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Universities & Colleges

Four-year Colleges and Universities

Higher education opportunities abound in Mississippi. The state operates a system of eight universities across the state, each with strengths tailored to the needs of those it serves. The two largest — the University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University — are not far from Marshall County. In addition, Mississippians take pride in a number of outstanding private colleges. One of those, Rust College, is located within the county.

  • Rust College is in Holly Springs, Marshall County
  • Northwest Community College is 35 miles from Marshall County
  • University of Mississippi: 31 miles from Marshall County
  • Mississippi State University: 125 miles from Marshall County

The University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”)

The University of Mississippi is renowned for its programs in the humanities, sciences, medicine, and law and is ranked by Forbes.com among the top 25 U.S. public universities. With its main campus in Oxford, less than 20 miles from the southern border of Marshall County, the university is readily accessible to the county’s businesses, industries, and residents. The university also operates campuses in Tupelo and Southaven.

  • Center for Manufacturing Excellence: This UM center combines knowledge from existing academic disciplines with input from manufacturing companies and industry experts to help students acquire the technical skills needed for successful manufacturing plus expertise in areas such as management, accounting, communication, leadership, and human resources.

Mississippi State University (MSU)

MSU is respected internationally and has strengths in engineering, business, life sciences, veterinary medicine, agriculture, and forestry. Its main campus in Starkville is about 125 miles from Holly Springs and is readily accessible by four-lane highways. As one of the state’s two land-grant institutions, it has placed special emphasis on outreach programs that extend the faculty’s expertise to industry, communities, agricultural producers, landowners, and others.

  • Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems: In Starkville and Canton, the Center conducts engineering extension work for Mississippi’s manufacturers; offers workforce development, education, and training; and provides assistance with business systems and information technologies.

Rust College

Rust College in Holly Springs is the state’s second oldest private college. It was founded in 1866 by the Freedman’s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Today, it is a fully accredited coeducational liberal arts college with academic programs in business, technology, the humanities, social and behavioral sciences, and education.

Community and Technical Colleges

Northwest Community College

Northwest Community College operates a main campus in Senatobia, about 16 miles from the western border of Marshall County (31 miles from Holly Springs), and branch campuses in Oxford, just south of the county, and Southaven. Some classes are offered in Ashland, about 20 miles east of Holly Springs. The college operates WIN Job Centers in Oxford, Senatobia, and Southaven.

  • The Workforce Development Center serves business and industry by assessing training needs, analyzing job tasks, providing training in workplace basic and advanced skills, offering leadership training, and helping with development of long-range training plans. The Center can also provide industry-specific preemployment training, customized skills training, and training materials such as manuals and multimedia aids.