Mississippi’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Here are the best colleges and universities in Mississippi. Our list will help you find the right kind of school for you.

Mississippi’s Best Colleges & Universities of 2021

Colleges and Universities in Mississippi

The majority of the learning institutes in Mississippi are public schools, with the University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, being the largest. This university, located in Oxford, boasts alumni like William Faulkner, John Grisham, and James Meredith. Tuition at Ole Miss runs about $9,000, just below the national average. The eight private colleges, all of which have religious affiliations, range in tuition costs from $10,000 at Rust College to $40,000 at Millsaps College.

Find college admissions consultants in your state.

Students who attend these schools have the option to pursue degrees in fields like nursing, business, dentistry, Christian ministry, education, and literature. Additionally, all of these private schools are considered small schools, serving under 5,000 students. Mississippi also offers up to $12,000 of undergraduate loan forgiveness, over the course of four years, for teachers who work in designated shortage areas or who teach in critical shortage subjects, like special education or mathematics.

From Mississippi mud pie to fried chicken, Mississippi brings a whole new meaning to the term comfort food. The Magnolia State is easy on the eyes too. With nearly endless forests spilling over with hickory, pine, and oak trees, the intricate river system, and the Gulf Island National Seashore, Mississippi is a true destination for lovers of outdoor adventure. And students who plan on earning their associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in Mississippi have 31 colleges and universities to choose from.

Explore some of the top schools and career paths Mississippi has to offer.


What are Mississippi’s Colleges & Universities?

Mississippi’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

Mississippi's Best Colleges and Universities 2021 badge
Download Badge

How do we determine Mississippi's best colleges and universities?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why, at the undergraduate level, we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Concentrated Influence”. Concentrated Influence takes the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers (including faculty and alums) and divides it by the school’s total number of undergraduates.

Using concentrated influence gives small and mid-sized schools an opportunity to shine by taking away the size advantage of larger universities. A small school with proportionately more influential faculty than a large school, whose influence in absolute terms may be bigger, will nonetheless score higher in a concentrated influence ranking. Our approach highlights undergraduate schools that truly rank for excellence, regardless of size.

If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our ranking methodology here.


Every fall, more than 2 million high-school graduates will enroll in colleges and universities across the United States. Finding the best college for your educational, personal, and professional goals may be challenging. The purpose of this ranking is to help you manage this challenge with an accurate, objective, and up-to-date ranking of the best colleges and universities in Mississippi for earning a bachelor’s degree.

We’ve identified a total of 15 colleges and universities in Mississippi, 9 of which satisfy our criteria. The list below of the best schools in the state focuses on those that offer four-year undergraduate degrees, includes both public and private colleges and universities, and also meet the following two conditions:

  1. It must be fully accredited.
  2. It must have a graduation rate of greater than 40%.

Best Colleges & Universities in Mississippi

  1. #1

    Tougaloo College

    #1553 institution's historical influence
    #538 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    865/18

    Tougaloo, MS

    View profile

    What is Tougaloo College known for?

    Tougaloo College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
  2. #2

    Millsaps College

    #1132 institution's historical influence
    #320 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $41K

    Acceptance

    70%

    Graduation

    68%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1185/23

    Jackson, MS

    View profile

    What is Millsaps College known for?

    Millsaps College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Political Science
    • Earth Sciences
    • Biology
    • Economics
    • Sociology
  3. #3

    University of Mississippi

    #333 institution's historical influence
    #710 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    88%

    Graduation

    67%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/25

    University, MS

    View profile

    What is University of Mississippi known for?

    University of Mississippi’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Law
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Business
    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • Engineering

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Mississippi University for Women

    #1872 institution's historical influence
    #445 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    Columbus, MS

    View profile

    What is Mississippi University for Women known for?

    Mississippi University for Women’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    Mississippi College

    #1441 institution's historical influence
    #150 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    29%

    Graduation

    65%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1145/25

    Clinton, MS

    View profile

    What is Mississippi College known for?

    Mississippi College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Law
    • Medical
    • History
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Biology
    REQUEST INFO
  6. #6

    Mississippi State University

    #600 institution's historical influence
    #821 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    64%

    Student body

    20K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1175/26

    Mississippi State, MS

    View profile

    What is Mississippi State University known for?

    Mississippi State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Engineering
    • History
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Communications
    • Earth Sciences
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

    REQUEST INFO
  7. #7

    University of Southern Mississippi

    #1084 institution's historical influence
    #825 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Hattiesburg, MS

    View profile

    What is University of Southern Mississippi known for?

    University of Southern Mississippi’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Education
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • History
    • Religious Studies
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    William Carey University

    #2965 institution's historical influence
    #211 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    55%

    Graduation

    53%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1065/24

    Hattiesburg, MS

    View profile

    What is William Carey University known for?

    William Carey University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Biology
    • Psychology
    • Criminal Justice
  9. #9

    Blue Mountain College

    #8517 institution's historical influence
    #704 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $16K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/20

    Blue Mountain, MS

    View profile

    What is Blue Mountain College known for?

    Blue Mountain College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Education
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Criminal Justice
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

Find the Best Schools in Mississippi for your Major

Resources for College-Bound Students

Photo By: RebelNation1947 - Millsaps College campusUploaded by Allstarecho, CC BY-SA 2.0