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First Year Experience

Once you become an Eagle, you’ll find opportunities and an atmosphere you won’t find at any other school. The authentic MSU experience is the reason we are consistently listed among the very best regional universities in the South. You’ll find faculty dedicated to your goals and helping you achieve them. You’ll find exceptional academic programs that give you the skills, knowledge and confidence to succeed in your career upon graduation. Faculty members celebrate your success and support you in and out of the classroom. Plus, you'll have access to staff and services focused on helping you succeed from the moment you arrive until the day you accept your degree. We offer a safe community where you will feel encouraged to connect with others, pursue your interests and complete an important chapter in your life story. 


Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR)

After you've been accepted to MSU, your first step is to register for a Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) session. During your SOAR session, you will register for classes, have your photo taken for your EagleCard (that’s your student ID), sign up for a meal plan and more. During SOAR, you can also:
  • Talk with a financial aid counselor
  • Learn more about programs and services during the Academic and Service Fair
  • Meet with a representative from the Office of Student Housing
  • Talk with a representative from your academic department of interest
  • Visit the University Store
  • Socialize with other first-year students
  • Talk to current Eagles about ways to get involved on campus


New Student Days

Your first experience as an Eagle will most likely be Freshman Move-in Day, typically held the Wednesday before classes begin. Friendly volunteers who are currently Eagles and MSU staff members will help you navigate campus, find your residence hall and move your items into your room, apartment or suite. Freshman Move-in Day kicks off New Student Days, which are filled with fun and informative activities to help you acclimate to campus, socialize with other new and returning Eagles and learn about organizations and activities available to you on and off campus. 


First Year Seminar

All incoming, first-time freshman at MSU are required to take First Year Seminar (FYS.) The goal of FYS is to set students' expectations of life in an academic setting. FYS will also help you develop your communication and intellectual skills through the interdisciplinary exploration of a common regional, national or global theme.


Student Success

From the first day you arrive on campus to long after you have graduated, you will find resources to support your learning and long-term career success through our Center for Student Academic Success. Whether you need guidance planning your class schedule or help studying for that crucial exam, The Center for Student Academic Success has the resources to help you achieve your goals. The center’s resources include:
  • Academic Services: Professional advisors at MSU will answer any questions about your classes, University procedures or your future career. You will receive specialized attention from an academic advisor assigned to you based on your major.
  • Tutoring & Learning Center: You can get cost-free assistance with academic challenges through the University’s Tutoring & Learning Center. You can meet with tutors face-to-face or receive online tutoring through Blackboard.
  • Office of Career Services: Current Eagles preparing to enter the job market and Eagle alumni wanting to advance their careers have a lifetime resource through MSU’s Office of Career Services. The office's staff can help with building your resume, dressing professionally, networking and mock interviews. Career Services also assists you in gaining valuable experience while you earn your degree through internships and co-ops. 
  • Student Eagle Diversity Center: The goal of the Eagle Diversity Education Center is to create a welcoming and inclusive academic environment which embraces minority culture while providing a sense of community. Services and programming enhance academic and social connections while fostering positive collaborations with faculty, staff, academic departments and campus organizations.

For more information about the first year experience at MSU, visit First Year Programs.