Spring semester academic success resources for students and families

Students, Murray State University is here to support you for the remainder of the spring semester as we have transitioned to an online instructional delivery method in light of COVID-19.

Please continue to be in touch with your faculty members and academic advisors. Online training for faculty members began on March 13 and they are prepared to help answer your questions related to your courses. 

Information Systems is also working hard to assist you as an emphasis is placed on more virtual-based technology needs. Please contact the Service Desk at msu.servicedesk@murraystate.edu or by phone at 270.809.2346 with questions.

We hope the below information, resources and tips are helpful to you. Stay positive, safe and healthy. Murray State is here to assist you in any way possible as we successfully complete the spring semester.

Dr. Tim Todd, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dr. Don Robertson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management


Frequently Asked Questions

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Will there be a normal fall semester?

Murray State is working toward a traditional fall semester while making necessary adjustments for a new normal. A Fall 2020 Racer Restart Committee and subcommittees comprised of various areas across campus has been established, covering the following areas:

  • Academic Affairs and Faculty Support
  • Student Affairs, Enrollment Management and Campus Life
  • Administrative Operations and Support Staff
  • Housing, Dining and Auxiliary Operations
  • Facilities Management
  • Athletics
  • Development, Alumni and Branding, Marketing and Communication

As these committees meet, the primary guiding principle will be the health, safety and well-being of students, faculty, staff and the broader community.

I’m a student. During the online/alternative delivery method of class through the remainder of the spring semester, I don’t have internet at home. What can I do?

Students who live near Murray State’s regional campus locations in Paducah, Madisonville or Hopkinsville can access the University’s wi-fi network from the parking lots in their vehicles in order to maintain necessary social distancing.

If you live outside of the region, your local library may continue to be open and these, or similar, resources may be available.

Charter is offering free Spectrum and Wi-Fi for 60 days beginning March 16. Please note that this service is provided by Charter/Spectrum and not by Murray State.

Other providers are offering similar services at this time, including AT&T, Comcast, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Students who live near Murray State’s regional campus locations in Paducah, Madisonville or Hopkinsville can access the University’s wi-fi network from the parking lots in their vehicles in order to maintain necessary social distancing.

What resources are available through University Libraries?

Waterfield Library, Pogue Library and Wrather Museum are closed to the general public.

Library staff will be available to assist with research services by phone, text, chat, or email from 8 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Library Virtual Contact

A wealth of library resources are available completely online.  These resources are available in our discovery tool/catalog, or in one of our many databases.  If you need assistance in finding peer-reviewed journal articles, books, or any other content, start with our subject guides or please feel free to contact us.

Books and other materials will not be available to check out. Items that are currently checked out will have an adjusted due date in May. Waterfield Library will not charge late fees.

I have questions regarding student financial aid, scholarships and/or related tuition and fees. Who should I contact?

Students or their family members should contact the Office of Student Financial Services at 270.809.2546 or by email at msu.sfa@murraystate.edu. Each situation is unique and the University is following the most recent guidance from the U.S. Department of Education in regard to federal aid.

Is the grading policy for Spring 2020 courses changing?

As shared by campus e-mail to students, faculty and staff on March 26, students have the option to choose between receiving traditional letter grades or taking classes as Pass/Fail this semester, with some exceptions.

Students can view a list of faculty-approved spring 2020 courses to change to pass/fail grades, as well as an online request form. The deadline to drop to drop a full semester course has been extended to April 24, 2020 to coincide with the Spring 2020 Pass/Fail policy deadline. Courses can be dropped on myGate, Academics tab. This page details important information students must consider before deciding whether to apply to change any Spring 2020 course(s) from letter graded to pass/fail.

I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed. What services are available?

University Counseling Services provides free and confidential mental health counseling for all enrolled students. At this time, the mental health professionals in the Counseling Center are available to provide remote counseling sessions through Zoom. If you are interested in setting up remote sessions, please contact us at msu.counselingcenter@ murraystate.edu for more information. Self-help resources are available on our website. If it is an emergency situation, please contact the Murray State Police Department at 270.809.2222.

How can I contact Murray State University Health Services?

Murray State University Health Services is located on the first floor of Wells Hall, facing the quad. Operating hours are Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. (closed for lunch from 1-2 p.m.) and from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. Individuals can reach a physician at 270.809.3809. Individuals can also call after hours to reach a physician. After hours, call Primary Care Medical Center at 270.759.9200 and ask for Dr. Robert Hughes, our Chief Medical Officer.

Members of the campus community may also contact Primary Care Medical Center of Murray at 270.759.9200.

Aside from on-campus health resources offered through Murray State University Health Services, are there other virtual-based options?

Yes – Murray State University Health Services, through their partnership with Primary Care Medical Center, offers virtual visits through the below steps:

  1. Contact Primary Care Medical Center at 270.759.9200 to schedule your virtual visit.
  2. Make sure you have updated your insurance, mobile phone number and e-mail address with Primary Care Medical Center. If you are a new patient, you will be asked a series of questions to set up your profile prior to your telemedicine visit.
  3. Once you have scheduled your virtual visit, you will receive a text message or e-mail from your provider instructing you to click a link and register.
  4. You will be redirected to the Doxy.me to register. Doxy.me supports Safari or Google Chrome.
    Make sure your camera and microphone turned on “allow” in your privacy settings if you are using a mobile device. On a desktop, go to Settings—Safari—Camera (allow)-----Microphone (allow).
  5. Once on Doxy.me, enter your name and ‘check in’.
  6. You will be directed to your provider’s virtual waiting room.
  7. You will be alerted once connected with your provider for your virtual visit.  

Are all Summer 2020 classes online?

All Summer 2020 courses, with the exception of clinicals, co-ops, directed studies, internships, practicums and theses have been moved to an online format. There are more than 300 online courses from which students can choose from.

Academic Advising

Your academic advisor is here to assist you in many ways and help you make the best decisions including courses, schedules and degree requirements.  

Learn more about Academic Advising

Summer Courses

Get ahead and stay ahead for your degree requirements! More than 300 online courses will be offered this summer. Visit Summer 2020 for more information or to register for one or more summer courses.

Helpful Contact Information

Advice and Tips

Tips for successful learning online:

  • Prepare your space for success. Avoid spaces that include distractions, whenever possible. Establish a good workspace that is comfortable. 
  • Practice time management. Be intentional about when you will learn. Tell others in your space about these learning times.
  • Continue to use your calendar. Set goals. Incorporate study breaks, but hold yourself accountable. 
  • Have patience with your instructors. They are learning how to do this, too, and are also balancing competing priorities in a rapidly changing environment.  
  • Inform your instructors about any barriers to your learning, including challenges with technology. 
  • Check your email and Canvas daily. Do not rely on the Canvas app, as it doesn’t deliver announcements to the app.  
  • Prepare for your advising session. Be looking for communication from them. That communication should be coming over the next few weeks. 
  • Look for resources that you need from the University Libraries. The Racer Writing Center is available for virtual writing consultations. 
  • Care for your mental health. This is a troubling time; be aware of your thoughts and feelings.  A good resource for dealing with mental health through COVID-19 is virusanxiety.com. You may also schedule appointments with Murray State Student Counseling Services at msu.counselingcenter@murraystate.edu or by calling 270.809.6851.

Tips for live video conferencing:

  • Log in 5-10 minutes early to get familiar with the application and test your settings.
  • You should plan to join the session in a distraction-free environment. This means that you should be in a quiet, well-lit room and plan on clearing your calendar for the length of the session. 
  • Ensure that you are positioned in front of the camera where the lighting is strong enough to illuminate your face and where the visual background is not distracting.
  • Remember to mute your audio when not speaking. Depending on how your faculty sets up the session, you may not have audio access. If this is the case, you will need to use the chat functionality to communicate. 
  • Use a wired internet connection if possible. If you have a weak or unstable wireless connection, you can turn off your video as needed to save bandwidth. 
  • Use the chat area for communications to the group or individuals; just remember to double check the intended audience before sending any messages. 
  • If you are screen-sharing, make sure you close all other applications to avoid inadvertently sharing the wrong information.