Non-Resident Requirements


Full admission to Mississippi State University for non-residents of Mississippi will be granted to high school graduates who complete one of the following:

  • Complete the College Preparatory Curriculum with a minimum 2.50 grade-point average and a composite score of 20 or higher on the ACT or a combined score of *1030 or higher on the SAT.     - OR -

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

Beginning fall 2021, MSU will use the 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.

Students who are unable to participate in ACT or SAT testing due to COVID-19 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. 

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

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

Mathematics: 3 Carnegie Units

  • Algebra I or its equivalent
  • Math higher than Algebra I (2 units)

Science: 3 Carnegie Units

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

Social Studies: 3 Carnegie Units

  • U.S. History
  • World History
  • U.S. Government (1/2 Unit)
  • Economics (1/2 unit) or Introduction to World Geography (1/2 unit)

Arts: 1 Carnegie Unit

  • Includes any one Carnegie unit (or two ½ units) of visual and performing art 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 Advanced World Geography
  • Option 3: Any combination of English, Mathematics higher than Algebra I, Science higher than Biology I, Advanced Elective category, any AP course, any IB course

Technology: ½ Carnegie Unit

  • A course that emphasizes the use of technology as a productivity tool.  Instruction should be 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.

Total Carnegie Units: 16 ½


  • 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) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses can 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 the IHL Office of Academic and Student Affairs maintains a complete list of courses that can be used to satisfy the CPC requirements.  See

Home-schooled applicants must submit the following:

  • Home-school transcripts or portfolio summarizing home school education
  • ACT or SAT scores

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

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.