Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Mississippi 2022

Liberal arts colleges are a great option for students seeking a well-rounded education in an intimate campus setting. The best liberal arts colleges in Mississippi offer a diverse selection of degree programs with opportunities for a highly individualized educational experience.

Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Mississippi 2022

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

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Mississippi's best liberal arts colleges ?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! 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 in their fields of study.

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

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

A liberal arts college is a school that puts a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree. We’ve identified 9 liberal arts colleges in Mississippi. To be ranked among the best liberal arts colleges in Mississippi, schools must fully accredited institutions.

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Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Mississippi 2022

  1. #2

    Delta State University

    Cleveland , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    100%

    Graduation

    39%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1115/21

    What is Delta State University known for?

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

    • Social Work
    • Nursing
    • History
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Literature
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/21

    What is Mississippi University for Women known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #4

    Tougaloo College

    Tougaloo , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    71%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    865/18

    What is Tougaloo College known for?

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

    • Literature
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #5

    Alcorn State University

    Alcorn State , MS
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    38%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    885/20

    What is Alcorn State University known for?

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

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Criminal Justice
    • Chemistry
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #6

    Belhaven University

    Jackson , MS

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    50%

    Graduation

    47%

    Student body

    4K

    What is Belhaven University known for?

    Belhaven University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Chemistry
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

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  6. Tuition + fees

    $7K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    2K

    What is Mississippi Valley State University known for?

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

    • Criminal Justice
    • History
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Law

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #9

    Blue Mountain College

    Blue Mountain , MS

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    51%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1105/20

    What is Blue Mountain College known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

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Mississippi’s Best Liberal Arts Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Frequently Asked Questions About Research Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges, Online Colleges

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.

Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. These schools offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.

Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.

  • Consider whether you are self motivated enough to be a face in the crowd for some classes and largely unknown on campus at a large university. Of course you can find clubs and friends at a large university, but often liberal arts colleges have a more personal quality to them. If you want the community feel, a research university may not fit you well.
  • Are you interested in STEM fields? Research universities have that name for a reason – real research is happening there. This can create an exciting atmosphere for students interested in STEM. Attending a research university can give you a better chance of getting into better programs for graduate degrees, although a lot of that depends on your performance.
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Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.

  • Do you want your professors to know you? Liberal arts colleges strive to cultivate campus cultures that encourage tight bonds between professors and students. Professors at these schools will typically conduct original research. Yet the best of these schools offer their faculty reduced teaching loads so that they can both be productive researchers and still have plenty of time for students (both in and outside the classroom).
  • Do you want to feel like you know everybody? One of the most enticing features of a liberal arts college is that in very little time, you can feel like you know who’s who, which can create strong friendships, but also more pleasurable walks across campus. While your sports teams may never be on ESPN, it’s more likely that you’ll know the athletes as your peers. Beyond student and faculty relationships, it’s not unusual for the school president and other administrators to learn who you are. When faced with problems with your student account or the need to switch classes, this can be comforting during a stressful moment.
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Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.

  • Are you a self-driven student? Perhaps the hardest aspect of obtaining an online degree is whether you will be disciplined enough to manage your time and course demands. Many online students report that online college made them more disciplined in all areas of their lives, but the flexible, self-paced learning that makes online colleges attractive can often be the same qualities that make it difficult. If you tend to be a procrastinator, you need to be honest with yourself. You can change your habits and propensities, or you can throw money down the drain.
  • Do you need the flexibility of an online degree program? Most online students study online because of time demands balancing work and life, or becuase the online colleges afford them the chance to attend a better school without moving. If you are serious about earning your degree for career advancement, online colleges make it possible. The most flexible options among online degrees are those that are aynchronous, meaning you don’t have scheduled times to meet with your class online. However, many students seek synchronous online degree programs so that they have some structure – set meeting times, scheduled exams, etc.
  • The good news is that attending an online college doesn’t mean you will miss out on getting to know your professors and classmates. In fact, many online students who have experienced both online and on-campus courses report having easier access to their professors. Since most communication with your professor is expected to be in text – via email or your class learning management system – it makes asking your questions easier. The same students also report that they got to better know the thoughts of their classmates. While in-person course conversations can be dominated by a few extroverts, online courses that require online discussions make it so that you see all of your classmates’ thoughts and questions.

If you interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.

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Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

  1. Tougaloo College
  2. Millsaps College
  3. Belhaven University
  4. Delta State University
  5. Alcorn State University
  6. Mississippi University for Women
  7. Mississippi Valley State University
  8. Rust College
  9. Blue Mountain College