Murray State University was created in 1922 until the Commonwealth’s Senate Bill 14 as a teacher’s college in Morehead. Named for the Lord Chief Justice of Britain and 1st Earl of Mansfield, Murray State underwent three slight name changes to become a comprehensive public, co-educational university in the Ohio Valley Conference. MSU’s 258-acre main campus stands in Calloway County, Kentucky, near the Land Between the Lakes with extensions in Paducah, Madisonville, Henderson, and online. Endowed for $66.8 million, MSU currently enrolls 8,886 undergrad and 1,609 post-grad Racers under President Robert Davies’ leadership. Murray State University’s 30 academic departments have produced notable alumni like Steven Rudy, Pat Spurgin Pitney, and Jilon VanOver.

According to the U.S. News, Murray State is the South’s 35th best university, 12th top public school, and 25th best for vets college. In particular, MSU has the 111th best undergrad engineering and 88th top nursing-anesthesia programs nationally. Washington Monthly placed MSU as America’s 162nd best master’s-level university for contribution to the public good. The Institute of International Education ranked Murray State University 27th for hosting foreign learners. Niche picked Murray as the 97th “Most Conservative College” and 120th “Top Public University” in the United States. On GetEducated.com, MSU was applauded for the 27th best online MBA program. G.I. Jobs also crowned the Yellow Ribbon school as “Military Friendly.”

Murray State University Accreditation Details

Through the Office of the Provost in Wells Hall, Murray State University reaffirms its regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) every 10 years. This Level V approval is recognized under the Council on Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) through 2024. Online MSU degrees have also received programmatic accreditation from:

• Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)

• Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)

• Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

• National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)

• Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)

• Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)

Murray State University Application Requirements

Classified as “selective,” Murray State University had a welcoming Fall 2015 acceptance rate of 91 percent. Freshmen pursuing online programs like the A.A. in General Studies must have finished a high school diploma or GED certificate. Kentucky residents under age 21 are expected to complete the Pre-College Curriculum, including four years of English. To avoid developmental courses, first-year applicants must score above 450 on the SAT Verbal or 460 on the SAT Math. Carrying a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required, but admitted Racers have an average GPA of 3.48. Undergrad transfers from regionally accredited institutions need 30+ credits graded “C” or better.

Graduate applicants seeking to study online with MSU must verify the completion of a four-year bachelor’s degree at an accredited U.S. university or foreign equivalent. Non-native English speakers must score at least 527 on the paper-based TOEFL or 6.0 on the IELTS. Holding an undergrad GPA of 2.25 qualifies for conditional admission, but a 3.0 GPA or higher is preferred. Master’s programs mandating GRE scores will expect a minimum score of 400 in both verbal and quantitative sections. Online MBA students need at least 400 out of 800 on the GMAT exam. Doctoral candidates need graduate-level research skills with a master’s degree in a relevant discipline.

• Check or credit card for $40 application fee

• Mailed high school or college transcripts

• Official college entrance exams, i.e. SAT or GRE

• Copy of driver’s license for residency purposes

• Two to three letters of recommendation

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time undergrads at Murray State University are traditionally charged $3,972 in-state and $10,824 out-of-state each semester. That’s before adding the average room and board price of Fortunately, online MSU students follow a less costly pay structure that removes housing expenses. Online undergraduates are charged $350 in Kentucky, $700 in qualifying Midwest states, and $945 out-of-state per credit. There’s another $65 technology fee per credit too. Master’s students are billed $640 and doctoral candidates pay $802 per credit for online courses regardless of residence.

The U.S. News shows that 61 percent of full-time MSU Racers earn financial packages for an average amount of $6,139. After filing the FAFSA, online learners could claim the Federal Pell, FSEOG, TEACH, or Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. Bluegrass State residents could receive the College Access Program Grant or Kentucky Tuition Grant. Online students often borrow Federal PLUS, Subsidized/Unsubsidized, Perkins, and Nursing loans. There’s also a low-interest Owen Loan from Murray State for adults over age 23. The University Student Employment Program offers FWS funding for at least $7.25/hour. Online majors also qualify for institutional awards like the Presidential Fellowship, Marvin D. Mills Scholarship, Kentucky Governor’s Scholars Program, Phi Theta Kappa Scholarship, and Excellence Award.

Online Degrees Available

Murray State University is an SREB Electronic Campus member that’s currently offering seven undergrad, 12 master’s, and two doctoral programs online. Certificates like ESL Education, Nonprofit Leadership, and Instructional Computer Technology are also available. Online education takes an asynchronous format for 24/7 content access through Canvas from 12 authorized states, including Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Virginia. Online courses are taught by MSU’s full-time, tenured faculty at a 15:1 ratio for personalized mentoring connections. Two sample programs for distance students are:

B.S. in Telecommunications Systems Management

Crowned the 2007 “Undergraduate Program of the Year,” MSU’s B.S. in Telecommunications Systems Management is an online, 2+2 option for juniors finishing an IT associate degree in the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). The 58-credit major offers three emphasis areas: Wireless Communication, Network Security, or System Administration. Online transfers log into the Cyber Academy for hands-on experience with IT infrastructure routing and switching for functional digital networks. Partnerships could lead to senior co-ops at KeeFORCE, Netelligent, Kalleo, and more.

M.S. in Occupational Safety and Health

Featuring Applied Science ABET accreditation, the M.S. in Occupational Safety and Health at Murray State is an online, cohort-based degree that’s preparing graduates for OSHA certification in safety management. Starting each July, the 30-credit curriculum spans two years of courses like biostatistics, industrial hygiene, transportation safety, ergonomics, and health organizational leadership. Drawing on 40 years’ experience, the non-GRE program lets internship hours be finished on-the-job for working safety professionals. Alumni hold director positions in diverse industries from manufacturing to government and insurance.

Other online offerings at Murray State University include the Master of Public Administration, M.S. in Sustainable Agriculture, RN to BSN, M.S. in Library Media, M.A. in Organizational Communication, and Doctor of Arts in English Pedagogy.