Located in Baltimore, Morgan State University (frequently known as Morgan State, MSU, and simply Morgan) is the biggest historically black college (HBCU) in Maryland. This public university is not a member of the state’s university system; it is governed by its own Board of Regents.
Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, MSU’s vision statement characterizes its mission as “that of providing an excellent undergraduate education to a broad segment of the population, including many of the best prepared as well as some who might not otherwise enroll in college but who have the potential to complete a degree.”
The school is classed as a Master’s College and University I by the Carnegie Institute and serves approximately 8,000 students each year.
Founded by the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1867 to educate young men as ministers, the Centenary Biblical Institute, as it was known at the time, received the name Morgan College to honor Rev. Lyttleton Morgan, a Board Chairman who donated land to the college. The school soon started training both men and women to become teachers, and the first degree was awarded in 1895. This private college was purchased by the state in 1939 as an institution of opportunity for its black population. Morgan received university status in 1975.
Bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees are awarded at Morgan State, which is comprised of the following colleges and schools:
- Liberal Arts
- Business and Management
- Education and Urban Studies
- Computer, Math, and Natural Sciences
- Graduate Studies
- Architecture and Planning
- Community Health and Policy
- Social Work
- Journalism and Communication
The school is also home to the Environmental and Aquatic Research Library.
Bachelor’s degrees are offered in a variety of fields within the various colleges. Popular areas of study include accounting, architecture, environmental design, English, marketing, music, theatre arts, engineering, finance, education, and mental health technology.
Graduate degrees are offered in more than 30 areas. These include master’s level programs in African-American studies, architecture, city and regional planning, English, history, education, science, public health, and transportation. The university is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a Doctoral Research Facility and doctoral degrees are offered in such areas as bio-environmental sciences, business administration, engineering, English, higher education administration, community college leadership, history, mathematics education, public health, science education, and urban educational leadership.
Most Popular Fields of Study
The Institute of Architecture and Planning offers a Bachelor of Science degree in architecture and environmental design. The Institute was founded in 1977 to educate students in the technical aspects of design but also educate them in the cultural aspects of urban architecture. The Institute is very much dedicated to the revitalization of the Baltimore area.
The Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) was founded in 1988 to increase the number and quality of science teachers in Maryland and strengthen the quality of scientific education. In addition to opportunities for students, the CEMSE offers professional development activities for teachers and monthly seminars for the local community.
Students are automatically considered for the undergraduate Honors Program when they apply to the university, and scholarships are awarded to approximately 200 high-achieving students. Students in the Honors Program can take special Honors Sections of General Education Requirements.
Other Special Programs
MSU is involved in multiple pre-college programs, which help high school students advance to the college level. The school also offers special academic programs for current MSU students, including ones in mental health, biomedical research, and engineering. The National Center for Health Behavioral Change, the Institute for Urban Research, and the Connect Program collaborate with community colleges.
Along with the application and accompanying application fee, prospective students must submit official high school transcripts and standardized test scores. A minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA along with a combined SAT score of 900 or a composite ACT score of 19 is recommended. Students are advised to submit all application materials as soon as possible in order to allow plenty of time for consideration and financial aid processing.
Transfer students and international students will have varying requirements depending upon their prior educational background.
Accepted students are encouraged and welcome to attend the introduction to the university program for new freshmen. Components of this program include placement tests and assistance planning the first year’s curriculum, with faculty members and counselors on-hand to answer any questions. The event also includes some social activities that familiarize incoming students with the campus and its resources
General graduate school requirements include a bachelor’s degree with with minimum courses related to the field to which they are applying and a minimum GPA of 3.0; GRE, GMAT or other appropriate standardized test scores; three letters of recommendation; and a personal statement. Prospective graduate students should consult the individual department and/or school to which they are applying for additional requirements. Students with a GPA lower than 3.0 may be considered for conditional admission.
Students who seek financial aid will need to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which becomes available online each year in January.
MSU provides access to Federal Pell Grants, the Federal Supplementary Opportunity Grant, Federal Direct Loans, Alternative Loans, Federal Parent Loans, and Federal Work-Study, in addition to institutional scholarships, which can vary in size and eligibility. Some of the more significant and popular awards are the Honors Scholarship; Diversity Grants; Athletic Grants, which are determined by the Athletic Department; and Maryland State Scholarships, offered through the Maryland State Scholarship Administration. Applicants and current students are also encouraged to contact the appropriate school or department for awards related to their specific area of study.
Graduate students may be eligible to receive financial aid in the form of teaching or research assistantships, including a stipend and a waiver of some or all of the tuition and other fees. Graduate students should consult with their individual department about what sort of aid programs are available and the details of the application process.
Students should contact the financial aid office directly to get information about aid programs.
Student Financial Aid Details
Morgan is a historically black institution and awards more bachelor’s degrees to African-American students than any college in Maryland.
Student life includes opportunities in a diverse range of activities and organizations. The campus is home to numerous student-run groups and clubs, including the Caribbean Students Association, Minority Association of Pre-Health Students, the Pre-Medical Chapter of the American Medical Student Association, and various Greek letter organizations. There are also many other academic and professional groups, a band and choir, a student newspaper, and yearbook committee.
The McKeldin Center, which offers students a place to convene and relax outside of the classroom, is a hub of social activity on campus. The Center offers meeting facilities, lectures, and other public gatherings.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The Morgan State Bears compete in the NCAA’s Division I Mideastern Athletic Conference. The football team competes in Division I-AA. Intercollegiate sports teams include men’s basketball, cross country, football, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field. Women’s teams include basketball, bowling, cross country, softball, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field, cheerleading and volleyball.
The Bears have several alumni in the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame, including Willie Lanier, Roosevelt Brown, Leroy Kelly, and Len Ford.
Athletic facilities include a stadium, a gymnasium, and a field house.
The Morgan State Marching Band, known as the “Magnificent Marching Machine,” performs for audiences in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, and Washington D.C. on a regular basis. The band has performed at NFL games and championships as well as presidential inaugurations.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.