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Bijal Luhar
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The 6 HBCUs in Mississippi: Which is Right For You?

What’s Covered?


Historically Black Colleges and Universities were predominantly founded in the Southeast during the years following the American Civil War. Today, there are 107 HBCUs with more than 228,000 students enrolled. Among the graduates of HBCUs are civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., United States Vice President Kamala Harris, and United States Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall HBCUs include public and private schools that offer both two and four-year degrees. Mississippi’s 6 HBCUs produce over a billion dollars in economic impact for the state. Keep reading to learn about the 6 HBCUs in Mississippi!


The 6 HBCUs in Mississippi


1. Jackson State University | JSU


Location: Jackson, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 79%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 5,300


Jackson State University, founded in 1877 has over 50 academic and administrative buildings on 245 acres. 


The Jackson State Tigers participate in NCAA Division I as part of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). Jackson State’s most famous alum is former Chicago Bears running back, Super Bowl Champion, and nine-time Pro Bowl selectee, Walter Payton. Payton was an All-American during his collegiate football career at JSU and is regarded as one of the greatest football players of all time.


JSU offers 46 bachelor’s, 36 masters’, 2 specialist-in-education and 13 doctoral degrees within 5 colleges: 


  • College of Business
  • College of Education and Human Development
  • College of Health Sciences
  • College of Liberal Arts
  • College of Science, Engineering, and Technology


The top five undergraduate programs at JSU are Biology, Social Work, Health Care Administration, Criminal Justice, and Childcare & Family Education. Additionally, JSU is the first Mississippi university to establish a School of Public Health within their College of Health Sciences.


2. Alcorn State University


Location: Alcorn State, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 38%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 3,100


Alcorn State University, founded in 1871, was the first Black land-grant institution established in the United States and is the second oldest public university in Mississippi. Land grants were first signed by President Abraham Lincoln to fund educational institutions that focus on agriculture, science, military science, and engineering in response to the industrial revolution. Today, there are 112 land grant institutions and 19 of which are HBCUs, such as Alcorn State University.


Since 1871, Alcorn State has expanded to 1700 acres across 3 campuses located in Lorman, Vicksburg, and Nathcez and now offers over 50 top-degree programs across 5 schools.


  • School of Agriculture and Applied Sciences
  • School of Arts and Sciences
  • School of Business
  • School of Education and Psychology
  • School of Nursing


Alcorn has NCAA Division 1 athletics, in addition to 60 organizations and clubs, including student-run radio and television stations, and study abroad programs. Alcorn’s tuition and fees are also among the lowest in the Mississippi region.



3. Tougaloo College 


Location: Tougaloo, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 71%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 700


Tougaloo College, founded in 1871, sits on 500 acres on the northern edge of Jackson Mississippi. Tougaloos beautiful campus is filled with rich history, featuring ten buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additionally, Tougaloo College holds one of the most noteworthy art collections in the region, featuring over 1,150 works, the oldest dating back to 400-500 years ago.


According to the Tougaloo College website, the college 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 academic divisions at Tougaloo College include the following:


  • The Division of Education
  • The Division of Humanities
  • The Division of Natural Sciences
  • The Division of Social Sciences


Tougaloo students education is enriched through their collaboration with 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 that offer student/faculty exchange opportunities


4. Mississippi Valley State University


Location: Itta Bena, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 83%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,900


Located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, Mississippi Valley State University offers 36 undergraduate and graduate degrees. With just under 1,900 undergraduate students, MVSU offers a small, public university education through the following colleges: 


  • College of Arts & Sciences
  • College of Professional Studies
  • College of Education


68% of MVSUs diverse and dedicated faculty hold a doctoral degree. MVSU even offers an honors program to tailor to the needs of high-achieving students.


5. Rust College


Location: Holly Spring, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 7%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 800


Rust College is a small historically Black, liberal arts, church-related college located in northwestern Mississippi. The 126 acre college is one of 10 HBCUs founded before 1868 that is still operating.


The selective university offers a personalized educational experience with an average class size of only 20 and a 15:1 student to faculty ratio. Rust offers twenty bachelor and associates degrees, within the following major areas of study: 


  • Division of Education
  • Division of Humanities
  • Division of Science and Mathematics
  • Division of Social Sciences
  • Division of Business


The curriculum requires one year of general education, followed by major and minor areas of study in liberal arts, sciences, and electives. There are more than 40 clubs and organizations, including student government, greek life, support groups, intramural and collegiate sports. In addition, Rust has advisors to coordinate and develop college-wide programs for both on and off-campus students. Their rec room even has a movie theatre which operates daily with free popcorn and drinks!


6. Coahoma Community College


Location: Clarksdale, Mississippi

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Undergraduate Enrollment: 1,400


Coahoma Community College is a public historically Black community college located near the Mississippi River. The 99 acre campus offers 17 Career and Technical programs, five short-term programs and Associate of Arts degrees and general education core classes with 61 areas of study. 


Academic Departments

  • Art
  • Business & Computer Information Systems
  • English & Foreign Language
  • Health, Physical Education & Recreation
  • Math & Science
  • Music
  • Social Science


What are Your Chances of Acceptance?


Certain HBCUs in Mississippi can be quite competitive. Your chances of admission will depend on the strength of your profile, as your personal chances of acceptance may be higher or lower than the listed admissions rates. 


CollegeVine’s free admissions calculator can estimate your odds of acceptance using a host of factors like GPA, test scores, and extracurricular activities. It can also highlight areas in need of improvement. In addition to letting you know your chances of being accepted into a certain institution, our free chancing engine can also provide a list of schools that “fit” your needs and match your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today!



Short Bio
Bijal is a senior at UCLA studying Anthropology with minors in Global Health and Gerontology. Working as a Bruin Ambassador in the Undergraduate Admissions office throughout college and having gone through the application cycle again for graduate school, she is eager to share her knowledge!