Mission & Quick Facts

Mission Statement

Murray State University places our highest priority on student learning and excellent teaching, blending the range of educational opportunities often experienced at research institutions with the nurturing student-teacher interactions usually found at smaller universities. We offer relevant undergraduate and graduate degree programs with core studies in the liberal arts and sciences, leading to degrees from certificates to advanced practice doctorates that prepare students for success. Through effective and creative teaching, the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills to real-world situations, and academic and student support services, our quality faculty and staff foster student growth in knowledge, critical inquiry, and innovative thinking. As a public comprehensive university dedicated to diversity, global awareness, and intellectual curiosity, we actively engage students, faculty, staff, and the community in collaborative scholarship, creative activity, and research. We invest in our communities through thoughtful public service in our 18-county service region and beyond. Our uniqueness arises from our combination of academic excellence, welcoming atmosphere, and dedication to student success through mentored, real-world learning opportunities in an open-minded and supportive learning environment.


Location: Murray, Ky.
Founded: 1922
Type: 4-year, state-supported public university
Colors: Navy blue and gold (white accent)
Nickname: Racers


  • Total: 9,466
  • Undergraduate: 8,142
  • Graduate: 1,324

First-time freshmen

  • Enrolled: 1,319
  • Average ACT score of freshmen admitted without conditions: 24.2
  • High ranking students:  53.57% of the current freshman class ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating classes
  • Our freshmen class is from 25 states, 7 foreign countries and 70 Kentucky counties.

Faculty and staff

  • Murray State was recognized as a great place to work by the Chronicle for Higher Education for seven of the last nine years
  • More than $8.1 million in grants was awarded to Murray State faculty between July 2016 and August 2017 to benefit hands-on learning opportunities
  • 75% of full-time, instructional faculty have earned the highest degree in their field.
  • University Libraries provides access to more than 450,000 collections to aid faculty, staff and student research endeavors

Student body and faculty

  • The student body is 60.7% female and 39.3% male.
  • Fall 2017 full-time freshmen returning for the fall 2017 semester: 76.40%
  • Our students are residents of 45 states. We have 343 international students from 45 countries.
  • 557 students transferred to Murray State in Fall 2018.
  • Our six-year graduation rate is 55%. (This is based on students who first enrolled at Murray State in fall 2012).


  • Undergraduate certificates: 6
  • Associate programs: 6
  • Bachelor's programs: 60
  • Graduate certificates: 11
  • Master's and specialist programs: 37
  • Specialist degrees: 3
  • Doctoral programs: 3
  • Average undergraduate class size: 18
  • Undergraduate student to faculty ratio: 15.5 to 1

Undergraduate fields with the highest enrollment:

  • Animal Health Technology
  • Agricultural Science
  • Nursing
  • Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Occupational Safety and Health

Other facts and statistics

Murray State University is a tax-supported institution composed of six academic colleges and schools:

Regional campuses

There are eight residential colleges on campus.

Financial Aid

  • Murray State awards over $125 million annually in financial aid and scholarships.
  • In fall 2017, 95.55% of new, full-time freshmen and 81.54% of full-time undergraduates received some form of financial aid.

For more information, please see the Common Data Set and Murray State University Fact Books.