Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University Enrollment and Financial Aid Info

Located near Starkville, Mississippi, Mississippi State University (MSU) is a 4-year school that offers undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate programs. Read about the pros and cons of the school, plus ranking, tuition and admission information.

Is Mississippi State University the School for You?

MSU is a public research institution situated just outside the town of Starkville, Mississippi, roughly 125 miles from the state capital of Jackson. This school offers more than 160 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including highly ranked veterinary medicine and agricultural engineering programs. Review the facts below to determine if MSU is for you.


  • Total costs are around $3,000 lower for in-state students and nearly $7,000 lower for out-of-state students than the national averages for public, 4-year universities
  • High number of academic programs
  • Accepts dual and advanced placement (AP) credits
  • Offers distance education courses as well as weekend and evening sessions


  • Graduation rate is ten percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is four points higher than the national average of 16:1
  • High number of TAs teaching classes

Rankings & School Analysis

As an MSU student, you can enjoy access to more than 160 academic programs. You can even take advantage of the school's flexible scheduling options, which allow you take classes online or during the weekends and in the evenings. MSU also provides students with career services, including mentorship opportunities and job search assistance.

Mississippi State University offers the traditional arts and sciences majors found at many national universities. It's also home to programs in such areas as forestry, agriculture, architecture, engineering and veterinary medicine. In fact, MSU's graduate agricultural engineering program received a top 25 ranking from U.S. News & World Report for 2013. Its veterinary medicine program also received this distinction in 2011. Additionally, MSU was ranked 87th among public national universities and 160th among national universities overall by U.S. News & World Report for 2013.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), the 4-year graduation rate for MSU students who began their bachelor's degree programs in 2005 was 30%. This figure is ten percentage points lower than the national average 4-year graduation rate of 40%. However, as many as 60% of this MSU cohort completed their programs within six years of study.

Mississippi State University is a relatively affordable option among public 4-year schools. NCES reports that in-state students paid $14,750 for tuition, fees and housing during the 2012-2013 school year, while out-of-state students paid $24,314. These expenses were considerably lower than the national average costs of $17,860 for in-state students and $30,911 for out-of-state students during this same year.

Getting In & Financial Aid at Mississippi State University

MSU requires prospective undergraduate students to complete a college preparatory curriculum that includes coursework in the natural sciences, mathematics, English, the social sciences and a foreign language. Your GPA in these classes determines the minimum ACT or SAT score needed for admission, though applicants with a 3.20 GPA or higher are not required to submit these standardized test scores.

Students who do not meet curriculum, GPA or standardized test requirements may be asked to complete additional testing and counseling in order to gain full admission status. According to NCES, Mississippi State University accepted 62% of students who applied in the Fall of 2012; 45% of students who were accepted eventually enrolled.

Although MSU accepts applications for admission on a rolling basis, you should submit your financial aid application by April 1 to receive priority consideration for loans, need-based scholarships and work-study aid. Available awards also include merit scholarships for students talented in athletics, including basketball, baseball and soccer. Additionally, the school offers scholarships for individuals in the Air Force and Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps, or ROTC. U.S News & World Report states that first-year undergraduates received an average financial aid package of $12,945 during the 2011 academic year. According to NCES, 88% of these students were awarded grants or scholarships; 57% took out loans.

Application and Tuition Info
Regular Application Deadline (2011) Rolling*
Financial Aid Priority Application Deadline (2013-2014) April 1**
Admission Notification Date (2013-2014) Beginning September 1**
Application Fee (as of 2013) $40***
Acceptance Rate (2012) 62%****
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $6,264 in-state; $15,828 out-of-state****
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $12,945 for first-time undergraduates*
% of Students with Need Met (2011) 30% of first-time undergraduates*
Average Student Debt at Graduation (2011) $26,008*
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 7.2%****

Student Life at Mississippi State University

As an MSU student, you can live in one of several residence halls, designated learning communities, Greek housing facilities or apartment complexes situated on the school's rural campus. While only 27% of undergraduate students live in college housing, 96% of first-year students live on campus, according to College Board. This is largely due to the fact that the school requires freshman students to live in one of its residence halls.

You can also enjoy a range of extracurricular activities, including Division I women's and men's sports, choral groups, music ensembles, sororities and fraternities, campus ministries and a model United Nations. According to U.S. News & World Report, 5% of men and 8% of women were members of a Greek organization in 2011.

Student Life Info
Campus Setting Rural*
Student Population (2011) 16,312 undergraduate and 4,112 graduate students****
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 52% to 48%****
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 92%****
% of In-State Students (2011) 65%****
% of International Students (2011) 1%****
Retention Rate (2011) 83% of full-time students; 33% of part-time students****
Campus Housing Available Yes****
% of Students Living on Campus (no date) 27% of all undergraduates**
Number of Libraries More than 5***
Extracurricular Activities Almost 200 student organizations and clubs*
Noteworthy One of the only universities to have a presidential library***

Article Sources: *U.S. News and World Report, **College Board, ***Mississippi State University, ****NCES College Navigator.

School Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Admissions and Scholarships, P.O. Box 6334, 25 Old Main, 101 Montgomery Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6334
  • Phone: (662) 325-2224