University Resources and Services for Graduate Students

VI. University Resources and Services for Graduate Students

The University provides a wide array of services to students to assist them in adjusting to the rigors and inevitable stresses that go with a rigorous academic life.

  1. Academic Facilities

    1. Student Services

      Michigan State University provides extensive student personnel services to assist students and enhance the educational experience. Michigan State University recognizes that the total development of the individual - personal, social, and physical, as well as intellectual - is of equal importance.

      The Vice President for Student Affairs and Services has general administrative responsibility for all student personnel matters. The multiple services and responsibilities are carried out through the offices of Coordinated Minority Student Programs, Counseling, Financial Aids, Intramural Sports, Recreative Services, Placement Services (including Student Employment and the Career Information Center), Student Life, and University Housing Programs. The Student Life area includes Campus Life Orientation, Health and Alcohol Education, Judicial Affairs, Off-Campus Housing and Commuter Programs, Service Learning, Student Activities, Student and Leadership Development, and Student Withdrawals and Records.

    2. Michigan State University Libraries

      It is strongly suggested that you take advantage of the library tours in order to more thoroughly familiarize yourself with all the available resources. There are many branch libraries on campus.


      • Support
      • Computer Store
      • Statistical consulting
      • Programming Requests - This is a professional group that charges professional fees for computer work. They can offer some statistical help although they are limited in this area. They can do just about any computer programming work. The student will be given an estimate of charges which student must approve before job is performed.
      • Computer Labs
    4. Bookstore

      The Spartan Bookstore is located in the International Center on Shaw Lane. Off-campus bookstores are located in the East Lansing area.

    5. Learning Resources Center

      This is a self-paced, individualized learning center that offers free assistance to students who want to improve their study skills. Its goal is to help you develop the strategies and techniques you need to be successful student. Workshops on specific study skills are offered throughout the year.

    6. Service Learning Center

      This is a volunteer program that provides students the opportunity to learn more about different work environments while providing community service. Staff are available to assist students in choosing a placement that meets their interests.

    7. The Writing Center

      This center offers writing consultation to graduate as well as undergraduate students. One on one consultations are best for small papers or projects like vitas, abstracts and cover letters, while peer response writing groups offer help developing drafts of larger projects like research and conference papers, and even theses and dissertations. The center also has a library with books on resumes, vitas and cover letters, and examples of all of the above. Call 432-3610 to make an appointment, or email for grammatical questions.

    8. Career Services Network

      The Career Development and Placement Services office assists students in career advising and seeking employment upon graduation. Their staff does workshops, classes and individual advising on topics such as how to interview successfully and steps to creating a well-written resume. You may also interview for internships or full-time employment through the Career Placement office. More information can be found in 113 Student Services Building. The Career Information Center, located in room 6 Student Services Bldg. (353-6474) provides up-to-date information on career possibilities, self-evaluation tools, and resource material on career choice, planning and strategy. The Graduate School also provides career advising services.

    9. CIC Traveling Scholar Program

      MSU is a member of the Committee on Institutional Cooperation. Through this committee's traveling scholar program a doctoral student can take a limited amount of course work at any Big Ten University or the University of Chicago. Participants in this program normally pay tuition at MSU at MSU rates for courses taken at other participating institutions. A doctoral student interested in this program should contact the Office of the Graduate School (355-0300) for instructions and formal processing.

    10. IT Services Training

      Michigan State University IT Services Training offers a variety of non-credit computing courses and workshops. Courses cover a wide range of topics on computing for the purpose of job training, career development, and/or personal improvement.

  2. Health Facilities

    1. Health Insurance

      Michigan State University and the Council of Graduate Students worked together to offer graduate assistants coverage beginning Fall Semester 1994. "Student only" coverage will be automatically provided, at no cost to graduate assistants. Michigan State University will provide a full twelve months of coverage if your appointment is at least nine months. Those with a Fall Semester assistantship are provided six months of coverage, beginning August 15. A Spring Semester reappointment extends health insurance benefits for an additional six months. Spring Semester only appointments include health insurance coverage beginning January 1 through Summer Semester (August 14). If you wish to enroll your legal spouse and/or dependent children, please contact the MSU Benefits office. Questions regarding enrollment, premium payment and coverage should be directed to Blue Care Network at 1-(800)-662-6667. Questions or issues that cannot be resolved with Blue Care Network may be directed to the MSU Solutions Center at 1407 South Harrison Road, Room 140 Nisbet Building.

    2. Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD)

      Staff specialists available to respond to mobility, visual, hearing, alternative learner, and other handicapper populations to enable their involvement in University activities. Other resources are available to students with special needs.

    3. Counseling Center

      Main Office: Student Services Building, 556 East Circle Dr. Room 207, (517)355-8270

      Students should feel free to contact the Counseling Center for personal concerns and crisis. Professional counseling and psychological services are offered to assist with personal, as well as career concerns. All services are confidential. Initial consultations are free of charge; all services are free to students carrying 7 or more credits. In addition to professional counseling a self-management laboratory and workshops are offered.

    4. Olin Health Center

      The Student Health Service is located in Olin Health Center. In the event of an emergency, no matter what time of day, go directly to Sparrow Hospital, St. Lawrence or Michigan Capital Medical Center if possible. Otherwise go to the nearest emergency center.

    5. Women's Resource Center

      The Women's Resource Center serves as a referral service and advocate of women's issues for women faculty, staff and students. They sponsor many campus programs and workshops on women's issues.

    6. Intramural Sports Facilities

      Students have access to equipment and facilities in the intramural facilities located in the IM-West, IM-East, and IM-Circle. Students must present a current MSU student ID and a picture ID in order to be admitted to these facilities and borrow the equipment. Use of most of the facilities is free to currently enrolled students, although there are a few exceptions, such as a small charge for the use of the weight room in IM-East and IM-West, as well as fees for attending group exercise classes.

  3. Transportation and Parking On Campus

    1. Parking On Campus

      Any vehicle you bring on campus must be registered through the Department of Public Safety. Required student registration of motor vehicles can be done through the Department of Public Safety's Office for Parking and Permits between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Generally, students with assistantships are eligible to obtain parking permits which allow parking at several lots throughout the campus. Graduate students without assistantships have permits allowing them to park in commuter lots on the outer edge of the campus. To obtain a parking permit the applicant must present their vehicle registration, student ID, driver's license and, if appropriate, last year's gate card.

      If you do not have a graduate assistantship, you may, under special circumstances, qualify for a parking permit. For example, if your vehicle is necessary in performing the duties for a job you hold on campus, you may wish to apply for a parking permit. You will need to go to DPS and fill out a Special Request form for a parking permit. A member of the staff of DPS will review your request and if they feel you need a parking permit for campus they will give you the opportunity to buy one.

      The Department of Public Safety, Parking Division, can be contacted to answer any further questions.

    2. Buses

      The Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA) provides bus service to all parts of the campus and connections with CATA routes serving the Lansing and East Lansing area.

    3. Bikes

      The University maintains bicycle racks throughout the campus. Bikes should be locked to these racks when parked. Bikes are not permitted in campus buildings. Improperly parked bikes are subject to impoundment by the Department f Public Safety. Bicycle registration through the MSU Department of Public Safety or the cities of East Lansing or Lansing is required. Also visit MSU Bikes for more information.

  4. Graduate Student Organizations

    1. Council of Graduate Students (COGS)

      COGS is the official graduate student organization at Michigan State University. Officers and departmental representatives (one representative per department for the entire University) are voting members. The primary objective is improvement of the academic, social, and economic position of graduate students at MSU. The organization has official delegates to the Graduate Council, the Academic Council and standing committees thereof, and several all-university and presidential committees. Through membership in these and other bodies, COGS participates in decisions on such matters as tuition and fees, the grading system, traffic regulations, academic and extracurricular programs of the university, graduate assistant stipends, improvements in on- and off-campus student living conditions, academic freedom and responsibilities, student representation in university government, and the selection of principal administrative officers. Meetings are open to all graduate students. For further information, contact the department for the name of your representative.

      COGS offers a wide range of services and programs to graduate level students including the following:

      • MSU Student Food Bank: COGS and ASMSU jointly established a Student Food Bank to address the problems of students and their families with financial hardship. The SFB is located at Olin Health Center, and hours are 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday evenings. Students may visit bi-monthly. For more information, or to volunteer, stop by the office (Olin Health Center, 463 E. Circle Drive Rm. 151).
      • Copy Center: COGS maintains a copier center next to its office. Open to all graduates of the MSU community, the COGS copy center features three high quality Xerox copiers for use at the lowest rates available. This center charges only $0.04 per 8 ½ x 11 copy. We also offer 8 ½ x 14 copies at $0.05 per page, 11 x 17 at $0.06 per copy, and color copies printed starting at $0.20 per page. Fax can be sent for $.25/fax. Cash or check only. The COGS copy center is able to provide any advanced features such as collating, reducing and enlarging, two-sided copying, and automatic sheet feed. The office staff is always available to assist you.
      • Student Legal Aid: COGS and ASMSU have joined together to provide a wide range of legal services to MSU students. This service is free to all graduate students. The plan enables students to consult a staff attorney on many legal matters such as landlord/tenant problems, small claims, traffic offenses, and minor criminal/civil matters. For more specialized needs, students are refereed to other area attorneys.
        The Students Defender Division of legal services provides students with advice concerning University regulations, judiciary programs, and any other type of paralegal help necessary to resolve intra-university problems. Students Legal Services is located in Room 329, Student Services Building. Due to the large number of phone calls and potential problems, no legal advice of any kind will be given over the phone. Call 353-3716 or stop by the office to make an appointment.
      • $300 Short Term Loans: ASMSU administers a $300 loan program for COGS. To obtain a loan, bring a valid MSU ID and a picture ID to 307 Student Services. The loan is interest-free for 8 weeks. Since the loan fund is a limited resource, money may not always be available. Loans are not available during the last 3 weeks of any term.
      • $500 Short Term Loans: The Office of Financial Aid administers a COGS-funded $500 loan program. Applications for the $500 loan are available in 252 Student Services, and take 2-3 business days to process. Make sure you write ³COGS LOAN² clearly at the top of the application form! This loan is interest-free for up to 60 days
      • Endowment Funding: We offer Conference grants (you can be awarded up to $300 for a Conference grant). Apply before the first Friday of classes of the semester in which the conference will take place. Awards are drawn by lottery.
      • City of East Lansing Parking Permits for sale! The Council of Graduate Students has teamed up with the City of East Lansing to sell reduced cost graduate student permits in the Downtown East Lansing Division Street ramp (Lot 10 - Colorful Parking Garage at Division & Albert Streets). Permit holders can park in the designated permit area in the upper levels using an access card purchased at the COGS Office. Bring with you: vehicle registration, student ID, and tuition statement showing you have paid your current semesters COGS tax. Cost is $150 (check or money orders only) and are activated within minutes of purchase.
    2. Faculty-Professional Woman's Association

      The purpose of the Faculty-Professional Women's Association is to provide a forum for and support of the various interests of the present and future professional women at Michigan State University. Graduate students are eligible to join the association as non-voting members. The dues for MSU graduate students is about 25% of the full dues. Non-voting members cannot vote in elections or on issues, nor can they hold a regular board position or office. Other than that, they have all the other rights and privileges of regular members.

  5. University Guides and References

    1. Graduate Student Rights and Responsibilities

      The GSRR specifically addresses student conduct, academic pursuits, keeping of records and publications. It describes procedures for formulating regulations governing student conduct and for providing due process in the adjudication of student disciplinary cases. It also defines channels and procedures for student complaints and grievances.

    2. Funding Guide

      The Graduate School has produced a Guide for Graduate Students, Graduate Professional Students and Postdoctoral Fellows, to assist students in identifying funding sources such as grants, fellowships, scholarships and awards.

    3. Resource Guide

      A helpful resource guide to campus programs and services, and also includes rules, regulations, rights and responsibilities that have been established in the interest of intellectual and personal development while protecting individual freedoms. It is published annually by the Department of Student Life in the Division of Student Affairs and Services.

    4. Academic Programs

      Academic Programs (University catalogs) are the primary sources for university regulations, policies, procedures, costs, and academic program requirements.

    5. The COGS Graduate Student Handbook

      The COGS Graduate Student Handbook is published annually by the Council of Graduate Students and is available in Room 316 Student Services.

    6. Graduate Student Career and Professional Development

      PREP is the MSU Graduate School career and professional development model, designed to help you plan for a successful doctoral experience and a smooth transition into your future role in academia, government, industry, corporations, or agencies. The acronym PREP foregrounds for professional skills that are key to your doctoral and professional career:planning, resilience, engagement and professionalism.

    7. Spartan Life

      Spartan Life provides valuable and important information for your engagement at Michigan State University. This handbook and resource guide compiles much of the essential information you will need to optimize your Spartan experience.

    8. The Schedule of Courses and Academic Handbook

      The Schedule of Courses and Academic Handbook, published each semester, provides selected updated information on courses, university regulations, policies, procedures, costs, and the academic calendar.

    9. The Faculty and Staff Directory

      The Faculty and Staff Directory is published by the Office of the Registrar. Copies for personal use may be purchased at the MSU Union Central Store or the MSU Bookstore or Neuroscience Program graduate students may obtain a copy from the Neuroscience Program office.

    10. The Graduate School Guide to the Preparation of Master's Theses And Doctoral

      The Graduate School Guide to the Preparation of Master's Theses And Doctoral Dissertations describes the final procedures for degree completion and manuscript requirements for your thesis or dissertation.

    11. The Graduate Post

      A newsletter published every semester by the Graduate School. Its purpose is to highlight activities in graduate education at MSU and elsewhere, to publish opportunities available for professional enrichment through fellowships, scholarships and study programs, to announce important deadline dates and announce upcoming colloquia and symposia.

    12. COGS-Newsletter

      A general information newsletter published at least once a year by the Council of Graduate Student (COGS).

    13. MSU Today

      A weekly newspaper geared to University and faculty interest.

    14. The State News

      The MSU daily newspaper that contains news and a listing of events of interest.

  6. Directory of Frequently Contacted Offices

    1. Neuroscience Program

      Neuroscience Graduate Program Director, Dr. Greg Swain - 353-1090
      Graduate Student Affairs Administrator, Julie Delgado- 884-9523

    2. College of Natural Science

      Dean, Dr. Phillip M. Duxbury - 355-4473

    3. Graduate School

      Dean, Dr. Thomas D. Jeitschko - 353-3220