State’s leading research university sees all-time record enrollment

Mississippi State students are pictured entering Old Main Academic Center. The state’s leading university again is setting records for fall student enrollment, welcoming a total of 21,884, a number that includes an unprecedented number of transfers. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Contact: Harriet Laird

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Fueled by its growing prominence as a leading research university, Mississippi State again is setting records for fall student enrollment, welcoming a total of 21,884, a number that includes an unprecedented number of transfers.

The total represents an increase of 262 students from last year’s enrollment of 21,622, with MSU exceeding 20,000 students since 2011.

Additionally, a record number of transfer students – 2,062 – have enrolled for the fall semester, an increase of 232 over last year’s total of 1,830.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum said he’s excited to accommodate this record number of high academic achievers, noting that the university’s average first-time freshman ACT score is 25.13.

“I am pleased that Mississippi State continues to be the largest four-year accredited university in the state. We’re motivated by this university’s unprecedented growth, and we’re also very prepared for these new students who’ve chosen to build their future with us,” he said.

Keenum pointed to new and upgraded facilities and programs now serving MSU’s growing student body. The recently opened Old Main Academic Center offers these students 150,000 square feet of innovative classroom and study space, while the Center for Student Success is helping improve academic outcomes by better connecting students with university resources.

“We believe there’s a direct correlation between sharing our success stories with broader audiences and steadily climbing enrollment. More and more people want to be part of the MSU experience because they know it involves exciting opportunities to learn, lead and grow,” Keenum said.

MSU remains the No. 1 choice for high school graduates in Mississippi, with 65.4 percent of the student body comprised of in-state residents. However, non-resident students also are finding MSU to be a destination for exceptional education, with the university recording 34.6 percent enrollment from out-of-state, a one-point increase over last fall.

Nearly 30 percent of MSU’s fall enrollment is composed of minority students, and 19 percent are African American. A total of 50.4 percent of students are male, with 49.6 percent female.

Also, Keenum highlighted enrollment growth in the College of Architecture, Art and Design (up 7.9 percent); College of Veterinary Medicine (up 5.9 percent); and Bagley College of Engineering (up 4 percent). Totals for the eight colleges are:

—2,408 in Agriculture and Life Sciences

—774 in Architecture, Art and Design

—5,279 in Arts and Sciences

—2,852 in Business

—3,502 in Education

—4,638 in Engineering

—584 in Forest Resources

—574 in Veterinary Medicine.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at