The Governance System

Michigan State University maintains three levels of regulations applicable to student conduct, all of which require student approval. In addition, there are rulings established by administrative offices and policies and ordinances established by the Board of Trustees. Information regarding the process through which the various regulations and policies are enacted is indicated below.

General Student Regulations
Student Group Regulations
Living Group Regulations
Administrative Rulings
All-University Policies

The above types of regulations, rulings, and policies are enacted in accordance with Article 5 of Michigan State University Student Rights and Responsibilities. A brief description of each may also be found under “Types of Rules.” References for further information include:

a. Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, Articles IV, VI, and VIII
b. Bylaws for Academic Governance, Articles 2, 4 and 5
c. ASMSU Constitution and Code of Operation
d. COGS Constitution and Bylaws
e. Major governing group constitutions
f. Living unit constitutions

MSU Ordinances – The Board of Trustees is granted authority by the constitution of the State of Michigan to legislate ordinances governing the conduct of all persons on University property. These ordinances are law, violations of which are misdemeanors and adjudicated through the courts. The legislative process need not involve anyone except the Board of Trustees, although in practice the administration contributes its advice and relevant student-faculty committees may also be consulted.

References for further information:

a. MSU Ordinances (
b. Bylaws of the Board of Trustees, Article XI (

Academic Regulation – Matters of academic policy, program and degree requirements are available in the following sources:

a. MSU Catalog – Academic Programs
b. MSU Catalog – Description of Courses

In addition to consulting these sources, students should contact the academic department of their major preference for specific program requirements.