Transitioning to On-campus Living

As your time at Michigan State draws close now that you’ve attended AOP, planned your academic year and received your roommate assignment, we hope that this guide helps make your adjustment easier.

While moving to MSU, it is important to keep in contact with your new roommate. For the next nine months, and possibly longer, this person will be the one you spend much of your time with. From going to the dining halls for late night, to venting about your tough exams, this person will become central to your daily activities. To ensure your personal success with your roommate, we highly recommend you get to know them.

Ask questions regarding their daily habits – what time do they go to bed, do they like to sleep with a TV on, do they tend to come home late. It is crucial that you get to know your roommate's preferences so you can maintain a tranquil, easy friendship. We also recommend you both come up with a list of things you would like to bring to your new home and who will bring what so nothing is forgotten.

When you officially move into one of our residence halls, there is plenty of assistance for you. From residence assistants to tutoring, there is a plethora of MSU staff whenever you need something. An incredible asset to living in the residence hall is the service desks located on the first floor of the buildings. These service desks provide rentals of brooms, video game controllers for game rooms, board games and vacuums, as well as maps of campus, trash bags, toilet paper and so much more! 

Make sure you stop and visit your service desk once you’re on campus.

Engagement centers are spaces in every neighborhood that provide many resources, such as tutors, academic advisers, social and cultural activities, fitness classes and many other options to help keep you on track. These places are also a great place to get to know your neighborhood and make friends.

Your safety while staying with us is our top priority, and we have taken a variety of measures to ensure it.

  • The living areas can only be accessed through a code in a residence key card, so no strangers can get in.
  • In the case of emergency, green light emergency phones can be found throughout campus and on every floor of the residence halls.
  • East Lansing Police and Fire Departments are located on the campus grounds, so they are able to respond to an emergency on campus quickly.
  • For non-emergency medical needs, the Olin Health and MSU Counseling Centers are available to all students for the physical or mental needs at no extra charge.  
  • To stay up to date on emergencies, sign up for our alert system at


  • Community directors: Full-time, live-in staff members responsible for overseeing daily operations in a residence hall or apartment community; create a community that fosters residents’ academic excellence and personal growth.
  • Assistant community directors: Part-time, graduate level, live-in staff members responsible for developing an environment where students can excel academically and personally; supervise the resident assistant team and advise in-hall student organizations.
  • Intercultural aides: Live-in staff members who help students make successful cultural, social and academic transitions to MSU; part of the Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, they work closely with RAs to plan engaging activities to bring students together.
  • Resident assistants: Live-in, student staff members who support the academic community in the residence hall; responsible for developing and executing programming that allows for multicultural learning, character building and personal well-being.