Mississippi offers some of the most affordable college tuition rates in the U.S., including the third lowest among private higher education institutions. According to the College Board, approximate annual tuition rates are $18,500 for students who attend private colleges and $7,000 for those who pick public colleges. However, these prices do not accurately reflect the financial benefits of distance education. Online schools in Mississippi often provide more affordable tuition, and also specific scholarships and grants for distance learners, particularly those who transfer from a local community college. The Magnolia State is also a great place to live and advance your career; Payscale reports that in the capital city of Jackson, the cost of living is 11% below the national average.
In addition to affordability, online colleges in Mississippi enable students to create a degree plan that aligns with their goals and schedules. Remote programs employ asynchronous classes powered by learning management software like Canvas or Desire2Learn, which provides students flexibility when completing class assignments or partaking in discussions. Additionally, distance learners enjoy access to accelerated courses, usually over summer sessions, though some schools provide the format year-round. This feature empowers full-time learners to earn a bachelor’s degree in two years and a master’s in one. Popular fields of study for online learning include business, psychology, criminal justice, healthcare, and education. Mississippi universities offer ample options for nursing students, including RN-to-BSN tracks and doctoral degrees in nurse education and administration. Distance learners should also expect a plethora of MBA and teacher preparation programs with diverse specializations, from entrepreneurship and financial management to special education and instructional leadership.
Four reasons to find an online college in your state:
- Guaranteed in-state tuition saves you money
- Be a part of a university or college you know and love
- Get a degree from a school employers know and trust
- Be close enough to easily visit when desired
Ranking guidelines for the best online colleges in Mississippi:
We selected the online colleges and universities here based on the quality of their programs, types of courses and degrees offered, faculty strengths, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation, including a strong reputation for online degree programs.
Note: In ranking the best online colleges in Mississippi, giving attention to the variety of degree programs available at the institutions is of utmost importance. For this reason, a more prestigious school in Mississippi may offer one, or a few online degrees, but that may not be enough for that school to rank highly among the best online colleges in the state. In this ranking, we are dedicated to showing who’s leading the way in delivering quality online degree programs in Mississippi.
The Best Online Colleges in Mississippi
1. Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, Mississippi
Mississippi State University, a land-, sea- and space-grant university founded in 1878, enrolls more than 20,000 students. The Carnegie Foundation recognizes Mississippi State University as a research university with very high research activity. Mississippi State University offers more than 175 programs leading to a host of undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, including dozens of fully online programs.
Through the Center for Distance Education, Mississippi State University students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in elementary education, interdisciplinary studies, geosciences and technology teacher education. The university also offers several concentrations, allowing students to tailor the degree to their person and professional goals.
The university also offers nearly 20 master’s degree options such as engineering, forestry, business administration, information systems and more. Online students also can complete six doctoral programs in community college leadership and several engineering topics as well as a handful of certificate programs. Mississippi State University’s online courses follow the same schedule as its on-campus courses but allow students to complete coursework on their schedule.
Online students have access to a host of resources such as online orientation, tech support, financial aid, online tutoring and a bookstore. Online students earn the same degree and can attend the same graduation ceremony as traditional on-campus students.
Mississippi State University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
Mississippi State University’s programs also hold accreditation from the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education and more.
2. University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, a public research university founded in 1910, enrolls more than 14,800 students and offers more than 180 programs leading to undergraduate and graduate degrees.
Through Online at Southern Miss, the university offers dozens of fully online degree and certificate programs as well as hybrid programs. Students can pursue 10 undergraduate degrees such as construction engineering technology, liberal studies, special education, and library and information science. Online at Southern Miss also offers more than 20 master’s degree programs including logistics, trade and transportation, medical laboratory science, child and family studies, nursing, and more.
Online at Southern Miss students have access to library resources, a writing center and 24/7 tech support.
University of Southern Mississippi, Online at Southern Miss is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
3. Mississippi College
Founded in 1826, Mississippi College, a private, co-educational liberal arts college, is the second-oldest Baptist College in the nation. Mississippi College enrolls more than 5,000 students and offers more than 95 undergraduate and graduate degrees, including a host of online options.
Mississippi College offers completely online degree programs, as well as online and hybrid course options through MC Moodle. Online degree programs include undergraduate degrees in subjects such as business administration, communication, nursing, paralegal studies, and homeland security. The college also provides online undergraduate certificates. Mississippi College also provides several master’s degrees such as those in communication, health informatics and higher education administration. Students also can pursue a handful of online graduate/post-baccalaureate certificates.
Online students have access to the same services and options as students who attend the brick-and-mortar institution. Online students also have the opportunity to join the commencement ceremony after they complete their degree.
Mississippi College is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
4. Belhaven University
Belhaven University, a private, liberal arts, Christian university founded in 1883, enrolls about 4,200 students. The university offers nearly 40 bachelor, master and pre-professional programs, including dozens of online programs.
Online students can pursue associate’s degrees in biblical studies, arts and business as well as bachelor’s degrees in applied psychology, health administration, management, nursing and more. Belhaven University also offers more than a dozen master’s degrees ranging from business administration to education to public administration. Students can choose from several concentrations, allowing them to tailor the degree to their personal and career goals. The university also provides several online certificate programs. Belhaven University’s online programs feature weekly assignments and are 100 percent online with no on-campus visits. Students can earn an undergraduate degree in less than four years and a master’s degree in about two years.
Online students have access to an online bookstore and financial aid.
Belhaven University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
5. William Carey University
William Carey is a private, Baptist liberal arts school located in Hattiesburg. The school also operates satellite campuses in Biloxi and Gulfport. It is one of the best online colleges in Mississippi to offer undergraduate and graduate online programs in education, nursing, criminal justice, and music.
Since many of William Carey’s online students are working professionals, the school aims for flexibility in its online offerings. Most online courses are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace. Most programs can be completed entirely online, though some are delivered in a hybrid format.
William Carey University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
6. Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi University for Women, a four-year, public, co-educational university founded in 1884, enrolls about 2,400 students. The university offers more than 50 areas of study leading to undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degrees with a number of online and hybrid degree programs.
Among the university’s online programs are a dozen 2+2 bachelor degree programs in health care management, nursing, legal administration and more. Students also can choose from six minors. Online students can also pursue master’s degrees in global commerce and health education. In addition, the university also offers eight online certificate programs.
Mississippi University for Women is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
7. University of Mississippi
The University of Mississippi, a public, co-educational, sea-grant, space-grant, research university founded in 1848, enrolls more than 23,000 students.
The university offers a host of online bachelor completion, master, doctoral and specialist degree programs through Ole Miss Online. Ole Miss Online offers its courses with no set class times, although some instructors require synchronous chat. Ole Miss Online offers several bachelor completion programs — called “2+U” — in dental hygiene, clinical laboratory sciences, health informatics and information management, health sciences and radiologic sciences. Online students can also pursue more than a dozen master’s degrees in elementary education, health sciences, nurse educator, health informatics and information management, and more. Doctoral degree offerings include health administration, while specialist degrees include counselor education. Certifications available include TESL and geospatial information science.
Online students have access to resources including tech support, library resources and a counseling center.
Ole Miss Online is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
8. Delta State University
Delta State University, a public, co-educational university founded in 1924, enrolls more than 3,300 students. The university offers a variety of degree programs, including online programs in business, education, arts and sciences, and nursing.
Delta State University’s online offerings include several educational specialist programs as well as master’s degrees in elementary education, community development, commercial aviation, and social justice and criminology. Online students also can earn a doctor of nursing practice degree. Some programs may require on-campus visits.
Delta State University is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS).
9. Jackson State University
JSU was founded during Reconstruction in the city of Natchez. The school has deep roots as a historically black college and university. Originally founded by Baptists, the school has undergone tremendous growth in the past decade and now ranks fourth among all HBCUs in terms of student population.
JSU’s distance learning offerings include five bachelor’s programs, 10 master’s programs, and four specialist programs. Most of the school’s online programs are education-related — including special education, reading, early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education, and science and mathematics teaching — but JSU also offers unique programs in fields such as sports science and emergency management technology. JSU is the largest out of all online schools in Mississippi in terms of its program offerings. Online programs are delivered asynchronously, allowing students to complete coursework at their own pace.
Jackson State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
10. Blue Mountain College
Blue Mountain, Mississippi
BMC, named for its location in the eponymous city of Blue Mountain, was originally founded as a women’s college and became coeducational in 2005. Around that time, this private liberal arts college began offering online programs. BMC is one of the newest online colleges in Mississippi and offers three online degrees — criminal justice, psychology, and business administration — in addition to a core curriculum that fulfills general education requirements at most colleges and universities.
Each online degree delivers courses asynchronously in an eight-week format. All online students pay the same tuition rate, regardless of residency. BMC requires all of its professors to profess a Christian faith, and a Christian worldview is central to all of BMC’s coursework.
Blue Mountain College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).