Murray State University

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Updated August 6, 2020

Murray State University is a public university in Kentucky that has its main campus in the smaller city of Murray. The university opened in 1922 as the Murray State Normal School. The Kentucky Board of Education oversaw the campus and helped it create programs designed for future educators. After the state granted the school the right to offer degrees, it became a teachers college and slowly added new programs that appealed to those majoring in fields outside of education. It also served as a state teachers college and a state college before finally becoming Murray State University.

U.S. News & World Report ranked MSU as one of the top 40 regional colleges in the south every year between 2002 and 2017, and the same publication ranked it as one of the top 15 public colleges in the south during that same time period. Of the more than 11,000 students taking classes on this campus, more than 2,000 live in one of its residence halls. The university also appeals to commuters who either live at home or live on their own and commute to the campus. Murray allows its students to take classes on one of its extended campuses too. There are four of these campuses across Kentucky that offer both graduate classes and courses for students further along in their studies.

Murray State University Accreditation Details

MSU has both regional accreditation and specialty accreditation. Regional accreditation applies to all its college programs and degree programs and allows you to fill out the FAFSA to apply for financial aid. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) not only gave MSU regional accreditation, but the SACS is also the organization responsible for renewing its accreditation every decade. The specialty accreditation that it has only applies to select programs. It has accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET) for its programs in civil and construction engineering as well as its occupational health and safety program. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business accredited all its business programs. MSU also has accreditation for the programs that it offers in music, dance, nursing, journalism, social work and other subjects.

Murray State University Application Requirements

Though MSU offers both a paper application and an online application, it asks that prospective students check out its admissions requirements before applying. Incoming freshmen must complete four years of English classes, take three years of math classes and take at least three years of science courses. They should also take three years of humanities classes, one year of performing arts and one year of both physical education and health. Those with a lower grade point average may need to take some developmental courses after enrolling.

In addition to the application, MSU charges a $40 fee that students must pay when they submit their applications. The university also asks for an official ACT or SAT score that must come directly from the testing board and an official transcript from the student's high school. If you took college classes in high school and want to transfer credits, you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale to transfer in those classes. If your ACT or SAT score falls below a certain status, the university may accept you and require that you take developmental or more introductory courses during your freshman year.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The total amount it will cost you to attend MSU depends on where you live and how many credits you take. Kentucky residents pay $350 per credit hour as part-time students who take 11 credits or less in a semester, and those who take more than 15 credits in a semester must pay $350 for each credit above the original 15. Full-time students can take 12 to 15 credits for a flat rate of $4,200. Murray State University has deals with neighboring states that allow those living in Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Tennessee to enroll and pay less than other students do. Full-time students living in those states pay as little as $4,440 a semester. Nonresidents, who are students living in all other states, pay $945 per credit hour or a flat rate of $11,340, which lets them take 12 to 15 credits each semester.

MSU encourages students to apply for financial aid early, which gives the university time to determine their aid packages and mail them information about their packages. Aid packages typically include grants and loans from the federal government but may include some state grants too. The university will usually send out award letters by the end of March. Students can also apply for scholarships directly from the university. MSU offers both competitive scholarships and academic merit scholarships. Students have until the middle of January to apply for one of its scholarships.

Agriculture and Agribusiness Programs

Some of the more popular programs offered by MSU are available through the Hutson School of Agriculture. This is one of the oldest colleges within the university and started as a way to assist students who wanted to run their own farms and work in the agriculture industry. Its Bachelor of Science in Agriculture lets students take courses from different disciplines like agricultural systems technology, horticulture and business economics.

The university also offers a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness Economics. This program requires that students take general education courses first, including principles of microeconomics, college algebra and critical reading and thinking. They then take 26 credits of agricultural studies core courses like contemporary issues in agriculture, animal science, soil science and crop management. This program includes up to 25 credits of agribusiness classes as well that may include agricultural sales and business, farm management, agricultural sales and merchandising, stats for food and agricultural finance. Students in this program can pick an emphasis in entrepreneurship, crop production, marketing and management or global agriculture.

Related Resource: Top 20 Most Affordable Online Master's in Agriculture Business/Agribusiness

MSU encourages its agribusiness students to take at least one fieldwork class during their junior or senior years. You'll have the chance to work on a real farm or for another business within this industry, which gives you practical experience that you can put on your resume. Some of the other agribusiness and agriculture programs offered by Murray State University focus on equine science, horticulture, agronomy and agricultural education.

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