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Non-MSU Programs

What is a Non-MSU Program?

A Non-MSU Program is an academic credit program that may be run by another university or an education abroad organization. Since these program are not run by Michigan State University, Michigan State assumes no responsibility or liability on non-MSU programs.

Some examples of Non-MSU programs are:

Priority Deadlines

Priority Deadlines

Students who submit their Non-MSU materials by the priority deadlines will be eligible to apply for the Office for Education Abroad scholarships. 

Priority Deadlines
Summer Participation: February 15th
Fall semester or academic year participation: February 15th
Winter Break/ Spring participation: September 24th

Late Applications will be accepted to the Office for Education Abroad AFTER the priority deadlines, but they will not be considered for EA Scholarships.

Finding a program

Thousands of programs exist outside of Michigan State University. You may need help narrowing down your options. You may search for programs in TWO ways:

  1. You can find programs using these Education Abroad Program Search Engines:
  2. You can make an appointment to meet with the Non-MSU Program EA Advisor in the EA Advising Center (108 International Center). To make an appointment, call 517-353-8922 or e-mail abroad(at)

Financial Aid & Scholarships

What are the requirements to use my financial aid abroad?

  • Complete ALL Non-MSU Application Process
  • Approved by MSU to receive academic credit from program provider/ host institution
  • Complete the education abroad program
  • Receive the minimum credit total from education abroad program

How does financial aid work on non-MSU programs?

Once the Non-MSU Program Application process is complete, the Office for Education Abroad forward yours program costs to the MSU Office of Financial Aid. Remember to receive aid you have to make sure that you have a current FAFSA on file. You should be able to apply almost any need-based or supplementary aid to your education abroad. This includes the MET (Michigan Educational Trust). 

How does aid get disbursed and how does the program provider get paid?

The Office of Financial Aid will notify you of your award amount and funds will be disbursed directly to you for payment to the program sponsor. No holds or outstanding bills can be on your account before aid can be awarded.

Your aid refund check will be mailed to your current address or directly deposited, if this is set up ahead of time. If you would like to have your funds deposited directly into your account, you should complete an online direct deposit form through Stuinfo under the student accounts tab.

When does aid get disbursed?

Aid cannot be disbursed earlier than 10 days before the start of your program or the start of MSU classes for the semester you are going abroad, depending on whichever is the later date.

If you need to pay for airfare or the program prior to the arrival of your refund, contact financial aid (353-5940) to enquire about a short term loan. If you need to defer the program provider payment, you should contact them to ask if they are willing to take your MSU financial aid award letter as an indication of future payment and will defer your payments until you receive aid, but it is your responsibility to make such arrangements. If not, the program provider may have other payment options for you.

What if I leave the program early or do not complete the minimum number of credits for the program?

MSU may place a hold on your account and require you repay all or part of the financial aid you received for education abroad if you withdraw from the program early without receiving academic credits for the time you were abroad or fail to complete the minimum number of credits you reported.


  • Non-MSU program participants may be eligible for some Office for Education Abroad scholarships. In order to be eligible to apply, however, you must submit your Non-MSU program participation materials to the Office for Education Abroad by the priority deadlines.
  • College and Departments typically offer scholarships for their students to apply to their Non-MSU Programs.
  • The Presidential Education Abroad Scholarship cannot be used on Non-MSU Programs.
  • If you receive outside scholarships, you must contact your scholarship sponsors to see if your scholarships are applicable to non-MSU education abroad programs.


Why choose a Non-MSU Program?

Occasionally, you are looking for a program experience, specific subject area, or price point that Michigan State does not offer. Non-MSU programs expand your options exponentially and you can find a unique program that MSU is not currently offering.

Can I still get academic credit on a Non-MSU Program?

YES, it is possible to get academic credit to fulfill a requirement on Non-MSU Programs. The Office for Education Abroad Non-MSU application process allows you to get pre-approval of your courses abroad so you know how the courses will be counted at MSU.

How do I make sure a program is good?

When look at non-MSU programs, it is important to find out who issues the transcripts for the program and meet with an advisor in the Education Abroad Advising Center who can check on the academic credentials and find out any feedback.

Can I use my Financial Aid to help pay for the program?

Yes! You can use financial aid to help pay for a Non-MSU Program as long as you complete the Office for Education Abroad Non-MSU Application Process and are receiving academic credit. Please note, that not all of your aid may be applicable to a Non-MSU program. We highly recommend that you make an appointment with financial aid to discuss the specifics of your financial aid package when doing an academic program through a non-MSU entity. See the Financial Aid tab for more information.

What should I do first?

Make an appointment to meet with the Non-MSU Program EA Advisor in the EA Advising Center (108 International Center). To make an appointment, call 517-353-8922 or e-mail abroad(at)

Are there any deadlines I have to consider?

Non-MSU Programs will have a quite a few deadlines that you need to consider. MSU will have priority deadlines (see Priority Deadlines for Non-MSU Participation tab), but the education abroad program provider will have deadlines you will have to adhere to as well. It is important that you adhere to both sets of deadlines.

How far in advance do I need to work on a Non-MSU program application?

Start this process EARLY. The Non-MSU program application process has multiple parts. Ideally you should apply within the first two weeks of the semester prior to your program departure. You will have a hard copy application portion and an online component. One form (Course Approval Form) will require signatures from advisors on campus and another form (Single Student Financial Aid Agreement Form) will require a signature from the program provider.