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Mississippi State University College Portrait

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Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University

Mississippi State University enrolls more than 20,000 students from all 50 states and some 88 countries. The state’s flagship research university, the institution is one of only 108 nationwide carrying the “very high research activity” classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The Carnegie Foundation also has designated MSU as a top “Community Engagement” university for its efforts in service learning. With the state’s only College of Veterinary Medicine and School of Architecture, MSU is home to the prestigious Bagley College of Engineering, known regionally and nationally as a leader in this field. Mississippi State is the most diverse university in the Southeastern Conference, with an African American population of 19 percent and with recognition as a top 20 “military friendly” institution.

The university offers more than 165 programs leading to baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees. In addition to Veterinary Medicine and Architecture, MSU’s other academic colleges are Agriculture and Life Sciences; Arts and Sciences; Business; Education; Engineering; and Forest Resources. Most recently, the MSU’s Mitchell Memorial Library became the host of the Ulysses S. Grant Presidential Library, one of only five presidential libraries in the nation housed at a U.S. higher education institution.


Living in the BULLDOGS Community

The Bulldog Community

Graphic Silhouette of College Students

Mississippi State is a member of the highly competitive Southeastern Conference and fields seven intercollegiate sports for men and nine for women. Recreational and club sports also are a big part of campus life and include everything from ultimate Frisbee and rock climbing to paintball and weight lifting. Learning communities play a major role at MSU, with the Shackouls Honors College enrolling more than 1,400 and the Montgomery Leadership Program encouraging skills that turn students into world-class citizens. MSU also expands horizons for students through study abroad programs and, at the same time, brings global students into the Bulldog family through an active international education program.

Along with pursuit of academics, Mississippi State encourages its students to participate in service learning, having clocked more than 247,000 hours in local communities each year. With more than 300 student organizations, those new to campus have an array of fraternities and sororities, service clubs, and religious and political groups in which to find new friends. A variety of campus offices and departments are committed to the well-being of each student, with services available for academic support, career counseling, safety, physical disabilities, and more.


The Big Picture: How many students were on campus in Fall 2015?

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Undergraduate and Graduate Student Total
Total Students 20,873

Undergraduate Snapshot

Undergraduate Student Demographic Breakdown
Total Undergraduate Students 17,421
Women 8,539 49%
Men 8,882 51%
American Indian / Alaskan Native 95 1%
Asian 211 1%
African American / Black 3,612 21%
Hispanic 428 2%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 11 <1%
White 12,455 71%
Two or More Races 260 1%
International 253 1%
Race/Ethnicity Not Reported 96 1%
Geographic Distribution (Degree-Seeking)
Where do MSU undergraduates call home?
Mississippi 71%
Other US States & Territories 28%
Other Countries 1%
How old are MSU undergraduates?
Average Age 22
Percent of Undergraduates Age 25 or Older 90%

New Student Applications (Fall 2015)

Of the 12,701 new freshman applicants, 72% were admitted and 38% of the admitted students enrolled at Mississippi State University in Fall 2015.
Of the 3,042 transfer applicants, 63% were admitted and 97% of the admitted students enrolled at Mississippi State University in Fall 2015.

New Freshman Admissions Info

Transfer Admissions Info


New Freshmen High School Background and Test Scores

Test(s) Required for Admission: SAT or ACT recommended

Shows middle 50% of testing range
Test Scores of Enrolled New Freshmen ACT SAT
Composite 20 - 27  
Math 21 - 29 480 - 640
English 19 - 26  
Critical Reading   480 - 620
50% of admitted students have test scores within the ranges listed, 25% have scores above, and 25% have scores below.
High School Preparation
High School Background of Enrolled New Freshmen
Percent in top 25% of High School Graduating Class 52%
Percent in top 50% of High School Graduating Class 82%
Percent of New Freshmen who submitted HS GPA 73%
Average High School GPA (4-point scale) 3.34
Percent who submitted High School GPA 100%

Sticker Price: How much does it cost on average?

Typical Undergraduate Costs for without Financial Aid (Full-Time, In-State Students)

Total Typical Cost of Attendance: $22,924

Out-of-State & Other Costs

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The cost to attend Mississippi State University varies based on the individual circumstances of students and may be reduced through grants and scholarships.

How much would I pay?

Financial Aid: How much help is there to pay?

Scholarships & Grants

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based grants or scholarships; the average award for the year was $0. Scholarships and grants are financial aid that does not need to be repaid and is sometimes referred to as gift aid.

Annual Need-Based Loans

  • <1% of full-time undergraduates received need-based work-study and/or loans (not including parent loans); the average loan for the year was $0. Loans need to be repaid. Typically, repayment starts once you are no longer enrolled full-time. Please refer to page 12 of the Funding Education Beyond High School guide on the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid website for more information about Financial Need.

Percent of 2014 Full-time Beginning Students Receiving Each Type of Financial Aid

NOTE: Students may receive aid from more than one source.


MSU Classes & Instructors

Classroom Environment
Students per Faculty 19 to 1
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 30 students 69%
Undergraduate classes with fewer than 50 students 86%
Total Full-Time Instructional Faculty 902
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Female 39%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Are Persons of Color 17%
% of Full-Time Instructional Faculty Who Have the Highest Academic Degree Offered in Their Field of Study 80%

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Campus-based Housing

96% of new freshmen live in campus-based housing or residence halls.
27% of all undergraduates live on campus

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Campus Safety

The MSU Police Department is a Nationally Accredited full-service Law Enforcement agency that is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year. The Department works towards building partnerships with the university community to provide a safer environment with such programs and services as Cops-on-Bikes, Operation Identification, R.A.D. Program, Community Police Officers, Bully Patrol and K9 officers. The Police Department may be contacted at 662.325.2121 for information or requests for services.


Campus Crime Statistics


Carnegie Classification of Institutional Characteristics

The Carnegie Classification's were created "to reference the great diversity of colleges and universities in the United States, and ... enable [people] to identify groups of roughly comparable institutions." For information on the Carnegie Classifications system, please visit their website: http://classifications.carnegiefoundation.org/

Basic Type
Research Universities (very high research activity)
Size and Setting
Large four-year, primarily residential
Enrollment Profile
High undergraduate
Undergraduate Profile
Full-time four-year, more selective, higher transfer-in
Undergraduate Instructional Program
Professions plus arts & sciences, high graduate coexistence
Graduate Instructional Program
Comprehensive doctoral with medical/veterinary

NOTE: Institutional classifications based on the Carnegie 2005 edition.

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Student Activities and Involvement at MSU

Students who are actively involved in their own learning and development are more likely to be successful in college. Colleges and universities offer students a wide variety of opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to become engaged with new ideas, people, and experiences. Institutions measure the effectiveness of these opportunities in a variety of ways to better understand what types of activities and programs students find the most helpful.

Institutions participating in the VSA program measure student involvement on campus using one of four national surveys. Results from the one survey are reported for a common set of questions selected as part of VSA. Following are the selected results from the National Survey of Student Engagement v2 (NSSE2). The questions have been grouped together in categories that are known to contribute to student learning and development. The results reported below are based on the responses of seniors who participated in the survey.

Group Learning Experiences

  • 93% of senior worked with other students on course projects (1h)
  • 95% of seniors explained course material to one or more students (1f)
  • 33% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week participating in co-curricular activities such as student organizations and intramural sports (15b)

Active Learning Experiences

  • 80% of seniors spent at least 6 hours per week preparing for class (15a)
  • 20% of seniors worked on a research project with a faculty member (11e)
  • 48% of seniors participated in an internship, co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement (11a)
  • 12% of seniors spent at least 6 hours doing community service or volunteer work (15e)
  • 5% of seniors participated in study abroad (11d)
  • 86% of seniors made at least one course presentation last year (1i)

Institutional Commitment to Student Learning and Success

  • 96% of seniors who believe this institution emphasizes providing support to help students succeed academically (14b)
  • 75% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with academic advisors to be positive (13b)
  • 71% of seniors reported that this institution provided help in coping with work, family and other non-academic responsibilities (14g)
  • 87% of seniors reporting that their course challenged them to do their best work most of the time (10)

Student Interaction with Campus Faculty and Staff

  • 93% of seniors reported that faculty members provided prompt and detailed feedback on tests or completed assignments (5e)
  • 78% of seniors discussed course topics, ideas, or concepts with a faculty member outside of class (3c)

Experiences with Diverse Groups of People and Ideas

  • 64% of seniors reported that they often tried to understand someone else's point of view (2e)
  • 93% of seniors reported their experiences at this institution contributed to their understanding people of other backgrounds (17h)
  • 73% of seniors often had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity (8a)

Student Satisfaction

  • 88% of seniors would attend this institution if they started over again (19)
  • 93% of seniors rated their entire educational experience as good or excellent (18)
  • 88% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with other students to be positive (13a)
  • 78% of seniors who rated the quality of interactions with faculty to be positive (13c)

Evaluation of Experiences

Survey Administration Process

Survey Information


Majors and Degrees

Degrees awarded at Mississippi State University in 2014-15
Degrees awarded at Mississippi State University in 2014-15
Bachelor's 3,211
Master's 785
Doctoral 226
Total 4,222
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Areas of Study with the largest number of bachelor's degrees awarded in 2014-15
Health and Physical Education/Fitness. 9%
Business Administration, Management and Operations. 7%
Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other. 6%
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Levels and Methods. 6%
Communication and Media Studies. 5%
Links to degree programs at Mississippi State University
Links to degree programs at Mississippi State University





Future Plans of Bachelor's Degree Recipients

Survey Response Rate: 100%

Survey Administration Process

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Student Success & Progress Rate

A 88% four-year success and progress rate means that 88% of students starting in Fall 2009 either graduated or are still enrolled at a higher education institution four years later.
Counts for the Fall 2009 entering class shown in the graph above.
  • 2,445 First-Time, Full-Time Students
  • 1,266 Full-Time Transfer Students

Success & Progress Rate Table


Retention of Freshman Class

First-time students in Fall 2014 that returned for their second year: 82%

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Student Learning at Mississippi State University

All colleges and universities use multiple approaches to measure student learning. Many of these are specific to particular disciplines, many are coordinated with accrediting agencies, and many are based on outcomes after students have graduated.

Learning Assessment Examples


Pilot Project to Measure Core Learning Outcomes

Colleges and universities participating in the College Portrait measure the typical improvement in students' abilities to think, reason, and write using one of three tests. This is part of a pilot project to better understand and compare what students learn between their freshman and senior years at different colleges and universities.