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Mission & Quick Facts

Mission Statement

Murray State University serves as a nationally recognized residential comprehensive university, with a strong extended campus and online presence, offering high-quality associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctorate degrees. Academic programs are offered in the core areas of arts and sciences, agriculture, business, health and human services, teacher education, communications, engineering and applied technologies, and nursing. Teaching, research, and service excellence are core values and guiding principles that promote economic development and the well-being of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the region.

Murray State University places a high premium on academic outreach, collaborative relationships with alumni, the public schools, business and industry, governmental agencies, and other colleges and universities at home and abroad. Murray State University prepares graduates to function in a culturally diverse, technologically oriented society and increasingly interdependent world. The University is committed to international education as an integral dimension of the university experience.

Murray State University emphasizes student-centered learning and educational experiences that include first year experience, the honors program, internships, study-abroad programs, service learning, research and creative projects, residential colleges, and student organizations.

In sum, Murray State University fosters an exciting and challenging learning environment.


National rankings

Washington Monthly ranked 17th in "Best Bang for the Buck" category in 2014.

U.S. News Best College for 24 consecutive years. The 2015 rankings place Murray State 9th among the top public, regional universities in the South. Murray State ranked 6th in best school for veterans, among regional universities in the South.  

U.S. News ranked Murray State 6th in Best Schools for Veterans, among regional universities in the South. 

Forbes Top College for seven consecutive years. In addition to being named to the 2014 America’s Top Colleges list.

G.I. Jobs magazine ranked MSU a “2015 Military Friendly School.” The list honors the top 20 percent of all colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America’s veterans as students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education named Murray State one of its “2014 Great Colleges to Work For.”


Location:  Murray, Ky.

Founded: 1922

Type:  4-year, state-supported public university

Colors:  Navy blue and gold (white accent)

Nickname: Racers



Total: 11,166

Undergraduate:  9,172

Graduate:  1,771


First-time freshmen

Enrolled:  1,581

Average high school GPA:  3.37

Our freshmen class is from 29 states, 9 foreign countries and 66 Kentucky counties.

Student body and faculty

The campus is 59% female and 41% male.

African-American students comprise 7% of the student body.

Fall 2012 full-time freshman returning for the fall 2013 semester:  73%

Our student body represents 43 states, 57 foreign countries and 104 Kentucky counties.

Undergraduate student/faculty ratio:  16 to 1

Eighty-one percent (81%) of full-time instructional faculty have earned the highest degree in their fields. 

Murray State has a diverse student body with 752 international students coming from 57 foreign countries.

692 students started their careers at Murray State as transfer students.

The six-year graduation rate of MSU’s baccalaureate cohort of 2007 is 53.1%.


Associate programs:  6

Bachelor’s programs:  155

Master’s and specialist programs:  63

Doctoral programs: 2

Average undergraduate class size:  20

Most popular undergraduate fields:
  • Nursing
  • Animal Health Technology
  • Elementary Education
  • Business Administration
  • Biology

Other facts and statistics

Murray State University is a tax-supported institution composed of six academic colleges and schools: Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business, College of Education and Human Services, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, Hutson School of Agriculture, Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, and the School of Nursing and Health Professions

MSU also operates the Pullen Farm, Hancock Biological Station and The Arboretum at Murray State.

There are eight residential colleges on campus.

The main campus is comprised of 74 major buildings and two libraries.

The University extends its services to its space bound students through its regional campuses in Paducah, Hopkinsville, Madisonville, and Henderson, and also through its distance learning programs.

Budget allocations for 2013-2014 were 46% for Instruction ($58,236,516), 1% for Research
($1,037,920), and 12% for Student Services ($15,196,837).

MSU awards over $100 million annually in financial aid and scholarships.

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