MSU students accepted into Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program

Morgan Cain, left, and Graham Murphree (Submitted photo)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.— Two Mississippi State University upperclassmen have been selected to participate in the prestigious Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program.

Morgan Cain, a junior biochemistry/pre-dental major from Carthage, and Graham Murphree, a senior biological sciences/pre-dental major from Little Rock, each are receiving $35,000 per year to attend dental school. Awards are based on available funding.

Both Cain and Murphree are graduates of East Central Community College in Decatur, transferring to MSU to complete their bachelor’s degree programs.

“The Mississippi Rural Dentists Scholarship Program and Mississippi State University share a common commitment to improving the lives of people in this state,” said Rick Travis, dean of MSU’s College of Arts and Sciences. “We are honored that we get to play a role in preparing these two students for the practice of dentistry in underserved areas of the state. 

“Additionally, the Dr. A. Randle and Marilyn W. White Pre-Med Advisory Office has worked closely with the Rural Dentists Program to ensure that our students are well-prepared for dental school,” Travis added.

Created in 2013 by the Mississippi Legislature, MRDSP identifies up to five college sophomores and juniors who demonstrate the necessary commitment and academic achievement to become competent, well-trained rural pediatric or general dentists in Mississippi.

The program offers two years of undergraduate academic enrichment including Dental Admission Test preparation and clinical experience from practicing dentists in a rural setting. Upon completion of all dental admission requirements, students are directly admitted to the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Dentistry.

After completing dental school, MRDSP scholars must provide general or pediatric dentistry in a full-time, clinic-based practice in a program-approved, rural or medically underserved community.

With continued legislative support, MRDSP hopes to provide 12 scholarships totaling $420,000 by 2018. Additional benefits include personalized mentoring from practicing rural dentists, as well as academic support.

For more information on MRDSP, visit or contact Dan Coleman, associate director, at 601-815-0654 or

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