Skip navigation links

Multi-Factor Authentication

Michigan State University added steps to safeguard personal and institutional data by applying multi-factor authentication.

What is MFA?

In late 2021, MSU transitioned from two-factor authentication (also known as 2FA or Symantec VIP) to a new multi-factor authentication solution (MFA or Okta Verify). Symantec VIP/2FA options no longer work and must be replaced with Okta Verify or another MFA option.

Stronger authentication methods, like multi-factor authentication, are needed to protect systems that store sensitive and restricted information. Like many organizations, MSU uses MFA to safeguard personal and institutional data within our community by pairing something an individual has (e.g., a randomized security code) with something they know (e.g., a password). An MFA credential is a method by which you receive your randomized security code.

Register your credential

Register and manage your multi-factor authentication profile and credentials any time by following these steps.

register now icon

MFA credential options

During registration, you may choose the verification method that works for you:

  • Okta Verify mobile app (recommended)
    • Download from:
  • Text message
  • Voice call
  • Built-in biometric authenticators
    • Some computers may utilize built-in biometric devices (i.e. fingerprint scanners, facial recognition, Mac TouchID, Windows Hello).
  • Security key
    • If you are unable to use any of the verification methods above to receive your MFA code, you may purchase a physical security key by visiting the MSU Tech Store.

Use your MFA credential

When logging in to an MSU application that requires multi-factor authentication, you first provide your username and password and then select a credential you registered that delivers your randomized security code.

The randomized security code is delivered differently depending on the credential method you select. For example, the Okta Verify mobile app will display the code automatically on your mobile device. For text messages or voice calls, you must click a button to have the code sent to your mobile phone or via phone call.

MFA login process:

  1. Go to the MSU application or website you want to access
  2. Type in your username and password as you normally would and click Login
  3. Select one of the credentials you registered from the list to receive your randomized security code
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the verification

Set up Okta Verify on a new phone

If you want to transfer the Okta Verify app to your new phone, you need to takes a few steps before resetting/wiping the memory on your old phone. Sign in to and follow the steps for Apple or Android devices.

Issues with existing MFA credential

Learn how to address issues with your existing credentials.


If you have questions or need help, contact MSU IT Service Desk at (517) 432-6200 or

MSU Documentation