Michigan State Ultimate Guide to Dorm Neighborhoods

The Best Michigan State University Dorm Neighborhoods

Choosing the right dorm is a critical part of the college experience. At Michigan State University, dorms are broken up by different neighborhoods. Each offers a unique vibe and set of amenities, and understanding these can help you find your ideal spot.

Brody Neighborhood

Located on the west side of campus north of the Red Cedar River, is a paradise for food lovers. Brody Square, the neighborhood’s dining hall, is essentially a 975-seat gourmet food court featuring a variety of dining options, including Southwestern, pizza, desserts, and Pan-Asian cuisine. Recently renovated, the facilities here are modern and vibrant, with amenities like community kitchens and fitness centers in several halls. However, Brody is far from most academic buildings, so residents often rely on the bus system, especially during the snowy winter months.

Brody Square Dining Option

Picture Credit: https://virtualtour.msu.edu/mapex_tourstop_locations/brody-neighborhood/

North Neighborhood

Just north of the Red Cedar River along Michigan and Grand River avenues, is the historic hub of MSU. These are the oldest dorms on campus, offering classic collegiate architecture and a charming atmosphere. North Neighborhood is conveniently close to the MSU Union, Beaumont Tower, the library, and downtown East Lansing shops like Target. While the proximity to these key locations is a major advantage, the dorms themselves are smaller and older, which might lack some modern amenities.

Landon Hall Michigan State University Dorm

Photo Credit: https://liveon.msu.edu/reshall/landon

South Neighborhood

Located southwest of Spartan Stadium between West Shaw Lane and Trowbridge Road, is ideal for sports enthusiasts. This neighborhood is close to the tennis courts, Breslin Center, and Spartan Stadium, making it perfect for students who want to attend a lot of sporting events. The dorms here are generally nicer and more spacious, with suite-style rooms and co-ed floors. However, the area can get crowded during sporting events, adding to the hustle and bustle.

Michigan State University Outdoor Tennis Courts

Photo Credit: https://www.breakthelove.com/courts/mi/east-lansing/fee-hall

River Trail Neighborhood

Centrally located along the south bank of the Red Cedar River on Shaw Lane. This neighborhood offers stunning views of the river and is close to the Business College Complex, MSU College of Law, College of Veterinary Medicine, IM East, and the Wharton Center for Performing Arts. Shaw Hall, part of this neighborhood, is conveniently situated right across from MSU's main bus station, making it easy to get around campus. The scenic location and central positioning make River Trail a good all-around choice, although it has a smaller community compared to other neighborhoods.

Shaw Hall Michigan State University

Picture Credit: https://liveon.msu.edu/reshall/shaw

East Neighborhood

Situated on the northeast side of campus near the intersection of Hagadorn and Shaw roads, has an edgy and eclectic vibe. It’s great for new students who appreciate a tight-knit community. The neighborhood is close to IM East, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts, and the Business College Complex. East Neighborhood offers a variety of living options, including suite- and quad-style rooms, apartments, and community kitchens. Despite its appealing community feel, it’s further from most academic buildings and the main stretch of Grand River Avenue.

Hubbard Hall Michigan State University Dorm

Picture Credit: https://liveon.msu.edu/reshall/hubbard


Each neighborhood at MSU has its own strengths, whether it’s the proximity to classes and amenities, the quality of dining options, or the overall vibe. Consider what’s most important to you—location, food, or community—and choose accordingly. With this guide, you’re well on your way to finding your ideal home at Michigan State University.

For more information on MSU Dorms and Neighborhoods, please check https://liveon.msu.edu/neighborhoods. 

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