Background Image Alternative Text: student and bully mascot



Student Reviews

Graduate degree program applicants are required to have a bachelor’s degree in progress or completed.

Worried about deadlines?   |   Test score requirements?

Find Your Home at Mississippi State University

Bully Statue in the Junction on MSU's Starkville Main Campus

Mississippi State University is home to students from every county in Mississippi, every state in the US, and many, many countries across the world. The diversity of our student body, faculty, and staff is one of our greatest assets. 

Our students can learn about the world through the experiences of their fellow students and explore the similarities and differences we all share. We have a commitment to a diverse and inclusive environment for every student who endeavors to be a Mississippi State graduate. We know our individual differences bring richness to the student experience. 

We also know all students benefit from a diverse learning environment, so our faculty and staff are committed to creating programs, services, and activities to challenge our students and expand their worldview. 

Why Mississippi State University?

  • MSU is among only 2.7% of universities in the U.S. that hold the Carnegie Foundation R1-Very High Research Activity designation.
  • Among the nation’s top research institutions in engineering
  • Cybersecurity courses and degree programs are rated in the top three nationally for academic excellence and practical relevance
  • Design intelligence program ranked as 25th best in the U.S.
  • Nation’s best in agricultural sciences research and development
  • MBA Program is ranked among the Top 100 Graduate Business Programs by U.S. News & World Report
  • Rated No. 3 nationally among accounting programs in the U.S.

President’s Statement on Diversity

"At Mississippi State, we don’t just talk about inclusion and opportunity — we live it every day. We are proud to be the most diverse member of the Southeastern Conference, as well as one of the most diverse public land grants in the nation. 

We enroll many students of different races, religions, countries, and economic backgrounds — including more than 4,000 African American students this past year — and have an overall minority enrollment of 25 percent. Nearly 800 international students from almost 90 counties were enrolled in 2016-17. 

We also promote the transition of students with intellectual disabilities into higher education through our ACCESS Program. 

Our MSU Promise Program focuses on helping Mississippi’s most economically disadvantaged students with academic as well as financial support. 

We continue to expand our very successful programs to support veterans and their families, and last fall we opened Nusz Hall — the new home for the Sonny Montgomery Center for America’s Veterans. 

And our campus Safe Zone organization has now provided training to hundreds of faculties, staff, and students who are helping to make our campus more welcoming for LGBTQ+ members of our university family. 

I believe it is particularly important that our colleges and universities — where the leaders of the future are developing today — be at the forefront of enhancing diversity, inclusion, and opportunity for all. This message is very important to me personally and as president of this wonderful university. It is a message I will continue to share, and together with you, will continue to work to achieve." 

MSU President Mark Keenum awarding degrees to graduates at the Spring 2022 Commencement Ceremony

Mark E. Keenum, President 

International Application Checklist 

  1. Application 

  2. Non-refundable application fee 

  3. Statement of Purpose 

  4. Names and email addresses of three academic references 

  5. Official Academic Records (in the native language along with translated copies if appropriate) 

  6. TOEFL or IELTS score if the applicant is not from a TOEFL/IELT Exempt Country listed below 

The statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and required test scores are submitted electronically through the graduate application portal. If the academic department requires a résumé, it is also submitted electronically.  To fulfill the recommendation requirement, the applicant will submit the names and email addresses of three people who have agreed to submit a recommendation and these individuals will receive an email request from the Graduate School.  Their timely response is critical to the student’s application process. Applications are not processed until the application fee has been paid. 


An applicant must request an official transcript from the bachelor’s degree institution and from each college or university attended following the bachelor’s degree.  If fewer than 60-70 hours were completed at the institution which awarded the bachelor’s degree, an official transcript from the previous institution(s) is required as well.  The department may require previous transcripts to verify prerequisites.  The official transcript must be in a sealed envelope bearing the institution’s return address with the Registrar’s signature or stamp across the flap.   

The Graduate School will accept electronic transcripts directly from Escrip. Electronic transcripts sent by Escrip should be sent to Mississippi State University, Graduate School. 

Likewise, MSU Graduate School accepts documents provided directly from World Education Services (WES) as official verification. However, if the WES approved document is provided by the student it will remain unofficial.

Some departments may have different deadlines; please refer to the departmental listings in this publication for degree-specific admission deadlines.  Because of anticipated delays in obtaining visas and immigration documents, applicants are encouraged to submit admission materials by January 1 for consideration for the fall semester.  Applicants should request official transcripts from all institutions where undergraduate or graduate coursework has been completed.  The official transcript must be in a sealed envelope bearing the institution’s return address with the Registrar’s signature or stamp across the flap. 

Completed applications received on or prior to the deadline dates above will receive consideration for the desired academic term.  Some programs may have earlier application deadlines that override the Graduate School deadlines; they are found in the description of the specific program.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all supporting materials are received.  The Graduate School requires applicants to use the online application process.  

All required materials not submitted electronically must be mailed to: 

Mississippi State University 
Graduate School 
Box G 
Mississippi State, MS  39762 

English Language Test Score Requirements 

An international student holding one or more degrees (baccalaureate or higher) from a college or university in the U.S. is not required to submit English language test scores for admission.

An international student from a country where English is the first language, as documented by a statement on the high school graduating certificate that English is the official (first) language of the country, or who holds one or more degrees (baccalaureate or higher) from a college or university where English is the first language is not required to submit English language test scores.  However, the student’s academic department may require the student to schedule one or more ESL (English as a Second Language) courses.

An international student whose primary language is not English, as described above, must submit either a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score or an IELTS (International English Language Testing Systems) score.  If more than one test score is submitted, the highest score will be the valid score to determine if the student qualifies for regular admission or must complete ESL courses to gain full admission. If a student has submitted an official TOEFL or IELTS score and takes the test again to improve his or her score, that official TOEFL or IELTS score must be received by the Graduate School five business days (or more) before the first day of class and prior to course registration in a graduate program at Mississippi State University.

An international applicant for Unclassified graduate status (non-degree-seeking) who is not from a country where English is the first language or who does not hold a baccalaureate or higher degree from a college or university where English is the first language must submit an appropriate TOEFL or IELTS score.

A minimum 53 iBT (Internet-Based Test) is required for admission to Mississippi State University.   The required IELTS score is 4.5.  The following degree programs require higher test scores than the University requirement:

  • The College of Veterinary Medicine requires a minimum TOEFL score of 61 iBT or an IELTS score of 5.5.
  • The College of Education requires a minimum TOEFL score of 79 iBT or an IELTS score of 6.5 for admission to master’s and doctoral level programs.
  • The College of Business requires a minimum  TOEFL score of 84 iBT or an IELTS score of 7.0.

The applicant must check the requirements of the specific department.

The following requirements satisfy the English language proficiency of international graduate students.  A student admitted to the University with a national TOEFL or IELTS score less than the proficient-level equivalencies must enroll in the specified English as a Second Language (ESL) course requirement(s) beginning with the initial enrollment period. 

For more information on English Test Score Requirements visit the Graduate Catalog

International Institute Newly Admitted Student Checklist 

  1. Steps for I-20

  2. Transfer Information

  3. Change of Status 

  4. Cost of Attendance 

  5. Applying for a Visa 

  6. Pre-Departure Information

  7. Check-in and Orientation

  8. Arrival Information

International Services Office

Learn more at the International Services Office

To schedule a campus visit:

  1. Contact or 662.325.5198 to schedule a visit.
  2. Explore more at the MSU Welcome Center.

More Information