MSU remains Mississippi’s leading research institution: NSF survey

Contact: Carl Smith

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State remains the Magnolia State’s leading research university and one of the nation’s top 100 research institutions, according to the National Science Foundation.

MSU ranks 97th overall among public and private institutions in the country, according to the recently released NSF Higher Education Research and Development Survey for Fiscal Year 2021, based on the university’s approximately $275 million in total research and development expenditures. The land-grant university ranked 60th among non-medical school institutions and 65th among public institutions.

In the Magnolia State, MSU accounted for 56% of the almost $500 million in combined FY ’21 research and development spending by the state’s institutions of higher learning. The university’s research programs also showed resilience in the face of COVID-19’s continued impact on finances. MSU’s research and development expenditures decreased 1.9% in a year where the state saw an overall 3.1% decrease in the category.

“As the Magnolia State’s leading university and one of the nation’s top land-grant institutions, Mississippi State’s commitment to research produces impactful results, from preparing our graduates for future careers to bringing better jobs to the state,” said MSU President Mark E. Keenum. “Whether it’s through addressing global hunger, developing uncrewed aerial systems or building more efficient vehicles, MSU’s faculty and staff are conducting research that will make our state, nation and world a better place in the future.”

“This report shows how we’ve cemented our place as one of the nation’s premier research institutions,” added Julie Jordan, vice president for research and economic development. “I’m proud of the work our students, faculty and staff are conducting and look forward to seeing how our efforts will improve the world for years to come.”

MSU remains in the top half of the Southeastern Conference in terms of research spending for a variety of disciplines and subdisciplines, including aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering; industrial and manufacturing engineering; atmospheric sciences and meteorology; agriculture, and natural resources and conservation; and social sciences, among others.

Overall, the university’s agricultural research spending for the fiscal year ranked 11th in the country, while its spending on natural resources and conservation research ranked 13th—the highest-ranked MSU subdisciplines in the survey.

“These rankings result from the hard work and ingenuity of our talented MSU Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine scientists,” said DAFVM Vice President Keith Coble. “Ultimately, our scientists do what they do to help Mississippi and to feed, clothe and shelter the world.”

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MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 - 4:38 pm