Mississippi State University is a land-grant university located in eastern north-central Mississippi near the town of Starkville. It was created in 1878 as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi and received its first students in the fall of 1880. The Mississippi Legislature renamed the college in 1932 as Mississippi State College and again in 1958 as Mississippi State University.
Mississippi State University is the only institution in Mississippi designated as a Doctoral I university by the Southern Regional Education Board. It is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master's, specialist, and doctoral degrees.
Currently, Mississippi State University consists of the following academic units: the School of Accountancy, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the School of Architecture, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business and Industry, the Division of Continuing Education, the College of Education, the College of Engineering, the College of Forest Resources, the Graduate School, and the College of Veterinary Medicine. Additionally, the university offers undergraduate and graduate programs at an off-campus degree-granting center in Meridian, Mississippi.
As of 2000, enrollment at Mississippi State University was 16,561 overall, 15,764 on the main campus. The student/faculty ratio was 15:1.