MSMS Moves Up in National Ranking

COLUMBUS, Miss. – For the second year in a row, the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) has been ranked among the top public high schools in the nation by Niche.

MSMS was ranked the sixth Best Public School in the United States out of 18,841 public schools and faculty were ranked No. 1 for the second year in a row among 18,504 public high schools. It is the second year in a row for MSMS to be named among the top 10.

“This is not only a great achievement for MSMS, but also for the state of Mississippi,” said Dr. Germain McConnell, MSMS executive director. “We are an extension of other schools in Mississippi, proudly hosting students from all corners of the state.”

He added, “the residential environment allows the institution to provide extensive learning experiences and leadership development for students both inside and outside the classroom that help them achieve extraordinary results.”

“Some students see as much as a 10-13-point increase on their ACT composite scores over the two-year period they are enrolled with us,” said McConnell. “We continue to see our graduates garner prestigious national awards and scholarships.” Last year alone, the Class of 2018 accepted more than $9.7 million in scholarships, which is approximately $93,000 per graduate.

To compile the rankings, Niche looked at data from the U.S. Department of Education as well as test scores, teacher-student ratio, graduation rates, college data and ratings collected from Niche users.

“The Niche ranking recognizes the results of the hard work and dedication of faculty, staff, and students,” said Dr. McConnell.

Esmond Tsang, a junior from D’Iberville, said, “At MSMS, students from all over Mississippi get to converge our talents in one place. Alongside our academic successes, there is no end to what the extracurriculars we may do and start. Only with the faculty (which happens to be number one in the nation) can so much be done. Daily, our teachers and administration teach, guide and support each one of us.”

MSMS math teacher, Lauren Zarandona, said, “Being part of the No. 1 faculty is confirmation that I work with dedicated, capable professionals who want to make a positive difference in the lives of their students. It also suggests that our institution as a whole supports teaching and learning; we thrive under supportive administration practices with students who have the necessary tools for mastery.”

MSMS is Mississippi’s only public, residential high school specifically designed to meet the needs of Mississippi’s most academically talented students. The school, which was established in 1987 and located on the campus of Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, Mississippi, serves high school juniors and seniors from every corner of the Magnolia State.

Additionally, MSMS is a member of the National Consortium for Secondary STEM schools (NCSSS), and at the founding was the fourth such school to exist in the nation.

A complete list of the rankings can be found at