizing officers (Instructor, Assistant Dean, Department Chair). Drops after the middle of the term of instruction must be processed by the Assistant/Associate Dean's office of the student's college.

The last day for dropping courses with no grade reported is the middle of the term of instruction. Click on the section number of the course in the Schedule of Courses Schedule of Courses to ascertain the date.

Hold Policy

A hold may be placed to prevent you from doing one or more of the following: being admitted or readmitted, enrolling, becoming registered, receiving your diploma or certificate, receiving a transcript, or receiving financial aid.  Among the reasons a hold may be placed are: past due financial obligations to any department, office, or unit of the university, the need to obtain academic advising, or as a result of judicial actions.  A complete description of the reasons a hold may be placed and the actions that a hold may prevent can be found in the Academic Programs section of the University catalog.

In order to resolve, or clear a hold, you must contact the college/department/office which placed the hold.

If you have a hold which prevents enrollment you will not be able to adjust your schedule through the enrollment system.  This includes enrolling in a course, adding, changing, or dropping sections.  Enrollment holds will be listed on your monthly and Registration Billing Statements and can be reviewed on STU-INFO.

If you have a hold which stops transcripts, no transcripts will be given to you or persons or agencies outside the University.  An exception may be granted by the Controller's Office, if the transcript is for a prospective employer.

If you have a hold which stops diplomas, your diploma will not be issued to you.

If you have a hold which stops admission, you will not be able to be admitted or readmitted to the University.

If you have a hold which stops financial aid processing, your financial aid application will not be processed either in whole or in part.

For a list of offices placing nonacademic holds visit the MSU Office of the Registrar's Hold Policy page.

Academic Standing - Probation, Recess, Dismissal


The statement on ACADEMIC STANDING OF UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS (ASUS) was designed to create an early warning system to prevent students from getting too deeply into academic difficulty. The university requires a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.00 or above for graduation. The statement on ASUS establishes a system whereby at the end of any semester that a student's cumulative GPA  falls below 2.00, the student is assigned to a warning status designated as probation.

Under the statement on ASUS, the term "probation" is the functional equivalent of an academic warning. Students  placed on probation retain the right to participate in all university activities and retain all of the rights and privileges available to any student who is not currently subject to academic recess or dismissal.

In addition to the criteria contained in this statement on Academic Standing of Undergraduate Students (ASUS), undergraduate students who wish to be considered for federal financial aid must be making satisfactory progress toward the bachelor's degree as defined in the Financial Aid for Undergraduates section of this publication.

Note: We strongly recommend that students meet with their advisor regularly to receive assistance with major selection, schedule planning, test-taking and study skills, utilizing resources, career planning, and much more.

The Credit-No Credit System

The Credit-No Credit System is intended to allow students to study outside their major field of study without jeopardizing their grade-point averages.  The full policy is available online.  For students in the College of Engineering, CR/NC cannot be used on any course that is listed as part of the student's degree program.  Students should confer with their academic advisor before making any decisions on CR/NC courses.