Mississippi College, founded in 1826, has been in existence nearly as long as its home city, Clinton, which was established just three years earlier. It was originally known as Hampstead Academy, then Mississippi Academy, before finally gaining its current moniker in 1830. The liberal arts college was given to the Presbyterian Church in 1842, but in 1850, it was obtained by the Mississippi Baptist Convention and has remained affiliated with that organization ever since.
The same year that the Mississippi Baptist Convention began running the college, the previously coeducational institution was changed to an all-male facility. The Central Female Institute, later known as Hillman College, was begun for women in 1853. Nearly a hundred years later, Mississippi College absorbed Hillman, once more becoming a coeducational institution of higher learning.
Both the city and the college struggled during the Civil War era, as Union forces briefly occupied Clinton. During this time, the college’s student body was disbanded and its endowment destroyed. The period immediately following the war saw low enrollment figures and financial struggles, but Mississippi College was painstakingly restored over the next several years by a group of dedicated members of its faculty, including Dr. Warren S. Webb.
The college continued to grow over time and today boasts an enrollment of approximately 5,000 students. Those students are able to enjoy not just the beautiful campus that college leaders worked so hard to restore and to preserve, but also the benefits of an historic and picturesque city located just 15 minutes west of the state capital of Jackson.
Clinton is a member of the Mississippi Main Street Association, which seeks to revitalize and maintain historic main streets and downtown areas. Students can stroll down Clinton Boulevard and shop at the Olde Towne Market, immersing themselves in the culture and traditions of their college town. Nature lovers can explore the 33 acres of wooded beauty that make up the Clinton Community Nature Center.
When it’s time to return to class, students enjoy a 320-acre campus and an institution that strives to combine “excellence and innovation in learning” with Baptist Christian values.
A private, coeducational liberal arts college, Mississippi College is the second-oldest Baptist college in the United States. In 1831, it made history by also becoming the first coeducational institution to confer a degree to a woman. Today, the college offers 80 undergraduate majors and 14 graduate degrees in 50 fields of study.
The student-faculty ratio is 16-to-1.
Mississippi College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to confer bachelor’s, master’s, and education specialist degrees, as well as the doctorate in education and the first professional degree in law. The school also holds accreditation from a long list of other organizations, including the National Association of Schools of Music, the American Bar Association and the International Association of Law Schools.
Undergraduate majors at Mississippi College focus heavily on liberal arts and sciences, with six schools offering degrees in such fields as interior or graphic design, ministry studies, journalism, kinesiology, music, and social work.
Christian Studies & the Arts
Science & Mathematics
Humanities & Social Sciences
Graduate degrees are awarded in many of these majors, and the college also confers a Doctor of Education and a Educational Specialist degree. Online programs are available to students studying toward a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration, or a Master of Health Services Administration.
Mississippi College has also gone global, with 51 international programs in such diverse locations as Africa, Hong Kong, South Korea, and numerous European locales.
The college has been honored for its academic achievements by several noted media sources, such as the Princeton Review, which included Mississippi College on its list of best colleges in the southeast in its 2011 Best Colleges: Region by Region edition. U.S. News & World Report ranked the college ninth in the South region for “Best Colleges, Best Values” in its 2011 survey of America’s best colleges.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Mississippi College recommends that undergraduates submit their applications early, as admission is considered on a rolling basis. Application deadline for the fall term is typically in mid-August, with applications accepted from mid-September to early January for the spring semester. Applicants for a summer term can apply up to two weeks before the registration date.
To be considered for admission to Mississippi College, undergraduates must submit an application form, official transcripts of high school work completed, and official SAT or ACT test scores. Transcripts must be sent directly from the high school, and test scores must be sent either from the high school or directly from the testing headquarters. Transcripts or test scores submitted by applicants will not be accepted.
Additionally, applicants must provide proof that they have had at least one immunization against measles, mumps, and rubella in the past 10 years or two in a lifetime. Applicants seeking to live in campus housing should submit a $100 housing fee to reserve a spot in a residence hall.
Transfer students who have completed 12 semester hours or 16 quarter hours at their previous colleges and have maintained at least a 2.0 grade-point average will be considered for enrollment at Mississippi College. These students must submit the same forms and fees as all other undergraduate applicants.
Applicants to the college’s graduate schools must file a dossier with the dean of their respective graduate schools. The dossier must include a completed application, standardized test scores, copies of all transcripts from previously attended institutions, and any graduate transfer credits. Transcripts must be submitted directly from the educational institutions. Applicants seeking on-campus housing must also submit the $100 housing fee.
Additionally, graduate applicants seeking the Class AA Standard Educator License must provide a copy of their Class A Standard Educator License, issued by the State of Mississippi. Certain graduate degrees may carry additional admission requirements. Applicants should consult the dean of the school to which they are applying.
International applicants must submit the same forms as all other applicants and must also submit a bank statement from a parent or sponsor indicating the ability to finance one year of study at Mississippi College. TOEFL, IELTS, or STEP language test scores are required, as is a medical history form with proof of immunizations. Three letters of recommendation and a statement of purpose are required for graduate school admission.
With nearly 80 percent of undergraduates getting some type of financial aid, affording a degree at Mississippi College is not as difficult as some may think. There are a variety of grants, loans and scholarships available to students who meet the requirements, and the college offers student employment in departments all over the campus.
The first step to determining how much financial aid students could receive is filling out the FAFSA form. This form will help students determine whether they are eligible for financial aid from the federal government in the form of a Pell Grant, which could lessen a needy student’s financial burden by up to $5,500. Other federal grants include the Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, which distributes up to $2,000 per academic year to students of exceptional need who are studying toward their first bachelor’s degrees.
Mississippi residents can receive state grants such as the Leveraging Education Assistance Partnership Grant, the Mississippi Eminent Scholars Grant, or the Mississippi Tuition Assistance Grant.
Mississippi College offers many scholarships based on both financial need and academic merit. Some scholarships are geared specifically toward commuter students or on-campus students while others are tailored toward a specific major. There are even scholarships available for dependents of Mississippi College alumni.
Educational loans are another option, and the most common form of financial aid available to college students. Loans can be obtained by students or parents, and some loans, such as Federal Nursing Loans, are available for students pursuing specific degree programs.
Students who wish to find out more about financial aid at Mississippi College should contact the school’s financial aid office.
Mississippi College’s nearly 5,000 students come from 41 states and 30 countries, and 60 percent of students live on-campus in one of the six residence halls for women or four residence halls for men. Each residence hall is equipped with cable television and local telephone service. Two internet connections are available in each room of Cockcroft-Caldwell, Hitt-McCullough, and Quick halls as well as in both the East and West Tower residence halls. In all other residence halls, wireless network connections are available. Wireless internet is also available throughout most of the campus.
Students at Mississippi College never lack for something to do, with more than 50 clubs and organizations to join. With the college’s strong ties to Baptist Christianity, it’s not surprising to find several campus ministries on the list. But the ministries are not limited to just one religion. There are organizations geared toward Catholic and Episcopal students as well. From academic and career organizations like the Association of Student Social Workers to cultural societies like the International Student Association, there is a group for just about everyone.
One of the largest student groups on campus is the Student Government Association, which is made up of five class officers, an executive council, a senate, judicial boards, and the campus activities boards. Interest in politics and student government may well have increased in March 2011, after former Arkansas governor and presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee stopped by the campus to address students.
With resident students logging nearly 300,000 hours of volunteer time each year, service clubs are one of the school’s more popular organizations. The college works with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, which helps build houses for people in need, and students have organized a number of service clubs, including Shawreth, which has performed various community service projects. In fact, the school’s own Community Services Center links students with more than 150 service agencies in Jackson, and the college was recognized by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2010 for its volunteerism.
Mississippi College boasts three student media publications: the Mississippi Collegian student newspaper, the Arrowhead literary magazine, and the Tribesman yearbook. In addition, the college’s Christian radio station WHJT, broadcasts at 93.5 FM.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Mississippi College currently has 16 varsity sports, which have competed at the NCAA Division III level since 1997. The Choctaws, whose colors are blue and gold, compete in the American Southwest Conference. The Choctaws’ men’s soccer team advanced to the conference finals in 2010 with a win over the University of Texas at Dallas, and the 2011 women’s softball team and the men’s tennis team each reached the conference semifinals.
In 2011, the football team received a visit from alumnus Fred McAfee, a former New Orleans Saints player who made a stop at his alma mater as part of the Saints’ NFL Super Bowl trophy tour. McAfee helped the Choctaws win the NCAA Division II national championship in 1989.
The college also has 12 intramural sports, most of which are open to both men and women. The 3-on-3 basketball and flag football leagues have separate teams for men and women.
The college also holds individual sports tournaments for racquet sports, and there are special events such as the free-throw challenge, homerun derby, and three-point shootout.