As Mississippi's economy grows, more workers are starting careers in the state's largest employment sectors, including office and administrative support, healthcare, education, and management. These fields, many of which boast well-paying positions and benefits, require applicants to possess education beyond a high school diploma.
Whether you want to earn a bachelor's or graduate degree, many Mississippi colleges can prepare you for a career in these fields. The following ranking highlights schools with excellent academic programs, valuable support services, and ample extracurricular opportunities. Many of these institutions also award generous financial aid packages and offer flexible online learning options that may appeal to busy professionals and parents.
Top 10 Colleges in Missisippi
- Mississippi College - Clinton, MS
- Mississippi State University - Mississippi State, MS
- William Carey University - Hattiesburg, MS
- University of Mississippi - University, MS
- Millsaps College - Jackson, MS
- Blue Mountain College - Blue Mountain, MS
- Mississippi University for Women - Columbus, MS
- Delta State University - Cleveland, MS
- Tougaloo College - Tougaloo, MS
- University of Southern Mississippi - Hattiesburg, MS
Even if you do not find a college or university that suits your needs on this ranking, reviewing these schools can help you learn what to look for as you explore other academic opportunities. If you have questions about specific programs or requirements, contact schools directly to learn more.
2020 Best Accredited Colleges in Mississippi
|Clinton, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 59%||
A Baptist college situated in Clinton, Mississippi College boasts more than 80 undergraduate and 50 graduate programs, including the only physician assistant program in Mississippi. Undergraduates can enroll in one of the college's 17 departments, and religious instruction at this top Mississippi college includes a bachelor's in Christian studies and philosophy. Prospective online students can select from nine undergraduate degrees, and many programs feature optional concentrations.
MC is home to dozens of student groups and various athletic programs, including table tennis, football, and equestrian riding. As degree-seekers approach graduation, they can visit the Office of Career Services to practice interview skills and receive resume critiques.
Undergraduate applicants must provide a high school diploma or GED certificate and hold a minimum ACT or SAT score of 19 or 940. Applicants who plan to live on campus must also submit an immunization certificate. Incoming students with excellent ACT or SAT scores qualify for up to $12,000 per year in academic scholarships.
Mississippi State University
|Mississippi State, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 58%||
Mississippi's premier public university, Mississippi State University features over 175 programs that confer bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Incoming degree-seekers select from nine colleges, including MSU's College of Forest Resources, which prepares learners for careers in forestry and sustainability. Undergraduates who earn a degree through MSU Online use Canvas to access asynchronous course content.
Academically gifted undergraduates can enroll in the Shackouls Honors College. Benefits include smaller class sizes and seminar-based learning. Degree-seekers can select from two academic tracks, both of which allow customizability. At the end of the program, students write an honors thesis that requires extensive original research.
Prospective undergraduates can apply using the Common Application, and first-year and transfer students who attend full time may qualify for scholarship opportunities. Other financial aid opportunities at this top Mississippi university include work-study programs.
William Carey University
|Hattiesburg, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 57%||
A member of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, William Carey University operates two campuses in Hattiesburg and Biloxi. The school educates nearly 5,000 students annually. Academic offerings at this Mississippi university include bachelor's, master's, and doctoral programs, as well as specialist programs related to education administration topics.
Incoming learners interested in online learning at William Carey University can select bachelor's or master's program in one of five academic departments. The university also has three hybrid programs, two of which confer doctoral degrees. Outside of class, students can select from dozens of student groups, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Americans for Liberty.
Prospective undergraduate degree-seekers must possess a high school diploma and submit ACT or SAT scores. Transfer credits should reflect a minimum 2.0 GPA. Active-duty military personnel taking courses on base pay a reduced tuition rate. William Carey University awards scholarships based on standardized test scores and high school or undergraduate GPAs.
University of Mississippi
|University, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 60%||
The largest university in the state, the University of Mississippi boasts 17 schools on its Oxford and Jackson campuses. Notable majors include a 3+3 law program, a bachelor's in geological engineering, and a 2+2 BSN track.
High-performing degree-seekers at Ole Miss can enter the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College. This rigorous program features small class sizes and exclusive scholarship opportunities. Outside of class, honors students complete 10 hours of community service each semester. The program concludes with a capstone project and thesis.
Prospective students who reside in Mississippi should possess an excellent high school GPA, although Ole Miss may still consider applicants with a low GPA if they earned high ACT or SAT scores. This top Mississippi university uses different application requirements for out-of-state and international applicants. Applicants only need to submit one form to apply to all university-funded scholarship opportunities.
|Jackson, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 67%||
Although affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Millsaps College's academic programs do not require or emphasize Christian teachings. The school offers dozens of undergraduate degrees and one master's degree, attracting prospective students with a wide variety of academic interests and career goals. The school's many academic minors also help learners customize their degrees.
To promote academic success, Millsaps implemented the Compass Curriculum in 2015. In this program, first-year students take specialized courses that hone writing and research skills. At the same time, degree-seekers explore different majors through Explorations Courses, which provide a broad overview of many academic topics.
Prospective students must submit a high school diploma or GED certificate, as well as ACT or SAT scores. Transfer students with a minimum 3.2 GPA qualify for up to $15,000 in scholarships and a housing allowance. Other scholarship opportunities at this Mississippi college consider an applicant's high school GPA and standardized test scores.
Blue Mountain College
|Blue Mountain, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 61%||
One of the most affordable private colleges in Mississippi, Blue Mountain College offers bachelor's and master's programs in eight academic departments. A Christian school, BMC trains aspiring lay and ordained ministers through its biblical studies, Christian ministry, and sport ministry programs. The college also offers two professional certificate programs in library media and special education -- an appealing choice for Mississippi teachers looking for a career change.
BMC's religious-oriented student activities and resources include mission trips, the Baptist Student Union, and on-campus chapel services. Learners can also select from many secular extracurricular activities, such as intramural sports, art, and theatre.
The admissions department considers applicants' high school performance and standardized test scores, and prospective students with GED scores may also apply. The college awards traditional transfer credit and allows incoming degree-seekers to take challenge exams. To apply for scholarships, applicants must submit their FAFSA results and the college's standard scholarship application.
Mississippi University for Women
|Columbus, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 44%||
While Mississippi University for Women currently accepts both male and female learners, it kept its original name to honor its status as the first public women's college in the United States. Some popular undergraduate majors at this Mississippi university include nursing, elementary education, and biology. Graduate students can select from 15 master's programs, many of which prepare graduates to work as public school teachers.
Throughout the academic year, MUW hosts multiple cultural events, including art showings, concerts, farmers markets, and guest speakers. At the school's student success center, learners can receive one-on-one tutoring and career counseling resources. Other academic assistance programs at MUW include a writing center, which offers appointments in person and online.
Applicants must submit all academic transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Scholarships for first-year students awards up to $4,500 per year, and transfer students may qualify for up to $2,500 per year.
Delta State University
|Cleveland, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 40%||
Many degree-seekers choose Delta State University for the university's popular nursing, education, and business programs. This Mississippi university also features traditional liberal arts programs, offered through its College of Arts and Sciences. Undergraduates can select from more than 40 majors, and students benefit from small class sizes and faculty who promote ethical and intellectual development.
The Honors Program at Delta State attracts motivated degree-seekers who want an enhanced educational experience; application requirements include studying full time, a minimum 3.5 GPA, and at least a 26 on the ACT. Honors students benefit from priority registration and exclusive academic opportunities.
Delta State accepts GED and HiSET scores. Other application requirements for prospective first-year students include ACT or SAT scores. Out-of-state students do not pay a higher tuition rate, and the university allows university-funded scholarships to stack. Applicants need only submit one scholarship application to apply for all institutional awards.
|Tougaloo, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 50%||
A historically black college, Tougaloo College prepares students for leadership positions in medicine, law, and education. The college's academic divisions feature undergraduate majors in child development, health and recreation, and economics. Degree-seekers in Tougaloo's Honors Program enjoy smaller class sizes and participate in community service projects.
Tougaloo promotes learners' academic success in many ways. The college participates in the federal TRiO program to provide first-generation college students with additional educational resources at no extra cost. Also, the school's student success center offers individual tutoring sessions and workshops. Additionally, the college's SLAM Workshops provide local high school students with college-preparation services, including math and science tutoring.
Application requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate, as well as ACT or SAT scores. Homeschooled students submit a unique application that features an essay and an academic portfolio. Academic scholarships at Tougaloo require two recommendation letters and a minimum 3.0 high school GPA.
University of Southern Mississippi
|Hattiesburg, MS||Cost: $$$$$||Graduation Rate: 47%||
The University of Southern Mississippi's 189 academic programs award bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees, as well as professional certificates. Undergraduates can select from a wide variety of majors, including child and family sciences, juvenile justice, and forensics. Graduate programs feature concentrations in audiology, coastal sciences, and education, among other subjects that prepare students for in-demand careers.
Outside of class, students can select from more than 200 student organizations and programs, including study abroad opportunities in countries like France, Japan, and the U.K. All general education courses boast free tutoring resources on both USM campuses.
USM uses different admission tracks for first-time, transfer, and international students. In-state applicants should possess a high school diploma that satisfies all college preparatory curriculum requirements. Incoming first-year and transfer students interested in financial aid should submit the university's scholarship application by the January 15 deadline.