MS Resident Requirements | Office of Admissions and Scholarships

MS Resident Requirements


Full admission to Mississippi State University will be granted to high school graduates who complete the required College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) along with one of the following:

  • A minimum 2.0 grade-point average on the CPC


  • Satisfy the National Collegiate Athletic Association standards for student-athletes who are full or partial qualifiers under Division I guidelines.

Test-Optional: Students who choose not to participate in ACT or SAT testing will be reviewed for admissibility. This review will involve consideration of high school performance, placement testing, special interests, and skills as well as other non-cognitive factors.

If a test score is submitted, MSU will superscore (highest ACT or SAT subject test scores from the same test type when scores from more than one test date are submitted.)  A combination of ACT and SAT subtest scores cannot be combined to calculate a superscore.

Following the University’s grading option for the spring 2020 semester, grades of S, P, or U as listed on college and high school transcripts will not be calculated in your grade point average for consideration of admission and scholarships.  Grades of A-F will be calculated as normal.

Applicants who have completed high school from a school that does not hold regional accreditation must submit the following:

  • Transcripts reflecting academic performance
  • ACT or SAT scores

Applicants who have not completed high school must submit the following:

  • Qualifying scores on the General Education Development Test (GED)
  • Any transcripts reflecting academic performance in high school

Applicants may be required to appear for an on-campus interview.

To be accepted into the freshman class at Mississippi State University, students must satisfactorily complete the following College Preparatory Curriculum (CPC) with an appropriate core grade-point average:

English: 4 Carnegie Units

  • Units must require substantial communication skills (i.e., reading, writing, listening, and speaking). Compensatory Reading and Writing may not be included.

Mathematics: 4 Carnegie Units

  • Algebra I or its equivalent 
  • Math higher than Algebra I (2 units) 
  • The 4th Carnegie unit can be a math credit earned prior to Algebra I or a math credit not considered higher than Algebra I. 

Science: 3 Carnegie Units

  • Biology I or its equivalent
  • Science higher than Biology I (2 units) 

Social Studies: 3 Carnegie Units

  • Units must include integrated courses of social sciences and humanities promoting civic competence.

Arts: 1 Carnegie Unit

  • Includes any one Carnegie unit (or two ½ units) of visual and
    performing arts course(s) meeting the requirements for high
    school graduation.

Advanced Electives: 2 Carnegie Units

  • Option 1: Foreign Language I and Foreign Language II
  • Option 2: Foreign Language I and one unit from Option 3
  • Option 3: (1) Any combination of an advanced level course above the required Carnegie units in: (a) as noted in the Office of Academic and Student Affairs CPC Manual and/or) any (b) Advanced Placement (AP), Academic or Career and Technical Dual Credit (DC), International Baccalaureate (IB), or Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) course. (2) Completion of any two-year Career and Technical course may count as one unit. Example: completion of both Health Sciences I & II will count as an advanced elective.

Technology: 1 Carnegie Unit

  • A technology course is defined as one that emphasizes the use of technology as a productivity tool. Instruction should include utilizing various forms of technology to create, collaborate, organize, and publish information. The application of technology as a productivity tool, rather than specific hardware and/or software packages should be the focus of the course. A computer science course emphasizes computational thinking to solve problems. Courses will involve the study of computers and algorithmic processes, including their principles, their hardware, and software designs, their applications, and their impact on society and should include a focus on one or more of the following core concepts: computing systems, networks, and the internet, data and analysis, algorithms and programming, and impacts of computing. Course equivalent or additional advanced elective may be acceptable for non-Mississippi residents.

Total Carnegie Units: 18


  • Pre-High School Units: Courses taken prior to high school will be accepted for admission provided the course earns Carnegie credit and the content is the same as the high school course. 
  • Substitutions: Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB, Academic or Career and Technical Dual Credit (DC) and Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) courses may be substituted for each requirement in the College Preparatory Curriculum.
  • Course Acceptance:  A course may not be used to satisfy more than one requirement.
  • The Required and Recommended College Preparatory Curricula (CPC) are approved by the IHL Board of Trustees and maintained in the IHL Office of Academic and Student Affairs. Visit for more information.

Home-schooled applicants must submit the following:

  • Home-school transcripts or portfolio summarizing home school education
  • ACT or SAT scores (if available)

Student Review Process

Mississippi residents who fail to meet full admission standards may, as a result of review, be admitted to the fall or summer semester. The review shall involve a consideration of high school performance, ACT/SAT scores, placement testing, and special interests and skills, as well as other nonacademic factors. The review has several avenues to help students find the most successful route.

  • If the initial review indicates inadequate readiness in English, reading, or mathematics, applicants may be required to participate in counseling and testing, which will be held on campus prior to the beginning of the summer session. Applicants who successfully complete the counseling and testing program may be admitted to the university, with the requirement that they participate in the yearlong Academic Support Program.

Yearlong Academic Support Program

The Academic Support Program staff includes special tutors in mathematics, science, reading, and writing, as well as career counselors. The goal of this program is to provide individualized support for marginally prepared students who are enrolled in regular academic credit courses.

An applicant who is twenty-one (21) years old and who does not meet the regular freshman admission requirements, may apply for acceptance into the Special Non-Degree (SND) student category. Students in this category will be advised by and will schedule classes through the University Academic Advising Center.

Applicants must demonstrate adequate preparation for the courses they plan to schedule. SND students may schedule a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours during a regular term and three (6) semester hours during a five-week summer term. To move from the SND status, students should satisfactorily complete twelve (12) semester hours with a C or better average in core courses that are applicable to a degree at MSU.

Students wishing to gain reclassification to a traditional major should discuss this during their initial meeting with one of the professional advisors in the University Academic Advising Center. For students admitted to a degree program, a maximum of eighteen (18) semester hours of credit earned while in the SND classification may be counted toward a baccalaureate degree, pending approval by the dean of the college or school from which the degree is sought.

Degree-seeking adult applicants with previous college attendance must meet regular transfer student requirements and, therefore, may not apply for admission under the Special Non-Degree option.
Non-degree seeking adult applicants with previous college attendance who do not meet regular transfer requirements may be allowed to schedule courses for self improvement and/or job enhancement only. Applicants should file a letter of intent with the Director of Admissions and Scholarships to enroll under this option.