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Little Bell Tower

Morehead State University (MSU) is a comprehensive public university with robust undergraduate and graduate programs, emerging doctoral programs and an emphasis on regional engagement. MSU aspires to be the best public regional university in the South through prioritizing student success; outcomes; academic excellence; and rankings, reputation and regional responsiveness.

MSU is located in the foothills of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Rowan County, Kentucky. Founded in 1887 as Morehead Normal School, it was a private, church-supported institution known as “a light to the mountains.” In 1922, it became part of the state-supported system and was renamed Morehead State Normal School and Teacher’s College. An increase in enrollment and degree programs resulted in successive renaming as Morehead State College (1948) and its current designation as Morehead State University (1966).

Mission Statement

As a community of lifelong learners, we will:

  • Educate students for success in a global environment;
  • Engage in scholarship;
  • Promote diversity of people and ideas;
  • Foster innovation, collaboration and creative thinking; and
  • Serve our communities to improve the quality of life.


MSU has an 11-member Board of Regents that serves by statute as the governing body of the University. The board is dedicated to the promotion of the mission and goals of the University. The board is also responsible for the creation or dissolution of degrees upon approval of the Council on Postsecondary Education.


MSU has 142 undergraduate and 68 graduate degree programs in four colleges: Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Ernst & Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education; College of Science; and Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology. MSU offers associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral degrees, as well as undergraduate and graduate certificates.


In the fall of 2020, MSU employed 419 total faculty members: 312 full-time and 107 part-time faculty members in addition to 533 full-time staff and 93 part-time staff.


MSU’s annual operating budget, approved by the Board of Regents each June, is based on projected funds from tuition and fees, state appropriation, sales and services of educational activities, and auxiliary enterprise revenue. The University’s independent external auditors conduct an annual audit and disclose concerns and recommendations to the board if needed. 


MSU is part of the Kentucky public postsecondary education system. Our service region consists of 22 counties in eastern Kentucky with outreach that extends far beyond the service region. The University’s main campus is located in Morehead, Kentucky, with regional campuses in Ashland, Mt. Sterling and Prestonsburg.

Updated June 2021