Spartan 365 - General Information about Spartan 365 and Spartan Mail


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Spartan 365 is a suite of Microsoft Office software customized, configured, and secured for MSU’s unique environment. It provides a common collaboration platform for the MSU community and can be used on multiple devices. The service is provided to students, active faculty/staff, and official retirees (including Emeriti / Emerit). For all others, former employees, former students who left before completing a degree program, access to MS 365 licensed services including e-mail, teams, one drive, office downloads. etc., will expire no more than 30 days after leaving the university. 

Licensing notation

Spartan 365 is provided primarily for conducting MSU-related (institutional) business, teaching, and research. Ongoing access to messages and saved files is dependent on licensing status and will not persist for non-eligible individuals. Because institutional licensing and eligibility criteria may change, it is not recommended to use your MSU account as a primary email account, nor is it recommended to use it for password recovery options of other accounts.

You can login to your Spartan 365 account at (link).

Additional Help and FAQs are available at (link).

What is Provided and Supported

Details on the current service offering and provided support are available on (link). Keep in mind:

  • The license can be used on both personal and MSU-owned computers and devices.
  • The license expires when you leave Michigan State University.
  • The license is a per-person license. It is not appropriate to share Office 365 ProPlus with family and friends as the software occasionally requires the user to present a MSU NetID and password. Sharing your MSU NetID password with others is strictly prohibited.

MSU Extension Licensing

MSU Extension employees receive licensing for many online Spartan 365 apps but may not install them locally. Login at (link) to access them.

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When Are New Accounts Issued?

  • Undergrad Students are notified of their NetID and email accounts thru the admissions portal as they are accepted to MSU.
  • Grad Students should check with their department.
  • Newly hired staff will obtain their NetID and email accounts after their hiring paperwork has been background checked by HR and they have been finalized for hiring. The hiring department in the unit that is hiring them will let them know when this happens. Once this happens, they can contact the ID Office as needed to obtain their activation PIN.
  • New faculty can obtain a NetID and account before their start date after their unit has submitted draft paperwork for their hire. After this has happened they can contact the ID office to obtain a PIN to activate their NetID. Once their NetID is activated, their email account will be created the next day.

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How to Download Spartan 365

  • University-purchased devices should have the software automatically installed. If not, contact your local IT for assistance, or reach out to the IT Service Desk at (517)432-6200
  • For other devices:
    1. Check if your licensing (as detailed on (link)) allows Office downloads.
      • If it does, then the license provides for installation on:
        • up to five PCs and Macs; and
        • up to five Windows tablets, iPads and smartphones.
      • Else, you cannot install the apps on any devices.
    2. Log in to (link) and click on the Install Office button at the top right of the screen.

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Multi-Factor Authentication

MFA authentication adds a layer of protection to your Spartan 365 account that protect you from someone else using your username and password to login. Learn more about MFA at (link).

When you setup your device to connect to Spartan Mail, or other services like Microsoft Word, you will be prompted for MFA. MFA cannot be disabled.

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Spartan Mail - MSU's Email Solution

Spartan Mail is the robust email and calendaring solution in Office 365. Microsoft started enforcing Modern Authentication in October of 2022. Now only clients that support Modern Authentication will be able to access MSU email. Supported clients are listed in the Office 365 Support section at the bottom of (link).

How to Configure Clients for Spartan Mail

Note that email clients such as MacOS (Apple) or Windows Mail that support modern authentication will work with the Spartan / Microsoft 365 service on a self-support basis. However, if you are no longer licensed for the use of the MS Outlook client, the BEST options is to use the Outlook Web Application (OWA) through a web browser, at​​

Instructions to configure different clients for Spartan Mail are listed below:

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Email Forwarding

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Known Issues and Other Information

  • Okta has been implemented (link) for Office 365 since January 2022.
  • The "can't access your account" link on the Microsoft portal page is NOT linked to MSU and will not operate correctly as a way to reset an Office 365 password.
  • The size limit for email attachments is 100mb in Office 365. If you are emailing to other services, however, those limits may be different. Additional information from Microsoft is available (link).
  • For student employees (or former employees), Office 365 uses data from the individual's EBS/HR record for the name displayed in the account. This overrides any information that is in the Student Information System.
  • Name display: CampusAD governance dictates that the name display in the format of Lastname, Firstname. This is not a preference that can be changed by an end user. Email From header will be in the form of Lastname, Firstname <>.
  • Spartan Mail is only showing my NetID instead of Lastname, Firstname (link, KB 774)

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Other Office Software in Spartan 365

Note the list below is a non-exhaustive. To see all Office 365 applications you have access to:

  1. Log in to (link)
  2. Select the waffle menu (a grid of 9 dots) in the upper-left corner
  3. Select All apps
  4. You're done! You should now have a list of all the apps you have access to

Spartan Drive

Spartan Drive is available to current MSU Faculty, Staff, and Students. After leaving the university, individuals will want to move any information to another source if desired (personal one drive or personal Google Drive or other). Individuals leaving the university should receive a 30 day notice before their storage space is removed.

Microsoft Teams

Microsoft Teams is available to current MSU Faculty, Staff, and Students. Individuals should receive a 30 day notice before their teams will be removed after graduating or leaving the university.

Microsoft To-Do

Microsoft Teams is available to current MSU Faculty, Staff, and Students. Individuals should receive a 30 day notice before their To-Do will be removed after graduating or leaving the university.

Visio and Project for Department Use

Departments may purchase Project and Visio licenses through the MSU Tech Store for individuals that work in their units. Go to the MSU TechStore page (link) and enter visio or project in the search bar.

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Problems With an Installed Spartan 365 Application

If an Office application such as Word or Excel isn’t working correctly such as opening in a "Read Only" mode:

  1. Restart the app. This will often fix the problem.
  2. If the app still does not work correctly, restart your computer.
  3. If the app still does not work correctly, open Word or Excel, etc, and sign out of the Microsoft account. Sign in again using your credential.
  4. If none of the above work try repairing your installation (link).

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Available Training

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When I Leave MSU

As described on (link), MSU licenses MS Office for eligible MSU persons. When you leave the university you will lose access to your licenses (normally within 30 days after you are no longer considered current). You should receive a 30 day notice before any licenses are removed. If you have formally retired from the university or were attending classes at MSU after June 1st, 2015 and graduated with a degree, you will lose your licenses but will be allowed to keep your email.

If you want to continue using Office 365 after your departure, see Can I pay to keep my MSU O365 license (link, KB 776).

How to Move My MSU Email and OneDrive


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Article ID: 1168
Wed 3/29/23 3:43 PM
Thu 5/23/24 2:22 PM

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