Mississippi State University is the common name given to the Mississippi State University of Agriculture and Applied Science. Students commonly refer to the university as MSU. Originally founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, it went by Mississippi A&M for a number of years. The flagship campus went through a variety of changes that helped the college expand and eventually became a university. MSU now has a separate satellite campus in Meridian. Though this smaller campus doesn’t offer as many degree programs as the main campus does, it does offer degrees that culminate in a college degree.
Three different publications nationally ranked MSU. While Washington Monthly ranked it within the top 80 schools, U.S. News & World Report ranked it within the top 160 schools. Forbes ranked the university within the top 300 colleges in the country. MSU also offers two graduate programs that rank as the nation’s best: engineering and veterinary medicine. Other recognition comes from other publications and organizations. Forbes and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance noted the university for its low tuition costs, and other groups highlighted the number of minority students enrolled in popular programs. Notable alumni who graduated from MSU include professional athletes, politicians and actors.
Mississippi State University Accreditation Details
Students looking at Mississippi State University will discover that the university has two different types of accreditation. The most notable is its regional accreditation, which comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). SACS accreditation officially gives students the right to get financial assistance from the government. The SACS requires that the university go through a renewal process every decade to ensure that it continues meeting all the requirements necessary for regional accreditation. MSU also has program accreditation that applies to certain programs. The Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET) offers accreditation for its degree programs in computer science and its more than nine engineering programs, which include aerospace, electrical, civil, mechanical and industrial engineering.
There are more than 10 other organizations that gave Mississippi State University accreditation for some of its degree programs, including:
- American Society of Landscape Architects
- Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs
- American Psychological Association
- National Association of Schools of Art and Design
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences
- Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration
- Council for Interior Design Accreditation
Mississippi State University Application Requirements
Students applying to Mississippi State University must ensure that they meet all application requirements before completing the online application. MSU requires that students successfully complete a college preparatory curriculum. This includes four units of English, three units of math, science and social studies, at least ½ technology unit, one art unit and two electives. They must have a 3.20 grade point average in those classes, which they will show through the submission of an official high school transcript. Those who have a lower GPA in those courses will need to score higher than a 16 on the ACT or higher than a 770 on the SAT and show that they graduated within the top 50% of their class. MSU has a special program available for students who do not meet these requirements. This program gives them the chance to take classes on campus and demonstrate that they can handle those courses before enrolling full-time in a degree program.
The online application has a $40 fee attached that students must pay when they submit the application. Those who were turned down in the past and want to reapply will not face an application fee. The online application lets students create a personal account and check the status of their application later.
Tuition and Financial Aid
While looking at courses and experiences available on campus is important, students should also look closely at the cost of attendance. Mississippi State University has a low tuition rate that appeals to many students. Mississippi residents pay just $3,751 a semester when taking a full course load. Room and board adds around $1,800 to this cost. After looking at personal expenses, MSU estimates that residents living in the state will pay around $8,800 a semester. Residents from outside of Mississippi typically pay around $15,100 a semester for their courses and living expenses.
MSU offers different financial aid packages to students based on the FAFSA that they fill out and submit. Federal Pell grants and similar grants give students money that they do not need to pay back later, but grants are usually only available to those who demonstrate a large amount of financial need. TEACH grants are exclusive grants that are only available to education majors who agree to teach in areas with a high need later. Students and their parents also qualify for certain types of loans. MSU recommends that Mississippi residents look into state grants and apply for these programs, which give locals extra money for their college expenses.
Mississippi State University is home to 17 different residence halls, including those open only to male students and some only open to female students. These residence halls often host special events for students and throw parties for residents living in those halls. Students can also join organizations relating to the media. The university has its own literary magazine that goes out to subscribers across the country and a radio station that is popular both on and off campus. Another special program that students love is the university’s guest lecturer program. This program brings in famous authors and celebrities to talk with students.
Greek life is also popular on campus. In addition to fraternities and sororities, there are also honors societies and service societies. Service societies allow students to work in the community and give back. Those enrolled in specific programs will also find groups and organizations open to students within that field of study. Communications majors, for example, can join the Improv club and practice their comedic timing and skills on a real stage. Those who like sports will appreciate the cow bell, which is a tradition on campus. Those attending football, basketball and other types of games bring their own cow bells to ring. Mississippi State University has an active and thriving population of students who love the school.