Online Colleges in Mississippi

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges and universities in Mississippi offering online degree programs.

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Advertisement This search widget accesses a list of schools that help sponsor this site by paying a small fee for student inquiries. They are all accredited not-for-profit institutions. Some may be included in our rankings but it is not related to their participation as an advertiser. In general, evaluating as many schools as possible will help you find the best fit.

The Magnolia State is the land of online opportunity—if you look hard enough! In addition to affordable schools like Mississippi College and MSU, you’ll find distance opportunities like the MSVCC and 2+U, discounts through the SREB and ACM-EC, and lots of ways to transfer credits. Our quick guide to choosing an online program in Mississippi has the scoop on all these initiatives, plus some advice on how to avoid unaccredited schools.

Online Degrees in Mississippi: What to Know

1. How to Find Online Programs in Mississippi Public Universities

Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL) oversees 8 public universities, including State Universities, the Mississippi University for Women, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi. You can search for online programs offered by these schools on the IHL website. This Distance Learning catalog allows you to sort by type, area, degree level, or university.

IHL also runs the website for RiseUp! Mississippi, which has tons of useful advice for prospective students (on-campus or online). The site has career planning tools, college searches, and a step-by-step guide to applying for financial aid.

2. How to Find Online Courses in Mississippi Community Colleges

To promote distance learning, Mississippi’s 15 community colleges have banded together to create the Mississippi Virtual Community College (MSVCC). Through the MSVCC, students are allowed to take online courses from a “remote” community college in Mississippi while still receiving support services from their local “host” community college.

Along with resources and advice, the website has a complete MSVCC Course Listing and answers to FAQs. MSVCC course tuition costs are the same as traditional courses, and courses are eligible for financial aid.

3. Community Colleges & Public Universities Have a Transfer Agreement

Mississippi has a Statewide Articulation Agreement between its community colleges and public universities. That means students who take approved freshman & sophomore courses at their community/junior college will be able to transfer those credits toward a bachelor’s program at a Mississippi public university. IHL notes that “generally, one-half of the hours required for a bachelor’s degree may be transferred from a community college.”

Online bachelor’s degrees (e.g. USM’s Child and Family Studies’ Online Bachelor’s Degree Program) will accept community college transfer credits. Check with the individual program for details.

4. How to Find Online Degrees & Courses in the SREB E-Campus

Wondering about out-of-state options? Check out the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Electronic Campus. SREB has allied with a number of schools all over the south to create an online program & course catalog. You can search for any degree program or a specific course. Programs that are marked “E” are offered at the Electronic Rate, which means the in-state and out-of-state tuition rates are the same.

If you’d prefer an in-state degree, it’s useful to know that all of the Mississippi programs listed in the SREB catalog are offered by public institutions. Participating schools include Delta State University, Mississippi State University, the University of Mississippi, and the University of Southern Mississippi.

5. Discount Tuition for Out-of-State Online Programs

The SREB also runs the Academic Common Market-Electronic Campus (ACM-EC), a program that allows students to pay in-state tuition rates for certain out-of-state online degrees. However, approved ACM-EC programs must be in one of the 15 participating SREB states. Also, you won’t be eligible for discount tuition rates if a public college or university in Mississippi already has a degree program in your chosen field of study.

To apply, you will need to meet the admissions requirements of the college or university that offers the program and be certified as a resident of Mississippi by an ACM coordinator. Visit the ACM-EC website for instructions.

Affordable Online Schools in Mississippi

These Mississippi schools have the honor of appearing on both our “Top Online” and “Most Affordable” lists, which means they met our tough criteria for quality, flexibility, price, and use of financial aid money. (You’ll see a CAG Score next to their profiles in our ranking.) If you’re torn between two options, we also recommend a quick look at the financial and student statistics (e.g. average debt load) on College Scorecard.

  • Mississippi College

    MC’s website on Online Degree Programs has the rundown on its online offerings, including accelerated options for working adults. The section on tuition & fees has the latest rates—students in accelerated degree programs receive a discount of 10% per credit hour, RN/BSN students receive a 25% discount, and students in Homeland Security and Loss Prevention programs may be eligible for a 30% discount. In addition, MC awards ~$53 million in scholarships and financial aid each year. For credit transfers, MC accepts up to 65 hours from a community college and other credits from four-year universities, but the last 33 credits must be taken at MC.

  • Mississippi State University

    MSU’s Distance Education has all kinds of info on its online programs and tuition costs. MSU online students pay the in-state tuition rate, no matter their state of residency, and courses are charged by the credit hour, regardless of the number of enrollment hours. Financial aid is available to those who qualify; undergraduates may also be eligible for distance scholarships. What’s more, the MSU Writing Center offers free online tutoring for distance students!

    Thinking about academic reputation? Among Mississippi schools, MSU has some of the strongest online rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The most impressive placing is usually for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs (MSU offers both online master’s degrees and online doctorates in engineering.) In 2016, MSU was #7 in the rankings.

  • University of Mississippi

    Ole Miss Online is the place to go for details on online courses, degrees & certificates, as well as tuition costs and financial aid. Additional support is provided by the Center for Student Success and First-Year Experience and Ole Miss’s resources for online learners. When it comes to veterans & military, Ole Miss is known as a military-friendly university and participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

    Are you considering a healthcare career? Check out the 2+U Programs at the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC). These programs allow students who have earned an associate’s degree in a healthcare-related field at a Mississippi community or junior college and passed their appropriate licensure, registration, or certification exams to transfer to an online UMMC bachelor’s program.

    We should also mention that Ole Miss does pretty well in two U.S. News & World Report rankings, often appearing in the Top 25 of Best Online Graduate Education Programs and Best Online MBA Programs.

Online Schools in Mississippi with Accreditation & Quality Concerns

Always check that your Mississippi college or university is fully accredited by an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Although national accreditation applies to distance learning institutions (including for-profits), regional accreditation is the gold standard, especially if you’re thinking of transferring credits or applying for federal aid. Avoid any university that makes vague claims about international accreditation!

Mississippi experienced a big problem with unaccredited online schools in the 1990s and 2000s. Thankfully, many of these have disappeared, but there are still a few floating around on the web. In addition to those schools, we’ve also profiled some regionally accredited institutions where we found quality concerns.

  • American University for the Humanities

    AUH is an unaccredited university with bases in Lebanon, India, and the country of Georgia. It holds no national or regional accreditations that are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and does not appear in the CHEA Database or College Scorecard.

  • Columbus University

    Columbus University is an unaccredited school that holds no recognized national or regional accreditations. It does not appear in the CHEA Database or College Scorecard. (This should not be confused with Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia, which is regionally accredited.)

  • Jacksonville Theological Seminary

    JTS is an unaccredited Bible school that holds no national or regional accreditations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and does not appear in the CHEA Database or College Scorecard. On its website, it states it has international accreditation from Accrediting Commission International, Inc. (ACI) which is not a recognized accreditation agency. ACI also has a history of controversy.

  • Madison University

    Madison University in Gulfport is an unaccredited school that holds no recognized national or regional accreditations. It does not appear in the CHEA Database or College Scorecard. Madison has been called a “diploma mill”; you can read about its history in this article, Getting Past the Gatekeeper, from Inside Higher Ed.

  • Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

    MGCCC is regionally accredited by SACSCOC. However, it was placed on Warning by SACSCOC in June 2016 for concerns relating to accreditation standards. The board reaffirmed their accreditation on December 4, 2016.

  • Strayer University (Jackson Campus)

    Strayer University is a for-profit institution based in Washington, D.C. According to the CHEA Database, it is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE). However, there are no data available on graduation rates or average annual costs on College Scorecard, and the university has a high number of complaints on Consumer Affairs.

  • University of Natural Health

    University of Natural Health holds no national or regional accreditations recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. It does not appear in the CHEA Database or College Scorecard. On its website, it states it has international accreditation from the World-Wide Accrediting Commission of Christian Educational Institutions (WWAC), which is not a recognized accreditation agency.

Mississippi Online Education Resources

Accreditation

Distance Learning Resources

  • Mississippi Articulation & Transfer Tool (MATT): MATT is designed to help students, parents & administrators transfer credits from one Mississippi institution (e.g. community college, high school) to another (e.g. public university). The website also has useful advice for military and adult learners.

Online Degree & Course Catalogs

School Rankings

1

Mississippi State University

Students taking online courses at Mississippi State University do not have to pay out-of-state tuition fees, no matter where they live. However, MSU does charge a distance education fee, which varies by course and number of credit hours taken. The majority of online degrees are at the graduate level, but the university offers four bachelor's degrees online, including elementary education (which allows students to do field work at a school near their home), meteorology, and interdisciplinary studies. The 18 master's degrees available include several degrees in education, including post-baccalaureate programs for students who want to earn a teaching degree. Engineering master's and doctoral degrees are also available in fields including aerospace, electrical and computer engineering, and systems and industrial engineering. MSU also has an online MBA program. The university offers a broad range of services for online students, including an online orientation program. Online students are assigned a distance program coordinator who serves as their point of contact. Online students have access to school services through programs such as online tutoring and technical support. Undergraduates enrolled in online programs are eligible for scholarships. MSU is not authorized to provide distance learning to students living in Minnesota.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

CAG Score 93.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

20,138 Students

2

University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss, offers fully online degrees in the fields of business, education, nursing, and the health sciences. All online bachelor's degree options are part of the university's 2+U programs, in which students complete two years at a community college and finish their degree through Ole Miss. The 2+U programs are in the field of health. Options for master's degrees include an online MBA program as well as master's in health informatics or health sciences. Nurses can earn a Master of Science in Nursing in six specialties, including family nurse practitioner. Ole Miss Online also offers several master's degrees in education and two education specialist degrees, as well as a Doctor of Health Administration. Online classes follow a traditional semester calendar, although most classes do not require students to be online at a specific time unless the professor schedules a chat section. The university charges out-of-state tuition and other fees for online classes. Online students are eligible for financial aid, and the university offers services such as a dedicated distance learning librarian. Because of various state regulations, Ole Miss does not offer all its online programs to residents of all states.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

CAG Score 93.2

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

22,503 Students

3

Belhaven University

Belhaven University offers more than two dozen fully online degrees, ranging from associate degrees to master's degrees. Associate degrees are offered in arts, biblical studies, and business. Most of the bachelor's degrees are business related, including accounting, management, and business administration, but students can earn a bachelor's in applied psychology, biblical studies, interdisciplinary studies, health administration, or nursing. Master's options include a Master of Business Administration with four concentrations, a Master of Education with four specializations, and master's degrees in health administration, public administration, or sports administration. Belhaven is a religious university and the Master of Science in Leadership program offers a concentration option in ministry. Online classes follow an eight-week term to provide students with more flexibility, and nine terms per academic year allow students to take more classes and accelerate their degree. Students can view the online class materials at their convenience, and assignments are always due on Saturday. Online students may transfer credits from other universities, and the school has a staff of online admissions counselors and student service representatives who can help with transfer credits. Belhaven Online is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

4

William Carey University

William Carey University offers two Bachelor of Science degrees online - B.S. Elementary Education K-6 and B.S. Health, Physical Education, Recreation. There are three online master's programs - M.Ed. Elementary Education, M.Ed. Mild and Moderate Disabilities, and M.Ed. Secondary Education. There are also three specialist in education programs - Ed.S. Instructional Leadership, Ed.S. Elementary Education, and an Ed.S. Secondary Education. The university will be adding an online Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration soon. William Carey University uses the Blackboard learning management system to facilitate online class presentations and student-instructor interactions.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

5

Mississippi College

Mississippi College offers 18 online degree programs and five online certificate programs. Online undergraduate programs are offered in nursing, paralegal studies, homeland security and loss prevention. Online graduate degrees are offered in health services administration, higher education administration, teaching arts, communication, athletic administration, loss prevention, homeland security, health informatics and business administration (three concentrations). Online certificates are offered in homeland security, loss prevention and paralegal studies. Additionally, three online accelerated degree programs are available: a B.S. in Business Administration, a B.S in Communication and an M.S. in Applied Communication. Mississippi College uses the Moodle course management system for the delivery of online courses.

Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges

CAG Score 92.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • DSST Credit
  • CLEP Credit
  • ROTC Program

4,984 Students

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