Frequently Asked Questions


How do I make an appointment?

As an MSU student registered for one or more credits, you are eligible for an initial consultation.  The Counseling Center uses a walk-in system (rather than scheduled appointments) for your initial visit. Walk-in hours are Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm and Wednesday to Friday from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm.  Students who are in a crisis/emergency are usually given first priority and are seen throughout our open business hours: Monday and Tuesday from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm and Wednesday – Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Please note:  if you are unable to come in during walk-in hours, you may call 517-355-8270, and the initial interview may be conducted by phone when a counselor is available.

To initiate services, you may walk in to the Counseling Center (556 E. Circle Dr, Rm 207 Student Services Building, East Lansing, MI 48824) and check in at the front desk.  You will be asked to complete some paperwork and a brief survey.  The typical wait for a counselor after completing the paperwork is approximately 15-60 minutes, depending on the number of students waiting.  Mornings are generally less busy than afternoons.  The total time you should expect for your initial visit, including paperwork and waiting time, is approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours.

After completing your paperwork, you will have a face-to-face interview with a counselor for about 30 minutes.  During this interview the counselor will gather pertinent information to be reviewed by a team of clinicians in determining whether the Counseling Center or another resource (on or off campus) is the most appropriate option for you.

As resources permit, additional services (such as individual or group counseling) and/or referrals to outside resources may be provided.  Most continuing counseling services are available on an appointment basis.

All programs and services of the Counseling Center welcome students with disabilities.  Accommodations are available.  To request an accommodation, call us at 517-355-8270.

What kinds of counseling do you do?

Psychological counseling. We see students for personal concerns such as stress, depression, or relationship issues.

What kinds of services are offered?

Please click here to see a list of our services.

What are the costs of your services?

Many of our services are subsidized. This means that MSU supports many of the Counseling Center’s services through general university funds. Other services have nominal costs associated with them. You will have the opportunity to discuss these issues when you meet with your counselor.

Can I see a counselor today?

MSU students registered for one or more credits are eligible for a consultation appointment. The consultation will generally be a screening process where the student will have about a 30 minute face-to-face or telephone interview with a counselor. During this interview the counselor will determine if the services requested are available through the Center or more appropriately received from another resource on or off campus. Call the Counseling Center to initiate your first contact, (517) 355-8270.

As resources permit, additional services and/or referrals may be provided. Most continuing counseling services are available on an appointment basis.

All programs and services of the Counseling Center welcome students with disabilities. Accommodations are accessible. To request an accommodation, call (517) 355-8270.

Am I eligible for your services?

You must be a registered MSU student at the time you are seen.

How many subsidized sessions do I get?

You and your counselor will discuss duration of counseling. There are many considerations affecting the duration of counseling, including the nature of your concern and the form of support that would be most useful for you.

Do you do couple's counseling?

Yes. At least one member of the couple must be a registered MSU student.

Can the spouse/partner of an MSU student receive individual counseling at your Center? S/he is not an MSU student.

No. Your spouse/partner may call the MSU Psychology Clinic at 355-9564 to make an appointment with a counselor.

I got a Minor in Possession (MIP) ticket. Can you help me with that?

We do not have the resources to see students for counseling who have received an MIP ticket. Please call our office (355-8270) and we will give you a list of resources.

Can I make an appointment for my son/daughter, roommate, friend, romantic partner?

Because we are a confidential service, we can only allow students to make their own appointments.

How do I help someone get an appointment?

If the student is not willing to call our Center to make an appointment with a counselor, you may call 517-355-8270 and ask to speak with a counselor on the telephone to discuss the situation.

What can I expect when I come to your Center and meet with a counselor?

When you arrive you will be asked to fill out a few confidential forms that request personal information, demographic information and a checklist of what you feel your concerns are. From time-to-time some additional information is requested. You will also be given a ‘Consent for Counseling’ Services form that you will be asked to read and sign.

Your counselor will be informed that you have arrived and you will meet privately in his/her office. You and your counselor will spend your appointment time figuring out what kind of services make the most sense for you and what support will help you reach your goals and help you be a successful student at MSU.

Who are your counselors? Are they students?

Our counselors include licensed professionals, pre-doctoral psychology interns, and counselors working toward their master’s degrees. All non-licensed counselors work under the supervision of licensed senior staff.

Do you have a Psychiatrist on your staff?

Yes. We are affiliated with Olin Psychiatry. If you and your counselor determine that a consultation with a psychiatrist might be helpful, your counselor will help facilitate a referral.

Do you prescribe medication?

The counseling staff does not prescribe medication. We are affiliated with Olin Psychiatry and may help you facilitate a referral to see a Psychiatrist or a prescribing Health Care Professional. For more information about Olin Psychiatry and/or medication please click here.

How do I get help for a learning disability and/or ADHD?

If you have been diagnosed with a learning disability and/or ADHD, you may register with the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD; 353-9642). They have a form that must be filled out by the professional who made the diagnosis. If medication is needed, the professional who made the diagnosis may refer you to Olin Psychiatry for a consultation appointment. If you think you may have a learning disability or ADHD but have not been diagnosed, please call the Counseling Center to make an appointment.

How confidential is your service?

All our services are strictly confidential. Except in rare circumstances, all our communication with you will be confidential unless you sign a written release.

Can I volunteer at your Counseling Center?

Currently only the Sexual Assault and Safety Education Program accepts volunteers. Please contact the Advocacy Coordinator at 355-3551 if you are interested in volunteering.