Following the American Civil War, historically black colleges and universities were primarily established in the Southeast. There are 107 HBCUs in existence today, serving more than 228,000 students. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., US Vice President Kamala Harris, and US Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall are all alumni of HBCUs.
Public and private institutions that grant two- and four-year degrees comprise HBCUs. The seven HBCUs in Mississippi contribute more than one billion dollars to the state’s economy. To find out more about the seven HBCUs in Mississippi, keep reading!
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An HBCU: What Is It?
African American students had few options for continuing their studies after the Civil War. The government passed the second Morrill Act of 1890, which required states to make land grants to academic institutions serving African Americans, as many schools and universities were refusing to admit people of color. As a result, historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, were established. These universities “offered the best, and often the only, opportunity for a higher education” to people of color, according to President George W. Bush.
The 7 HBCUS in Mississippi
- Ratio of Acceptance: 62%
- 5,600 undergraduate students
The 245 acres that make up Jackson State University, founded in 1877, are home to approximately 50 academic and administrative structures.
The SWAC (Southwest Athletic Conference) is home to the Jackson State Tigers, an NCAA Division I team. Walter Payton, a former running back for the Chicago Bears who won a Super Bowl and was chosen for nine Pro Bowls, is Jackson State’s most well-known graduate. Payton is recognized as one of the best football players of all time and was an All-American during his collegiate career at JSU.
Within its five colleges, JSU provides 46 bachelor’s degrees, 36 master’s programs, two programs for education specialists, and 13 doctoral programs:
- College of Health Sciences
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Science, Engineering, and Technology
- College of Business
- College of Education and Human Development
Biology, social work, health care administration, criminal justice, and childcare & family education are JSU’s top five undergraduate degrees. In addition, JSU’s College of Health Sciences has a School of Public Health, making it the first university in Mississippi to do so.
- 39% acceptance rate
- 3,000 undergraduate students
The second-oldest public university in Mississippi, Alcorn State University was founded in 1871 and was the nation’s first Black land-grant institution. In reaction to the Industrial Revolution, President Abraham Lincoln initially authorized land grants. They were designed to provide funding for universities with an emphasis on engineering, science, agriculture, and the military. 19 of the 112 land-grant universities that exist today, including Alcorn State University, are HBCUs.
Alcorn State has grown to 1,700 acres across three campuses in Lorman, Vicksburg, and Natchez since it was founded in 1871. Over 50 excellent degree programs are currently available at the institution through its five schools.
- School of Business
- School of Education and Psychology
- School of Nursing
- School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
- School of Arts and Sciences
Alcorn University offers 60 groups and clubs, including student-run radio and television stations, study abroad opportunities, NCAA Division I athletics, and more. The cost of attending Alcorn University is also among the lowest in the state of Mississippi.
- 5% acceptance rate
- Admissions for undergraduates: 800
The 500-acre Tougaloo College campus, established in 1871, is located on the outskirts of Jackson, Mississippi. Ten of the college’s buildings are designated on the National Register of Historic Places, giving the campus of Tougaloo a rich history. With about 1,150 pieces, the oldest of which are more than 400-500 years old, Tougaloo College also has one of the most notable art collections in the area.
The Tougaloo College website states that the school has “historically produced over 40% of the African American physicians and dentists practicing in the state of Mississippi, more than one-third of the state’s African American attorneys, and educators including teachers, principals, school superintendents, college/university faculty and administrators.” The following are some of Tougaloo College’s academic departments:
- The Division of Natural Sciences
- The Division of Social Sciences
- The Division of Education
- The Division of Humanities
The University of Mississippi Medical Center, Tufts Medical and Dental Schools, Boston College, Duke University, Vanderbilt University, Mississippi College School of Law, and Mississippi State University are among the institutions with which Tougaloo collaborates to benefit its students’ education. These other institutions provide chances for faculty/student exchange.
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- 79% acceptance rate
- 1,900 undergraduate students
Mississippi Valley State University, which is situated in the Mississippi Delta, grants 36 undergraduate and graduate degrees. Through the following colleges, MVSU provides a small, public university education to under 1,900 undergraduate students:
- College of Professional Studies
- College of Education
- College of Arts & Sciences
The diversified and committed faculty at MVSU is composed of 68% PhD holders. Even an honors program designed to meet the demands of top students is available at MVSU.
5. Rust College
- 38% acceptance rate
- Admissions for undergraduates: 800
Northwest Mississippi is home to Rust College, a tiny, historically Black, liberal arts college with a connection to the church. One of 10 HBCUs founded before 1868 that are still in operation is the 126-acre college.
With an average class size of just 20 students and a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, the prestigious university provides a personalized educational experience. Twenty bachelor’s and associate’s degrees are available from Rust in the following fields of study:
- Division of Science and Mathematics
- Division of Social Sciences
- Division of Business
- Division of Education
- Division of Humanities
The general education component of the curriculum is followed by major and minor studies in the liberal arts, sciences, and electives. In addition to the student government, Greek life, support networks, intramural sports, and collegiate athletics, there are more than 40 clubs and organizations.
Rust also employs advisors to plan and implement college-wide initiatives for both on- and off-campus students. They even have a movie theater in their recreation area, which is open every day and provides complimentary drinks and snacks.
- 100% acceptance rate
- Enrollment for undergraduates: 1,800
A public historically Black community college, Coahoma Community College is situated close to the Mississippi River. The 99-acre campus provides 61 different fields of study in general education core classes, 17 career and technical programs, five short-term programs, Associate of Arts degrees, and general education core classes. There are seven academic departments in the college, including:
- Math & Science
- Social Science
- Business & Computer Information Systems
- English & Foreign Language
- Health, Physical Education & Recreation
- 100% acceptance rate
- Enrollment for undergraduates: N/A
The Utica Normal and Industrial Institute, which was established in 1903 and later renamed Utica Junior College, was once intended to be a “little Tuskegee.” The institution was in a prime position to raise the standard of living and education for people residing in Mississippi’s Black Belt.
Utica Junior College and Hinds Community College combined in 1982. Utica nevertheless maintained its HBCU status and traditions, though. Of Hinds Community College’s six locations, the Utica campus is the most established.
Through eight routes, Hinds Community College – Utica offers 65 career and technical programs in 20 academic disciplines:
- Hospitality and Human Services
- Public Safety and Administration
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
- Agricultural, Construction, Manufacturing, and Transportation
- Art & Humanities
- Health Sciences
Frequently Asked Question
In Mississippi, how many HBCUs are there?
Public and private institutions that grant two- and four-year degrees comprise HBCUs. The seven HBCUs in Mississippi contribute more than one billion dollars to the state's economy.
What is Mississippi’s first HBCU?
Alcorn State University.
Alcorn State University's history. Alcorn University is the second-oldest state-supported institution of higher learning in Mississippi and the oldest historically black public land-grant university in the whole country.
What HBCU in Mississippi is the least expensive?
The least expensive HBCU is Coahoma Community College. The two-year public school in Clarksdale, Mississippi, has an average annual net cost of $1,004.
Which college has the wealthiest students?
When all degrees are taken into account, Harvard University has the highest number of billionaire alumni. According to the most current Forbes study, if only bachelor's degrees are taken into account, The University of Pennsylvania comes in #1.