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 2021-22?

See our hours of operation for the latest information on open locations. Due to COVID-19, we are experiencing staffing shortages and are working diligently to hire and train new team members. In addition, we continue to face supply chain challenges that make it difficult to source ingredients. This can have an effect on the amount and variety of options served and may cause our team to run out of an item before the meal period ends. We ask for your patience as we continue to monitor staffing levels and supply chain challenges throughout the school year. We will continue to update our website and provide information about where you can grab delicious meals!

Like other universities across the country, we may also need to modify operations to continue providing 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.


What do I need to know for the beginning of spring semester?

Silver, Gold and Platinum Dining Plans

  • Silver, Gold and Platinum plans will begin with dinner on Sunday, Jan. 9

Spring Semester Hours

  • On Dec. 31, President Stanley announced that most classes will start remotely for spring semester and remain virtual for three weeks. For those returning to our residence halls during these three weeks, food and dining options will be available. The full message regarding the start of spring semester can be found online.
  • Spring semester hours of operation can be found on our dining hours page.

General Public Dining

  • Please note our all-you-care-to-eat dining halls remain closed to the general public to ensure we can provide quality service to students, faculty and support staff. You must have a valid MSU-issued ID card to enter or have guests accompany you to dine.


What information was sent to residents on Friday, Jan. 7 regarding spring semester?

On-campus residents received the following update via email on Jan. 7:

MSU Culinary Services is committed to keeping you up to date on campus dining options. Additional locations will begin to reopen the evening of Sunday, Jan. 9. In addition, our spring semester hours begin Monday, Jan. 10. Please visit the Eat at State website for a complete list of dining hours.

Updates for All Residents
Recently, President Stanley announced that most classes will be conducted virtually for the first three weeks of the semester. During this timeframe, our all-you-care-to-eat locations will offer a takeout option in addition to dine-in service. Takeout will be available at Brody Square, Heritage Commons at Landon, The Edge at Akers, South Pointe at Case, The Gallery at Snyder/Phillips, Thrive at Owen, The Vista at Shaw and MSU Union Food Court beginning Sunday, Jan. 9. Diners will be permitted two entrées, one side and one beverage. If you dine in and then decide to take out food, you will need to return to the entrance host stand to rescan your MSU ID. Please note Starbucks at Wells Hall and The Workshop at STEM will be temporarily closed during this timeframe.

The takeout option from all-you-care-to-eat locations will remain available for the first three weeks of classes. Our team will continue to monitor updates from university administration and keep residents informed of changes to dining hours and services.

Holden and Holmes dining halls will continue to offer grab-and-go items as a Combo-X-Change (CX) and you may use your CX meals at other participating locations. See for additional details.


Updates for West Circle and Shaw Residents
Heritage Commons at Landon and The Vista at Shaw will open for meal service on Sunday, Jan. 9, from 4:30-7 p.m., as all-you-care-to-eat options. Beginning Monday, Jan. 10, the new spring semester hours will be Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. As noted above, these two locations will offer both dine-in and takeout options during the remote learning period.

Furthermore, we continue to offer our shuttle service for West Circle and Shaw residents to travel to alternative dining locations. Beginning, Monday, Jan. 10, the two shuttles will operate seven days a week from 5:30-9:45 p.m. One shuttle picks up residents behind Landon Hall near the back dock and drops them off at Brody Hall. The other shuttle picks up residents at East Shaw Hall and drops them off at West Snyder/Phillips. Students may take the shuttle back by returning to the drop-off locations.

Thank you for being patient as we continue to monitor changes and improve staffing levels for our operations. As further information becomes available, we will reach out to residents with any necessary updates.

If you have any questions, please contact us at 517-884-0660 or email


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.

Please follow us on social media @EatAtState for the latest information on hiring fairs as well.


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 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.

During spring semester, mobile ordering will be available for Holden Dining Hall (breakfast, lunch and dinner), Holmes Dining Hall (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and The Workshop at STEM (breakfast and lunch). Please note The Workshop will be temporarily closed during the first three weeks of the semester while most classes are virtual.

We hope to add other locations in the future. Learn more about mobile ordering at



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 in all campus buildings and other MSU facilities.
  • All students, faculty and staff are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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 are cashless operations and 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 certain locations 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.
  • Residential dining halls 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. As the Jan. 7 update above notes, we are temporarily offering takeout in all-you-care-to-eat locations for the first three weeks of spring semester while most classes are conducted virtually. 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 until further notice. You must have a valid MSU-issued ID card to enter or to have guests accompany you to dine. 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.



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. All locations accepting Combo-X-Change are listed below.

  • 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 and Spartanville venue at Breslin Center)*
  • 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.

*MSU Bakers is not yet able to accept Combo-X-Change. They plan to offer the option when their storefront reopens in the future. In addition, concessions cuisine is temporarily unavailable at sporting events and we are offering beverages only.


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 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.

  • 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 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 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 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?

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. As the Jan. 7 update above notes, we are temporarily offering takeout in all-you-care-to-eat locations for the first three weeks of spring semester while most classes are conducted virtually.



Grab and go optionWhat is Grab & Go dining?

If you love the flexibility of Combo-X-Change (CX), you’ll enjoy our new Grab & Go option! We have introduced a new flexible dining option at various locations. They 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 (temporarily closed to start spring semester)
  • 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 spring semester 2022?

  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility (temporarily closed to start spring semester)
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Holden Dining Hall

*Please note we plan to offer mobile ordering at additional locations in the future. 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 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.

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.

Please note this location is temporarily closed during the first three weeks of spring semester while most classes are virtual.



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 spring semester 2022, dining plans begin with dinner on Sunday, Jan. 9. Our transaction team activates all 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.