The University of Mississippi

History and Background

Known affectionately as Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi opened its doors to 80 students in 1848. For 23 years, it was Mississippi’s only public institution of higher learning. For 110 years, it was the state’s only comprehensive university.

Mississippi’s flagship university established the fourth state-supported law school in the nation (1854) and was one of the first in the nation to offer engineering education (1854). It was one of the first in the South to admit women (1882) and the first to hire a female faculty member (1885).

Since its first class of 80 students, Ole Miss has grown to a doctoral degree-granting university with 15 academic divisions and nearly 24,000 students. In all, more than 100 programs of study today offer superior academic experiences that provide each graduate with the background necessary for a lifetime of scholastic, social and professional growth.

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