Tuesday, February 7, 2023

What to know about Michigan State's on-campus neighborhoods

August 3, 2022
<p>MSU&#x27;s campus bird&#x27;s eye view from the top of the Graduate Hotel on April 5, 2022.</p>

MSU's campus bird's eye view from the top of the Graduate Hotel on April 5, 2022.

Photo by Lauren Snyder | The State News

One of the biggest transitions for incoming Michigan State freshmen is learning how to navigate the campus. 

Knowing your way around early into your college career can be very helpful in getting ahead start in many areas of your university experience. 

As a rising sophomore, I am here to give you a deep dive into the specifics of the five different neighborhoods on campus to help those who may not be familiar with the lay of the land. 

General Amenities

There are many different helpful characteristics each neighborhood has to offer, but there are some that every neighborhood has. 

At MSU, there is no cost to do laundry. 

“Students just have to provide the detergent and there are laundry rooms in each hall, typically in the basement,” Bethany Balks, the communications and marketing team manager of the Residence Education and Housing Services, said. 

There are also cardio rooms and at least one community kitchen in each neighborhood. These places can be very convenient if you live far from the closest IM or your neighborhood’s dining hall. 

Each neighborhood also has at least one all-you-can-eat dining hall along with a Sparty’s for grab-and-go food. 

“In Brody and Case as well as Hubbard, there are more hot food grab-and-go items in those Sparty’s locations,” Balks said. “Then you go somewhere like Holmes or Wonders and there are a lot of more quick grab-and-go items that students can take advantage of.” 

Holmes and Holden also offer mobile ordering options as well where students can order meals through Eat at State. 

Each neighborhood is also equipped with a study room. Much like the cardio rooms and community kitchens, these come in handy when you are far from the MSU library or other study spaces. While there are many general amenities each neighborhood shares, there are also a lot of differences that make each unique. 

East Neighborhood

East Neighborhood is located on the northeast side of the campus near the intersection of Hagadorn and Shaw Roads. 

It contains the Akers, Holmes and Hubbard dormitories. In East Neighborhood, you will find a lot of freshmen as each of the dorms houses mainly freshmen, as well as a few sophomores in Holmes. There are two dining halls located in East, as one is in Akers and the other is in Holmes Hall. 


Nearby the neighborhood, you can find the IM East, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the Business College Complex. 

East Neighborhood also has Honors College floors, where MSU's Honors College students can mingle and/or live with each other.

River Trail Neighborhood

This neighborhood is located along the south bank of the Red Cedar River on Shaw Lane. This neighborhood includes McDonel Hall, Shaw Hall, Owen Graduate Hall and Van Hoosen Apartments. 

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This neighborhood only has one dining hall in Shaw Hall. It is right next door to East Neighborhood, so you are also very close to IM East, the Wharton Center and the Business College Complex as well as the MSU College of Law and the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

River Trail, like East Neighborhood, has designated Honors College floors.

North Neighborhood

The halls in this neighborhood are the oldest on campus and they feature traditional collegiate-style architecture. The neighborhood stretches just north of the Red Cedar River and alongside Michigan and Grand River Avenues. 

North Neighborhood holds 10 separate halls; Abbot, Campbell, Gilchrist, Landon, Mason, Mayo, Phillips, Snyder, Williams and Yakeley. This neighborhood features two dining halls (Landon and Snyder-Phillips), as well as a food court in the MSU Union. 


Along with the MSU Union, North Neighborhood is also located near Adams Field, the Broad Art Museum and the bustle of Grand River. Grand River Avenue is one of the main attractions at Michigan State, as it features a lot of restaurants and places to shop. 

North Neighborhood has Honors College floors and optional co-ed floors.

South Neighborhood

This neighborhood is located southwest of Spartan Stadium between West Shaw Lane and Trowbridge Road. 

Along with being close to Spartan Stadium, it is also close to the Breslin Center, Munn Ice Arena, IM West and outdoor tennis facilities. It features Case Hall, Wonders Hall, Wilson Hall and Holden Hall. 

There is one all-you-can-eat dining hall in Case and a grab-and-go dining hall in Holden. If you are a science major, recent graduate Nick Saba, who stayed in the dorms all four years of his MSU career, said he can not recommend Wilson Hall enough.


“It really is good because it is full of a lot of other freshmen and it is really meant to bring you in and get you started on campus,” Saba said. 

South will feature a lot of freshmen as well this year, as all four of its dorms house first-year students. It also has optional co-ed floors for students.

Brody Neighborhood

Last but not least, Brody Neighborhood is located on the west side of campus just north of the Red Cedar River. 

Brody accommodates six halls: Armstrong, Bailey, Bryan, Butterfield, Emmons and Rather. These halls feature the largest student rooms on campus. The neighborhood is located close to the Spartan athletic facilities and the Breslin Student Events Center.  


Brody is home to some of the most architecturally interesting buildings, including Brody Hall itself, home to the Brody Square dining hall.

All in all, each neighborhood has its pros. There are many things that you can do to maximize your time spent in your neighborhood and it is up to you to take advantage of everything yours has to offer. 

If you have any further questions, contact the Residence Education and Housing Services office. Happy on-campus living!

This story is part of our 2022 mail-home print issue. Read the entire issue here.


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