Mississippi State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

After Congress passed the Morrill Land-Grant Act, Mississippi State University was founded as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi in 1878. The college remained segregated until 1965 when the first African American student enrolled. Endowed for $456 million, MSU is now a public, doctoral-granting RU/VH research institution holding sea-grant, space-grant, and land-grant status. Annually, Mississippi State enrolls more than 20,800 students on-campus and online. On a sprawling 4,200-acre rural campus, MSU stands in Starkville within northern Mississippi's Golden Triangle region. Divided into 12 academic divisions, Mississippi State University achieves an average retention rate of 80.5 percent.

According to the U.S. News, MSU is the 161st best national university, 88th top public school, and 131st best college for veterans. In particular, the Bagley College of Engineering is lauded as America's 105th best engineering school with the 7th top online master's in engineering programs. Forbes ranked Mississippi State University as the 141st best research institute nationwide. Washington Monthly placed MSU 77th among the country's master's-level universities for "contributions to the public good." Diversity Issues in Higher Education recognized Mississippi State in the top 15 for awarding engineering degrees to African Americans. Kiplinger's Personal Finance also named MSU in the nation's top 100 "Baccalaureate Bargains."

Mississippi State University Accreditation Details

Last reaffirmed in 2014, Mississippi State University is regionally accredited at Level VI by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This is one of six agencies recognized by the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The James Worth Bagley College of Engineering maintains programmatic approval with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). Degrees meet guidelines for the Engineering Accrediting Commission (EAC) and Computing Accrediting Commission (CAC). MSU also has recognition from the Accreditation Council for Cooperative Education (ACCE).

Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of 71 percent, Mississippi State University has a selective admissions process. For online engineering programs, prospective students must already hold a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college. Having earned an undergraduate engineering major from an ABET-accredited institution is strongly preferred. Extra foundational courses are required otherwise. Master's programs mandate a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Curriculum prerequisites must be completed with a "B" or better. Provisional admission may be available for students with a GPA of 2.7 or higher. Students from non-ABET accredited programs must submit GRE scores. Foreign students must score at least 79 (iBT) or 500 (pBT) on the TOEFL.

Before the distance deadlines on August 1st, December 1st, and May 15th, engineering applicants should apply to the Graduate School by submitting:

  • Online MSU graduate admissions packet
  • Payment for the non-refundable $60 fee
  • Official transcripts from every college
  • Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores via code 1480
  • Three professional letters of recommendation
  • Minimum 500-word statement of purpose
  • Proof of English language proficiency (if applicable)

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time graduate students from Mississippi are charged $3,890 per semester for tuition and fees. Non-resident graduates enrolling full-time are billed $10,450 each semester. Part-time learners can pay $432 (in-state) or $1,161 (out-of-state) per credit. Online students follow a different tuition structure though. MSU's distance programs will charge graduates $426 with a $25 instructional support fee for $451 total per credit. For the 30-credit online Master's in Engineering programs, total tuition will be $13,530 regardless of residence. Online learners also avoid the steep room and board expenses for $5,404 and $3,550 respectively each year.

The NCES reports that 94 percent of starting, full-time MSU students earn assistance. Financial aid packages average $8,808 per year. Depending on their FAFSA form, online learners could qualify for the Federal Perkins, Direct Unsubsidized, or Grad PLUS loans. Private/educational loans are also accepted. In-state residents should apply for the Mississippi Higher Education Legislative Plan (HELP) Program or Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant (MTAG). For up to $3,564 annually, Federal Work-Study (FWS) is available for on-campus or off-campus jobs. Active military and veterans can obtain tuition assistance benefits. Mississippi State offers tuition waivers for senior citizens over 60. Institutional awards, such as the Transfer Scholarship, Leadership and Service Scholarship, and Academic Competitive Scholarship, are also granted.

Online Degree(s) Available

The Mississippi State University Center for Distance Education delivers high-quality online programs with the same distinguished professors. Currently, online students can select from four bachelor's, 21 master's, and seven doctoral programs. The acclaimed Bagley College of Engineering operates 13 of these flexible online degrees. With a student-faculty ratio of 19:1, MSU keeps online coursework accessible 24/7 and offers online tutoring. There's also a five-day, non-credit Orientation to Online Learning to get started. Engineers could pursue the:

M.S. in Civil Engineering

MSU's online M.S. in Civil Engineering program focuses on providing in-depth technical training on the design and construction of physical structures like bridges or dams. Seven concentrations are offered for Construction Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Structural Engineering, Transportation Engineering, or Water Resources Engineering. The 30-credit, ABET-accredited program has diverse coursework ranging from surveying and wind analysis to structural integrity. Graduates can complete a master's thesis or follow a non-thesis, electives track.

M.S. in Industrial Engineering

Delivered 100 percent online, the M.S. in Industrial Engineering program at Mississippi State prepares qualified engineers with the technical background to optimize machinery and complex processes for eliminating wasted materials. Five areas of specialization are given in Human Factors and Ergonomics, Industrial Systems, Management Systems Engineering, Manufacturing Systems, or Operations Research. Requiring 30 total credits, the program uses Blackboard to create engaging discussions and team projects. Thesis and non-thesis tracks are available based on research interests.

M.S. in Computational Engineering

The M.S. in Computational Engineering program is conferred by MSU to graduate students who show high-performance computing assets for producing coding digital data and producing complex software systems. Consisting of 30 credits, the online, interdisciplinary curriculum includes courses on linear programming, systems simulation, cognitive engineering, operations research, software engineering, algorithms, computer architecture, and numerical mathematics. Faculty from the HPC2 Collaboratory bring real-world computing expertise into the virtual classroom. Capstone requirements can be fulfill with a master's thesis or applied project.

Related Resource: 30 Most Affordable Top Online Master's Degree Programs in Engineering

Other online degrees at Mississippi State University include the M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, and Ph.D. in Engineering.

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