Jackson State University (colloquially known as Jackson State and JSU) is a public research university located in Jackson, Mississippi. A historically black university (HBCU) and member of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, the institution currently awards bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.
Initially founded as a seminary in the town of Natchez in 1877, the school operated as a private church institution with an emphasis on training African Americans to become teachers. Construction began on the current Jackson campus in 1902 but the first baccalaureate degree was not granted until the 1920s.
In 1940, the state of Mississippi’s education system took over the school, which had been run by the American Baptist Home Mission Society until that time. After numerous name changes and reorganizations, the school received its current name in 1974.
The university, which has grown and expanded immensely since its inception, held its 125th anniversary celebration in 2002.
JSU is composed of the following schools:
- College of Business
- College of Education and Human Development
- College of Liberal Arts
- College of Public Service
- College of Science, Engineering and Technology
- College of Lifelong Learning
The university has been designated a “high research activity” institution by the Carnegie Foundation. It is only one of two HBCUs with the distinction.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Jackson State is home to a number of unique centers and institutes, including the English as a Second Language Institute, Center for University Scholars, and the Institute for Educational Renewal.
The school also maintains the Mississippi e-Center, which expounds upon the university’s dedication to Internet technologies and provides a range of services to the State of Mississippi, including distance learning, electronic-based research, and community outreach.
Undergraduate applications, which can be submitted online, are accepted on a rolling basis. Prospective students must have completed college preparatory courses in English, math, sciences, social sciences, electives, and computer science and must have either a 3.20 high school grade point average (on a 4.0 scale); have either a 2.50 grade point average or rank in the top 50% of their class, and score 16 or higher on the ACT or SAT equivalent; have a 2.00 high school grade point average and score 18 or higher on the ACT or SAT equivalent; or meet NCAA standards for students who are “full qualifiers” under Division I guidelines. Students who do not meet any of these admissions requirements may still be eligible for admission by participating in a screening process that includes a diagnostic test.
As each graduate program has its own policies and procedures, prospective graduate students should consult the program they intend to pursue to find out specific admissions requirements.
The financial aid office offers an impressive array of services to incoming and existing students, including financial counseling services for students and parents, workshops on the financial aid process, discrepancy resolutions, and coordination of aid awards with the Business Office.
Jackson State students may be eligible for need-based and/or merit-based financial aid. Types of financial aid that are commonly awarded include grants, such as Pell Grants; loans, such as Stafford Loans and Perkins Loans; and work study programs. Scholarships are another type of financial aid that does not have to be repaid.
Student Financial Aid Details
The Center for Student Engagement and Inclusion (CSEI) helps build student and community involvement while nurturing first-year students during their college experience.
The university is home to more than 150 student clubs and organizations. These groups range from Greek organizations and other social groups to academic organizations, such as honor societies and major- or industry-specific groups, to religious groups, special interest clubs, and organizations that are only for the residents of certain areas of campus.
In addition to participating in clubs, students can enjoy the numerous seminars, challenges, events, activities, and performances that are sponsored by the school and held on campus throughout the year.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
Jackson State University is an NCAA Division I school and a member of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. School colors are blue and white and JSU’s mascot is the Bengal tiger.
The Tigers’ sports for men include:
- Cross Country
- Indoor Track
- Outdoor Track
The Tigers’ sports for women include:
- Cross Country
- Track and Field
The university also has a dance line, known as the Prancing J-Settes, and a marching band, known as the Sonic Boom of the South.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.