Mississippi's Public Universities

Alcorn State University, the oldest predominantly black Land-Grant university in the United States, had its beginning in 1830 as Oakland College for the education of white male students. The Presbyterian school closed at the beginning of the Civil War. Upon failing to reopen after the war, the college was sold to the State for the education of her African-American citizens. After Congress passed the Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1862, the Mississippi Legislature in 1871 used funds generated through the Morrill Land-Grant Act to establish Alcorn University for the education of African-American youth, and it became known as Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College in 1878. In 1974, it was renamed Alcorn State University by the Legislature. Alcorn State University is a co-educational, land-grant, liberal arts, science and teacher education public institution offering programs leading to associate, baccalaureate, master's, and educational specialist's.

Office of Admissions
1000 ASU Drive #330
Lorman, MS 39096
In-state call: 1.800.222.6790


Delta State University was created as Delta State Teachers College by an act of the state legislature in 1924. The institution opened for its first regular session on September 15, 1925, with a faculty and staff of 11 members and an enrollment of 97 students. To match the institution's growth in enrollment and academic offerings, the name was changed to Delta State College in 1955 and to Delta State University in 1974. Graduate work was first offered in 1965 when the Master of Education degree was approved. After other master's programs were added, the University began offering the Educational Specialist degree in 1972 and the Doctor of Education degree in 1981. The University provides a comprehensive undergraduate curriculum, offering 13 baccalaureate degrees in 38 majors. It also seeks to meet the need for advanced training in certain fields by providing programs of study for nine master's degrees, the Educational Specialist degree, and the Doctor of Education degree. The Mississippi Delta, a twenty-county, northwestern region which is rich in various ethnic and cultural groups, provides approximately 80% of the University's enrollment.

Office of the Registrar and Admissions
Kethley 109
Cleveland, MS 38733
In-state call: 1.800.468.6378


Founded as Natchez Seminary in 1877 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society to serve the great Mississippi Valley between Memphis and the Gulf Coast, Jackson State University was established at Natchez, Mississippi. The school opened on October 23, 1877, with 20 students, and it operated as a private church school for 63 years. In 1882 the Society moved the school to Jackson. In 1894, the University was moved from its original site in north Jackson to a new tract of land in the southwest section of the city. The state assumed support of the college in 1940, assigning to it the mission of training teachers. Between 1953 and 1956, the curriculum was expanded to include a graduate program and bachelor's programs in the arts and sciences. The name was changed to Jackson State College in 1956 and to Jackson State University in 1974. In 1979, Jackson State was officially designated the Urban University of the State of Mississippi. As the urban university, emphasis is placed on providing public service programs designed to enhance the quality of life and to seek solutions to urban problems in the physical, social, intellectual, and economic environments.

Office of Admissions and Financial Aid
P. O. Box 17330-1325
Jackson, MS 39217
In-state call: 1.800.848.6817


Mississippi State University began as the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, one of the national Land-Grant Colleges established after Congress had passed the Morrill Act in l862. It was created by the Mississippi Legislature on February 28, l878, to fulfill the mission of offering training in "agriculture, horticulture and the mechanical arts without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics." The college received its first students in the fall of l880. In 1887 Congress passed the Hatch Act, which provided for the establishment of the Agricultural Experiment Station. Two other pieces of federal legislation provided funds for extending the mission of the College. In l9l4, the Smith-Lever Act called for "instruction in practical agriculture and home economics to persons not attendant or resident," thus creating the state-wide effort which led to Extension offices in every county in the State; and, in l9l7, the Smith-Hughes Act provided for the training of teachers in vocational education. In l926 the College received its first accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. In l932 it was renamed Mississippi State College. In l958 the Legislature renamed it Mississippi State University.

Office of Admissions
P. O. Box 9700
Mississippi State, MS 39762


Established in l884, Mississippi University for Women became the first public college for women in America. Originally known as the Industrial Institute and College, the institution was created by an act of the Mississippi Legislature on March l2, l884, for the dual purposes of providing a liberal arts education and preparing women for employment. The first session began October 22, l885, with an enrollment of approximately 250 students on a campus formerly occupied by the Columbus Female Institute, a private college founded in l847. The name of the institution changed to Mississippi State College for Women in l920 to reflect an emphasis on collegiate rather than vocational education. The name changed again in l974 to Mississippi University for Women to reflect better the nature of the academic programs, including graduate studies. In l982 the United States Supreme Court ordered the university to admit a male student to the nursing program. Following this historic decision, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning ordered the university to change its policies to allow the admission of qualified males into all university programs. In l988 the Board of Trustees reaffirmed the mission of MUW as an institution of quality academic programs for all qualified students with emphasis on distinctive opportunities for women.

Office of Admissions
P. O. Box W-1613
Columbus, MS 39701
In-state call: 1.877.462.8439


Mississippi Valley State University was created by the Mississippi Legislature as Mississippi Vocational College in 1946. The expressed purpose of the institution was to train teachers for rural and elementary schools and to provide vocational training. The first academic session started in the summer of 1950 with an enrollment of 305 in-service teachers. The first full academic year, 1950-51, began with 14 regular students and seven faculty members. Under its original name and purpose, the institution provided a higher education opportunity for many first-generation college students. In order to reflect the broadening scope and offerings of the institution, its name was changed to Mississippi Valley State College in 1964. Under this transition, the institution became more general purpose in nature while retaining its commitment to provide special higher education opportunities. The name of the institution was changed to Mississippi Valley State University in 1974. Graduate programs were begun in 1976.

Office of Admissions
P. O. Box 7222
Itta Bena, MS 38941
In-state call: 1.800.844.6885


The University of Mississippi, one of the oldest public institutions of higher education in the South, opened its doors to 80 students in 1848 and now enrolls more than 17,300 students on four campuses, including the Medical Center in Jackson. Ole Miss is a classical liberal arts institution that also offers a selection of quality professional programs. The main campus in Oxford, home of the late Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner, continues to be an incubator for writers and literary scholars. The Center for the Study of Southern Culture and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation are located on the Oxford campus, as are 30 other institutes and research centers. More than $100 million in research is conducted annually on the Oxford and Jackson campuses, where world-class studies in pharmacy, physical acoustics and cardiovascular disease take place. The 1.2 million-volume library on the main campus houses the most extensive blues archive in the nation, Faulkner's papers and the national library of the accountancy profession. Ranked among the nation's top 50 public research universities by the Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance, the university emphasizes strong classroom teaching supported by excellent library, laboratory and technical facilities. Its Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College has been ranked among the top three in the nation.

Office of Admissions and Records
University, MS 38677
In-state call: 1.800.653.6477


Distinguished and proud, The University of Southern Mississippi is a national public university that is engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities. Our values are to lead with academic excellence, conduct innovative research, provide cultural enrichment, conduct economic development, create healthier communities, contribute to global communities and educate the whole student. Founded in 1910, Southern Miss is the only SREB-Level 1 designated university in the state graduating the most PhD's in-state. A dual-campus, Southern Miss boasts world-class research and teaching sites along the Mississippi Gulf Coast; receives more than $102M in research dollars; has signature academic programs including polymer science and engineering, the Center for Writers, the four art disciplines, nursing and education; and has the sixth oldest Honors College in the nation. With academic excellence and, in a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.

Office of Admissions
P. O. Box 5166
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Contact Information
3825 Ridgewood Road
Jackson, Mississippi 39211
Telephone: 601.432.6198
Fax: 601.432.6972
Email: The Board of Trustees

Enrollment Information
Tuitions and Fees Information

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About the Universities

The Universities
Alcorn State University
Delta State University
Jackson State University
Mississippi State University
Mississippi University for Women
Mississippi Valley State University
University of Mississippi
University of Southern Mississippi

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning | 3825 Ridgewood Road | Jackson, MS 39211