Mississippi’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Mississippi offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Mississippi’s Best Graduate Schools 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.

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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

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There are 8 doctorate-granting universities in Mississippi, 5 of which satisfy our criteria. The best graduate schools below are composed of both private and public schools that satisfy the following four conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.
  4. It must have a graduation rate greater than 40%.

How do we determine Mississippi's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

5 Best Grad Schools in Mississippi

  1. #1

    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

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    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

  2. #2

    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

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    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

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  3. #3

    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

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    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

  4. #4

    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

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    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
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  5. #5

    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

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    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

Mississippi’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

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