Michigan State University

#138 / #48
Global Influence / U.S. Influence
Most Desirable School

Public research university in East Lansing, Michigan, United States

Michigan State University Featured Rankings

About Michigan State University

By James Barham, PhD

Michigan State University (MSU) was founded in 1855 as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the first of its kind in the US. Its original curriculum elevated the study of the natural sciences over the Classical languages and humanities, which was quite unusual at the time.

The state reorganized the curriculum just six years later, in 1861, restoring a more traditional balance between the sciences and the humanities. At this time, the school’s name was changed to State Agricultural College.

The following year, in 1862, the first of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts was passed by the US Congress under the leadership of President Lincoln. These Acts were intended to encourage the development of publicly supported institutions of higher learning throughout the US.

Michigan’s State Agricultural College was mentioned by the first Morrill Act as a model for the other states to emulate. In addition, the Act established a new system of public financing—the “land-grant” system—under which the states obtained the right to sell off certain federal lands for the purpose of setting up publicly supported colleges.

In 1863, following the passage of the Morrill Act, the agricultural college was designated Michigan’s official land-grant college; as such, women students were permitted to attend classes and the school’s curriculum was further expanded.

By 1925, the agricultural college’s curriculum had expanded so much that its name was changed to the Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science. The institution continued to rapidly evolve, and finally in 1964 its name was changed to its present form.

Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the US, with a student body numbering nearly 50,000.

MSU is associated with three Nobel laureates, namely,

  • Physicist, Albert Fert
  • Chemist, Robert Grubbs
  • Bacteriologist, Alfred Hershey, for physiology or medicine

Other prominent MSU connected individuals include the following:

  • Poet, Carolyn Forché
  • Novelists, Richard Ford, Jim Harrison & Thomas McGuane
  • Film directors, Michael Cimino & Sam Raimi
  • Actors, James Caan, Robert Ulrich, Tom Sizemore & Anthony Heald
  • Popular singer and songwriter, Paul Stookey
  • Rapper, Tee Grizzley
  • “Muckraking” journalist, Ray Stannard Baker
  • Intellectual historian and political theorist, Russell Kirk
  • Physicist and optical fiber pioneer, Donald Keck
  • Paleontologist, Robert L. Carroll
  • Existential psychologist, Rollo May
  • Social psychologist, Daniel Wegner
  • Laser-printer inventor, Gary Starkweather
  • Journalist and essayist, Susan Jacoby
  • Former International Brotherhood of Teamsters General President, James P. Hoffa
  • Current US Senator, Debbie Stabenow
  • Current Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer

According to Wikipedia, Michigan State University is a public land-grant research university in East Lansing, Michigan. MSU was founded in 1855 and served as a model for land-grant colleges and universities later created under the Morrill Act of 1862. The university was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, one of the country's first institutions of higher education to teach scientific agriculture. After the introduction of the Morrill Act, the college became coeducational and expanded its curriculum beyond agriculture. Today, MSU is one of the largest universities in the United States and has approximately 634,300 living alumni worldwide.

Michigan State University Admissions, Retention, and Graduation Information

Annual Applications Acceptance Graduation Rate Median SAT Score Median ACT Score
45,426 76% 81% 1210 26

How Much Does Michigan State University Cost To Attend?

Tuition (in-state)

How Much Do Michigan State University Graduates Make?

If you graduate from Michigan State University, then you can expect to earn an average of $63,200 per year. You also have a 93% chance of being employed after 10 years.

Michigan State University's Demographics

Demographic data is for full-time, on-campus students.

Student Body Under-Grads Graduates
43,677 38,566 5,111

Where is Michigan State University?

Michigan State University is located at , East Lansing MI 48824-1046

How Safe is Michigan State University?

Michigan State University has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%. East Lansing has a violent crime rate of less than .01% and a property crime rate of less than .01%.

What Is Michigan State University Known For?

Michigan State University is known for it's academic work in the following disciplines:

Michigan State University's Top Areas of Influence With Degrees Offered

Who Are Michigan State University's Most Influential Alumni?

Michigan State University's most influential alumni faculty include professors and professionals in the fields of Criminal Justice, Business, and Sociology. Here are some of Michigan State University's most famous alumni:

Rollo May
Rollo May
An American psychiatrist.
Alfred Hershey
Alfred Hershey
An American chemist.
Charles Bachman
Charles Bachman
An American computer scientist.
Eugene Parker
Eugene Parker
An American astronomer.
Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk
An American political theorist and writer.
Verghese Kurien
Verghese Kurien
An Indian entrepreneur, founder of dairy-cooperative Amul.
Theda Skocpol
Theda Skocpol
An American sociologist.
Walter Willett
Walter Willett
An American nutritionist.
Eli Broad
An American businessperson and philanthropist .
Liberty Hyde Bailey
Liberty Hyde Bailey
A U.S. botanist .
David Sloan Wilson
David Sloan Wilson
An American biologist.
Michael W. McConnell
An American judge.