Frequently Asked Questions

 Below is a list of a frequently asked questions. We hope this information assists you with preparing for the semester ahead!

If you are looking for housing information, please visit 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.



What locations will be open for fall semester 2021?

Please see our hours of operation for the latest information about open locations. It’s important to note that dining locations will open in a phased manner to start the semester. As students continue to move in and classes begin, additional locations will become available for dining.

Due to COVID-19, we are experiencing staffing shortages and are working diligently to hire and train new team members. We ask for your patience as we transition into the semester.

Please be mindful that our services and hours may be impacted at this time, however, we will continue to update our website and provide information about where you can grab delicious meals!


What are 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 rate for Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall: $7.75 plus tax
  • Dining plans:
    • On-campus dining plans: $3,134 for Silver, $3,284 for Gold, $3,434 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 will be cashless operations. Other retail locations will 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.



Where can I find current hours of operation?

Visit for current hours of operation. They will also be posted on site at dining locations. Please be mindful that they change from time to time due to our current staffing shortages and when there is a university holiday.


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 currently available for Holden Dining Hall (breakfast, lunch and dinner), Holmes Dining Hall (breakfast, lunch and dinner), The Workshop at STEM (breakfast and lunch), The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips (lunch) and Thrive at Owen (lunch).

Other locations have a delayed start to offering mobile ordering; however, we hope to add them in the future. Learn more about mobile ordering at


What changes go into effect Sept. 24 that impact Landon and Shaw?

In September, MSU Culinary Services announced dining changes impacting hours of operation and services. We continue to evaluate the needs of our campus community and how we may best serve Spartans with our current challenges due to COVID-19. 

Like other schools and universities across the country, we are experiencing severe staffing shortages. Many businesses in the local area and around the country are hiring. We are all competing for the same available talent. Given the circumstances, we need to modify operations to continue providing quality service to students, faculty and support staff. We also need to support our team members who continue working hard to deliver an outstanding experience to guests.

It is our responsibility to minimize the impact of labor and food supply chain shortages, maintaining our commitment to high-quality service. Our human resources team continues to recruit, hire and train new staff. As we work through staffing challenges, team members from all areas of the Division of Student Life & Engagement are also stepping in and volunteering in the dining operations to ensure students are fed.

To consolidate staffing and services, we are implementing the following changes. They are effective on Friday, Sept. 24:


  • All dining halls are closed to the public. Guests must have a valid MSU ID card to access residential dining halls.
    • Students with a Gold or Platinum plan can continue to use guest meals included with their plan. Those who have a faculty/staff or off-campus dining plan may also continue to use meal accesses for guests who are accompanying them into the dining halls.
  • Sparty’s mini-markets that did not open to start the semester and MSU Union Food Court will remain closed. We will inform guests of any future changes.
  • Mobile ordering will continue to be offered at Holden Dining Hall, Holmes Dining Hall, Thrive at Owen, The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips and The Workshop at STEM.
    • At this time, mobile ordering service will be delayed for other planned locations, including Starbucks, The Vista at Shaw, and Sparty’s locations in Brody Hall, Case Hall and Hubbard Hall.

Hours of Operation

  • Services have been consolidated for Heritage Commons at Landon and The Vista at Shaw. Both locations continue to offer breakfast and lunch on weekdays. They are closed for dinner and on the weekends. Grab and go options will be offered for dinner starting on Nov. 1. The service will be available Monday-Friday, 4:30-8 p.m. Please see our dining hours for complete details.
    • Residents in West Circle halls can visit Brody Square as their alternative dining location. Residents can also visit The Roost venue at MSU Union Food Court, Monday-Friday from 4:30-11 p.m. The food court is operating as an all-you-care-to-eat location.
    • Residents in Shaw Hall and River Trail Neighborhood can visit The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips as their alternative dining location. Thrive at Owen is also open for dinner Monday-Friday.
    • Shuttle service is available to transport West Circle residents to Brody and to transport Shaw residents to Snyder/Phillips. It runs from 5:30-9:45 p.m.
      • West Circle residents can access the shuttle behind Landon near the back dock. It drops you off on Harrison Road in front of Brody Hall. You can return to the drop-off location to take the shuttle back.
      • Shaw residents can access the shuttle at East Shaw Hall. It drops you off at the the circle in between Snyder/Phillips and Mason/Abbot on Physics Road. You can return to the drop-off location to take the shuttle back.
  • Starbucks locations will have reduced hours:
    • 1855 Place: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • Wells Hall: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.; Closed on weekends

Other institutions across the U.S. are having to adjust hours, limit menu options and even shut down multiple locations. In addition to competing with other local businesses who are hiring, despite many safety precautions in place, some people are still not comfortable working in busy environments due to the pandemic. More information about the national issues can be found in this article from industry leader Food Management.

If you have questions regarding these changes, please contact us at 517-884-0660 or email We are working through responding to messages, and hope you understand that it may take time for us to follow up with everyone. Our staff is often working in dining locations in addition to monitoring emails, phone messages and social media outreach, so we appreciate your patience as we work through providing a response.


What steps are being taken to improve staffing levels?

Our human resources team is working hard to recruit, hire and train new team members. Employment opportunities are being promoted across a variety of channels. We are raising wages to be more competitive in the market, as we know there is high demand for part-time employees across the country. Our HR team is also following up with those students who have completed applications and are interested in joining our team. The first step for a student is to complete an I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification. Oftentimes, students don’t have the acceptable documents with them that they need to complete the for the I-9 (passport, social security card or birth certificate), which can result in a delay in the hiring process. If you know a student who has applied and they would like to check on the status of their application, please have them contact our RHS Employment Office at 517-884-0634.



Sparty together we will graphicWhat safety measures are currently in place for dining operations?

Throughout MSU Culinary Services’ operations, the safety and well-being of guests and team members is our top priority. The 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:

  • All individuals are required to wear masks indoors beginning Aug. 1 in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities.
  • All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Aug. 31.

Below is additional information on health and safety measures implemented by Culinary Services.

  • Many people in our community may choose to wear a face covering (even if they are outdoors and fully vaccinated) or physically distance themselves. We must support and respect everyone as they make personal decisions about their health, safety and comfort.
  • In accordance with current university guidelines, a face covering must be worn indoors in all MSU facilities. You can only remove your face covering if you are seated at a table and eating/drinking.
  • Residential dining halls and MSU Union Food Court will be cashless operations in the fall, and will only accept dining plans, Spartan Cash, and debit/credit cards in order to reduce the need to transfer currency between the guest and host.
  • Plexiglass currently remains at points of sale and host stands for separation.
  • Convenient options like mobile ordering are offered to provide flexibility. Although takeout from dining halls will no longer be a Combo-X-Change option beginning in fall semester 2021, we will expand other services and implement additional mobile ordering locations.
  • During fall semester, residential dining halls will close from 3:30-4:30 p.m. daily to allow for additional cleaning and sanitation.
  • Dining halls are staffed with additional team members dedicated to cleaning and sanitizing various areas.
  • Hand sanitizer is available throughout our locations for guests to utilize.
  • We have replaced our standard cleaner (QC 54 Peroxide Glass Cleaner) with Peroxide Multi-surface Disinfectant, which is EPA-approved effective against Coronavirus – COVID-19


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. Please note takeout from all-you-care-to-eat dining halls is no longer an option due to enhanced Grab & Go offerings, mobile ordering and expanded Combo-X-Change options. Guests must wear a mask indoors unless they are seated at a table and eating/drinking.

Effective Friday, Sept. 24, please note dining halls are closed to the general public. You must have a valid MSU-issued ID card to enter. Guest passes included with Gold and Platinum plans can be used. Additionally, those who have off-campus and faculty/staff meal accesses can continue to use their meals to bring guests with them into the dining halls. Please read our news article for more details.



Combo-X-Change logoWhat is Combo-X-Change?

Combo-X-Change allows dining plan holders to use a meal access for specific items at all participating locations. It’s also commonly referred to as a combo or CX. View our Combo-X-Change video for a great visual representation!


Where can I use CX?

We are excited to introduce CX options at foodservice partner locations, including Panda Express, Subway, Woody's Oasis and Biggby. Please note Panera Bread is experiencing network connectivity issues and they are not yet able to accept Combo-X-Change. We apologize for the inconvenience and we will update guests as soon as possible.

Additionally, the MSU Bakers' storefront is not yet open, but when they are ready to offer the option, we will let dining plan holders know.

All other options listed below are available for Combo-X-Change use!

Beginning in fall 2021, locations offering CX options will include the following:

  • Sparty’s mini-markets
  • Sparty’s Market
  • Starbucks
  • All venues in the International Center food court
  • MSU Bakers on Service Road*
  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility
  • MSU Concessions (CX On the Go venue near sections 14-15 at Spartan Stadium)
  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion*
  • Biggby coffee in MSU Union
  • Holden Dining Hall
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Mobile order locations
    • Included with DineOn Silver, Gold and Platinum plans. Be sure your payment option is 'Mobile ComboX' in the app.

*Panera Bread and MSU Bakers are not yet able to accept Combo-X-Change. Panera will begin accepting CX on Tuesday, Nov. 2.


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

  • Silver, Gold or Platinum dining plan: 12 CX meals per week, Sunday-Saturday. Login online to check your balance. The number displayed under the "Week" heading for "Meals Remaining" is your remaining balance.
  • Off-campus or faculty/staff dining plan: any meal access can be used as a CX. Each time a CX is used, a meal access is deducted from your plan balance.


Can I use more than one CX per day?

Students with a Silver, Gold or Platinum plan can use more than one CX per day. There is no longer a daily limit; however, please note there is a short 10-minute delay in between CX transactions.


What are examples of CX meals?

Here are a few examples of Combo-X-Change meal options from some of the 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.

  • Starbucks at 1855 Place or Wells Hall: Any tall handcrafted beverage on the menu paired with a bakery item or breakfast sandwich

  • The Workshop at STEM: Smoked Tempeh Panini or Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with a cup of soup and 20 oz. bottled soft drink

  • Sparty's Market at 1855 Place: Personal pizza with a side of fruit and a bottled water

  • Biggby at the MSU Union: 20 oz. iced or brewed coffee with a turkey havarti bragel

  • Subway at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: 6" veggie sub with 2 cookies OR chips, 21 oz. fountain drink (if there are fountain machine restrictions due to COVID-19, bottled beverages will be available)

  • 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 a side and a beverage

  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion:

    • Breakfast: Any bagel with cream cheese, bottled water and choice of hot tea, regular hot coffee or orange juice (breakfast)

    • Lunch: Half Mediterranean veggie or classic grilled cheese with bottle of water and choice of side (baguette, chips or apple)

  • 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 near sections 14-15 at Spartan Stadium OR Spartanville venue at Breslin Center): Nachos with cheese, veggie wrap OR hot dog with popcorn and a bottled water


Can I still use CX for takeout from the dining halls?

Takeout from dining halls will no longer be an option since there will now be ample Combo-X-Change options, mobile ordering and other services.



Grab and go optionWhat is Grab & Go dining?

If the love the flexibility of Combo-X-Change (CX), you’ll enjoy our new Grab & Go option! During the pandemic, we received positive feedback on the variety of to-go options available. In addition to our mobile ordering service, we are introducing a new Grab & Go concept at various locations. They will feature a diverse menu of hot and cold meal options that are ready for guests to select with their CX meal.


Where can I find Grab & Go options?

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


What is changing at Holden and Holmes Dining Halls?

Dining halls in Holden and Holmes transitioned from an all-you-care-to-eat model to enhanced Grab & Go, offering a convenient option for campus diners. Both locations feature an array of hot and cold menu selections that are pre-packaged and ready for guests to choose. Menus can be viewed online.

These locations are no longer all-you-care-to-eat. Menu items can be paired together as a Combo-X-Change. Guests without a dining plan can pay $7.75 plus tax for a meal, which includes an entrée, side and beverage.

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. Holden and Holmes remain nut-conscious, and The Edge at Akers has been added as a nut-conscious location.



Yogurt parfaitHow do I access mobile ordering?

Learn about our mobile ordering option at To access our mobile ordering option, follow the instructions below:

  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 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 locations will serve as mobile order pickup locations in fall 2021?

  • Sparty's mini-markets in Brody, Case and Hubbard*
  • Starbucks at 1855 Place and Wells Hall*
  • The Workshop at STEM
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Holden Dining Hall
  • The Vista at Shaw*
  • The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips
  • Thrive at Owen
  • MSU Union Food Court*

*Please note mobile ordering will have a delayed start for these locations. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


What options are available in the mobile app?

Once you download the mobile app, menus can be viewed for each location. We’re excited to offer an array of options, including unique menus for locations offering mobile ordering. Examples of options include breakfast sandwiches, yogurt parfait, omelets, a build your own burger selection, quinoa salad, grain bowls, noodle bowls, wraps and more!




The WorkshopWhat is The Workshop?

Located at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility, The Workshop is a unique dining location introduced in fall semester 2021. Formerly the Shaw Lane Power Plant, which was decommissioned in the 1960s, the STEM building features laboratories, breakout space, study areas and other interactive options. To bring new life into the power plant, designers repurposed many components of the original 1948 facility. For example, they used a four-story boiler as a focal point in the lobby and created art rom salvaged steam valves and machinery covers.

With a diverse menu of options, including breakfast sandwiches, bakery items, grain bowls and paninis, The Workshop appeals to various campus diners. The operation is also a Proudly Serving Starbucks location, offering favorites like brewed coffee, cold brew, lattes, Refreshers and tea.

Guests are able to utilize the Transact Mobile Ordering app to place an order in advance for pickup. Students with a Silver, Gold or Platinum dining plan have mobile ordering included as a Combo-X-Change option. When you're in the app, if the payment type is defaulting to Spartan Cash, select "Spartan Cash" and change it to "Mobile ComboX" to use your Combo-X-Change. The app also accepts Spartan Cash and debit/credit cards. Additionally, select items can be purchased on site, including Combo-X-Change selections, snacks, bottled beverages and Starbucks drinks.



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. I can also be changed in between fall and spring semesters. Once the semester begins, however, 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 to 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 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 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 in between fall and spring semesters in a student's My Housing account.


When does my dining plan begin?

For fall semester 2021, dining plans begin Thursday, Aug. 26. Our transaction team activates all the plans on the same date due to the high volume of students living on campus.


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 each day! 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. Using these meals does not impact or take away from your unlimited access.


How do I check remaining CX meals, Spartan Cash or guest passes?

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.



Where can I purchase a dining plan?

  • Online:
  • 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.