Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. We hope this information assists you with preparing to dine on campus!

If you are looking for housing information, please visit liveon.msu.edu. Additionally, if you have health and safety questions or you're looking for the latest information on university requirements related to COVID-19, please visit the Together We Will website.
 

 

Students dining at Akers

GENERAL

When do fall semester dining plans end?

Fall semester dining plans and Combo-X-Change end on Friday, Dec. 16, when final exam week ends.

 

What are the current dining rates?

  • Public rates for all-you-care-to-eat locations:
    • Breakfast: $7.75 plus tax
    • Lunch/dinner: $12 plus tax
    • Children, ages 2-9: $5.75 plus tax
    • Children under 2: Free
       
  • Grab & Go for Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall: à la carte
     
  • Dining plans:
    • On-campus dining plans for 2022-23: $3,226 for Silver, $3,376 for Gold, $3,526 for Platinum
    • Off-campus dining plan: $7.75 per meal (no tax)
    • Faculty/staff dining plan: $7.75 per meal plus tax
       
  • Residential dining halls and MSU Union Food Court are cashless operations. Other retail locations continue to accept cash.
     
  • Mobile ordering is included with Silver, Gold, and Platinum dining plans. Guests paying with Spartan Cash or debit/credit card in the Transact Mobile Ordering app pay an à la carte price structure. As of Aug. 31, mobile ordering is available at Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall. Please note these locations are open Monday-Friday.

 

Brody Hall from the outside

HOURS OF OPERATION

Where can I find current hours of operation?

Visit go.msu.edu/dininghours for current hours of operation. Please be mindful that they change from time to time due to staffing circumstances or university holidays. The top of the page outlines recent changes and calls attention to any important updates.

 

Are hours different for mobile ordering?

When you open the Transact Mobile Ordering app, you can see what locations are accepting orders and the menu of options. 

Mobile ordering is available at Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall. These locations are currently open Monday-Friday. Visit go.msu.edu/dininghours for current hours of operation.

Learn more about mobile ordering at eatatstate.com/mobilemenu.

 

When do fall semester hours begin?

Fall semester hours of operation will officially begin on Tuesday, Sept. 6 after Labor Day weekend. Hours of operation for the fall semester and other time frames leading up to that can be found on our dining hours page.


 

 

Combo-X-Change example

COMBO-X-CHANGE

What is Combo-X-Change?

  • Combo-X-Change is commonly referred to as CX or combos.
  • This dining plan benefit allows students, faculty, and support staff to grab a meal on the go from a variety of locations across campus.

 

Who can use CX meals?

Silver, Gold, or Platinum Dining Plan

  • CX meals are included with Silver, Gold, and Platinum dining plans (they don’t cost anything extra).
  • All three plans (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) include 12 CX meals per week from Sunday through Saturday.
  • Students can use more than one CX meal per day. They do not carry over to the next week, but the count of 12 will reset every Sunday.

Off-campus Student or Faculty/Staff Dining Plan

  • If you have an off-campus student or faculty/staff dining plan, you can use each meal access to enter an all-you-care-to-eat location OR as a Combo-X-Change meal.

 

Where can CX meals be used?

Combo-X-Change locations are listed below. Visit our dining hours page to note which locations are open for the fall semester.

  • All-you-care-to-eat locations (takeout)
  • Sparty’s mini-markets
  • Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place
  • Starbucks at 1855 Place and Wells Hall
  • All venues in the International Center food court
  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility
  • MSU Concessions (CX On the Go venue at Spartan Stadium and Spartanville venue at Breslin Center)
  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion
  • Holden Dining Hall
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Mobile order locations
    • Included with the DineOn Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans. Be sure your payment option is 'Mobile ComboX' in the app.
    • If you have an off-campus student or faculty/staff dining plan, you can use Spartan Cash or a debit/credit card for mobile ordering.

*Please note the MSU Union team recently announced that after many great years of serving guests in the building, Biggby Coffee will be closing indefinitely.

 

How many Combo-X-Change meals can I use?

Silver, Gold, or Platinum Plan

  • 12 CX meals per week, Sunday through Saturday.
  • Login online to check your balance. The number displayed under the "Week" heading for "Meals Remaining" is your remaining balance.
     

Off-campus Student or Faculty/Staff Dining Plan

  • Any meal access can be used as a CX. Each time a CX is used, one meal access is deducted from your dining plan balance.
  • Login online to check your balance. Your balance displays as a USD amount because we use the same system for Spartan Cash. That is actually the number of meals you have remaining. For example, if it shows 7.00 USD, that means you have 7 meals left.

 

Can I use more than one CX per day?

Yes, you can use more than one CX meal per day. Please note if you are attempting to use more than one in a short timeframe, there is a 10- to a 15-minute delay in between CX transactions. If you are trying to use multiple CX meals in a short timeframe, you may have to wait a little bit in between swipes!
 

Combo-X-Change color codes

How do I identify CX options?

We have color-coding at our locations so you can easily identify options. A is for beverages, B is for entrées and C is for sides/snacks.

 

What are examples of CX meals?

Here are a few examples of Combo-X-Change meal options offered at participating locations. There are many more options - these are simply examples! If you have trouble identifying what items are eligible, look for our color-coding by item/letter or ask a team member. Please note options reflect the 2021-22 school year; they are subject to change.

  • Starbucks at 1855 Place or Wells Hall: Any tall handcrafted beverage on the menu paired with a bakery item or breakfast sandwich (drink size can be upgraded for a small cost)

  • The Workshop at STEM: Smoked Tempeh Panini or Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with a cup of soup and a bottled beverage

  • Sparty's Market at 1855 Place: Chicken fried rice with a side of fruit and a bottled water

  • Subway at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: 6" veggie sub with 2 cookies OR chips with a 21 oz. fountain drink

  • Woody's Oasis at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: 6 oz. chicken shawarma and 6 oz. rice with a beverage

  • Panda Express at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: Orange chicken, with fried OR steamed rice and a 12 oz. beverage

  • FujiSan sushi at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: Spicy California roll (6 piece) with edamame and a beverage

  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion: Half Caesar or Greek salad with the choice of a side and a bottled water

  • Grab & Go (Holden Dining Hall): Jackfruit or chicken tacos with rice or beans and a beverage

  • Grab & Go (Holmes Dining Hall): Chicken parmesan with spaghetti and a beverage
  • MSU Concessions (CX On the Go venue at Spartan Stadium and Spartanville venue at Breslin Center): Hot dog OR veggie wrap hot dog with popcorn OR chips and a bottled water

 

Can I use CX for takeout from the dining halls?

Yes, you can use a Combo-X-Change meal to get takeout from any all-you-care-to-eat location. Simply let the entrance host know you are using a CX for takeout before tapping your ID on the card reader and they will provide you with a ticket.

  • Provide your takeout ticket to the team member at the venue you have selected.
  • You may select any options from that venue (entrée and sides).
  • You may also get a soup or salad and a dessert from venues where they are served.
  • Please note bags are not provided.

 

Grab and go meal example

GRAB & GO

What is Grab & Go dining?

Spartans can also enjoy Grab & Go dining, which is a Combo-X-Change option. We have chef-made meals at Holden Dining Hall, Holmes Dining Hall, and retail spots like Sparty’s Market. Grab & Go locations offer hot and cold menu selections that are prepackaged and ready for you to select.

 

Where can I find Grab & Go options?

  • Holden Dining Hall
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Thrive at Owen
  • Sparty's mini-markets in Brody and Case
  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility
  • Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place

 

What Grab & Go options are offered at Thrive?

On Thursdays and Fridays, our allergen-free dining hall, Thrive at Owen, offers a grab & go meal option. Students can let the entrance host know they are using a Combo-X-Change for a weekend meal to go. The meal includes one entrée (vegan or protein), side(s), and a beverage.

If you have any questions about the option, contact Dining Manager Yu-Chien Chang at changyu3@msu.edu or Dietitian Kelsey Patterson at patte546@msu.edu.

Hours of operation for the dining hall are Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 4:30-7 p.m.

 

Are the dining halls in Holden and Holmes different from the other dining halls on campus?

Yes, the dining halls in Holden and Holmes are not all-you-care-to-eat. In the fall semester of 2021, they transitioned to an enhanced Grab & Go model, offering an additional convenient option for campus diners.

During the fall and spring semesters, both locations feature an array of hot and cold menu selections that are pre-packaged and ready for guests to choose.

Menu items can be paired together as a Combo-X-Change (A = beverages, B = entrées, and C = sides/snacks). Guests without a dining plan can pay à la carte for Grab & Go items.

Dining room seating in Holden and Holmes is also available for eating, studying, and other activities. Guests can use the space even if they are not grabbing food.
 

 

Mobile order location

MOBILE ORDERING

How do I access mobile ordering?

Learn about our mobile ordering option at eatatstate.com/mobilemenu. It became available for the fall semester on Aug. 31.

Follow the instructions below to get the mobile app ready on your phone!

  1. Download TRANSACT MOBILE ORDERING app
  2. Open and search for MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
  3. Sign in using your MSU LOGIN credentials (MSU email and password)
  4. Select LOCATION, ORDER and PAY with an on-campus dining plan, Spartan Cash, or debit/credit card
    • To use Combo-X-Change, make sure you have "Mobile ComboX" selected as your payment method. You can order one entrée, one side and one beverage to complete your CX meal.

 

What options are available in the mobile app?

When mobile ordering is available in the fall and spring semesters, we offer an array of options, including breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfait, omelets, a build your own burger selection, a build your own pasta bowl, a quinoa salad, grain bowls, noodle bowls, wraps, and more!

 

What locations will offer mobile ordering?

Holden Dining and Holmes Dining Hall are now offering mobile ordering on weekdays. The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility will also offer mobile ordering; however, please note this service will have a delayed start at The Workshop. This location will continue to have Combo-X-Change options available for purchase on-site.

 

 

Students dining at The Gallery

ON-CAMPUS DINING PLANS

How do I know which dining plan I have?

Students living on campus can check their My Housing account to verify their dining plan selection. In the summer, prior to the first day of classes, there is an opportunity to change plans. It can also be changed between the fall and spring semesters.

Once the semester begins, you can only upgrade your plan. It cannot be downgraded (i.e., from Gold to Silver) due to the Spartan Cash included in two plan options.

 

How do I use my dining plan?

Be sure to bring your MSU ID with you to a residential dining hall or retail location. Your card provides you with access to all-you-care-to-eat locations and allows you to use Combo-X-Change meals. Do not give your ID card to anyone else, as they are non-transferable. We will confiscate the ID if we find you are using someone else's ID card. Your MSU ID is required to use your plan, bring guests into the dining halls, and redeem Spartan Cash. If your card is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately. See the MSU ID Office website for information on reporting. You can request a temporary dining pass to utilize until you get a new ID. Simply ask our entrance host at any dining hall.

 

How do I get my student ID card?

Please see the ID Office website for information on their hours of operation.

 

How do I change my dining plan?

If you live on campus and have questions regarding your plan selection, please contact the Housing Assignments Office at 517-884-5483 or liveon@msu.edu. Dining plans are non-refundable. After the semester begins, a dining plan cannot be downgraded (e.g., from a Gold to a Silver) due to the Spartan Cash included in two of the plan options. Dining plans can only be changed between the fall and spring semesters in a student's My Housing account.

 

When does my dining plan begin?

For the fall semester of 2022, dining plans will begin on Friday, Aug. 26, with breakfast.

 

Where can I use my dining plan?

Silver, Gold and Platinum dining plans provide unlimited access to all-you-care-to-eat locations. This means you can visit as many times as you’d like during open hours! You also have 12 Combo-X-Change meals to use at participating locations throughout the week, from Sunday through Saturday. The Combo-X-Change meals are in addition to your unlimited access. They do not cost anything extra. Using these meals does not impact or take away from your unlimited access.

 

How do I check the remaining CX meals, Spartan Cash or guest passes on my account?

Login to the Transact Campus system to check your balance.

 

Are there options for students needing assistance?

Please see the MSU Student Food Bank website for information about how our campus is helping those who face food insecurity. In addition to details about eligibility and distribution, their website serves as a resource for those who wish to donate and support the efforts of the food bank.

If you need accommodations, please be sure to contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. They will work with our dining team to assist any students in need.
 

 

Faculty and staff dining at Akers

OFF-CAMPUS AND FACULTY/STAFF DINING PLANS

Where can I purchase a dining plan?

  • Online: eatatstate.com
  • 1855 Place Service Desk, 550 S. Harrison Road (no cash purchases)
  • MSU ID Office: International Center, Room 170 (no cash purchases)
  • By phone: 517-355-2274 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • MSUFCU account:
    • Login to ComputerLine, select the Manage menu and choose the MSU Dining Plans option under MSUFCU Services

 

How much do I save by having a dining plan?

You save up to $4.25 per meal when compared to our standard door rate. Meals can be used to enter all-you-care-to-eat locations or as a Combo-X-Change!

 

How does my off-campus or faculty/staff dining plan remain active?

Dining plans remain active if used once between July 1 and June 30 each year.

 

How do I check my remaining balance of meals?

Login with your MSU NetID and password online. Please note the same system is used for Spartan Cash, therefore, the remaining meals are displayed similar to a dollar amount (e.g., 10.0 = 10 meals).

 

Can I use my meal accesses for other people?

Yes! Meals can be used to bring guests with you to dine at all-you-care-to-eat locations.

 

 

Students wearing masks at an event

HEALTH AND SAFETY

If I become ill, can another student pick up a meal on my behalf?

Students who are sick should not pick up their own meals to avoid spreading illness to the campus community. Additionally, they should never provide their ID card to anyone, as they are non-transferable.

MSU Culinary Services has a sick meal pickup arrangements process in place. The ill student can complete the Sick Meal Pickup Arrangements form and provide a completed copy (printed or electronic) to the person picking up their meal.

The individual designated to pick up the meal needs to show a paper or electronic copy of the completed form to the entrance host at a campus dining hall. The location they visit needs to be in the same neighborhood where the ill student is residing. This includes all-you-care-to-eat dining halls as well as Grab & Go dining halls in Holden and Holmes. The individual picking up the meal will be asked to show their MSU ID as well. For your safety, store to-go meals in a refrigerator until eaten.

Please note that a separate form is needed for each meal requested. Copies of the form will be available at the entrance host stands, service centers, and here on the website for students to access.

 

What health and safety measures are currently in place?

The safety and well-being of guests and team members are our top priority. Health and safety measures we have in place align with university guidance, as well as federal and state recommendations. Updated COVID-19 requirements for MSU can be found on the Together We Will website. Please note the following important details:

  • MSU will continue its COVID‑19 vaccine and booster mandate for the 2022-2023 academic year. All students, faculty, and staff must either be fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot OR have received an approved exemption.
     
  • Effective May 16 with the beginning of the 2022 summer sessions, MSU is lifting its face-covering directive, and masks will no longer be required during classes and academic labs and in most research labs, subject to state/federal guidelines.
     
  • The complete update from the Office of the President can be found online.

 

Can I eat in the dining hall and sit with other guests?

Dine-in seating is currently available in all-you-care-to-eat locations. If you are not comfortable dining in, you are welcome to utilize takeout from dining halls, which is a Combo-X-Change (CX) meal benefit offered to dining plan holders.

In addition, our dining halls reopened to the general public in May 2022. Please note Brody Square and The Vista at Shaw are open for limited hours for the summer semester. You can view our full dining hours online.