Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to the RCAH?

Interested students should apply directly to Michigan State University and indicate “Arts and Humanities" (college code 8503) as their preferred major.


Where do RCAH students live?

All first year students live in Snyder-Phillips Hall, where the college is located. Once sophomore standing, students can select any living option.


How can I request to live with a roommate?

All first-year RCAH students live on the second floor of Snyder (women) or Phillips (men). If you do not request a roommate, you will be matched with another RCAH student. If you and another RCAH student would like to room together, you should both submit a request to live with each other in the iLiveOn Portal by May 1. It is likely that the request will be granted, but the decision will be made by the MSU Housing Assignments Office (Live On), NOT by the RCAH. If you would like to live with a non-RCAH roommate, you may submit a request by completing the Non-RCAH Roommate Request Form. Requests for non-RCAH roommates will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis as space permits.


How big is my room? What are the dimensions? What can I bring/not bring?

Snyder-Phillips rooms are 10' x 12' in size. Please direct your other move-in questions to the Live On website, where these questions are answered in the FAQ section.


Is there an additional cost to be in the RCAH?

No, there are no additional costs. RCAH students pay the same tuition and fees as other MSU students.


What is my major as an RCAH student?

All RCAH students major in Arts and Humanities. During the second year, students choose an Elective Pathway to pursue within the major. The Elective Pathway enables students to pursue their own particular interests within the scope of the RCAH major, connect to and complement courses and programs available outside the RCAH, and prepare graduates of the RCAH for professional, academic, and other career opportunities.


What is the Elective Pathway?

While there is one major in the RCAH, there are a variety of paths through the major. Each pathway begins with a Topics course. Just as different Topics courses are possible; the content of the Topics courses will vary depending upon the interests of instructors and the resources available at the time in the RCAH. They are designed for maximum flexibility. For example, if a particular guest artist or writer is in residence at the time, a Topics course may place more emphasis on one set of questions or topics than others. Or, if students are engaged in a particular performance project or civic engagement project, the topic may also vary.

It is through their elective path of study that RCAH students achieve fluency, not just proficiency in their field. It is also how faculty inside and outside the RCAH collaborate through team teaching, faculty exchanges, and other innovate instructional models and pedagogical techniques.

Find specific examples of Elective Pathway topics here.


What is a liberal arts degree?

Students who pursue a liberal arts degree are not simply trained for the next position but gain competency in writing, philosophical examination, historical perspectives, and cultural understanding. They do not just learn some of the basic methods of investigation and presentation in these fields; they learn how they complement one another and how they can be used in combination to spark new ideas and new questions. That is what it means to have a competence, not just a technical skill.


What is an interdisciplinary major?

Because our world is rapidly changing, we need students who are ready to adapt to the flux and thrive within it. Because it is in interdisciplinary fields that some of the most important breakthroughs, we need to prepare students from multiple perspectives and diverse disciplines. This is well understood in fields such as neuro-science and evolutionary biology. It is also true where cognitive scientists are working with musicians to better understand what it means to "be in the moment" as a performer. It is true for philosophers working with agronomists to better understand the meaning of food security and better nutritional health in poor countries. It is true for printmakers and photographers working with psychologists to understand how an image can create sympathy or, alternatively, fear. It is true for film makers, working in a complex digital environment, who must find the right poetic language and musical score to bring these images to life.


Can I have an additional major, minor, or specialization outside of the RCAH?

Yes. As an RCAH student, your primary major will be Arts and Humanities. As a residential college, we will be your home base for advising and scheduling. An additional major, minor, or specialization can be added as early as the first day of classes in your first year.


What do most RCAH students do after graduation?

RCAH students are doing everything. From careers in both the private and public sector, to continuing their studies at some of the world’s top ranked graduate programs, RCAH students have gone on to chart their own path as leading scholars, activists, entrepreneurs, and change agents. Find specific information about career planning and placements after graduation here.


Can I transfer into the RCAH after my first or second year?

Yes. For more information, contact Niki Rudolph, the RCAH's Director of Students Affairs.