MSU Museum

MSU Museum

Michigan’s first Smithsonian Institution affiliate

The MSU Museum was founded in 1857, two years after the establishment of the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan (known today as MSU) in 1855. The building features three floors with fifteen galleries and exhibit spaces throughout. In 2001, the Michigan State University Museum was named a Smithsonian Affiliate, formalizing an ongoing exchange of research, programs, exhibitions and collections.

The permanent collection is made up of over 1 million artifacts that mirror some of the research done on campus since 1857. These artifacts include an extensive quilt collection from across historical eras reflecting American history, a replica general store filled with historical pieces from an actual general store that closed in the 1920s, an original fur traders’ cabin from 1840, dinosaur bones and much more. Each collection is used for research, education, exhibition, outreach and engagement projects. Traveling exhibits from students and faculty can also be found in the museum on a rotating basis throughout the year.

By working closely with the College of Arts & Letters, the College of Education, the College of Natural Science, and the College of Social Science, the museum offers research, volunteer, internship and employment opportunities to students studying in these colleges, as well as students from other MSU colleges.

Frozen in time.

The MSU Museum features a replica of Stanley’s Crossroads Store, a general store from the 1920s that closed with all of the historical pieces inside.

The exterior of Stanley's Crossroads Store recreated at the MSU Museum.

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Snyder-Phillips Hall

Snyder-Phillips Hall

Home to the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities

Built in 1947 and located in North Neighborhood, Snyder-Phillips Hall is home to the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities (RCAH), one of MSU’s three degree-granting residential colleges. RCAH is a community of like-minded students pursuing degrees in the arts and humanities who are interested in civic engagement, history, ethics, the visual and performing arts and the study of languages and culture. The RCAH curriculum prepares students to take on issues locally and globally, with multidisciplinary courses in literature, music, dance, art, theatre, philosophy, culture, social justice, media, writing, film, creative work and more.  

All RCAH students major in Arts and Humanities. During their second year, students choose an Elective Pathway to pursue within the major. The Elective Pathway enables students to pursue their own particular interests within the scope of the RCAH major, connect to and complement courses and programs available outside of RCAH, and prepare for professional, academic, and other career opportunities. Students are required to complete 50 hours of volunteer or paid field experience prior to graduation, ensuring that they will have hands-on experience in their chosen pathway. With a post-grad placement rate of 100%, RCAH students can be found in public, private or governmental careers, or pursuing post-graduate degrees across the globe.   

Snyder-Phillips has an art studio, a language and media center with audio, video and digital art equipment, a music practice room, an art gallery specifically for student use for class and recreational projects and the RCAH theatre. The Gallery at Snyder-Phillips is a dining hall located right inside the building for students to enjoy, and there is a Sparty’s Café location, too.  

Interested students should list their major of interest as Arts and Humanities when filling out their application.

Two halls in one

Two halls, Snyder and Phillips, are connected to make one combined building. Students either live on the Snyder side or the Phillips side.

View of the front entrance to Snyder-Phillips Hall at Michigan State University.

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Wells Hall

Wells Hall

Visit one of the largest academic buildings on campus, the park-adjacent Wells Hall.

Wells Hall is the largest academic building on the MSU campus. It’s divided into four wings and houses the departments of mathematics, English and all of the languages. It also has a Starbucks, another popular gathering spot for students. 

The Department of Linguistics, Languages and Cultures is where you will find all of the majors and minors that MSU offers in different languages. Students can choose from over 17 languages to study, and even more are offered in a tutorial or course share format. In addition to language studies, the department offers degrees in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and linguistics, which is the study of human language, including sounds, words, sentences, meaning and more.

Right outside is People’s Park. Its history goes back to the spring of 1970, when people began setting up tents to explore alternative ways of living. They pooled funds to buy food that they cooked on campfires and they entertained themselves with games, music and political discussions. Today, People’s Park simply provides lots of beautiful outdoor study space for students. 

Wells Hall is also where you’ll find the Campus Center Cinema, which shows recently released movies for free to all MSU students. Plus, hundreds of prospective MSU students visit the hall in the summer for Green and White Days, our most popular open house events of the year!

People’s Park

In the spring of 1970, people began setting up tents in the space between Wells Hall, the International Center and Erickson Hall. There, they explored alternative ways of living as a community.

The grassy area of People's Park shaded by many tall, green trees with a sidewalk that cuts through it.

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Baker Hall

Baker Hall

Houses the Department of Anthropology, School of Criminal Justice and School of Social Work

Found steps away from the Red Cedar River and Snyder-Philips Hall, Baker Hall is home to the Department of Anthropology, School of Criminal Justice and the School of Social Work at Michigan State. Each of these areas of study offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees.  

The Department of Anthropology is a highly interconnected, diverse, theoretically engaged and practice-oriented research and teaching program. Students learn about how biology, culture and environment interact and impact the human experience and work to make a difference in the lives of people both globally and locally.

The School of Criminal Justice is the oldest continuous degree-granting criminal justice program in the United States. Each year the school conducts cutting-edge research to understand problems and emerging risks in areas like firearm violence, cybercrime, environmental crime and product counterfeiting, while also engaging with policymakers to advance justice. Students with a degree in criminal justice can be found working in local, state, national, international, public and private careers.

As part of the College of Social Science, the School of Social Work has accredited Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work and field education programs. The school is also committed to educating students on ethical, competent, responsive and innovative social work practice, as well as conducting high-quality research that will improve the well-being of the most vulnerable in society. Students can find advising for the College of Social Science in Berkey Hall, just down the road on West Circle Drive.

Close to the action

Baker Hall is located near Snyder-Phillips Hall, the Red Cedar River and Grand River Avenue, which is lined with many shops and restaurants.

Straight-on view of the front entrance to Baker Hall at Michigan State University

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Case Hall

Case Hall

Home to James Madison College, a residential college that provides a liberal education in public affairs

Built in 1961 and located in South Neighborhood, Case Hall is home to James Madison College (JMC), one of MSU’s three degree-granting residential colleges. The hall was named after Albert and Sarah Case, a football captain and instructor respectively, during their time on campus.  

James Madison College is a community of like-minded students pursuing degrees that seek to solve political, legal, social and economic issues affecting our world. With a multidisciplinary perspective and focus on applied social science, the JMC curriculum prepares students to face real world challenges with maturity, creativity and responsibility.

James Madison College offers four distinct majors: comparative cultures and politics, international relations, political theory and constitutional democracy, and social relations and policy. Each of these disciplines examine current and past public affairs, policy and issues while also helping students build communication and problem-solving skills. Students are required to complete field experience prior to graduation, ensuring that they will have hands-on experience working in their chosen field. With a post-grad placement rate of about 97%, JMC students can be found in public, private or governmental careers, or in graduate programs across the globe.

Case Hall is also home to a Sparty’s Café and South Pointe dining hall, which has home-grown options from farms across the State of Michigan.

Interested students should list James Madison as their major of interest when filling out their application.  

Community in your classes

On average, first-year James Madison courses have a class size of 25 students. This makes it much easier to get to know your peers and professors.

Exterior of Case Hall at Michigan State University with large trees growing nearby.

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Social and Cultural Studies

Social and Cultural Studies

What sets MSU apart in social and cultural studies is a focus on inclusivity and equity, numerous service-learning and community engagement opportunities, and a unique path for each student’s interests. Spartan graduates are human-focused leaders who change the world.

Tour Stops

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Baker Hall

Case Hall

MSU Museum

Snyder-Phillips Hall

Wells Hall