The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science is Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of the Magnolia State’s most academically gifted and talented students, with an emphasis on STEM education.
As a school created to serve the state’s brightest students, MSMS excels at providing innovative learning experiences, leadership development opportunities, and holistic residential life programs geared toward high achieving students. MSMS students are challenged and encouraged to reach their full academic potential.
Applying to MSMS is at no cost, and students attend tuition-free because MSMS is a public high school. However, a nominal fee of $500 is charged per semester to offset room and board expenses incurred by the school. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify or for whom the $500 fee creates a financial hardship.
Every year, MSMS is honored to serve between 225 and 250 students spanning the eleventh and twelfth grades through our residential college preparatory program. We open our admissions season for the following year in mid-August with the launch of the admissions application. Our admissions process is a completely online experience through a system called SchoolAdmin.
Applications are not considered complete until all components of the application have been received. This includes receipt of the student’s ninth grade transcript, first semester report card from the tenth grade, all four teacher recommendations, official ACT score report, resume, personal narrative, and two essay questions. The application itself also includes a student information page and a school information page that must be completed in their entirety. SchoolAdmin provides an Admissions Checklist on the main page of each student account to help applicants track which items they still need to submit.
The admissions process consists of three phases: Application Review, Interview Day, and Final Selection.
Throughout February and into early March, Application Review Committees evaluate all completed applications. These teams will review the student generated components of the application inclusive of the resume, personal narrative, and student essays. Additionally, they will review all four teacher recommendations. Based on the feedback from the Application Review Committees’ rubrics, students moving forward in the admissions process will be invited to campus for an interview, which is typically held in late March.
During Interview Day, prospective students participate in an informal interview with an Interview Committee. The committees are simply interested in getting a better feel for prospective students, learning more about their interest in MSMS and what their academic pursuits entail. In addition to the interview, prospective students complete a mathematics placement test and an in-person writing exercise during Interview Day.
Following Interview Day, Admissions staff members compile all relevant data for the Final Selection Committee. This includes a spreadsheet detailing grades, ACT scores, application scores, interview scores, and any other applicable data points for prospective students. The Final Selection Committee examines all the data and deliberates invite to join the next class of MSMS students. The Executive Director, in consultation with the Mississippi Department of Education will determine the number of students the Final Selection Committee can admit depending on available seats, state budget allocations, and the number of returning seniors.
Admissions decisions are generally communicated by mail in early April.
First Year Experience
To smooth the transition from living at home to life at an academically accelerated, residential high school, The Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science created a program called MSMS 101. All incoming juniors are enrolled in MSMS 101 with the intent of teaching new students the essential skills required for success at MSMS. Key topics include time management, study habits, test taking strategies, communication and interpersonal skills, and stress management. Additionally, students are provided with an in-depth introduction to scientific research that rivals any college program of its kind. The spring semester of MSMS 101 is heavily focused on guided college and career planning and the creation of a senior portfolio.
MSMS 101 is a multi-disciplinary approach to the first year experience at MSMS and has radically improved the learning and adjustment curve for junior students.