Mississippi State University, located in Starkville, is the state’s land-grant university and the second largest university in Mississippi. If you’re wondering whether Mississippi State is a good school for you, here’s a quick answer: Mississippi State provides a quality and affordable education with some standout academic programs, but its remote location and party school reputation may not appeal to all students.

In this comprehensive article, we will examine Mississippi State’s academics, student life, value, and other key factors to help you determine if it’s a good fit for your college search.

Academics at Mississippi State

When it comes to academics, Mississippi State University offers a range of strong programs that cater to different fields of study. The university is particularly well-known for its exceptional programs in agriculture, engineering, and architecture.

Students interested in these disciplines will find a wealth of resources and opportunities to excel in their chosen fields.

Strong Programs in Agriculture, Engineering, Architecture

Mississippi State University has a long-standing reputation for excellence in agricultural studies. The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences offers a variety of degree programs, including agricultural economics, animal and dairy sciences, and plant and soil sciences.

The university’s commitment to agricultural research and innovation is evident through its state-of-the-art facilities and partnerships with industry leaders.

In addition to agriculture, Mississippi State’s Bagley College of Engineering is highly regarded for its comprehensive programs. From civil and environmental engineering to aerospace and mechanical engineering, students have access to cutting-edge laboratories and real-world experiences that prepare them for successful careers in their chosen fields.

Furthermore, the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University is recognized for its top-notch programs. With a focus on design, sustainability, and community engagement, students receive a well-rounded education that prepares them to become leaders in the field.

The school’s commitment to innovation and creativity is evident in its collaborative projects and ongoing research initiatives.

Solid Scores and Rankings

Mississippi State University consistently achieves high scores and rankings, further validating its academic quality. In the most recent U.S. News & World Report rankings, Mississippi State was named one of the top national universities in the country.

The university’s commitment to academic excellence and student success is evident through its high retention and graduation rates.

Additionally, Mississippi State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), ensuring that the university meets high standards of quality and integrity in its academic programs.

Notable Faculty and Research Activity

At Mississippi State University, students have the privilege of learning from renowned faculty members who are experts in their respective fields. The university takes pride in its dedicated professors who are committed to providing students with a quality education and hands-on learning experiences.

Moreover, Mississippi State University has a thriving research community, with faculty members actively engaged in groundbreaking research across various disciplines. From advancing agricultural practices to developing innovative engineering solutions, the university’s research initiatives contribute to the advancement of knowledge and have real-world applications.

Student Life at Mississippi State

When it comes to student life, Mississippi State University offers a vibrant and engaging environment for its students. With a wide range of activities and organizations, students have plenty of opportunities to get involved and make the most of their college experience.

Active Greek Life and Sports Culture

One aspect that stands out about student life at Mississippi State is the active Greek life and sports culture on campus. The university is home to a number of fraternities and sororities, providing students with the chance to join a close-knit community and participate in a variety of social events and philanthropy activities.

Additionally, Mississippi State is known for its strong sports culture, with enthusiastic fans supporting the Bulldogs in football, basketball, and other athletic events. The lively atmosphere during game days creates a sense of camaraderie and school spirit among students.

Limited Dining and Social Options Off Campus

While Mississippi State offers a vibrant on-campus experience, it is important to note that the off-campus dining and social options may be somewhat limited. The surrounding area of Starkville, Mississippi, is a smaller town and may not have the same range of restaurants and entertainment venues as larger cities.

However, the university does provide a variety of dining options on campus, including cafeterias, food courts, and specialty restaurants, ensuring that students have convenient access to meals and snacks during their time at Mississippi State.

Relatively Low Diversity

When considering student life at Mississippi State, it is worth mentioning that the university has a relatively low diversity compared to some other institutions. While efforts are being made to promote inclusivity and diversity on campus, it is important to acknowledge that the majority of the student population may come from similar backgrounds.

However, Mississippi State University strives to create a welcoming and supportive environment for all students, regardless of their background, and offers resources and organizations that celebrate diversity and promote cultural understanding.

Affordability and Value of Mississippi State

When considering whether Mississippi State is a good school, one important factor to consider is its affordability and value. Mississippi State offers several benefits in terms of cost and financial aid, making it an attractive option for many students.

Lower In-State Tuition and Fees

One of the key advantages of Mississippi State is its lower in-state tuition and fees. This means that students who are residents of Mississippi can save significantly on their education expenses compared to out-of-state students.

This affordability factor makes Mississippi State an appealing choice for local students who want to pursue higher education without breaking the bank.

Good ROI for Mississippi Residents

Mississippi State also provides a good return on investment (ROI) for Mississippi residents. According to a study conducted by PayScale, Mississippi State University ranks high in terms of mid-career earnings for graduates.

This indicates that students who graduate from Mississippi State have good career prospects and can expect to earn a decent income in their chosen field.

This high ROI is particularly beneficial for Mississippi residents who may have limited financial resources and want to ensure that their investment in education pays off in the long run.

Merit Scholarships Available

Another aspect that adds value to Mississippi State is the availability of merit scholarships. The university offers a range of scholarships based on academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and other criteria.

These scholarships can significantly reduce the financial burden on students and make Mississippi State an even more affordable option.

By providing these scholarships, Mississippi State recognizes and rewards students who have excelled in their academic pursuits, making it an attractive choice for high-achieving individuals.

Campus Setting and Location

When it comes to campus setting and location, Mississippi State University offers a unique experience for its students. Situated in the small town of Starkville, Mississippi, the university enjoys a rural location that provides a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere.

This setting offers students a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and focus on their studies in a serene environment.

Rural Location in Small Town of Starkville

Starkville, with its population of approximately 25,000 residents, is the quintessential college town. It is known for its friendly community and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal place for students to call home.

The town’s rural location allows for a close-knit community where students can easily connect with their peers and engage in various activities together.

Living in a small town also has its perks. Students have the opportunity to explore local businesses, cafes, and restaurants that offer a taste of Southern hospitality and cuisine. Additionally, the cost of living in Starkville is relatively lower compared to larger cities, allowing students to save money and stretch their budgets.

Historic Campus with Southern Charm

Mississippi State University boasts a historic campus that is steeped in tradition and Southern charm. With its beautiful architecture and sprawling green spaces, the campus provides a picturesque backdrop for students to study, socialize, and create lasting memories.

Walking through the campus, students are greeted by towering oak trees, well-maintained gardens, and charming red brick buildings.

One notable feature of the campus is the Drill Field, a central gathering place for students. This open green space serves as a hub for various activities, including outdoor concerts, sports events, and student organization fairs.

It is a place where students can relax, play games, and connect with friends.

Proximity to Outdoor Recreation

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Mississippi State University’s location is a dream come true. The university is surrounded by an abundance of natural beauty, including nearby forests, lakes, and rivers.

Students have easy access to hiking trails, fishing spots, and camping grounds, allowing them to embrace the great outdoors and take a break from their academic pursuits.

One popular outdoor destination near the university is the Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge. Spanning over 48,000 acres, this wildlife sanctuary offers opportunities for birdwatching, wildlife photography, and nature walks.

It provides a peaceful retreat where students can unwind and connect with nature.


In summary, Mississippi State provides quality academics and student life, especially for students interested in agricultural and engineering programs. Its affordability for in-state students also adds to its appeal.

However, its remote location and lack of diversity could be drawbacks for some students. Weighing the pros and cons highlighted in this article can help you determine if Mississippi State is the right fit for your academic, social, and financial needs.

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