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Online colleges in Mississippi can help you prepare for your career goals at a reasonable price, compared to the national average.
Mississippi ranks in the lower half of states for in-state public university costs. It is a member of the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA). The goal of SARA is to make it easier for students to take online courses offered by postsecondary schools in another member state or territory.
If you are looking for top online schools, Mississippi State University is a strong option. The University of Mississippi provides a way to check if your state allows you to learn through Mississippi online programs as part of SARA. So you can start there.
This guide shows you options for online learning in Mississippi and how to best put those skills to work.
Top Online Degree Programs in Mississippi
Mississippi Employment Outlook
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security provides an extensive list of job projections through 2028.
Some top jobs that are projected to grow involve working with your hands — laying tile and marble or installing telecommunication systems. Job growth is projected for not only nurses but for nurse educators, as well. Speech pathologist jobs could be more in demand through the next seven years.
Jobs for news correspondents, editors, photographers, and radio announcers may see a decline. Retail sales jobs are projected to be down, losing nearly 4% of cashiers. While the demand for surgeons is projected to go down, jobs for veterinarians are projected to increase nearly 20%.
5 Mississippi Jobs in Demand
Among their many duties, registered nurses coordinate care for their patients and educate them as well. Job growth is projected for nurses in Mississippi. The state received a grant in March 2021 to help with online learning for nursing students and to improve service in rural areas.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $75,330
Nursing Instructors and Teachers
To train all the nurses, you need nursing instructors and teachers. These jobs can be in general nursing, dentistry, psychology, and biology. Generally, you'll need a master's or doctoral degree to be a nursing instructor and teacher. It will include working in research, education, and some clinic work.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $75,470
These professionals diagnose, treat, and work to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.In Mississippi, a 26% job growth is projected in this field by 2028. Mississippi adheres to strict requirements for speech-language pathologists and audiologists. To keep up with standards for this industry, continuing education is required during the term of a license for a speech pathologist.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $80,480
Telecommunication Line Installers and Repairers
As the government pushes broadband access nationwide to support rural areas, the demand for telecommunication line installers should continue to increase. Mississippi ranks near the bottom of the list for state broadband access, meaning there's a lot of work to do. More than 40% of the state doesn't have broadband coverage. The Mississippi Electric Cooperatives Broadband COVID-19 Act passed, providing millions of dollars to help improve broadband access across the state.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $58,870
Security and Fire Alarm Installers
Mississippi security installers will need to have a license, one of 37 states with this requirement. Technical school courses and on-the-job training help prepare individuals for this field. Even the Mississippi legislature has made efforts to ensure these installers are prepared to keep homes and offices safe.
U.S. Median Annual Salary (as of May 2020): $50,940
Popular Career Paths in Mississippi
Best Accredited Online Colleges in Mississippi
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Best Online Colleges in Mississippi
Mississippi College is the second-oldest Baptist-affiliated college in the U.S. and the oldest college in Mississippi. As the largest private institution in the state, MC enrolls more than 5,000 students each year at its 320-acre campus in Clinton.
Online undergraduates at MC can pursue bachelor's degrees in eight disciplines. Four of these available majors -- accounting, business administration, communication, and finance -- offer both a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts to accommodate professional and academic plans. Graduate students can choose from 20 master's and education specialist degrees or a doctorate in professional counseling. The 30-credit MBA is offered in an accelerated format with eight-week classes.
Undergraduate admission requires official transcripts and test scores. Graduate admission requirements vary by program. Out-of-state online students pay in-state tuition rates.
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS
Mississippi State University is a public, land-grant research university located in Starkville. More than 21,000 students attend classes on the main campus, making MSU the largest campus by enrollment in the state.
Over 40 online programs are available at MSU, including six certificates and seven bachelor's, 22 master's, and seven doctoral degrees in the arts, sciences, business, education, and technology fields. MSU offers a wide selection of engineering degrees to graduate students, with options in aerospace, civil, computational, industrial, mechanical, and electrical and computer disciplines. Other scientific areas of study available online include geosciences, food science, forestry, and biology.
Prospective undergraduates must supply official transcripts. Graduate admission requirements vary by program. Online learners pay the same tuition, regardless of where they live.
William Carey University is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. With campuses in Hattiesburg and Biloxi, the school also offers a selection of hybrid and fully online programs, making it one of the best online colleges in Mississippi.
Students seeking a mix of online and on-campus courses can pursue one of William Carey University's three hybrid programs, including an elementary education bachelor's designed for working teacher assistants and doctoral tracks in nursing education and nursing administration. For additional flexibility, the school offers three bachelor's and 14 master's programs in a fully online format in disciplines such as business, criminal justice, nursing, music and ministry studies, and education.
First-year students must supply a completed application, transcripts, and test scores. Prospective graduate and postgraduate students must meet program-specific requirements. Online tuition rates are not impacted by state residency.
University of Mississippi
Chartered by the Mississippi Legislature in 1844, the University of Mississippi was the state's first and only public higher education institution for more than two decades. Today, this research university enrolls more than 20,000 students each year across multiple campuses, and is one of the best online colleges in Mississippi.
Ole Miss offers dozens of online undergraduate courses designed to supplement an on-campus curriculum. Undergraduates can also complete 10 minors in an online format, while graduate students can choose from 14 fully online certificates and degrees. Notable graduate options include a master's degree in air and space law and an education specialist degree in counselor education with a play therapy track.
To apply to an online graduate program, prospective students must apply to the graduate school and meet program specific requirements; these may include a minimum GPA, work experience, licensure, and/or prerequisites.
University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi features a main campus in Hattiesburg; a second campus in Long Beach; and five additional sites across the state, including the John C. Stennis Space Center and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. On campus and online, Southern Miss serves approximately 14,000 students each year.
Online students can choose from 49 online programs, including undergraduate and graduate certificates and bachelor's, master's, and education specialist degrees. Additional postgraduate options include two doctorates of education and a Ph.D. in nursing leadership. A majority of online courses at Southern Miss are asynchronous, though individual professors may require synchronous meetings hosted via webcam or chat. Online undergraduate core courses are offered in partnership with the Mississippi Virtual Community College.
Undergraduate admission requires a minimum 2.0 high school GPA and qualifying test scores. Graduate admission is competitive and requirements vary by program. Out-of-state online students pay in-state tuition rates.
Blue Mountain College
Blue Mountain, MS
Blue Mountain College is a liberal arts college affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention. Founded as a women's college in 1873, BMC became fully coeducational in 2005 and now enrolls approximately 600 students each year.
Small class sizes, personal attention, flexibility, and value help make BMC one of the best online colleges in Mississippi. Undergraduate students can choose from three program options in psychology or business administration, available as a bachelor of arts or science degree. Business administration students can further customize their curriculum with a concentration in marketing or management. BMC offers six annual start dates and courses last eight weeks.
BMC does not charge an application fee. Undergraduate admission decisions are based upon prospective students' high school and/or college academic records and test scores. All online learners pay the same tuition rates, regardless of state residency.
Mississippi University for Women
Established in 1884, the Mississippi University for Women was the first public women's college established in the country. It became fully coeducational in 1982. Today, the university serves more than 2,500 learners each year online and from its campus in Columbus.
Community college graduates can transfer to MUW to complete a bachelor's degree online. Programs are available in a variety of disciplines, including general business, public health education, and human resources management. MUW also offers four online master's degrees related to business administration, education, or public health. A final, notable online offering is a 15-credit executive certificate in general business, which promotes professional skills and knowledge without requiring the commitment of a full degree plan.
Undergraduate transfer applicants must possess a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in prior college courses. Prospective graduate students must submit applicable test scores, transcripts, and three letters of recommendation.
Belhaven University is a Christian liberal arts university located in Jackson. Flexible academic offerings are also available at four satellite campuses and online. Primarily affiliated with Presbyterian denominations, Belhaven emphasizes individual growth and development.
Every academic level is represented in Belhaven's catalog of online programs, including certificates and associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. More than a dozen areas of study are available, including accounting, biblical studies, hospitality management, applied psychology, and business administration. Eligible students can earn credit based on prior learning through examinations, military training, professional training/certifications, and/or an experience portfolio.
Admission requirements vary by program and student status but may include letters of recommendation, a resume, test scores, and essays. State residency does not impact tuition costs except in the case of education programs, which offer discounted tuition to Mississippi residents.
Jackson State University is a public research university located in the state capital. One of the largest historically back universities in the U.S., JSU enrolls more than 7,000 students each year. Online learning and satellite campuses throughout the Jackson metropolitan area expand the university's academic reach to nontraditional and distance learners.
Online students at JSU can choose from five bachelor's degrees, 10 master's degrees, and three education specialist programs. More than a dozen areas of study are available, including criminal justice, healthcare administration, history, and sport science. BSU also offers a bachelor of science in professional interdisciplinary studies, which allows students to customize a comprehensive curriculum to fit a variety of personal and professional goals.
Undergraduate admission requires applicants to submit official transcripts and ACT or SAT scores. Graduate admission procedures vary by program selection. All online students pay the same tuition rates.
Alcorn State University
Alcorn State, MS
The final school on our list of the best online colleges in Mississippi, Alcorn State University was founded in 1871 as the first public, historically black, land-grant institution in the U.S. Alcorn currently operates three campuses in Lorman, Natchez, and Vicksburg, which serve a combined enrollment of more than 3,500 students each year.
Alcorn offers online bachelor's degrees in criminal justice, child development, and business administration. Graduate and postgraduate options primarily include advanced education and training in nursing, with options for aspiring nurse educators, family nurse practitioners, and DNPs. Other available graduate degrees include a master of biology, a master of science in secondary education, and an elementary education specialist degree.
Undergraduate applications are accepted throughout the year and require students to submit satisfactory ACT or SAT scores and official high school transcripts or a GED certificate. Graduate admission requirements vary by program.
Frequently Asked Questions About Online Colleges in Mississippi
Our ranking shows the top 10 Mississippi colleges and universities that offer online programs. You can earn from a bachelor's degree up to a doctorate. Flexible online programs can help distance learners balance busy schedules.
The Mississippi Commission on College Accreditation makes sure you know which public colleges and universities are approved for online learning. Accredited colleges and universities in the state have requirements and guidelines they must follow.
In 2018-2019, the average in-state cost of tuition and required fees at four-year Mississippi public schools was $8,340. Out-of-state public college students paid an average of $19,942 in tuition and fees. Private institutions charged an average of $17,953. Each school sets its own rates for online learners. For example, Mississippi State University offers online students, no matter where they live, the same tuition rate as its in-state students.
The state offers a Higher Education Legislative Plan for students who can't afford college. You'll want to check out the list of requirements before applying. The state's efforts to make community college free keep running into legislative roadblocks. There are free tuition programs in the state, but they can vary by county.