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Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies

Welcome to the new site of the Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies! We are still maintaining updates on our blog page while this site is continuing to be built.    

Dr. Frances A. Karnes

The Center for Gifted Studies was established in 1979 through the efforts of Dr. Frances A. Karnes to bring the educational needs of gifted students in Mississippi to the forefront of educational policy development through advocacy, research, and provision of services for high-ability students. Twenty years later, Dr. Karnes’s “tireless, unwavering determination” had galvanized the Center’s reputation as a consistent frontrunner in the development of enrichment and talent development programs.  The Center was renamed in her honor in 1999.

Today the Center flourishes as it strives to reach its vision of becoming one of the Southeast’s most prominent and effective homes for Gifted Studies. This vision is paired with our mission to strengthen gifted education in Mississippi, throughout the nation, and globally by continuing to uphold four stringent performance standards:

  • Outstanding programming for children and youth that enhances the opportunities available for hundreds of students and their families each year (Student Programs);
  • Online programming that inspires innovation and ensures the continuation of a skilled cadre of teachers of the gifted throughout the state (Educator Programs);
  • Ongoing research that encompasses the development of best practices for gifted planning, programming, teaching, and outreach (Center Staff and Educators' Ambassadors Program);
  • Outreach to parents that builds support systems, offers guidance for the social-emotional and vocational needs of gifted students, and builds a network of families advocating for their children in their local community and beyond (Parent Programs).


Fall 2023 Karnes Center Memories

Share the Wild, Welcoming Adventure of Fall 2023 at the Karnes Center. 

The Karnes Center logo in black and white.

Contact Us

Frances A. Karnes Center for Gifted Studies

112 Fritzsche-Gibbs Hall

118 College Dr. #5123
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map




Select the plus sign below for an overview of the many services offered for students, parents, and educators.

Karnes Center Services

Our goal is to enhance the lives of students who have gifts in the areas of cognition, academics, arts, and leadership by providing services to the students, their parents, and their educators.  

PK-12 Student Services

The Karnes Center offers a variety of programs for students in PK3-rising seniors in high school. 

Day Programs:

  • Young Gifted Students Program
  • Summer In the Middle Program
  • Saturday Gifted Studies Program

Residential Programs:

  • Summer Gifted Studies Program
  • Leadership Studies Program
  • Summer Program for Academically Talented Youth
  • Summer Program for Artistically Talented Youth

Learn more about Student Programs

Parent Services

Parents and family members of gifted students need support.  The Karnes Center is here to help.

Parenting Workshops and networking opportunities are available at various times throughout the year and provide the opportunity to seek information about a wide range of topics.

Parenting Programs:

  • Parenting Gifted Children Workshop Series (January)
  • Munch and Muse Mondays (March)

You can guide your children in a way that develops their abilities and talents while maintaining joy in your home.

Learn more about Parent Programs

Educator Services

From the start, The Karnes Center's mission has involved providing outstanding training opportunities for educators. You can depend on us to provide you with reliable tools to use with the gifted students in any classroom.

Educator Programs:

  • Day of Sharing for Teachers
  • Educator Development Program 
  • Karnes Ambassadors Program

Discover the exciting world of working with gifted students and help them reach their highest potential.

Learn more about Educator Programs

Support the Center

The Karnes Center is an amazing place because of your support.  Learn more about the many ways you can be involved and contribute to all we do.

Giving To the Center

Become a Friend of Gifted Studies by providing for our student programs, or contribute to the Frances A. Karnes Endowed Chair for Gifted Studies.  There are multiple levels of giving allowing everyone to make a difference. 

Learn more about giving to the Karnes Center.

Mississippi Talent Development Initiative

Community Leaders and School Administrators, recommend students for scholarships and support their applications to our summer programs by participating in the Mississippi Talent Development Initiative (MTDI).

Learn more about the MTDI.

Advocating for Gifted Children

Research shows that gifted students are the group whose needs are most often overlooked when planning for a school's curriculum and budget. Grow your advocacy skills by joining the Karnes Center Gifted Advocacy Task Force.

Learn more about becoming an Advocate.