Explore HBCU – Jackson State University

Staff Writer
May 26, 2022

Jackson State University is a public, historically Black university in Jackson, Mississippi.


Jackson State University was founded as Natchez Seminary in 1877 by the American Baptist Home Mission Society in Natchez, Mississippi. In November of 1882, the school was moved to Jackson, Mississippi and seven years later, the curriculum was expanded and the name changed to Jackson College.

By 1940, the state of Mississippi assumed support of the college and assigned the school the mission of training teachers. As the curriculum continued to evolve, a graduate program and bachelor’s program in the arts and sciences became included, preceding the college’s name change to Jackson State College in 1956.

Jackson State continued to expand its undergraduate and graduate curriculum along with the addition of notable building and infrastructure changes, and in March of 1974 the school obtained university status. Jackson State University was officially designated the Urban University of the State of Mississippi in 1979, and has since grown to serve the Mississippi community as a public, coeducational institution supported by legislative appropriations, student fees, and federal and private grants.

Programs & Opportunities

Presently, Jackson State University’s eight schools are organized into five colleges: Business, Education and Human Development, Liberal Arts, Public Service, and Science, Engineering and Technology. 

As a comprehensive urban research university, academic offerings culminate in research and service at the baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctoral levels: JSU offers over 40 bachelor degree programs, over 30 master’s degrees, 11 doctoral degrees, and three specialist-in-education degrees.

As for student life, JSU’s over 200 plus acre campus location hosts more than 130 student clubs, leadership organizations, academic and social activities, internship/co-op, job counseling, and study abroad programs. In addition to extracurricular activities, there are on-campus artistic, sporting, and volunteering opportunities, all paired with JSU’s award-winning marching band, the Sonic Boom of the South.

Learn more about Jackson State University here.

Alumni Affairs

Jackson State University’s historic mission of empowering diverse students to become leaders has resulted in a challenging, state-of-the-art technologically-infused intellectual community set on nurturing its inhabitants. 

Some notable JSU alumni include, but are not limited to:

  • Felicia C. Adams, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Jackson State University.
  • Percy Green, founder of the Jackson Advocate, Mississippi’s oldest black-owned newspaper, attended Jackson State. 
  • Rod Paige, former U.S. Secretary of Education, graduated from Jackson State University with a bachelor’s degree.
  • Tonea Steward, actress and university professor, graduated from Jackson State with a bachelor’s degree in Speech and Theatre.

Financial Information

Depending on academic program, student classification, number of hours attempted, residency status, and housing and meal preferences, the cost of attendance for students at JSU may vary. For undergraduate students pursuing a course load of 12-credit hours and higher, in-state tuition is $4,135 while out-of-state tuition is $4,635. For graduate students, in-state resident tuition is $460 per credit hour while out-of-state tuition is two times that price at $960 per credit hour.

The Financial Aid Office at Jackson State University coordinates financial assistance (federal, state, institutional, and private) with the fundamental purpose of making education more accessible for students.


At Jackson State, students and faculty alike engage in creative research, participate in multi-institutional collaborative learning initiatives, and strive to become global leaders who think critically and can properly address societal problems.

Learn more about Jackson State University here.