Types of Colleges

There are three main types of colleges:

Public Universities

Mississippi has eight (8) state-funded public universities. All offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in a variety of subjects. They range in size from 1,500 to large 11,000 undergrads. There are over 80,000 students attending public universities in Mississippi.

Community Colleges

Sometimes called junior or technical colleges, community colleges are schools that offer students two-year associate degrees, certificates, or workforce training. Programs are geared toward either providing specific job training or preparing students to transfer to a four-year institution. There are 15 community colleges in Mississippi, and many have multiple campuses.

Private Colleges

As the name implies, private colleges are privately funded (not state-funded) schools. In Mississippi, there are 11 private colleges. All offer bachelor’s degrees and some offer graduate degrees. Private colleges tend to be smaller, but not always.

Proprietary Schools

There are also private colleges that offer occupational and technical degrees that are about two years in length. These schools offer programs with certificates or associate degrees with the intent that once completed, students are ready for the workforce.

In Mississippi, there are 45 registered proprietary schools. Disclaimer: Proprietary Schools are not regulated by the Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutes of Higher Learning but by the Mississippi Community College Board.

Alternative Programs

Distance Learning

Many Mississippi colleges and universities offer distance-learning programs via the Internet, televised classes, CD-ROM or videotape, or mail.

Other distance learning options include:

  • The Mississippi Virtual Community College allows students to attend classes at any of the state’s 15 community colleges – via the Internet.
  • Community colleges also offer online workforce training classes through the Mindleaders program.
  • The Mississippi Electronic Campus, or MS e-Campus, is a program of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning that offers searchable listings of accredited distance learning programs offered at the eight public universities.

Academic Common Market

If you are interested in a field of study that isn’t offered at one of Mississippi’s eight public universities, then the Academic Common Market (ACM) may be available to you. The ACM allows Mississippi residents to attend college in a neighboring state without paying out-of-state tuition, IF the program you enroll in is not offered in Mississippi.

See a list of programs available to Mississippi residents through the ACM: SREB

For information on admission to any of the programs, contact the out-of-state college or university offering the field of study directly.

Once you’ve been accepted into an ACM college and program, contact the Mississippi Academic Common Market Coordinator Gloria Miller at 601.432.6422 to request an application packet, or download one here.

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