218 Wells Hall
Murray, KY 42071-3318
p. 270-809-3011
w. www.murraystate.edu

Murray State University

Murray State University Rating: 3.9/5 (66 votes)

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Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Murray State University is located in Murray, Kentucky. It has an extensive extended education program, which serves eighteen counties. It was founded in 1922 and received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1928 and now awards bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degrees.

Murray State University’s mission statement states that, “Teaching, research, and service excellence are core values and guiding principles that promote economic development and the well-being of the citizens of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the region.”

In addition to the traditional classroom education, Murray offers a non-traditional integrated studies program that offer adults the opportunity to either finish a degree that they already started or use life experiences to gain credits toward the degree. Classes may be taken either in the classroom, online or via correspondence courses. Murray also offers classes online that at all levels including bachelor’s, master’s, associate’s and non-credit courses. Finally, there are interactive television courses that allow nontraditional students yet another way to earn credits as well as allowing students in traditional classroom settings the opportunity to interact with faculty and other resources at other locations that they wouldn’t normally have access to.

The university has numerous student organizations and in addition to an active athletics club, the school offers numerous team sports and intramural activities. The local area is rich in outdoor activities, surrounded by mountains with ready access to water sports, hiking and camping.


Because of Murphy State University’s emphasis on liberal arts and sciences, students enrolled in all undergraduate programs will engage in courses from the University Studies program that support this component of the university. This program provides a broad range of experience in the arts and sciences that provides an excellent foundation for their concentrated areas of study. Students learn how to think creatively and solve problems by analyzing and thinking critically in order to reach logical conclusions. While the Murray State campus is the main campus, its academic programs extend to four partner campuses in the area. Nearly all of the faculty are full-time, and a large majority have the terminal degree in their field.

The University is composed of a number of different schools and colleges: the College of Business and Public Affairs, the College of Education, the College of Health Sciences and Human Services, the College of Humanities and Fine Arts, and the College of Science, Engineering and Technology. There is also a School of Graduate Studies and a School of Agriculture as well as an undergraduate honors program.

Bachelor’s degrees are awarded in a number of different disciplines including accounting, computer science, management, education, art, philosophy, music, biology, wildlife conservation biology, engineering physics, agriculture science, and pre-veterinary medicine. There are additional pre-professional programs in medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy.

Master’s degrees are awarded in business administration, communication disorders, education, nursing, English, psychology )general and clinical), biology, management of technology, and agriculture, among others. Graduate certificates are offered in several areas including gender studies, professional writing, human development and leadership and veterinary hospital management.

In addition to bachelor’s and master’s programs, Murray State University also offers continuing education courses in a variety of subjects so that local professionals may stay current in their fields and maintain educational requirements for state and federal licensure requirements.

Most Popular Fields of Study

Unique Programs

The Department of Wellness and Therapeutic Services recognizes the need for students pursuing careers in health related professions to understand in depth the critical needs and issues of a diverse global community. The department strives to be sensitive to the needs of all social and ethical issues and have an abiding commitment to all that they serve. The Division of Recreation and Leisure Services supports students who wish to go into youth leadership, outdoor recreation, nutrition, athletic training, communication disorders and other human-interest types of fields. Students may either choose to major or minor and faculty in this department are highly trained in their fields as well as being devoted to teaching students how to pursue their careers professionally and compassionately.

There is an equestrian team that is closely related to the equine science program. There are also numerous club sports and intramural activities.


Applications to the undergraduate program at Murray is a relatively simple process. In addition to the application form and fee, students must provide high school transcripts, ACT scores, and documents that verify residency. Applications can be submitted on-line. There are very specific high school course requirements so students interested in attending Murray should be aware of these and plan their curriculum carefully. Students who also are in the top half of their graduating class, have a minimum cumulative GPA or obtain high ACT scores will be eligible for automatic admittance.. Other students may be admitted provisionally and, according to the state of Kentucky, any student that scores below a certain score on the ACT is required to take supplemental courses in the areas that they score poorly in.

Students interested in applying to the graduate school will need to submit the application, fee and official transcripts from all institutions at which they have studied. Graduate students must have obtained a bachelor’s degree in a field related to the graduate program that they are interested with a minimum GPA. The GRE is required for some programs, and the GMAT is required for the MBA. Final approval must be given by the department before a student is admitted to any graduate program.

Financial Aid

The office of financial aid at Murray State offers various kinds of grants for students who qualify. Pell Grants are available, as are Federal SEOG grants and Kentucky Higher Education Association grants. Murray State also participates in a number of federal loan programs, including Federal Stafford Loans. Special loans include those for Nursing Program students and emergency loans for small expenses. Student employment is also an option for students who need financial assistance. There are assistantships and fellowships as well as student loans. In order to start the process of determining eligibility for financial aid, students should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that is available online starting in January. Financial information for both the student and the family is required.

Student Financial Aid Details

Ranks 2915th for the average student loan amount.
Secrets to getting the best scholarships and financial aid in Kentucky.


The Murray State University Library offers electronic catalogs and on-line databases, in additional to physical volumes stored on site and inter-library loan. It is home to Murray State University’s participation in the American democracy project, run to the American Association of State colleges and universities. It is also part of the Kentucky virtual library system.

Student organizations at Murray State focus on departmental, social, recreational, religious, and other interests. There are also a number of Greek social organizations where students can meet new people and work on service to the local community. The eight residential colleges house over 3,000 students, and include two-student rooms with air conditioning.

Student Enrollment Demographics

Student Graduation Demographics


Murray State University is an NCAA Division I school (football is NCAA Division I-AA), with baseball, basketball, cross-country, football, golf and tennis for men and basketball, cross-country, golf, softball, soccer, tennis, track and field, and volleyball for women. There is a co-educational rifle team. There is also a varsity cheerleading team and a dance team. Murray State University is in the Ohio Valley Conference.

The team nickname is the Racers, although the baseball team is known as the ’Breds, short for Thoroughbreds. All teams were originally known as the Thoroughbreds, but newspaper headline writers began shortening it to Racers, which became accepted as the team name by everyone but the baseball coach at the time (late 1950’s). The team mascot is a living horse.

Sports facilities include an arena, a golf course, a track, the baseball stadium, and football stadium. The rowing team rows in Kentucky Lake, located in Cherokee Park and approximately 70 miles long.

Local Community

The town of Murray is located in Callaway County, which is a quaint town in western Kentucky, not far north of the Tennessee border. Murray provides residents with numerous recreational, entertainment, shopping, and dining venues and the surrounding mountains are great for camping, hiking and other outdoor recreation. Residents come to know one another by name and Murray has a delightful small town feel.


  • Murray State University. Murray State University. 2011. Web. 21 June 2011.
  • Murray State Racers: The Official Site of Murray State Athletics. Murray State Athletics. 2011. Web. 21 June 2011.

Information Summary

Ranks 9th in Kentucky and 762nd overall
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Campus Crime Statistics

Ranks 0th in Kentucky and 383rd overall on StateUniversity.com‘s Safe School Index
  Incidents per 100 Students
Aggravated assault 1 0.01
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Rape 4 0.04
Robbery N/A N/A
Arson 2 0.02
Burglary 22 0.21
Larceny N/A N/A
Vehicle theft 1 0.01
Arrest 16 0.15

Local Crime Statistics

  Incidents per 100 People
Aggravated assault 8 0.04
Murder & Non-Negligent Manslaughter N/A N/A
Forcible Rape 3 0.02
Robbery 9 0.05
Arson N/A N/A
Burglary 145 0.81
Larceny 422 2.36
Vehicle theft 27 0.15

Demographics – Main Campus and Surrounding Areas

Reported area around or near Murray, KY 42071-3318
Surrounding communityRemote town (over 35 mi. away from an urban cluster)
Total Population26,922 (16,201 urban / 10,721 rural)
Households11,006 (2.19 people per house)
Median Household Income$29,594
Families6,458 (2.76 people per family)

Carnegie Foundation Classification

Master's Colleges and Universities (larger programs)
UndergraduateProfessions plus arts & sciences, some graduate coexistence
GraduatePostbaccalaureate comprehensive
Undergraduate PopulationFull-time four-year, selective, higher transfer-in
EnrollmentHigh undergraduate
Size & SettingMedium four-year, primarily residential

General Characteristics

Title IV EligibilityParticipates in Title IV federal financial aid programs
Highest offeringDoctoral degree
Calendar SystemSemester
Years of college work requiredN/A
Variable Tuition
Religious AffiliationN/A
Congressional District2101

Special Learning Opportunities

Distance LearningN/A
ROTC — Army / Navy / Air Force  —   /   / 
Study Abroad
Weekend College
Teacher Certification

Student Tuition Costs and Fees

Ranks 1259th for total cost of attendance
  In District In State Out of State
Effective as of 2014-09-19
FT Undergraduate Tuition $6,060 $6,060 $18,180
FT Undergraduate Required Fees $984 $984 $984
PT Undergraduate per Credit Hour $294 $294 $799
FT Graduate Tuition $9,720 $9,720 $29,160
FT Graduate Required Fees $984 $984 $984
PT Graduate per Credit Hour $446 $446 $1,256
Total Cost of Attendance — On-Campus $18,898 $18,898 $31,018
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus w/out Family $18,898 $18,898 $31,018
Total Cost of Attendance — Off-Campus with Family $11,162 $11,162 $23,282

Student Tuition Cost History and Trends

Prior year cost comparison
  In District In State Out of State
Published Tuition & Fees $6,576 $6,840 $6,576 $6,840 $17,892 $18,600
  Cost (regardless of residency)
Effective as of 2014-09-19
Books & Supplies $1,226 $1,285
On-Campus – Room & Board $6,984 $7,384
On-Campus – Other Expenses $3,821 $2,774
Off-Campus w/out Family – Room & Board $6,984 $7,384
Off-Campus w/out Family – Other Expenses $3,821 $2,774
Off-Campus with Family – Room & Board $3,821 $2,774

Admission Details

Effective as of 2014-09-19
Application Fee RequiredN/A
Undergraduate Application Fee$30
Graduate Application Fee$30
First Professional Application FeeN/A
Applicants 4,576 (1,835 male / 2,738 female)
Admitted 3,760 (1,450 male / 2,310 female)
Admission rate 82%
First-time Enrollment 1,626 (655 male / 971 female)
FT Enrollment 1,603 (641 male / 962 female)
PT Enrollment 23 (14 male / 9 female)
Total Enrollment10,943

Admission Criteria

 = Required,   = Recommended,   = Neither required nor recommended
Open Admissions
Secondary School GPA / Rank / Record  /   / 
College Prep. Completion
Formal competency demoN/A
Admission test scores
Other testsN/A

Admission Credits Accepted

Dual Credit
Life Experience
Advanced Placement (AP)

Athletics - Association Memberships

Sports / Athletic Conference Memberships NCAA
NCAA Football Conference Ohio Valley Conference
NCAA Basketball Conference Ohio Valley Conference
NCAA Baseball Conference Ohio Valley Conference
NCAA Track & Field Conference Ohio Valley Conference

ACT Test Admission

614th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting ACT results 93%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 26
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 18 / 25
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 19 / 25

SAT Test Admission

998th for 75pctl scores
Applicants submitting SAT results 2%
Verbal scores (25/75 %ile) 430 / 520
Math scores (25/75 %ile) 440 / 540
Cumulative scores (25/75 %ile) 870 / 1060

Student Services

Remedial Services
Academic / Career Counseling
PT Cost-defraying Employment
Career Placement
On-Campus Day Care
Library Facility

Student Living

First-time Room / Board Required
Dorm Capacity3,171
Meals per WeekN/A
Room Fee$4,400
Board Fee$3,336

Student Completion / Graduation Demographics

Total 168 144 20 14 2 1,736 29 2,131
Accounting 5 1 19 25
Advertising 1 2 6 2 11
Agriculture, Agriculture Operations, and Related Sciences, Other 1 76 1 79
Aquatic Biology/Limnology 1 1
Athletic Training/Trainer 3 3
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 2 1 43 46
Biology/Biological Sciences, General 1 3 1 33 1 39
Business Administration and Management, General 1 16 17
Business/Commerce, General 38 11 2 2 147 3 206
CAD/CADD Drafting and/or Design Technology/Technician 7 7
Chemical Technology/Technician 6 6
Chemistry, General 6 17 23
Civil Engineering Technology/Technician 4 1 1 1 20 2 29
Clinical Psychology 4 1 5
Community Organization and Advocacy 2 20 2 33 57
Computer Science 1 14 15
Counselor Education/School Counseling and Guidance Services 2 1 19 22
Creative Writing 1 23 2 26
Criminal Justice/Safety Studies 2 22 26
Drafting/Design Engineering Technologies/Technicians, Other 7 7
Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General 3 2 5
Early Childhood Education and Teaching 37 1 38
Economics, General 10 4 14
Educational Administration and Supervision, Other 2 45 47
Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician
Electromechanical Technology/Electromechanical Engineering Technology 2 6 8
Elementary Education and Teaching 3 1 111 115
Engineering Physics/Applied Physics 12 12
Engineering Technology, General 21 1 2 24
English Language and Literature, General 2 27 29
Ethnic, Cultural Minority, Gender, and Group Studies, Other 1 1
Finance, General 4 1 12 1 18
Fine/Studio Arts, General 1 1 23 25
Foods, Nutrition, and Wellness Studies, General 13 13
French Language and Literature 3 3
General Studies 1 28 104 3 139
Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other 1 2 3
Geology/Earth Science, General 9 9
German Language and Literature 1 2 3
Graphic Communications, General 1 7 8
Health Teacher Education 3 1 6 10
History, General 1 1 16 18
Industrial Technology/Technician
Information Science/Studies 1 35 36
Information Technology 8 5 13
International Business/Trade/Commerce 1 1 3 5
International Relations and Affairs 1 1
Japanese Language and Literature
Journalism 11 1 12
Junior High/Intermediate/Middle School Education and Teaching 1 46 47
Kinesiology and Exercise Science 1 23 24
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 1 14 1 16
Manufacturing Engineering Technology/Technician 1 1
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 5 1 18 25
Mathematics, General 1 16 17
Music Teacher Education 2 2
Music, General 2 18 20
Music, Other 3 1 7 11
Occupational Safety and Health Technology/Technician 4 4 1 1 56 1 67
Organizational Communication, General 1 9 1 55 2 70
Outdoor Education 1 4 5
Philosophy 1 2 3
Physics, General 1 2 3
Political Science and Government, General 1 12 13
Psychology, General 1 2 1 22 1 27
Public Administration 2 6 5 14
Public Relations/Image Management 1 1 1 17 20
Radio and Television 5 6 11
Reading Teacher Education 2 2 31 35
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 6 2 111 121
Secondary Education and Teaching 1 18 19
Social Work 6 43 1 50
Sociology 1 9 1 11
Spanish Language and Literature 6 6
Special Education and Teaching, General 4 1 66 72
Speech Communication and Rhetoric 4 4 8
Teacher Education and Professional Development, Specific Subject Areas, Other 2 2
Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language/ESL Language Instructor 29 2 1 8 41
Trade and Industrial Teacher Education 1 1
Veterinary/Animal Health Technology/Technician and Veterinary Assistant 2 2 85 2 92
Wildlife, Fish and Wildlands Science and Management 9 9
Youth Services/Administration 2 7 9

Faculty Compensation / Salaries

Ranks 1587th for the average full-time faculty salary.
Effective as of 2014-09-20
Tenure system N/A
Average FT Salary $67,017 ($71,000 male / $57,437 female)
Number of FT Faculty 427 (256 male / 171 female)
Number of PT Faculty 584
FT Faculty Ratio 0.7 : 1
Total Benefits $12,344,723

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