Mississippi is a leading producer of poultry, eggs, forestry products, soybeans, and many other commodities. Other major industries in the state include advanced manufacturing, automotive, aerospace, energy, and tourism. 

Top 10 Online Colleges in Mississippi

  1. Mississippi College - Clinton, MS
  2. Mississippi State University - Mississippi State, MS
  3. William Carey University - Hattiesburg, MS
  4. University of Mississippi - University, MS
  5. University of Southern Mississippi - Hattiesburg, MS
  6. Blue Mountain College - Blue Mountain, MS
  7. Mississippi University for Women - Columbus, MS
  8. Belhaven University - Jackson, MS
  9. Jackson State University - Jackson, MS
  10. Alcorn State University - Alcorn State, MS

2020 Best Online Colleges in Mississippi

Despite statewide success in these diverse fields, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that Mississippi had the second-highest unemployment rate among all 50 states -- 5.6% as of November 2019, as compared to a national unemployment rate of just 3.5%. Relatively high unemployment can make finding work more difficult for some individuals, depending on employer needs, candidate skills, and other variables.

Additional data from the BLS show a positive correlation between higher educational attainment and lower unemployment/higher income. This suggests that pursuing a postsecondary education increases a worker's chances of landing a preferred position, receiving a promotion, and/or successfully changing careers. Thanks to the proliferation of online colleges, earning a certificate or degree is more accessible than ever before.

Students pursuing an online degree can benefit from flexible coursework and significant cost savings. Unlike traditional, evening, or weekend on-campus programs, online learning does not usually require in-person classroom attendance. Many courses are taught asynchronously, meaning there are no required log-in times or face-to-face webcam meetings. Students can access course material at their convenience and from the comfort of their homes.

Online programs may also offer part-time or accelerated pacing options, which may be suitable to meet the various needs of working adults, parents, or individuals looking for a fast track to professional development. While online tuition is often comparable to on-campus tuition, distance learners can save money by avoiding campus-based fees and commuting costs.

Below, you will find a ranked list of the best online colleges in Mississippi. Designed to help make your college search easier, this ranking provides relevant information regarding school size and culture, notable academic offerings, admission requirements, and online tuition rates. Additionally, each school on this list holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Rank School Location Cost Graduation Rate Description Toggle

Mississippi College

Clinton, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 59%

Mississippi College is the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the U.S. and the oldest college in Mississippi. As the largest private institution in the state, MC enrolls more than 5,000 students each year at its 320-acre campus in Clinton.

Online undergraduates at MC can pursue bachelor's degrees in eight disciplines. Four of these available majors -- accounting, business administration, communication, and finance -- offer both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts to accommodate professional and academic plans. Graduate students can choose from 20 master's and education specialist degrees or a doctorate in professional counseling. The 30-credit MBA is offered in an accelerated format with eight-week classes.

Undergraduate admission requires official transcripts and test scores. Graduate admission requirements vary by program. Out-of-state online students pay in-state tuition rates.


Mississippi State University

Mississippi State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 58%

Mississippi State University is a public, land-grant research university located in Starkville. More than 21,000 students attend classes on the main campus, making MSU the largest campus by enrollment in the state.

Over 40 online programs are available at MSU, including six certificates and seven bachelor's, 22 master's, and seven doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, business, education, and technology fields. MSU offers a wide selection of engineering degrees to graduate students, with options in aerospace, civil, computational, industrial, mechanical, and electrical and computer disciplines. Other scientific areas of study available online include geosciences, food science, forestry, and biology.

Prospective undergraduates must supply official transcripts. Graduate admission requirements vary by program. Online learners pay the same tuition, regardless of where they live.


William Carey University

Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 57%

William Carey University is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. With campuses in Hattiesburg and Biloxi, the school also offers a selection of hybrid and fully online programs, making it one of the best online colleges in Mississippi.

Students seeking a mix of online and on-campus courses can pursue one of William Carey University's three hybrid programs, including an elementary education bachelor's designed for working teacher assistants and doctoral tracks in nursing education and nursing administration. For additional flexibility, the school offers three bachelor's and 14 master's programs in a fully online format in disciplines such as business, criminal justice, nursing, music and ministry studies, and education.

First-year students must supply a completed application, transcripts, and test scores. Prospective graduate and postgraduate students must meet program-specific requirements. Online tuition rates are not impacted by state residency.


University of Mississippi

University, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 60%

Chartered by the Mississippi Legislature in 1844, the University of Mississippi was the state's first and only public higher education institution for more than two decades. Today, this research university enrolls more than 20,000 students each year across multiple campuses, and is one of the best online colleges in Mississippi.

Ole Miss offers dozens of online undergraduate courses designed to supplement an on-campus curriculum. Undergraduates can also complete 10 minors in an online format, while graduate students can choose from 14 fully online certificates and degrees. Notable graduate options include a master's degree in air and space law and an education specialist degree in counselor education with a play therapy track.

To apply to an online graduate program, prospective students must apply to the graduate school and meet program specific requirements; these may include a minimum GPA, work experience, licensure, and/or prerequisites.


University of Southern Mississippi

Hattiesburg, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 47%

The University of Southern Mississippi features a main campus in Hattiesburg; a second campus in Long Beach; and five additional sites across the state, including the John C. Stennis Space Center and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. On campus and online, Southern Miss serves approximately 14,000 students each year.

Online students can choose from 49 online programs, including undergraduate and graduate certificates and bachelor's, master's, and education specialist degrees. Additional postgraduate options include two doctorates of education and a Ph.D. in nursing leadership. A majority of online courses at Southern Miss are asynchronous, though individual professors may require synchronous meetings hosted via webcam or chat. Online undergraduate core courses are offered in partnership with the Mississippi Virtual Community College.

Undergraduate admission requires a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and qualifying test scores. Graduate admission is competitive and requirements vary by program. Out-of-state online students pay in-state tuition rates.


Blue Mountain College

Blue Mountain, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 61%

Blue Mountain College is a liberal arts college affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Founded as a women's college in 1873, BMC became fully coeducational in 2005 and now enrolls approximately 600 students each year.

Small class sizes, personal attention, flexibility, and value help make BMC one of the best online colleges in Mississippi. Undergraduate students can choose from three program options in psychology or business administration, available as a bachelor of arts or science degree. Business administration students can further customize their curriculum with a concentration in marketing or management. BMC offers six annual start dates and courses last eight weeks.

BMC does not charge an application fee. Undergraduate admission decisions are based upon prospective students' high school and/or college academic records and test scores. All online learners pay the same tuition rates, regardless of state residency.


Mississippi University for Women

Columbus, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 44%

Established in 1884, the Mississippi University for Women was the first public women's college established in the country. It became fully coeducational in 1982. Today, the university serves more than 2,500 learners each year online and from its campus in Columbus.

Community college graduates can transfer to MUW to complete a bachelor's degree online. Programs are available in a variety of disciplines, including general business, public health education, and human resources management. MUW also offers four online master's degrees related to business administration, education, or public health. A final, notable online offering is a 15-credit executive certificate in general business, which promotes professional skills and knowledge without requiring the commitment of a full degree plan.

Undergraduate transfer applicants must possess a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in prior college courses. Prospective graduate students must submit applicable test scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.


Belhaven University

Jackson, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 49%

Belhaven University is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jackson. Flexible academic offerings are also available at four satellite campuses and online. Primarily affiliated with Presbyterian denominations, Belhaven emphasizes individual growth and development.

Every academic level is represented in Belhaven's catalog of online programs, including certificates and associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. More than a dozen areas of study are available, including accounting, biblical studies, hospitality management, applied psychology, and business administration. Eligible students can earn credit based on prior learning through examinations, military training, professional training/certifications, and/or an experience portfolio.

Admission requirements vary by program and student status but may include letters of recommendation, a resume, test scores, and essays. State residency does not impact tuition costs except in the case of education programs, which offer discounted tuition to Mississippi residents.


Jackson State University

Jackson, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 34%

Jackson State University is a public research university located in the state capital. One of the largest historically back universities in the U.S., JSU enrolls more than 7,000 students each year. Online learning and satellite campuses throughout the Jackson metropolitan area expand the university's academic reach to nontraditional and distance learners.

Online students at JSU can choose from five bachelor's degrees, 10 master's degrees, and three education specialist programs. More than a dozen areas of study are available, including criminal justice, healthcare administration, history, and sport science. BSU also offers a bachelor of science in professional interdisciplinary studies, which allows students to customize a comprehensive curriculum to fit a variety of personal and professional goals.

Undergraduate admission requires applicants to submit official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate admission procedures vary by program selection. All online students pay the same tuition rates.


Alcorn State University

Alcorn State, MS Cost: $$$$$ Graduation Rate: 33%

The final school on our list of the best online colleges in Mississippi, Alcorn State University was founded in 1871 as the first public, historically black, land-grant institution in the U.S. Alcorn currently operates three campuses in Lorman, Natchez, and Vicksburg, which serve a combined enrollment of more than 3,500 students each year.

Alcorn offers online bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, child development, and business administration. Graduate and postgraduate options primarily include advanced education and training in nursing, with options for aspiring nurse educators, family nurse practitioners, and DNPs. Other available graduate degrees include a master of biology, a master of science in secondary education, and an elementary education specialist degree.

Undergraduate applications are accepted throughout the year and require students to submit satisfactory ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts or a GED certificate. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.

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