Public celebration of first doctoral program at MSU-Meridian to honor local partners Oct. 16

Contact: Harriet Laird

MERIDIAN, Miss.—Enrollment of the first 20 students in the first doctoral program at Mississippi State University-Meridian is being celebrated this fall with a spotlight on those who made the new curriculum possible.

An Oct. 16 public reception will mark the establishment of the Doctor of Psychology in Combined Health Service Psychology, while also saluting three Meridian-based foundations and local clinical support. The 2 p.m. event will be held in the Studio Theater of the MSU Riley Center, 2200 Fifth St., in downtown Meridian.

The Paul and Sherry Broadhead, Phil Hardin, and Riley foundations have jointly committed $4.6 million to help the university expand clinical and behavioral health programs at MSU-Meridian. One specific need is more psychologists to provide mental health support, locally and in surrounding areas, to address challenges ranging from eating disorders and alcoholism to chronic illness and depression.

Terry Dale Cruse, associate vice president and head of campus, explained the upcoming event is expressly to thank funding partners and local medical organizations, calling their backing and investments in local health care “overwhelming,” “far-reaching” and “raising the bar” for what’s possible not only in higher education, but within Meridian’s clinics and hospitals.

“MSU-Meridian is taking care of what matters—along with our partners—addressing health disparity, access to quality health care and improvement in the livelihoods of Mississippians,” Cruse said. “We’re now a hub for preparing future health care professionals, and I can’t think of a more exciting time than the present for health care education opportunity in this region of the state.”

The new 91-hour psychology doctoral degree expands the university’s mental health programs in the Queen City with three concentration offerings—clinical, counseling, and school psychology—and joins existing master’s and educational specialist programs in counseling, all in the Division of Education.  

Upon successful completion, Psy.D. graduates will become practicing psychologists, ready to provide services to diverse populations through in-patient and out-patient medical facilities, non-profit organizations, government agencies, private companies and educational settings.

For more details on the new Psy.D. program, visit MSU-Meridian information is available at

Mississippi State University is taking care of what matters. Learn more at

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