McMurry University was founded as a United Methodist Institution in 1923. The college was named for Bishop William Fletcher McMurry by the Northwest Texas Conference of the church and founded by James Winfred Hunt, the former president of Stamford College. After Stamford closed, Rev. Hunt began pressuring for a school in Abilene where Simmons College had been established by the Baptist Church and Abilene Christian College had been established by the Church of Christ. The conference voted to establish a college in Abilene in 1920, although Stamford residents fought to have the college located there instead. Abilene offered free water and streetcar connections along with funding and land, making it a more suitable location for the new school. Once the conference ratified the school, the citizens of Abilene raised $100,000 and three community members donated land. The college charter was signed on November 21, 1921 and the school opened on September 20, 1923 with 191 students. The first graduating class, consisting of four students, completed their studies in 1926.

Although initially founded as a liberal arts college, the school added teacher training and business administration in its first ten years of existence. The school still has a strong liberal arts focus but as a Methodist college, has also educated clergy and laity. During the Great Depression, the college struggled due to low enrollment. In order to remain open, expenses were cut severely with faculty accepting partial salaries. Federal income from the National Youth Administration and Work Projects Administration as well as frugal spending allowed them to keep the doors open. The school struggled again in the 1940s when many male students left to serve in the war effort. The G.I. Bill helped expand McMurry’s enrollment significantly after the war, allowing them to gain a more secure financial setting.

McMurry is one of the founding colleges of the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association which began competition in 1975. Initially, enrollment was in the Abilene area, but since the 1970s, students from larger metropolitan areas in Texas began to enroll. McMurry was the first college in Abilene to admit black students in the early 1960s. By the 1980s, a large majority of the students were part-time, second-career students and less than half of the enrollment was of the Methodist faith. Today, the school sits on 52 acres in the heart of Abilene and offers more than 45 majors. There are over 1,200 students enrolled with an average class size of 16.

McMurry University Accreditation Details

McMurry University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Accreditation indicates that McMurry meets or exceeds criteria as set forth by the accrediting agency that indicates excellence in education and that the school strives to improve programs on a regular basis. In addition, McMurry is accredited by the following industry-specific accreditation organizations or agencies:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Texas Education Agency
  • University Senate of the United Methodist Church

The school is also a member of:

  • Association of Governing Boards
  • Association of Texas Colleges and Universities of Texas
  • College Board
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church
  • National Collegiate Honors Council

McMurry University Application Requirements

Freshmen who wish to attend McMurry College must submit a high school transcript with at least three years of high school included. A final, official transcript must be submitted upon graduation. Students must submit ACT and/or SAT test scores. Students who have completed less than 24 hours of transferable coursework at another college or university must submit high school transcripts. Students who are under the age of 22, regardless of transfer credits, must provide ACT and/or SAT scores. Students must submit a transcript from every college or university they have attended.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Full-time tuition at McMurry University is $26,100 annually. Financial aid is available in the form of scholarships and grants as well as both student and parent PLUS loans. In order to qualify for financial aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). McMurry provides financial aid to 100 percent of the students who demonstrate need.

Degree Programs Available

Bachelor of Business Administration

McMurry University offers a Bachelor of Business Administration degree that allows students to concentrate their studies in one of the following areas:

  • Accounting
  • Computer Information Systems
  • Finance, General Business
  • Heritage and Cultural Tourism
  • Management
  • Marketing

Students are provided the skills and knowledge that employers in the business world seek when they choose candidates for positions. Students receive forward-thinking, hands-on experiential learning. Internships are also available in a wide range of industries. Students develop strong technical skills and are able to solve problems facing the business world today. Students are provided insight into global, social, legal and ethical issues.

Multimedia and Graphic Arts

The Multimedia and Graphic Arts program at McMurry helps students develop strong conceptual and technical skills for artistic expression, creative problem solving, artistic appreciation and historical perspectives. The program is hands-on and provides instruction in numerous traditions used in the creation of art. Students are exposed to the art of Western Civilization and non-European cultures in order to enhance their education. Students develop a comprehensive understanding of design, art media, expressive possibilities, creative solutions and professional practices. Students are awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts and may concentrate in multimedia, graphic design or studio art.


McMurry offers an undergraduate degree in Psychology that prepares students for one of the fastest growing, most popular fields. Instructors at McMurry do not just teach psychology. They model and encourage a commitment to people through student-centered teaching, interactive learning and integration of academics and faith. Students who enter the Psychology program at McMurry have a strong curiosity about human behavior and emotions. They are ready to answer difficult questions and have the motivation to work hard. Students may choose to minor in Psychology as an addition to other degree programs offered at McMurry.

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McMurry University offers undergraduate degrees in a wide range of programs with a strong Christian focus. There are a large number of working adults enrolled at McMurry University, many of whom are seeking a new career or who wish to advance in a current career.