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Criminal Background Check (CBC) Process for Student Employment


The university strives to offer a safe and enjoyable educational environment for all students, faculty, and staff in support of its educational mission. In support of that goal, this document sets forth the process for conducting Student Employment CBCs. The information obtained as a result of this search may be used in evaluating the suitability for employment or continuation of employment with Michigan State University.


CBCs are strongly recommended for MSU undergraduate student employee jobs where the student employee will be working with cash, financial information or children. Student employees who apply for a position in which a background check is recommended may not be allowed to begin employment until a CBC has been completed.

Note: Requirements for Graduate Student CBC.


The Student Employee CBC Authorization Forms should be submitted to MSU HR a minimum of ten (10) business days before the student’s start date. 

Hiring Department Responsibilities:

  • Inform student employees if a criminal background check is required for the position at MSU.

  • Accurately complete Section 1 of the Student Employee CBC Authorization Form.

    • Hiring departments are responsible for determining if a check is needed for the student position and making sure the form gets filled out and submitted.

    • If a potential student employee believes a background check has recently been done through Human Resources, you may contact Human Resources via email

  • Ensure Section 2 is filled out, signed and dated by the student employee.

  • Submit form to HR. Forms can be submitted in the following ways:

    • Email:

    • Mail: MSU Human Resources
      Attn: Student Employment CBC
      1407 S. Harrison Rd, Suite 110
      East Lansing, MI 48823

Student Employee Responsibilities:

  • Complete Section 2: select the authorize MSU checkbox, sign and date the form.

    *Note: The Criminal History section includes all misdemeanor and felony charges on record and/or any pending felony charges. A yes response will not automatically disqualify an individual from consideration.

  • The student or department should submit the form to MSU Human Resources for processing in the previously mentioned ways.

MSU Human Resources Responsibilities:

  • Initiates the CBC once an authorization form is received using the following tools:

    • Michigan Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT).

    • Michigan Department of Corrections' Offender Tracking Information System (OTIS).

    • National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW).

    • NOTE: Foreign nationals who come to the university directly from residence outside of the US are not required to undergo a criminal background check as they have obtained necessary background clearances through the Department of Homeland Security. However, if they have been living in the US for at least six months, a criminal background check is required.

  • Reviews CBC results and assesses eligibility.

    • The assessment of a candidate’s criminal history will take into account:

      • The nature and gravity of any criminal offense(s);

      • The individual’s age at the time of the offense(s);

      • The quantity and type of offense (felony, misdemeanor, traffic violations, etc.);

      • The sentence or sanction for the offense and compliance with the sanction(s);

      • The amount of time that has passed since the offense and/or completion of the sentence(s);

      • Whether there is a pattern of offenses;

      • Whether the offense arose in connection with the applicant’s prior employment;

      • Information supplied by the applicant about the offense(s);

      • Work record and references after the offense(s);

      • Subsequent criminal activity; and

      • Truthfulness of the applicant in disclosing the offense(s).

    • Notifies individuals who do not have satisfactory CBC results and provides opportunity for explanation/clarification before a final decision regarding eligibility is made. If individuals are deemed ineligible, a formal decision letter will be sent to the address provided on the authorization form.

      • MSU HR may consult with the department to evaluate the relevancy of the applicant’s criminal history to the position the candidate is seeking. MSU HR may also seek advice and guidance from other university offices, such as the MSU Police Department and Office of the General Counsel.

      • Notifies department via email of the outcome of the CBC for those that are not eligible.

      • Performs applicable record keeping.

Impact of CBC and Sex Offender Registry Results:

  • The following types of convictions will normally render an individual ineligible to work as a student employee on campus for the above-mentioned positions:

    • Drug distribution activity or felony drug possession

    • Sexual offenses

    • Crimes of violence involving physical injury to another person

    • Child abuse, molestation or other crimes involving child endangerment

    • Murder

    • Kidnapping

    • Any other felony or crime involving moral turpitude

*Note: Individuals who have direct contact with minors may generally not be listed on any sex offender registry.

Refer questions to MSU Human Resources by emailing