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: 9,569
  • Undergraduate: 8,215
  • Graduate: 1,354

First-time freshmen

  • Enrolled: 1,421
  • Average ACT score of freshmen admitted without conditions: 24.43
  • High ranking students:  46.70% of the current freshman class ranked in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating classes
  • Our freshmen class is from 24 states, 7 foreign countries and 75 Kentucky counties.

Faculty and staff

  • More than $7.3 million in grants was awarded to Murray State faculty between July 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019 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 463,000 collections to aid faculty, staff and student research endeavors

Student body and faculty

  • The student body is 62.327% female and 37.68% male.
  • Fall 2017 full-time freshmen returning for the fall 2018 semester: 76.40%
  • Our students are residents of 45 states. We have 345 international students from 50 countries.
  • 617 students transferred to Murray State in Fall 2019.
  • Our six-year graduation rate is 54.5%.


  • 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.
  • Highest percentage of graduates with no student debt - #1 among all Kentucky public institutions
    (based on 2017-18 data)
  • 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.