MSU enrollment slightly increases; numbers of international students up

Contact: Tom Oswald, Media Communications, (517) 432-0920, cell (517) 281-7129,

Oct 24, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich.—Michigan State University’s student enrollment for the 2008-09 academic year stands at 46,648, up slightly from last year’s 46,045.

Official enrollment figures were presented today at the MSU Board of Trustees’ meeting.

The university received 25,589 undergraduate applications this year, an increase of more than 1,000 from 2007.

The entering class (summer and fall enrolled students) is 7,378, up from last year’s 7,373. It includes 19.1 percent, or 1,409, out-of-state and international students, in alignment with MSU’s Boldness by Design commitment to “expand international reach.”

“This growth reflects the ongoing perception by students and families around the world, as well as those in Michigan, of the value of a Michigan State University education,” said Linda Stanford, associate provost for academic services.  

The entering class is ethnically diverse, with 16.3 percent students of color and 2 percent unknown/not reported.

“We’re a global university and we want all of our students to be global citizens,” Stanford said. “We want them to be able to interact with a diverse range of people when they graduate, and to do that you need a student body composed of people with different talents, abilities and life experiences.”

Total graduate enrollment, including graduate-professional students, is 10,311, which is an increase of 3.4 percent from 2007.

On the graduate level, there are 1,737 new first-time graduate students, an increase of 6.3 percent from last year.

New graduate-professional enrollment totals approximately 474 students, which is consistent with the medical schools’ enrollment planning.

Other enrollment figures:

  • A majority of students—36,337 or nearly 78 percent—are undergraduates.
  • More than half of MSU students—19,264 or 53 percent—are women.
  • MSU’s largest college by enrollment is the College of Social Science with 7,076 students. The second largest is the Eli Broad College of Business (6,789 students) and third is the College of Natural Science (5,786 students).