Situated in the heart of the southern United States, Mississippi is home to some of the nation’s oldest and most respected universities. With eight campuses statewide, Mississippi’s public university system serves approximately 60,000 students and offers nearly 900 courses of study. Students can choose from among 32 accredited schools, including four-year universities, two-year community colleges, and a wide variety of vocational and occupational training schools. There are many flexible educational opportunities available to students, including online schools in Mississippi.

Web-based courses, certificates and even full degree programs are available at a number of Mississippi’s institutions of higher learning. In 2013, the state’s community colleges joined forces to create the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC). MSVCC is a consortium of the state’s 15 community colleges that allow students to take online courses while enrolled at their local community college. Through MSVCC, students benefit from the support services, faculty and course selection of all 15 community colleges, while earning credits toward a degree from their local school. Distance learning is offered at all eight public universities in the state, including programs for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Education in Mississippi

Mississippi is widely referred to as the Hospitality State, and this is evident in the state’s thriving colleges and universities. Whether you crave the bustling collegiate experience of being among a large student body in an established institution of higher learning, or the flexibility to study at your own pace through an online school in Mississippi, the state has a large number of conventional and non-traditional options.

Online Schools in Mississippi

Students in Mississippi have a wealth of online educational opportunities. DeVry, Everest College and American InterContinental University are just some of the universities that offer comprehensive online programs and degrees. Many of the state’s esteemed private and public universities have expanded their distance learning options to accommodate busy students with family and work responsibilities. For instance, the following Mississippi public schools offer various online courses and degrees:

  • Alcorn State University
  • Delta State University
  • Jackson State University
  • Mississippi University for Women
  • Mississippi State University
  • Mississippi Valley State University
  • University of Mississippi

Community Colleges in Mississippi

Mississippi boasts a total of 15 community colleges, situated from the northern delta to the southern gulf. Students can obtain an associate degree, accumulate credits toward a four-year degree, or become certified in a specialized trade. All community colleges are overseen by the Mississippi Board for Community Colleges, which seeks to “foster an environment of excellence to promote world-class education and job training for a more prosperous Mississippi.”

Private Colleges in Mississippi

If the structure, intimacy and exclusivity of a private education is appealing, Mississippi has 13 private colleges from which to choose. Private universities typically emphasize specific fields and trades, while private liberal arts colleges have broader areas of focus across arts and sciences. Students interested in a university environment may consider Mississippi College, Belhaven or William Carey University. Those focusing on liberal arts may enjoy Blue Mountain College, Millsaps College or Rust College.

Mississippi Online School and Program Spotlights

Mississippi State University (Center for Distance Education)

Mississippi State University’s Center for Distance Education is one of many online schools in Mississippi that provides flexible learning options at an affordable price. Students can choose from four bachelor’s degree programs, 16 master’s degree programs, four doctoral degree programs and six certificates, all of which can be completed remotely. All online students pay in-state tuition regardless of their location, a benefit for out-of-state students whose local schools may not offer equivalent programs. Diplomas are identical to those received by on-campus students of Mississippi University, and do not indicate that the program was online.

Programs of interest include bachelor’s programs in education, master’s programs in engineering, teaching and business administration, doctoral programs in engineering and community college leadership, and certificate programs in meteorology, diversity and vocational rehabilitation, among others.

Mississippi State University offers many resources for online students. The SmarterMeasure Learning Readiness Indicator is a 20-25 minute online assessment that helps students determine whether a distance program is the right choice. Once enrolled, students of the Center for Distance Education can utilize the school’s online orientation, tutoring program, library services and technical assistance.

For more information about Mississippi State University’s online programs, visit the school’s Center for Distance Education website at

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss Online)

The University of Mississippi offers distance learning through Ole Miss Online, an umbrella site for two online programs. The first is the Office of Online, Summer and Winter Sessions (OSW), which offers semester-based distance learning through the Blackboard online learning platform. These classes follow the school’s academic calendars, and assignments and exams must be completed on the professor’s schedule. Students must be enrolled in the university to take OSW courses.

iStudy@OleMiss is another option for distance learners. Through this online school in Mississippi, students complete courses at their own pace at any time of year. Students have between eight weeks and one year to complete a course, and do not have to be enrolled in the university to take iStudy courses.

Along with other online schools in Mississippi, the University of Mississippi offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees available through distance learning, as well as certificates, standalone courses and high school credits. One program of note is the bachelor’s “2+U” degrees, part of a progression program that grants credits for previous educational and professional experience towards a bachelor’s degree. 2+U programs are available for clinical laboratory sciences, dental hygiene, health informatics and information management, health sciences and radiologic sciences.

To learn more about the University of Mississippi’s online programs, visit the Ole Miss Online website at

Northwest Mississippi Community College

Northwest Mississippi Community College is one of many online schools in Mississippi that offer two-year distance learning programs. Any current or former student of the college can register for online classes.

Using an educational platform called Canvas, online students enter virtual classrooms where they interact with professors and classmates, submit assignments, view the syllabus and obtain other course documents. Tools provided through Canvas include email, discussion boards, blogs, wikis and messaging. The school estimates that most students spend 10 hours per week on each online course, or 12-15 hours per week during compressed summer courses.

Thirteen academic major programs and four technical major programs are offered, including accounting, social work, business administration and paralegal tech. The school suggests possible career paths and provides job outlooks for students to review prior to choosing a major. Northwest Mississippi Community College is also a part of the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MVCC), which means students can take courses from 14 other community colleges in the state as well.

More information can be found at


Best Online Schools in Mississippi for Future Service Members

College is the time for students to find and follow their passions. Prospective students who are already passionate about serving their country will find many opportunities in Mississippi’s higher education. The state is known for its multitude of post-secondary schools working in conjunction with ROTC programs. Undergraduates and graduate students have their choice of Army, Navy and Air Force branches. To assist in this important decision, we’ve compiled all of the Mississippi schools that offer non-profit programs that achieve four-year degrees and provide at least two ROTC branches. The highlighted schools have affordable annual tuition of approximately $20,000 or less.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
University of Mississippi$6,282 University Yes Yes Yes
Mississippi University for Women$5,316 Columbus Yes No Yes
Jackson State University$5,888 Jackson Yes No Yes
Mississippi State University$6,264 Mississippi State Yes No Yes
University of Southern Mississippi$6,336 Hattiesburg Yes No Yes
William Carey University$9,750 Hattiesburg Yes No Yes
Mississippi College$13,720 Clinton Yes No Yes
Belhaven University$19,200 Jackson Yes No Yes

Best Online Schools in Mississippi for Personal Attention

Mississippi colleges and universities are well-regarded around the country for their academic excellence, but the schools on this list are unique in that they don’t overload students into classrooms. While these non-profit, four-year colleges have at least 5,000 students, their student-faculty ratio provides excellent opportunities for personalized learning, with an average of 19 students per professor.

Mississippi State University 20 to 1 17,820$6,264 Public Mississippi State
Alcorn State University 19 to 1 3,911$4,435 Public Alcorn State
University of Mississippi 19 to 1 17,579$6,282 Public University
Delta State University 18 to 1 3,373$5,174 Public Cleveland
Jackson State University 18 to 1 8,089$5,888 Public Jackson
Rust College 17 to 1 1,043$8,300 Private not-for-profit Holly Springs
University of Southern Mississippi 17 to 1 15,661$6,336 Public Hattiesburg
Belhaven University 16 to 1 3,260$19,200 Private not-for-profit Jackson
Blue Mountain College 15 to 1 636$8,250 Private not-for-profit Blue Mountain
Mississippi Valley State University 14 to 1 2,536$5,628 Public Itta Bena
Mississippi University for Women 14 to 1 3,222$5,316 Public Columbus
William Carey University 13 to 1 3,505$9,750 Private not-for-profit Hattiesburg
Mississippi College 13 to 1 3,561$13,720 Private not-for-profit Clinton
Southeastern Baptist College 11 to 1 71$4,700 Private not-for-profit Laurel
Tougaloo College 11 to 1 1,055$9,740 Private not-for-profit Tougaloo
Millsaps College 9 to 1 964$29,052 Private not-for-profit Jackson
University of Mississippi Medical Center 7 to 1 789$6,282 Public Jackson

Best Online Schools in Mississippi for Women in Tech

If you’re a woman seeking a degree in one of the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields, finding a quality program can be a challenge. Fortunately, Mississippi colleges provide plenty of support for women studying in this lucrative area. Female-only residences and numerous support systems help ensure that women feel comfortable in this typically male-dominated arena. We’ve compiled a list of the best technology programs for women in Mississippi.

Mississippi State University$6,264 Mississippi State 111 17,013 Public
University of Southern Mississippi$6,336 Hattiesburg 75 12,795 Public
University of Mississippi Medical CenterN/A Jackson 52 1,465 Public
Jackson State University$5,888 Jackson 38 6,659 Public
University of Mississippi$6,282 University 33 16,420 Public
Alcorn State University$5,712 Alcorn State 7 3,155 Public

Best Online Schools in Mississippi for Fighting for Families

Those interested in the selfless, rewarding career of social work have many quality online schools in Mississippi from which to choose. The state’s programs provide students with both classroom and clinical settings, as well as internships to help prepare them for future careers in a quickly growing job market. Scholarship opportunities make social work an affordable option. We’ve compared Mississippi’s social work programs and identified the best in the state.

University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg 142 132 10 $6,336 12,795
Jackson State University Jackson 132 116 16 $5,888 6,659
University of Mississippi University 124 104 20 $6,282 16,420
Mississippi Valley State University Itta Bena 71 65 6 $5,703 1,842
Mississippi State University Mississippi State 68 53 15 $6,264 17,013
Delta State University Cleveland 38 31 7 $5,724 3,488
Tougaloo College Tougaloo 38 33 5 $10,218 914
Mississippi College Clinton 36 33 3 $14,430 3,941
Alcorn State University Alcorn State 22 18 4 $5,712 3,155
Rust College Holly Springs 11 10 1 $8,300 810
Millsaps College Jackson 7 4 3 $30,974 934