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Mississippi State University (MSU) is public land-grant research institution located near Starkville, Mississippi. Founded in 1878, the university is classified as a R1: Doctoral University – Very High Research Activity. In fact, its research and development budget is the largest of any higher education institution in Mississippi.
Overview of Mississippi State University (MSU)
The university is dedicated to providing academic, leadership, and social opportunities to help every person excel. Mississippi State University works closely with the nearby Starkville community to create a home away from home, with delicious local restaurants, great shopping spots, fun festivals, sporting events, and friendly residents.
The National Science Foundation also ranks Mississippi State University among the nation’s top 100 research institutions and as the Magnolia State’s leading research university. Additionally, the school ranks sixth in the world for impact of its entrepreneurship research initiatives.
The student population is 22,986, with 18,803 pursuing undergraduate degrees. Mississippi State University employs 1,244 full-time and 216 part-time faculty members. While most provide instructional support, approximately 298 dedicate time to research and public service. There are also 982 graduate assistant positions, 444 of which are instructional and 538 of which focus on research. Overall, the student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1.
|Campus Setting||Town: Remote|
|Student Faculty Ratio||17:1|
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MSU Acceptance Rate and Admissions
|High School GPA||Required|
|High School Rank||Recommended|
|High School Transcripts||Required|
|College Prep Courses||Required|
|TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)||Required|
|Common Application Accepted||Yes|
MSU Tuition Cost & Financial Aid
For Mississippi residents enrolled in undergraduate degree programs, the cost of tuition during the 2021-2022 academic year was $9,110. This does not, however, include the cost of room and board. The university estimates the cost of living on campus at $10,630 and the cost of living at home as $3,834. Students should also anticipate paying $110 in fees, $1,200 on books and supplies, $2,278 on transportation, and $3,132 on personal expenses. Those attending the university from out-of-state are encouraged to increase their total budget by $15,680 annually.
Tuition rates and fees are the same for graduate students, however, the cost of room and board increases to $14,028. The total indirect costs are $6,666. As with undergraduate students, those attending the university from out-of-state are encouraged to increase their total budget by $15,680 annually.
All Mississippi State University students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The results will be reviewed before an aid package is sent. The types of aid available include grants, scholarships, loans, and part-time employment. Eligibility for most of these programs is based upon demonstrated financial need, but most applicants receive some form of federal student aid assistance. As of the 2020-2021 academic year, 97% of full-time, beginning, undergraduate students received some form of financial aid. The majority of money awarded was in the form of grants and scholarships; however, 43% of students still required loans to attend the university.
|Average net price||2020-2021|
|Average Total Aid||$12,948|
|Students Receiving Financial Aid||97%|
|Room & Board||$10,630|
- Tuition In-State - $9,220
- Tuition Out-of-State - $24,900
- Books and Supplies - $1,200
- Room & Board - $10,630
- Other - $5,410
Mississippi State University combines classroom teaching and learning with endless experiences for students to apply the knowledge they gain in meaningful ways. The institution offers more than 175 programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Those enrolled are equipped with the proper tools for tackling tough issues and making big differences in society.
Students can choose to pursue degrees in any of the following eight academic colleges:
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
- College of Architecture, Art, and Design
- College of Arts and Sciences
- College of Business
- College of Education
- College of Forest Resources
- College of Veterinary Medicine
- James Worth Bagley College of Engineering
As of fall 2020, Mississippi State University had first-year undergraduate retention rate of 85% for full-time students and 67% for part-time students. Notably, the national average is 68%. This indicates that the majority of students enrolled at the university were happy enough with their academic experience to return the following year.
The overall graduation rate for students who began their studies in 2015 was 60%. This data shows how frequently students complete their degrees or certificate programs within 150% of standard time. While 36% of full-time, first-time students graduated within four years, the majority of those enrolled were able to complete their studies within six years.
Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCC), which is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. The university is authorized to confer baccalaureate, master’s, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Additionally, several of the institution’s programs have gained specialized accreditation. Some notable examples include the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), and Wildlife Society.
Student Population Total
Most Popular Programs & Majors
(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)
|All Business Majors||826 Total Graduates / 18%|
|Business Administration and Management, General||324 Graduates|
|Marketing/Marketing Management, General||210 Graduates|
|Finance, General||89 Graduates|
|All Engineering Majors||777 Total Graduates / 17%|
|Mechanical Engineering||192 Graduates|
|Civil Engineering, General||107 Graduates|
|Chemical Engineering||100 Graduates|
|Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering||79 Graduates|
|All Education Majors||322 Total Graduates / 7%|
|Elementary Education and Teaching||169 Graduates|
|Secondary Education and Teaching||57 Graduates|
|Educational/Instructional Technology||39 Graduates|
|Special Education and Teaching, General||23 Graduates|
|Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology||291 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Exercise Science and Kinesiology||291 Graduates|
|Agricultural/Animal/Plant/Veterinary Science and Related Fields||280 Total Graduates / 6%|
|Animal Sciences, General||68 Graduates|
|Agribusiness/Agricultural Business Operations||44 Graduates|
|Food Science||38 Graduates|
|Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician and Veterinary Assistant||32 Graduates|
|All Other Diplomas||49%|
Outcome & Salary
The career center at Mississippi State University reported that 97% of 2020-2021 university graduates were employed or working on advanced degrees within six months after graduation. Survey data also shows career success in the military or service-oriented programs. This indicates that students are gaining the necessary knowledge and skills to enter the job market and secure employment.
It’s also worth noting that that more than half of the graduate who reported their employment location remained in Mississippi to work; 86% found work in the southeastern United States. Many who completed undergraduate degrees also chose to remain at Mississippi State University to work on advanced degrees.
Some of the top employers for Mississippi State University graduates include:
- Starkville-Oktibbeha and Desoto County School Districts
- Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation
- International Paper
- U.S. Army
Additionally, Mississippi State University ranks number one in the state for best value college. Graduates earn higher salaries than those from any other Mississippi state college or university. The average starting salary after graduation is $55,100, which is $2,700 above the next highest institution.
|College Grads Early Career Salary||$55,100|
|College Grads Average Salary||$70,000|
|College Grads Mid Career Salary||$99,100|
|Return on Investment (ROI)|
|10 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$700,000|
|20 Year Salary Earnings Potential||$1,691,000|
|Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year||$64,700|
|10 Year Projected ROI||$635,300|
|20 Year Projected ROI||$1,626,300|
|No College Education Salary Comparison|
|National Average Salary||$38,792|
|10 Year Projected Income||$387,920|
|20 Year Projected Income||$775,840|
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