Learn about Graduate Student Life & Wellness

Graduate Student Life & Wellness is a collaborative effort to help support graduate students in their pursuit of their advanced degree and a well-balanced life.





The Office of Graduate Student Life & Wellness is committed to student well-being and believes it is a key foundation for academic, career, and life success.  In support of the academic mission of Michigan State University and in collaboration with campus partners and beyond, Graduate Student Life & Wellness works diligently to ensure that graduate students receive an engaged and holistic education, achieve their potential, and remain connected to the University.  With the goal of improved retention, productivity, creativity, and innovation in support of educational excellence, research, and community service, Graduate Student Life & Wellness advocates for graduate students and delivers guidance, academic support, services, programs, and resources that support graduate students as they invest in their academic work.

Specifically, Graduate Student Life & Wellness improves graduate student success by:

  • Facilitating connections to the Michigan State University community and strengthening student sense of belonging. 
  • Helping students understand and value health and wellness in all of its dimensions and developing attitudes and behaviors that support health and wellness.
  • Providing resources and support for health issues and concerns.
  • Preparing graduate students for future leadership roles within academic, public, private, community and other professional settings.
  • Enabling students to be productive and satisfied in pursuit of their academic and life goals.
  • Supporting the development of graduate students in their personal and professional lives by promoting versatility, excellence, and a true value in their future endeavors.
  • Consulting with faculty, staff, and administrators about career and professional development, wellness, and student health concerns in order to identify opportunities for growth.


In 2007, the Graduate School at Michigan State University introduced the graduate wellness by design initiative to systematically collaborate and investigate the various barriers that students encounter in pursuit of their advanced degrees. In order to gain a comprehensive understanding of graduate student health and wellness, key campus administrators were invited to participate on a graduate wellness by design committee. 

Using a logic-based approach, the committee assessed the current state of health and wellness at MSU, used institutional and national data to create programming specifics (structure, funding, and communications), implemented pilot programs, and evaluated and assessed their effectiveness.

Since 2007, Graduate Student Life and Wellness has developed into a robust and comprehensive office that addresses the diverse health and wellness needs of the MSU graduate student population. Our programs, events and workshops revolve around the six dimensions of wellness: intellectual, physical, occupational, emotional, social, and spiritual.


Learn more about our services and resources in the Graduate Student Life & Wellness brochure.


Contact us!

Student Life

“Graduate Students who embrace wellness and get involved are more successful academically, more likely to complete their graduate degrees, and more desirable to employers.”

Getting involved is an important aspect of college, both for undergrads and graduate students. Whether it is joining a graduate student organization (GSO), volunteering at a local social service agency or conducting research with a faculty member, interacting with students from other disciplines and sharing a similar interest can have multiple benefits. Whether you are masters, PhD or a professional student, getting involved with student life can offer an array of benefits. Benefits of being involved:

  • Develop leadership skills.
  • Involved students are more likely to graduate.
  • Involved students feel more connected to the university, the campus, the people and are more familiar with the resources the university provides.

For more information on getting involved and the benefits at MSU and different student organizations, check out the Department of Student Life.

Learn more about graduate student life at MSU:

  • Join a graduate student organization;
  • Discover the perks of being a graduate student;
  • Find advice on where to study, tools to help you get work done, and more;
  • Get involved in graduate student events, socials, and programming such as coffee hours, trivia nights, and workshops.


Leadership Logo 


Leadership is an essential competency expected of all employers and held in high acclaim. Institutions of higher education, corporations, agencies, professional organizations, and other employers are actively seeking advanced degree holders with strong, demonstrable leadership and management skills. However, the development of leadership is often neglected by most graduate students as they face the many challenges of graduate school. There is an emphasis on why leadership is vital for future jobs, rather than on how a graduate student can develop their own leadership potential. The goal of the Leadership Summit is to rectify this problem and empower graduate a professional students to take a proactive approach to their leadership development so that they may make a difference in the classroom, community, university, and in the world. The Graduate Leadership Summit is an intensive leadership conference where students will have the chance to learn about leadership from proven leaders in the areas of higher education, faculty, and government and business sectors. Graduate students will learn how to develop and apply their leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities to all areas of their life.Topics covered at past Summits include:

  • The ability to inspire action in others
  • Skills such as conflict resolution, supervision, and project management
  • The ability to create and follow you own personal leadership action plan
  • Social and emotional intelligence
  • Leading in context
  • Information about how to get involved in campus and community organizations immediately



What is the Leadership Academy

The Graduate Student Leadership Academy is a cohort style, intensive, developmental experience covering advanced topics of leadership, including theoretical models, foundational factors of leadership (wellness, interculturalism, etc.), and experiential group learning. GSLA participants will form a cohort of 25 individuals selected from a highly competitive applicant pool of established and emerging leaders from graduate or professional programs, and postdoctoral positions, from all across campus.

Primary Learning Outcome:

To create a learning community of engaged scholars from across disciplines to apply the theory of leadership into practice through a guided curriculum on leadership and experiential pedagogy.


How will the Leadership Academy help me?

Employers are looking to hire people with tangible leadership experience. The Academy will help you understand and develop who you are as a leader, show you different leadership perspectives, and give you exposure to leadership in practice. The Academy is based on a research-driven leadership framework that develops holistic leaders through four foundational pillars: Personal Leadership, Relational Leadership, Functional Leadership and Contextual Leadership. This year, the Academy will feature:

  • Highly skilled trainers and facilitators
  • Team building activities and projects
  • Opportunities for reflection and growth
  • Individual and team leadership coaching

When is the Leadership Academy?

The Academy will begin the week of January 26th and end the week of February 29th.  Exact dates and times are still being set for each workshop, but for now, anticipate a 2-hour commitment once a week during that 6 week time frame. Participants should attend each session, however accommodations can be made if no more than one session is missed. 


How can I apply?

Fill out this application. Applications are due by 5:00 pm on December 4th, 2015. For accepted students, there is a $25 administrative fee to offset the cost of assessments and other incidentals.

For more information, contact Meg Akehi at akehimeg@msu.edu

Six Dimension of Wellness

6 Dimensions of Wellness

Wellness is the integration of all dimensions of health - occupational, physical, social, intelectual, spiritual, and, emotional - and the awareness that all of these dimensions are interconnected.

Each dimension must be nurtured for your holistic growth and success.

Occupational: PhD Career Services, Financial Wellness

Physical: Sleep, Fitness, Healthy Eating

Social: Living in East Lansing, Students Orgs, Women's Resources

Intellectual: Motivation, Ethical Research

Spiritual: Spirituality, Values, Acceptance

Emotional: Stress, Procrastination, Depression, Happiness


This model of wellness is the foundation of the National Insitute for Wellness.

Go Green, Go White, Go Wellness! 



Partners in Wellness

The Graduate Wellness program is a collaborative effort between the Graduate School, Olin Health Centers, the Counseling Center, Health4U, and Employee Assistance Program to help support graduate students in their pursuit of a degree and well-balanced life.

Learn more about these programs:

The Counseling Center

The Counseling Center provides support to students, faculty, and staff by assisting in decreasing stress, aiding the effort to provide a healthy environment, and helping students focus on personal and career goals.

The Counseling Center is also home to the Multi-Ethnic Counseling Center Alliance (MECCA), where clinicians are committed to providing culturally competent and racially responsive mental services and ensures that there are ethnically and racially identified clinicians to provide counseling and outreach programming to students of color and international students.

Counseling Center Services:

All full-time MSU students, currently enrolled in classes, are eligible for Counseling Center services. All services are confidential. The Counseling Center provides personal, couples, and group counseling.

Website: www.counseling.msu.edu
Email: counseling@cc.msu.edu
Phone: (517) 355-8270 | TTY: (517) 353-7278
Address: 207 Student Services | East Lansing, MI 48824

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MSU Employee Assistance Program

The Mission of the MSU Employee Assistance Program is to support and enhance the emotional health of the campus community. EAP provides emotional assistance to employees and their families as they attempt to work through life changes, expected and unexpected events, chronic physical and emotional health issues, and work/life balance concerns.

EAP Services:

EAP services are available to all MSU faculty and staff, graduate student employees, retirees, and their immediate family members. All services are confidential. Eligible members, including graduate student employees, are eligible for 6 FREE sessions.

Website: www.eap.msu.edu
Email: eap@ht.msu.edu
Phone: (517) 355-4506
Address: 330 Olin Health Center | East Lansing, MI 48824

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Health4U provides faculty, staff, retirees, graduate student employees and their partners/spouses with education, opportunities, and support for developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Five focus areas for various resources and services:

Health4U Services:

Health4U classes, coaching services, and groups span a big range of topics from meditation and yoga, to cooking, to managing stress and personal relationships.

Most Health4U classes, coaching, and groups are FREE!
You can get FREE, ten minute chair massages every month!

Website: health4u.msu.edu
Phone: (517) 353-2596
Email: health4u@msu.edu
Address: 330 Olin Health Center | East Lansing, MI 48824

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Olin Health Center

Olin provides medical and dental care for students and their spouses during their enrollment at MSU.

Olin Clinics:

Olin Services

The first 3 medical office visits are prepaid, each school year you are an enrolled MSU student, whether or not you are insured.

The first 3 lifetime psychiatry visits are prepaid for enrolled MSU students, whether or not you are insured.

FREE nutrition counseling is available.

Website: www.olin.msu.edu
Email: olin@msu.edu
Phone: (517) 884-6546
Address: 463 E Circle Drive | East Lansing, MI 48824

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Other Resources for Graduate Students

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Wellness Events


Connect with Wellness