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.

 

GENERAL

What do I need to know for the summer semester?

Summer Semester Dining Plans and Combo-X-Change (CX)

  • Summer semester dining plans and CX begin on Monday, May 9 at 7 a.m.

 

Independence Day Weekend

  • Most dining locations are closed on Monday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. The Vista at Shaw and the Sparty's mini-market in McDonel Hall will remain open. See our dining hours page for details.


Hours of Operation

 

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 rate for Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall: $7.75 plus tax
     
  • 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. Please note mobile ordering is only available during the fall and spring semesters.

 

HOURS OF OPERATION

Where can I find current hours of operation?

Visit eatatstate.com/dining-hall-hours for current hours of operation. Please be mindful that they change from time to time due to staffing circumstances or university holidays.

 

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. Please note mobile ordering is unavailable in the summer semester.

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

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

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.

 

COMBO-X-CHANGE

Combo-X-Change logoWhat 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 summer semester.

  • Takeout from all-you-care-to-eat locations
  • Sparty’s mini-markets
  • Sparty’s Market
  • Starbucks
  • 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 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 15-minute delay in between CX transactions.

 

CX color codingHow 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. Items marked as BC are an entrée and side combined.

 

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 20 oz. bottled soft drink

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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): 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?

Yes, you can use a Combo-X-Change meal to get takeout from any all-you-care-to-eat location.

 

GRAB & GO

Grab and go meal optionWhat 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*
  • Sparty's mini-markets in Brody, Case and Hubbard*
  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility
  • Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place

*Please note these locations are currently closed for the summer semester. The Sparty's mini-market at Brody will be reopening July 9.

 

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 fall semester 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. They are currently closed for the summer.

Menu items can be paired together as a Combo-X-Change. Guests without a dining plan can pay $7.75 plus tax for a Grab & Go 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.

 

MOBILE ORDERING

Mobile order menu optionHow do I access mobile ordering?

Learn about our mobile ordering option at eatatstate.com/mobilemenu. Please note the option is offered during the fall and spring semesters. It is currently unavailable for the summer.

Want to prepare for the upcoming school year? 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!

 

 

THE WORKSHOP

The WorkshopWhat is The Workshop?

Located at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility, The Workshop is a unique dining location introduced in the 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 from 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.

During the fall and spring semesters, 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 (CX) 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 CX. The app also accepts Spartan Cash and debit/credit cards. Additionally, select items can be purchased on-site, including CX selections, snacks, bottled beverages, and Starbucks drinks.

 

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, 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 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 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 summer semester 2022, dining plans begin on Monday, May 9 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.

 

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.