Online Schools & Colleges
in Mississippi

Find the resources you need to select an online college in Mississippi

Mississippi is home to 62 accredited colleges and universities. As of 2015, over 18,000 students were enrolled in private colleges in Mississippi and over 153,000 students were enrolled in public colleges. But rising college costs are a major concern for Mississippi and many other states nationwide, leaving students considering low-cost online college options to save money on room and board, meal plans and other on-campus student fees. So how do Mississippi schools stack up in terms of online education? Should can students in Mississippi count on in-state schools to provide the most high-quality, affordable education? We answer these questions and help students identify the best online colleges available in Mississippi below.

Best Online Colleges in Mississippi

2-Year Colleges

Online schools in Mississippi offer a wide array of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees. The state hosts several historic institutions, including the University of Mississippi, affectionately known as "Ole Miss." Students interested in fully online programs may be interested in The University of Southern Mississippi. while students who want a hybrid approach with both online and on-campus classes might prefer the degrees at Mississippi College. But which online colleges provide the best mix of quality, heritage and student success? Check out our rankings below to see our picks and standards for choosing the Best Online Colleges in Mississippi.

Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College $2,800 23 28% 42% Yes Yes Yes
2 Copiah-Lincoln Community College $2,390 30 33% 35% Yes Yes Yes
3 Northwest Mississippi Community College $2,800 21 22% 21% Yes Yes Yes
4 Hinds Community College $2,640 22 18% 25% Yes Yes Yes
5 Itawamba Community College $2,500 8 37% 47% Yes Yes Yes
6 Pearl River Community College $2,850 4 29% 44% Yes Yes Yes
7 East Mississippi Community College $2,400 4 41% 62% Yes Yes Yes
8 Holmes Community College $2,230 93 28% 40% No Yes Yes
9 Northeast Mississippi Community College $2,500 18 30% 70% No Yes Yes
10 Southwest Mississippi Community College $2,480 6 32% 40% No Yes Yes
11 Meridian Community College $2,300 14 30% 24% No Yes Yes
Rank University Title Tuition # of Online Programs Expand Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate Financial Aid Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Description
1 Mississippi State University $7,780 15 56% 63% 81% Yes Yes Yes

Located in Starkville, Mississippi State University features extensive, fully online degree offerings. At both the graduate and undergraduate levels, MSU offers distance learners unique degrees that focus on the hard sciences and agriculture. You can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast and operational meteorology. Many different master's degrees are available in areas such as agribusiness management, forestry, aerospace engineering, applied meteorology, and environmental geosciences. You can even earn a doctorate entirely online, including degrees in electrical, computer, civil, or aerospace engineering. Both in-state and out-of-state distance learners pay the same tuition and fees. Up to 62 semester hours from a two-year institution or community college can be accepted toward your online degree at MSU.

2 University of Mississippi $7,644 16 78% 64% 65% No Yes Yes

The University of Mississippi is a public research institution located in Oxford. Ole Miss offers graduate degrees online, with degrees in the schools of applied science, business, and education. In addition to the traditional MBA, Ole Miss also features a unique Master of Education in Counselor Education with and emphasis in Play Therapy degree. Graduates of this program obtain the Registered Play Therapist credential and complete coursework in approximately one year. All online students learn using the Blackboard system and have access to academic advisors, an IT helpdesk, and online library access. Ole Miss has an online attendance policy that requires students to participate in their courses actively. Both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition costs.

3 University of Southern Mississippi $7,549 29 60% 51% 68% No Yes Yes

The University of Southern Mississippi is a public research institution located in Hattiesburg. Offering both undergraduate and graduate programs, the online program at USM boasts a robust offering of education degrees at both levels. As an undergraduate, you can earn a bachelor's degree in elementary education. This is a teaching assistant program that prepares students for jobs such as K-five elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, behavior intervention specialist, and community education coordinator. For graduate students, you can earn master's and doctoral degrees in education and specialize in education administration. USM graduates go on to be principals, superintendents, and program directors at schools and colleges. The vast majority of degree offerings at USM can be completed entirely online. All online students, regardless of residency or location, pay the same tuition costs and fees.

4 Mississippi College $15,800 13 49% 54% 99% No Yes Yes

Located in Clinton, Mississippi College is a Baptist-affiliated Christian institution and the largest college in the state. Among the certificate, graduate, and undergraduate online programs available, MC's business administration programs stand out. Both bachelor's and master's degrees are available in business administration. If you are interested in finishing your degree quickly, MC offers an accelerated MBA online. In this 10-course program, you will earn 30 total credit hours with each class spanning the length of eight weeks. Business administration majors at MC learn about faith-based, ethical decision making from the same professors who teach the on-campus courses. Undergraduates may transfer up to 24 credits toward their online degrees. Transfer credit eligibility depends on the major and is considered on a case-by-case basis. At MC, both in-state and out-of-state students pay the same tuition costs and fees.

5 William Carey University $10,800 15 51% 60% 86% No Yes Yes

William Carey University is a private nonprofit, Christian liberal arts institution, whose main campus in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The schools of education, natural and behavioral science, nursing, and music and ministry studies all offer 100 percent online degrees. Hybrid options are also available through the schools of education and nursing. William Carey specializes in multiple concentrations in the education field, with programs in physical education, music education, educational leadership, and instructional leadership. Depending on the degree, you can earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees online. For undergraduates, up to 64 academic credit hours earned in a community or junior college may be applied toward a William Carey degree.

6 Mississippi University for Women $5,965 8 99% 43% 84% No Yes Yes

The Mississippi University for Women is coeducational public university in Columbus. Established in 1884, men were allowed admission to the school beginning in 1982. MUW boasts a robust offering of undergraduate business administration degrees in addition to two master's degrees, and three certificate programs. As an undergraduate, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in business administration in general business, healthcare management, management, and management information systems, among other concentrations. Graduates from the MUW business administration programs find fulfilling careers in sales and marketing, hotels and restaurants, small-business management, and production management. Most bachelor's degrees at MUW require approximately 124 credit hours and take up to four years to complete. The MBA requires 36 credit hours and up to two-three years to finish graduate requirements.

7 Jackson State University $7,141 17 63% 48% 39% No Yes Yes

Jackson State University is a public historically black institution founded in 1877. Both undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as specialist programs in education, can be earned online. All bachelor's degree concentrations, education, criminal justice, healthcare administration, interdisciplinary studies, and emergency management require 122-124 credits to graduate. For full-time students, you can expect to spend up to 4 years completing these degrees. Master of science degrees, in addition to two master of arts and an MBA program, require about 30-35 credits 2-3 years to complete. Education specialist programs require a master's degree for admission and about 2-3 years to complete, including the writing of a master's thesis. Online courses at Jackson State can be entirely online or blended and include access to the same resources as on-campus students. For undergraduate students, up to 93 semester hours from an accredited four-year institution can be transferred toward your degree.

8 Belhaven University $22,726 20 43% 51% 100% Yes Yes Yes

Belhaven University is a private Christian liberal arts institution located in Jackson, Mississippi. Online majors in business and Biblical studies are among the strongest programs at Belhaven. From the certificate associate level through doctoral degrees, you can find a business- or religion-based major to fit your academic needs and career goals. MBAs in finance, health administration, sports administration, and human resources can be completed 100 percent online. This training prepares students for careers in corporate finance, investments, and banking. Belhaven graduates also move on to be insurance and real estate agents, brokers, and financial planners. Degrees in religion and ministry can be completed in as few as 18 months and prepare you to be leaders in faith-based organizations, private schools, and churches.

9 Delta State University $6,298 12 89% 38% 58% No Yes Yes

Delta State University offers graduate degrees and continuing education courses entirely online. Delta State's online degree offerings include some traditional options, such as social justice, elementary education, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. Some notable standout options include a master's degrees in commercial aviation and geospatial information technologies. Alternatively, you can also earn online a post-baccalaureate certificate in international blues music scholarship. Master's degrees at Delta State take about two years to complete, while the Doctor of Nursing Practice can take up to four and a half years. The doctoral degree requires in-person clinical training which cannot be completed online. Some course credit may be transferred from other colleges or universities, depending on your program.

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How can I find which online colleges offer the degree I'm looking for in Mississippi?

Most online schools in Mississippi list all available programs on their website. The website for the Mississippi university system includes a list of all eight public universities, links to school websites, tuition data and enrollment information.

Some schools, such as the University of Southern Mississippi and Belhaven University, offer online programs in many different disciplines. Others, such as Mississippi College and Blue Mountain College, only offer a few online options. Ultimately, students should contact an admissions adviser for the most up-to-date information.

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Which online schools in Mississippi will accept my transfer credits or work/life experience?

Most online schools in Mississippi accept transfer credits. Several also allow students to earn college credit by taking standardized tests such as CLEP (College Level Examination Program). Public colleges in Mississippi participate in a statewide articulation agreement that helps community college students successfully transfer credits to four-year institutions.

Some colleges, including Belhaven University, also grant credits for military training, work history, life experience, training and certifications. Check your college picks for specific rules and regulations regarding transfer credits.

How Much More Do College Grads in Mississippi Make?

Holding a bachelor's degree in Mississippi may increase your wages by nearly $30,000 per year compared to just a high school diploma. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides minimum degree level requirements and wage information for jobs throughout the state—see how much, on average, careers requiring each of the following degrees pay in Mississippi.

No Formal
High School
$27,144 $37,055 $49,716 $65,875 $66,927 $111,696

The Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning projects that Mississippi will experience slightly lower growth in personal income than the U.S. overall in coming years. However, the state's economy is expected to grow, especially in the business services industry. Many of these positions require a bachelor's degree or special license, including accountant, IT manager, architect and financial adviser.

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the fastest-growing careers in Mississippi include surgical technicians, licensed nurses and ophthalmic medical conditions–all careers that require higher education.

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The Impact of Accreditation for Online Colleges and Universities in Mississippi

Accreditation has become even more important as the number of online colleges continues to grow and government regulations become more lax. Accreditation demonstrates that a school meets or exceeds quality in education standards. Students should attend regionally accredited schools, since these colleges offer federal financial aid, better academic programs, and accredited credits are often the only types of transfer credits Mississippi colleges allow.

Students can check whether their school holds accreditation by visiting the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Regional and National Accreditation

Most online universities in Mississippi hold accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Out-of-state students should ensure that their school participates in the State Authorization and Reciprocity Agreement. This agreement allows learners to take online courses from schools in other states.

Subject-Specific Accreditation

In addition to institutional accreditation, schools may also receive accreditation for certain programs or departments. For example, many online schools in Mississippi host nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Paying for Online College in Mississippi: Tuition & Financial Aid

Although Mississippi has increased funding for public colleges in recent years in order to keep tuition costs low, the cost of attending college in Mississippi is still increasing. However, Mississippi’s fast-growing, high-paying industries require college degrees, indicating that earning a college degree is important for future career success.

What are Mississippi's requirements to qualify for in-state university tuition?

To be considered a resident of Mississippi for higher education purposes, prospective students must show proof they have lived in the state for the 12 months before enrolling in school. Additionally, prospective students must provide evidence that they have abandoned their former domicile in another state with the intention of living in Mississippi permanently.

Most importantly: Online students in Mississippi should learn whether or not their school of choice requires residency to receive in-state tuition rates for online programs.

Are online credits more affordable in Mississippi than other places?

Mississippi colleges charge some of the lowest tuition rates in the U.S., according to the College Board. In 2018, in-state tuition costs about $8,000 per year, compared to the national average of nearly $10,000. In recent years, the state has increased funding for public colleges, including online schools in Mississippi. This funding has helped keep down tuition costs. Comparing with schools in neighboring states, here are how some of Mississippi’s public and private colleges and universities stack up when it comes to online costs per undergraduate credit hour this year:

Public Colleges and Universities

$356 per credit hour
$159 per credit hour
$97 per credit hour

Private Colleges and Universities

$514 per credit hour
$325 to $450 per credit hour

$315 per credit hour

Most importantly: Students should research and contact each school they are interested in attending to understand the complete view of the cost of attending school in Mississippi.

How can I get help paying for online college in Mississippi?

Students may receive financial aid through the federal government, the school, foundations, nonprofits, the state government, and other sources. This aid may come in the form of loans, grants, scholarships, work-study, fellowships or loan forgiveness. All prospective students should start by filling out a form for federal financial aid through FAFSA. Certain online schools in Mississippi do not offer scholarships or other forms of aid to online students. Be sure to discuss options with an admissions adviser and the financial aid office.

The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid aims to provide all qualified college students in the state with financial assistance. The agency's website provides a list of state grants, scholarships, and forgivable loans. Below is a sampling of the types of scholarships available to students in Mississippi:

  • Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant - Awarding up to $2,500 to Mississippi residents attending college for the first time.

  • Ishqbaaz Scholarship - This scholarship is awarded to students in high school or college planning to major in communications, media or business. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 to be eligible.

  • Mississippi Farm Bureau Scholarships - The Mississippi Farm Bureau helps support college students in the state by providing more than a half-dozen scholarships.

Online Education & Adult Education in Mississippi

Many people do not enter college straight out of high school. Some start work immediately, take time off for personal or financial reasons, or dedicate time to raising children. For those who want to return to school later in life, advance or change careers to get a promotion or increase their salary potential, adult education programs may be an essential stepping stone to preparing to go to college for non-traditional students in Mississippi.

Here are some ways adult learning programs prepare aspiring online college students in Mississippi:

  • Workshops and counseling for underserved populations. Delta State University hosts the Delta Educational Opportunity Center designed to help bridge the gap for low-income and economically-disadvantaged students.

  • Basic Education and High School Equivalency: Students who want to earn their high school diploma or could use some time to brush up on basic classroom skills before college can take advantage of corresponding adult education programs.

  • Internships and work experience to prepare for graduation. The Mississippi Works program helps adults looking for internships and entry-level job experience in their degree field, which can accelerate their job prospects after graduation.

  • English Language & Literacy assistance programs. Mississippi’s adult education programs often include English Language & Literacy classes for non-native English speakers to prepare to attend college in the U.S.

In Mississippi, more than half of participants in adult education programs are women, one-fifth of whom low income or single mothers. - Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, 2017

Adult and continuing education programs in Mississippi can also help with additional professional development for students after college, especially those who are looking to earn extra certifications.

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