New Freshmen

Undergraduate Admissions for First-Time Freshmen

Requirements for Admission:

  • Applicants must submit an application for admission with a $40 application fee
  • Applicants must have a high school transcript mailed directly to Admissions from the applicant's high school counselor; (If currently in high school, the transcript must include a list of courses being taken in the senior year)
  • Applicants must have an official ACT and/or SAT score report sent to Admissions (Scores submitted on the high school transcript are acceptable)
  • Applicants must provide any documents requested by Admissions to verify residency for tuition purposes.
  • **Transfer applicants who have earned fewer than 30 semester hours of degree credit must also submit the documents indicated above, and official college transcripts. To be admitted, an applicant must have a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.00 on a 4.00 scale and meet the criteria indicated on this page.**

To be considered for admission each applicant must have received or be receiving a high school diploma or a GED certificate before the term for which he/she is applying. Those individuals who were not graduated from accredited high schools may be required to have a GED.

Note:  The Commonwealth of Kentucky requires each freshman to enroll in a subject-specific developmental course if the student's ACT score is below 18 in English, 19 in mathematics, or 20 in reading. SAT scores:  verbal 450, math 460 or below.  Additional developmental courses may be required by MSU before a student will be permitted to advance to entry-level courses.

Admission Standards

Tier 1 – Priority Admission / Baccalaureate Degree Seeking
ACT ≥ 23 or SAT ≥ 1070, no developmental requirements, and meets all other admissions requirements*

Tier 2 – Regular Admission / Baccalaureate Degree Seeking
ACT ≥ 18 or SAT ≥ 870, no developmental requirements, and meets all other admissions requirements*

Tier 3 - Conditional Admission A / Baccalaureate Degree Seeking
ACT ≥ 18 or SAT ≥ 870, one developmental course requirement, and meets all other admissions requirements*

Tier 4 – Conditional Admission B / Pre-Baccalaureate
Pathways to Success Program

ACT ≥ 18 or SAT ≥ 870, 0-3 developmental requirements, meets Pre-College Curriculum or top half or 3.0 GPA**

Students will be admitted into the Pathways to Success Program (P2S) within the Center for Academic Advancement (CAA). The program requires the following:


  • All Academic Advising to be provided by the Center for Academic Success***
  • Limited to 15 credit hours per semester
  • Mandatory enrollment in ESS 120 in their first semester****
  • Mandatory weekly meetings with mentors/coaches
  • Mandatory Tutoring for developmental classes
  • Enroll in University Studies courses taught through the Center for Academic Success

 Students who earn below an 18 ACT, or 870 SAT, will be denied admission and referred to community college.


* Pre-college curriculum and ranked in top half of their graduating class or 3.0 Cumulative GPA
** Pre-college curriculum or ranked in top half of their graduating class or 3.0 Cumulative GPA
*** Formerly named the Center for Academic Advising.  These professional academic advisors currently advise all undeclared majors.
****ESS 120 is an in-depth, highly hands-on, experiential, study skills-focused student success course.

All entering freshmen, regardless of Tier eligibility, must have a minimum 2.0 GPA to be considered for admission.


For Tier 4 students who want to be admitted as a Baccalaureate Degree seeking student into Tiers 1, 2 or 3, they must meet one of the following requirements:

1.  Complete developmental course work prior to enrolling at MSU or

2.  Enroll in MSU and complete the Pathways to Success program (P2S)* or

*Successful completion of the P2S program requires earning 24 hours in credit bearing (non-developmental) coursework with a minimum grade of C in each course. Students not meeting the P2S program requirements will be referred to a community college for further instruction.

3.  Special admission to Tiers 1, 2 or 3 may be obtained based on unique talents and circumstances. To be considered as a Baccalaureate Degree seeking student, please submit a letter of appeal to the Admissions Appeals Committee outlining your unique situation.  Admissions Appeals Committee, 102  Curris Center, Murray, KY 42071

Kentucky pre-college curriculum:  

    • English I, II, III and IV (or AP English)
    • Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry
    • 1 life science, 1 physical science and 1 earth/space science (one of these must have a lab)
    • 3 of the following:  US History, economics, government, world geography or world civilization
    • ½ unit of health
    • ½ unit of physical education
    • 1 unit of history and appreciation of visual/performing arts
    • 5 electives
    • For students who graduated from high school in 2004 or later, two units of one foreign language.

      Note:  Kentucky residents under the age of 21 must complete the state-mandated pre-college curriculum. All other applicants must complete a comparable college-preparatory curriculum. 

Admission application

Freshman online admission application (On-line fee payment)

High school transcript request (.pdf)

Mission Statement

The mission of the Office of Undergraduate Admission is to admit eligible students to the University without regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or geographic location. The staff provides superior customer service while mentoring students and parents through the admission process. We also work closely with high school counselors to successfully guide students through the admission process.

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