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The state of Mississippi has the unique honor of being the 32ndlargest state in the country and the 32ndlargest state by land mass. In terms of public schools, Mississippi is home to a number of nationally and regionally acclaimed colleges. Top ranked state colleges in Mississippi include the University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, Mississippi State University, Delta State University, Jackson State University, and Alcorn State University. The enrollment at these state schools are as diverse as the topography found in the state, ranging from a few thousand to over twenty thousand students.

2021 Best Public Colleges in Mississippi

About
The University of Mississippi, located in Oxford, Mississippi, was founded in 1844. The school's first class was comprised of 80 student, and was the state's only source for public postsecondary education for 23 years, as well as the state's only comprehensive university for 110 years. The school is affectionately referred to as Ole Miss, and was one of the first institutions to offer an engineering program as well as a state supported law program. It is also the first southern school to admit women and to hire female faculty members. Over the years Ole Miss has added schools of study and expanded its program offerings, having become a full fledged university granting degrees at the undergraduate and graduate level to a yearly enrollment of over 18,000 student. Ole Miss operates several campuses to provide a wider service area, and has continued to expand its offerings across these campuses as part of its educational mission. Ole Miss is one of the south's best research institutions, providing a variety of options and opportunities to potential and current students through its comprehensive and specialized programs of study.

Academics
The University of Mississippi offers over 100 areas of study, allowing students to pursue the programs that best reflect their goals, ambitions and future plans. Degrees are earned through the completion of lower and upper division courses alongside general education requirements and elective courses that allow for study in non related fields. Students may also choose to pursue a minor degree through the addition of extra courses of study that provide an extra area of study and expertise outside of their major. Graduate programs are also available for student though these programs have separate admissions requirements which typically involve high scores on graduate level exams, an appropriate degree earned, and a strong academic record.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid
Future students at the University of Mississippi must qualify for admission by meeting the admissions requirements used by the school. This includes a cumulative GPA of 3.2, a cumulative GPA of 2.5 with an ACT score of 16 or a SAT score of 760, a class rank in the upper 50% with an ACT score of 16 or a SAT score of 760, or a GPA of 2.0 with an ACT score of 18 or a SAT reading and math score of 860. Students who meet the NCAA certification requirements may also considered for admission. Student must submit a completed application for admission, completing all required essays and providing all pertinent transcripts and test scores. The submitted information will be reviewed by the admissions committee and a decision will be rendered, after which admitted students will be notified and provided the necessary information for beginning their college experience.

Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs. Students requiring financial assistance must submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the information from which is used to determine financial needs of the student, aid program eligibility and monetary awards in the form of a financial aid package. Financial aid must be reapplied prior to the start of each academic year. Students may be randomly chosen to provide additional financial information in order to verify the FAFSA's accuracy due to new federal regulations for aid.

Athletics
The Ole Miss Rebels participate in intercollegiate athletics through the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) . The school has a long history of athletic excellence, particularly in the area of football which has become a staple of the institution. Intercollegiate athletics provide participating students a forum to engage in healthy competition while developing skills and habits that are useful in one's personal, academic and professional life such as teamwork, discipline, leadership, responsibility and good health. Students will also experience the camaraderie associated with experiencing the shared successes and failures with their teammates while working to maintain academic success as required by the school.

Athletic programs offered include:

  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Rifle
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Volleyball

Enrollment

22,456

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

MSU provides a variety of educational opportunities for students to assist them in their growth and development. The school is located in Mississippi State, Mississippi and publically funded. As a land grant institution this school is one of the larger public institutions in the state of Mississippi. MSU enrolls nearly 20,000 yearly, making it one of the largest schools in the state.

Here is a list of some of the popular programs MSU offers:

  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Communications And Journalism
  • Psychology

To be considered for admissions, students may be required to complete an application, write a personal statement, and submit school transcripts, which are then evaluated by the admissions staff. Students may take either the ACT or SAT exam scores to be considered for admissions to this school. A score between 970 - 1235 on the SAT, or 20 - 27 for the ACT is usually submitted among admitted students. Approximately 60% of all students that applied were admitted at this school, with 47% of those accepted choosing to attend. More information from the admissions office can be found here.

The tuition at this school varies based on the state of residence of the student. In-state residents pay nearly $6,400 per year, while out-of-state residents are charged $16,000 annually. The price of on-campus housing is about $5,100 for the year. This school may help with costs by offering financial aid for students that are eligible by way of scholarships, grants, and loans.

Athletic programs are available at MSU through the NCAA, allowing students to compete in intercollegiate sports. Athletic programs available include:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-A)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-A)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-A)

Students who would like to view more about MSU can check out their website at http://www.msstate.edu/.

Enrollment

21,974

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Southern Miss is a public university that has many programs available for students to choose from. The school is located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, in a predominantly urban area. About sixteen thousand students enroll at University of Southern Mississippi annually. Students can pick from many areas of study, including:

  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Education
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Psychology
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary Studies
The admissions process will include the submission of an application, transcripts, records, and test scores, which are then reviewed by the admissions staff. The majority of students admitted to Southern Miss earn an SAT score within the range of 946 - 1160, or an ACT score within the range of 19 - 25. Southern Miss accepts approximately 60% of students applying. Of those accepted, about 43% of students registered for enrollment. More information regarding admissions can be found here. Tuition & fees at Southern Miss vary for in-state and nonresidents. In-state tuition costs nearly $6,400 per year and out-of-state tuition costing $15,000 annually. Some students at Southern Miss may qualify for financial aid, which is generally offered as grants or student loans. The Southern Miss "Golden Eagles" have a number of intercollegiate athletic programs through participation in the NCAA. Athletic programs available include:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-A)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-A)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-A)
  • Football (NCAA Division I-A)

Enrollment

14,509

Student to Faculty Ratio

17:1

Mississippi University for Women also referred to as MUW or The W, is located in Columbus, Mississippi, and was established in 1884.  Originally known as the Industrial Institute and College, the school was the first public institution established for women in the US. The school was renamed Mississippi State College for Women in 1920, to better indicate the role of the school and its purpose. In 1974 all state colleges operating in Mississippi were renamed as universities, including MUW which received its current name and an expansion into graduate level studies. The school has offered enrollment for men since 1982.

Academics

MUW is a public four year institution that offers educational opportunities for both women and men, but places a continued emphasis on the betterment and education for women. The school offers bachelor's degrees in a variety of majors, requiring the completion of upper and lower division courses, general education courses and electives in order to develop a complete curriculum. Additionally, the school offers graduate level studies which require applying and admission to specific programs, as well as excellent graduate level test scores, a completed undergraduate degree, and strong academic record.

Programs offered include:

Admissions and Financial Aid

Individuals interested in enrollment at MUW should submit an application along with transcripts, test scores, and letters of recommendation which will be reviewed by committee, after which a decision regarding admission will be made. All decisions will be based on the quality of the application and the merits of the applicant, and after the decision is reached the applicant will be notified. If admitted, the student will receive information regarding reparation for entry into the school. Financial aid is available in the form of loans, grants and scholarships which are awarded based on the level of need as determined by an applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Enrollment

2,711

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Delta State University is a public institution located in Cleveland, MS and provides a large number of degree programs for students. Approximately four thousand students are enrolled yearly at DSU.

A list of some of the more popular programs offered are:

  • Education
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Health And Clinical Professions
  • Family And Consumer Sciences

The admissions process will include the submission of an application, school records, and standardized test scores, which are then evaluated by admissions staff. A SAT or ACT exam is required prior to applying, with scores within the range of 890 - 1080 for the SAT exam and in a range of 18 - 23 on the ACT is typical among students admitted to DSU. Delta State University accepts roughly 60 percent of students applying. Of those students accepted, about 80 percent of students enrolled. More information regarding admissions can be found at deltastate.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is different for in-state and out-of-state residents. In-state residents pay nearly $5,800, while out-of-state residents pay $14,000 for the year. Housing may be available for students who wish to live on-campus at an estimated cost of $4,200 each year. Some students at Delta State University may be eligible for financial aid, which is typically provided as scholarships, grants, and loans.

The DSU Statesmen participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, within the NCAA. Available athletic programs offered may include but not limited to:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division II)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division II)
  • Football (NCAA Division II)

To see a full list of areas of study, programs, enrollment information, student services, and more, please take a look at the school's website at http://www.deltastate.edu.

Enrollment

3,715

Student to Faculty Ratio

12:1

Jackson State University is a public historically black institution located in Jackson, MS. Most historically black colleges and universities (also known as HBCUs) were founded after the civil war to provide newly freed African Americans with educational opportunities. Enrollment at JSU exceeds 8,700 annually.

Here is a list of some of the popular programs JSU offers:

  • Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Security And Protective Services

Students applying for admission are asked to submit an application, transcripts, test scores and any requested application essays, which will then be reviewed by admissions officials. The majority of students at JSU scored in a range of 17 - 20 on the ACT exam. Roughly 30% of all applicant were admitted at this school, with 32% of those admitted choosing to attend. More information on admissions can be found at oim.jsums.edu.

The cost of undergraduate tuition is close to $6,100, but may change per year. Students are encouraged to use the school's tuition calculator to better estimate their personal tuition costs. Housing is available for students, which costs about $4,400 annually. Students attending JSU may be eligible for aid which is usually loans, grants, scholarships and work study programs.

The Jackson State University Tigers participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, as part of the NCAA organization. Available sports offered may include but not limited to:

  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Football (NCAA Division I-AA)

Students who would like to learn more about JSU can visit their website at http://www.jsums.edu.

Enrollment

7,250

Student to Faculty Ratio

15:1

MVSU is a public historically black institution located in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Most historically black colleges and universities (also known as HBCUs) were established after the civil war to provide newly freed African Americans with educational opportunities. Around two thousand students enroll at MVSU yearly. Here is a list of some of the popular programs Mississippi Valley State University offers:

  • Public Administration And Social Services
  • Business And Marketing Studies
  • Education
  • Security And Protective Services
  • Biological And Biomedical Sciences
  • Communications And Journalism
To be considered for admissions, you may be asked to fill out an application, write a personal statement, and submit school records, which are then evaluated by admissions officials. Most students at MVSU scored within the range of 15 - 19 on the ACT. Only 16 percent of applicants are admitted to the school due to the huge number of applicants and the intense competition for the limited enrollment spots. More information on admissions can be found at mvsu.edu. The cost of undergraduate tuition is close to $5,800 annually. Tuition prices may change for a variety of reasons, and as such students should use the school's net price calculator to identify their cost of attendance. The price of on-campus housing is estimated to be $3,700 for the year. Students attending MVSU may be eligible for aid which is typically scholarships, grants, and loans. The MVSU Delta Devils participate in a number of intercollegiate athletic programs, with competitions managed and overseen by the NCAA. Available sports offered may include but not limited to:
  • Baseball (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Basketball (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Track & Field (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Football (NCAA Division I-AA)
  • Golf (NCAA Division I-AA)
Students can take a look at the school's mvsu.edu to see additional information.

Enrollment

2,285

Student to Faculty Ratio

13:1

Mississippi State University Degrees

Both large and small state schools in the Mississippi provide an abundant number of degree paths for students to pursue. Whether you are interested in earning a degree in a traditional degree program or an emerging area of study, the state colleges in the state will very likely have a set of curricula to support your vocational goals. Specialty degrees you may be interesting in learning more about may includeorganizational leadership,marine biology,sustainability studies,landscape architecture,gerontology,immunology,risk management, andfitness administration. Seemingly traditional degree programs such asengineering,business,teaching, andpolitical sciencecan be parlayed into specialty graduate degrees to support emerging needs at regional organizations. Take a degree path in engineering that you may be able to leverage to earn a graduate degree inconstruction managementorcounterterrorism. The path to a challenging, rewarding career does not necessarily need to be a linear path so long as you are focused and passionate about your studies. Take the time today to research top rated public universities in Mississippi to find your college match.

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning

The 7 schools listed below are part of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning system. By following the links below, you can view each school's profile in detail.

Belhaven University in Alcorn State, MS

Visit the website for Belhaven University at http://www.belhaven.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $28,000 per year
East Central Community College in Cleveland, MS

Visit the website for East Central Community College at http://www.eccc.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $3,000 per year for state residents ($5,000 Nonresidents)
Jones County Junior College in Jackson, MS

Visit the website for Jones County Junior College at http://www.jcjc.edu

Program Details

  • 5,000 to 9,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $4,000 per year for state residents ($6,000 Nonresidents)
Mississippi College (MC) in Itta Bena, MS

Visit the website for Mississippi College at http://www.mc.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $20,000 per year
Mississippi University for Women (MUW) in University, MS

Visit the website for Mississippi University for Women at http://www.muw.edu

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $8,000 per year
Mississippi Valley State University (MUW) in Columbus, MS

Visit the website for Mississippi Valley State University at http://www.mvsu.edu

Program Details

  • 1,000 to 4,999 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $7,000 per year
Northeast Mississippi Community College in Mississippi State, MS

Visit the website for Northeast Mississippi Community College at http://www.nemcc.edu

Program Details

  • More Than 20,000 Undergraduate Students Enrolled
  • Tuition & fees $4,000 per year for state residents ($8,000 Nonresidents)

Notes: Tuition & fee amounts are for both Mississippi in-state residents and out of state students, unless noted otherwise. The tuition information displayed is an estimate, which we calculated based on historical data and should be solely used for informational purposes only. Please contact the respective school for information about the current school year.

Source: IPEDS Survey 2012-2020: Data obtained from the US Dept. of Education's Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Data may vary depending on school and academic year.

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