Michigan State University is also featured in our ranking Top 50 Bachelor's Degree Programs in Psychology.
Undergraduate Psychology at Michigan State University
At Michigan State University, the psychology department is part of the College of Social Sciences, and there are over 50 faculty members in this department. Their specialties include the six main disciplines of behavioral neuroscience, clinical, social/personality, organizational, cognition, and ecological psychology. Undergraduate students are encouraged to get involved in research in different fields to help them discover their passions in psychology.
When planning coursework, students first choose between a bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degree which determines the coursework needed to fulfill approximately 90 credit hours of general requirements. The former requires significantly more mathematics and science classes while the latter focuses on humanities and writing. The department also offers a minor and an option for students wanting to teach psychology.
In terms of departmental requirements for a bachelor's, students must complete 31 or 32 credit hours of psychology classes including three required classes, Introductory Psychology, Data Analysis in Psychological Research, and Research Design and Measurement in Psychological Research, as well as another four classes chosen from specific lists. The remaining nine hours are electives and allow students to focus on their particular area of interest.
About Michigan State University
Opening in 1865 as the first land-grant university, Michigan State University received land from the federal government to create the first science-based college that focused on agricultural advancements. Since then, the East Lansing school has expanded to offer over 200 different programs in a variety of fields. Known worldwide as a major public research university, Michigan State has attracted over 5500 faculty members as well as more than 55,000 students each year from every state and more than 100 countries.
Overall, the university's mission focuses on providing innovative solutions for societal problems, especially those that affect underprivileged communities. In all disciplines, faculty members emphasize the responsibility to community that comes with influence and education. They also work to hone the critical thinking and analysis skills of all students regardless of their individual majors.
The U.S. News and World Report has taken note and ranked the school #33 in its Top Public Schools list and #81 for National Universities. For the 2017/2018 school year, Money magazine ranked the school #30 in terms of best value for tuition.
Michigan State University Accreditation Details
Michigan State University has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) continuously since 1915. This is important because it provides assurance to both students and future employers that a degree from this university equates to a complete education and preparation for professional life. Accreditation is also required by the government in order for students to receive federal financial aid in the form of grants and subsidized loans. Periodically, at least every 10 years, the school undergoes a follow-up evaluation by the HLC to ensure that certain benchmarks are still being met. This last occurred at Michigan State University during the 2015/2016 school year, and the accreditation was renewed with the next review set for the 2025/2026 year.
Michigan State University Application Requirements
Students applying to the undergraduate psychology department at Michigan State University need to first gain admittance to the university overall before a particular department. Freshman applicants need to submit a completed application along with $65 fee, high school transcripts, SAT or ACT score, and a personal statement. Prospective students also have the opportunity to indicate psychology as their desired major for concurrent admission to the College of Social Sciences.
While there are no particular requirements in terms of scores or prior coursework, admission is fairly competitive with an acceptance rate of around 65% according to U.S. News and World Report. The middle 50% of entering students achieved a GPA higher than 3.5 and ACT scores between 23 and 28 or SAT scores between 1120 and 1290. Recommended coursework in high school includes four years of English, three each of math and social sciences, two years of science, and two years of the same foreign language.
Michigan State University has no official deadline for undergraduate admission, but students are advised to submit their applications as early as possible and not later than November 1st for the highest chances of admission as well as for consideration of scholarships. The admissions board evaluates applications as they come in and admit students on a rolling basis until all seats are filled for the semester.
Tuition and Financial Aid
Tuition costs are dependent on Michigan state residency status. Students who qualify for in-state tuition are charged roughly $15,000 per year for tuition and fees. Out-of-state students will pay around $40,000 each year. The university estimates that around 70% of undergraduates receive financial aid in the form of grants, scholarships, federal aid, and work-study programs.
Simply filing a FAFSA with the U.S. Department of Education makes students eligible for all need-based assistance provided by the school and the federal government. These funds are based primarily on the student's ability to pay and are awarded to students in the order of admission until the total funding limit is reached. Michigan State University also awards merit-based scholarships for students who demonstrate exceptional academic performance or commitment to service. Most of these do not require submission of any additional information after the application. Other scholarships are offered by outside organizations including many major-specific awards. For psychology majors, the American Psychological Foundation and the International Honor Society of Psychology Students are two examples.
Others students choose to help fund their education with work-study positions. These are on-campus jobs that either directly pay the student or provide tuition credit. New students often find work in the cafeteria, library, or general office, but as students become more established in their majors, they can transition to a position doing research or as a teaching assistant. This experience is directly related to their future careers and can help when looking for a first job after graduation.
While psychology is a rather broad discipline, there are many opportunities during a student's undergraduate career to specialize and become an expert in a particular area. Michigan State University's Department of Psychology focuses on the service, industrial, and research aspects of the field to provide students with the skills they need to excel after graduation.