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    University of Southern Mississippi
   
 
  Dec 15, 2017
 
 
    
2016-2017 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Requirements and Procedures



Successful applicants are admitted to a specific program following review and approval of application by faculty and the chair of the department in which the applicant intends to study. Non-degree seeking applicants are approved by the Dean of the Graduate School.

U.S. citizens should submit application and all materials online. Official test scores are received electronically from testing agencies. Applicants may apply online by going to www.usm.edu/graduate-school. International applicants should apply online also and contact the Office of International Student and Scholar Services. (See the International Student Applications  section of the Bulletin for specific details).

Most programs require that applicants submit the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general section scores (verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing). However, some programs in the College of Business require that applicants submit Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) scores. Some master's programs in the College of Education and Psychology accept the Miller Analogies Test (MAT); and in the College of Health, some programs accept the GRE, the GMAT, and the MCAT. Prospective students should see specific programs for information. Prospective students should plan to take the appropriate examination early in their senior year of college, or at least two months before the application deadline, and they should request that scores be reported to USM. The university's testing center offers all of the tests. For additional information, call the testing center at 601-266-6123.

Admission decisions result from evaluation of quantitative and qualitative information included in the application. Test scores, a completed application form, official transcripts from all institutions attended, statement of purpose, and three letters of recommendation must be submitted from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for graduate study. Some programs require submission of a writing sample and/or a personal essay; others require that the applicant participate in interviews and/or auditions. All application materials are reviewed and contribute to admission decisions. A decision to accept an applicant into a graduate degree program is based upon a holistic review including test scores the quality of his or her previous academic experience, the applicant's statement of purpose, the appropriateness of the applicant's goal in context with the strengths of a program, and the recommendations of the faculty in the proposed field of study. In some programs, prior professional and employment activities are also considered.

The academic record and character of the applicant must be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, the laws of the state of Mississippi, and the policies of the university. The university reserves the right to cancel the admission or registration of an individual whose attendance at the university, in the opinion of the appropriate administrative officer and the President, would not be beneficial to the student and/or to the institution.

Students admitted to a graduate degree program may not pursue a second graduate degree concurrently unless the dual graduate degrees are approved and identified in the Graduate Bulletin. Students may not pursue a second undergraduate degree while pursuing a graduate degree.

It should be clearly understood that the admission requirements listed below represent the minimal standards set by the Graduate Council and that additional requirements and higher standards may be stipulated by the various departments. Applicants should check for such requirements in the departmental section of the Bulletin.

Deadlines for Graduate Admission Application

The admission application deadlines are posted on the Graduate School Web page (www.usm.edu/graduate-school).

All application materials, including test scores and transcripts, must be received by Graduate School Admissions by the department's deadline. (Official transcripts must be sent directly to Graduate School Admissions).

Types of Admission to Master's Programs

An applicant may be granted regular or conditional admission to a masters program. The letter of acceptance from the Dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.

  1. Regular Admission
    Minimum Standards for Regular Admission are as follows:
    1. The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency.
    2. The applicant must be eligible to re-enter the last college or university attended in good standing.
    3. The applicant must present evidence, by official transcript, of a grade point average equivalent to at least 2.75 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) for the last two years (60 hours) of undergraduate study, and a grade point average of at least 3.0 on undergraduate courses in the field of proposed graduate study. Some departments require a higher GPA for regular admission.
    4. At least three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for master's work must be included in the application. The letters must be submitted online, directly by the reference (see online application). The letters must address the applicant's suitability for the specific degree program.
    5. Applicants must have an official report of standardized test scores (all general test sections of the GRE, GMAT, or MAT or other approved graduate admission test) sent to Graduate School Admissions. Departmental requirements for additional information are listed on the application.
    6. Applicants must submit all other materials specified by departments, e.g., writing samples, statement of purpose, audition, licenses, and/or resumes. Specific departmental requirements are listed on the online application.
    7. The departmental admissions committee and chair must be satisfied that the applicant shows promise of satisfying master's degree requirements.
    8. International students must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, unless baccalaureate degree is from an accredited English speaking university.
    9. Applicant must pay an application fee for each application submitted.
  2. Conditional Admission
    A student who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis; if a student possesses a grade point average of at least 2.0 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) on the last 60 hours of coursework.

    A master's student admitted conditionally must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.0 on the first nine (9) hours of coursework at or above the 500 level. If, prior to satisfying the requirements to have the conditional status removed, the student attempts more than 9 hours of coursework at or above the 500 level, he or she must achieve a 3.0 overall grade point average on all coursework. Lower-level coursework (500) taken to remedy perceived deficiencies may not be counted toward the nine-hour requirement. All courses taken during conditional status, must be taken on a USM campus and applied toward the 9 hours required.

    Additional requirements may be imposed by the department. The student should consult the graduate coordinator or department chair to review the requirements.

    Upon the recommendation of the department chair and with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, the student will be reclassified as a regularly admitted student. A student not maintaining the required grade point average or otherwise failing to satisfy any additional requirements will be dismissed from the program.

Types of Admission to Specialist's Programs

Advanced graduate programs leading to the specialist's degree are available to qualified students. An applicant may be granted regular or conditional admission to these programs. The letter from the Dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.

  1. Regular Admission
    Minimum standards for regular admission are as follows:
    1. The applicant must hold a master's degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency.
    2. The applicant must be eligible to re-enter the last college or university attended in good standing.
    3. The applicant must present evidence, by official transcript, of a grade point average of no lower than 3.25 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) on previous graduate work. Applicants must also submit official transcripts from all other institutions previously attended.
    4. The applicant must have at least three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for specialist's work. If applying to more than one department, students must have letters submitted to each department (see online application).
    5. The applicant must have official results from the general tests (all sections) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) sent directly to Graduate School Admissions. Consult specific departments for additional information.
    6. The applicant must submit all other materials specified by departments, e.g., writing samples, statement of purpose, auditions, licenses, and/or resumes. Specific departmental requirements for this information are listed on the online application.
    7. The appropriate department chair, college dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School must be satisfied that the applicant shows promise of satisfying specialist's degree requirements.
    8. International students must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores, unless baccalaureate or master's degree is from an accredited English speaking university.
    9. Applicant must pay an application fee for all applications submitted.
  2. Conditional Admission
    Student who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis; if a student possesses a grade point average of at least 3.00 ( on a 4.0 scale) on previous graduate coursework.

    A specialist's student admitted conditionally must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.25 on the first nine (9) hours of coursework at or above the 600 level. If, prior to satisfying the requirements to have the conditional status removed, the student attempts more than 9 hours of coursework at or above the 600 level, he or she must achieve a 3.25 overall grade point average on all course work. All courses taken to remove conditional status must be taken on a campus of the The University of Southern Mississippi.

    Additional requirements may be imposed by the department. The student should meet with the department chair to review the requirements.

    All requirements must be met or the student will not be allowed to continue to seek a specialist's degree. Upon the recommendation of the department chair and with the approval of the dean, the student will be reclassified as a regularly admitted student. A student not maintaining the required grade point average or otherwise failing to satisfy any additional requirements, will be dismissed from the program.

Types of Admission to Doctoral Programs

Doctoral degrees are research degrees that provide (a) specialized, advanced knowledge of a discipline, (b) an ability to integrate a specialized field of study into the larger areas of knowledge, and (c) the critical, analytical, and/or problem-solving tools needed to produce original, independent scholarly research or creative work in a discipline, thus contributing to the discipline's body of knowledge.

Advanced graduate programs leading to the doctoral degree are available to qualified students. An applicant may be granted regular or conditional admission to these programs. The letter from the Dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.

  1. Regular Admission
    Minimum standards for regular admission are as follows:
    1. The applicant must hold a baccalaureate or master's degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency. The degree required for admission into a doctoral program varies by department.
    2. The applicant must be eligible to re-enter the last college or university attended in good standing.
    3. The applicant who do not hold a master's degree must present evidence, by official transcript, of a grade point average equivalent to at least 2.75 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) for the last two years of undergraduate study and a grade point average of at least 3.0 on undergraduate courses in the field of proposed graduate study.
    4. The applicant who hold a master's degree must present evidence, by official transcript, of a grade point average of no lower than 3.50 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) on previous graduate coursework.
    5. All applicants must submit official transcripts from all other institutions previously attended to Graduate School Admissions.
    6. The applicant must submit all other materials specified by departments, e.g., writing samples, statement of purpose, auditions, licenses, and/or resumes. Specific departmental requirements are listed on the online application.
    7. The appropriate department chair, college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School must be satisfied that the applicant shows promise of satisfying doctoral degree requirements.
    8. International students must submit TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE scores.
    9. The applicant must pay an application fee for each applications submitted.
    10. The applicant must have at least three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for doctoral work. If applying to more than one department, students must have letters submitted to each department (see online application).
    11. The applicant must submit official results from the general tests (all sections) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) to Graduate School Admissions.
  2. Conditional Admission
    An applicant holding a bachelor's degree who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis; provided such an applicant possesses a grade point average of 2.50 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) in his/her last 60 hrs. An applicant holding a master's degree who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis, provided however, such an applicant possesses a grade point average of 3.25 in master's and/or specialist's coursework.

    A doctoral applicant admitted conditionally must maintain a grade point average of at least 3.5 on the first nine (9) hours of coursework at or above the 600 level. If, prior to satisfying the requirements to have the conditional status removed, the student attempts more than 9 hours of coursework at or above the 600 level, he or she must achieve a 3.5 overall grade point average. All courses taken to remove conditional status must be taken on a campus of the The University of Southern Mississippi.

    Additional requirements may be imposed by the department. The applicant should meet with the department chair to review the requirements.

    All requirements must be met or the student will not be allowed to continue to seek a doctoral degree. Upon the recommendation of the department chair and with the approval of the dean, the student will be reclassified as a regularly admitted student. A student not maintaining the required grade point average or otherwise failing to satisfy any additional requirements, will be dismissed from the program.

Regulations Governing Non-Degree Graduate Students

Applicants must apply for non-degree status by submitting the online application, proof of degree, and application fee.

A prospective student may choose to enroll as a non-degree graduate student for the following reasons:

  1. The applicant did not meet requirements for conditional or regular admission before the application deadline.
  2. The applicant is not degree seeking ( i.e., courses apply toward a certificate program, licensure, etc.).
  3. The applicant is enrolled in another university and desires to obtain credit from The University of Southern Mississippi to be transferred to the university from which he or she is seeking a degree.
  4. The applicant was denied admission to a program, but wishes to take graduate courses as a non-degree student for personal development.

Enrollment as a non-degree graduate student does not signify admission to any department or to any degree program. A non-degree graduate student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for financial aid.

Up to twelve (12) hours of coursework taken as a non-degree student may be applied to a graduate program of study with the approval of the graduate committee chair and/or graduate committee if the student is admitted to a degree program.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Credit Hours

Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours, and the completion of discipline specific requirements.

Admission Requirements

  1. The applicant must complete the online application form and pay the application fee.
  2. The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency. Some certificate programs require the applicant to hold a master's degree or to be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program.
  3. The applicant must submit official transcripts from the institution awarding the baccalaureate degree, and the institution awarding the master's degree, doctoral degree or other degree, e.g. JD, MD, DVM etc.
  4. The applicant must be able to re-enter in good standing the last college or university attended.
  5. The appropriate department chair (or program director in the case of interdisciplinary certificate program) must be satisfied that the applicant shows promise of satisfying the certificate program requirements and approve admission.

Programs Requirements

To complete the certificate program, students must

  1. Complete credit hour and course requirements with a 3.0 GPA
  2. Complete program requirements within five years

Credit Hour Limitations

No more than twelve (12) semester hours of work from the certificate program may be used toward a master's, specialist, or a doctoral degree, with the approval of the graduate committee chair and/or graduate committee.

Permission for Undergraduate Students to Register for Graduate Credit as a Non-Degree Student

Undergraduate students at The University of Southern Mississippi who meet the GPA requirements for regular admission may apply to The Graduate School for permission to take course work for graduate credit if within 12 semester hours of meeting bachelor's degree requirements as certified by the university registrar. If approved, the student may then register for graduate courses up to a maximum of nine semester hours of graduate credit with a total course load not exceeding 12 semester hours or 15 hours with Graduate Dean permission. The student must complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree within the first semester/term in which he or she registers for graduate courses. The student's application for admission to graduate school will not be given final approval until after he or she satisfies all requirements for the baccalaureate degree. To apply, the undergraduate student must submit the Undergraduate Request to Enroll in Graduate Courses form, which requires approval from the department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. The student must also complete a non-degree graduate application using the online form and pay the application fee.

An undergraduate student from another institution desiring to take graduate courses as listed above should file a graduate application, have a transcript sent to graduate school admissions, and receive permission from the department chair and dean of the Graduate School to take a graduate class.

Graduate Students Taking Undergraduate Courses

Graduate students enrolled in undergraduate courses as required by their Plan of Study must complete the "Out of Career" permission form available in The Graduate School and receive permission from their department chair and the Dean of the Graduate School. Graduate students taking undergraduate courses should be aware that such courses are considered "out of career" and may not count toward eligibility for financial assistance or the calculation of full-time status. Although graduate students taking undergraduate courses will receive a grade for the coursework, they will not receive quality points; the absence of quality points may negatively impact the ability of the student to count the course(s) for credit when seeking licensure or certification. It is the responsibility of the student to determine how the course will affect his/her status and future plans. Students should contact The Graduate School with questions. Students may not earn an undergraduate degree while earning a graduate degree.

Procedures for Applying for Admission (U.S. citizens)

  1. The applicant must submit a new application for each program and/or degree sought: certificate, master's, specialist's, and doctoral.
  2. All credentials (application, an official transcript from each institution attended, and official report of standardized test scores) must be submitted to Graduate School Admissions via the online application by the deadline published on the Graduate School Web page. Letters of recommendation and other required materials should be  submitted online (see online application). If applying to more than one department, students should submit two applications and all materials. Send official transcripts and official test scores to Graduate School Admissions.
  3. All applicants must pay an application fee for each application submitted. Applicants may pay by credit card when they submit their application or they may send a check or money order to the Graduate School.
  4. After all credentials are received, graduate school admissions office will compute the applicant's grade point average and will forward the application and transcripts to the appropriate department chair. As soon as the application has been processed by the department chair, and the Dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate School will notify the applicant of the university's decision on the request for admission. The letter of acceptance from the Dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.
  5. An applicant's admission status is good for a maximum of 3 semesters. However, some departments require a new application if the applicant does not enroll the semester he/she is admitted. Applicants must secure department approval to change their admission date. Once a student's admission window closes, all paperwork (transcripts, etc.) is shredded, and a student must again apply for admission (not readmission).
  6. Applicants whose native language is not English and have recently come to the United States are required to take the TOEFL or the IELTS exam to demonstrate English proficiency. Exceptions may be made if the applicant has earned a degree from a U.S. accredited university or an English speaking university.
  7. If born after 1956, a Certificate of Compliance is required. International students may have additional requirements (contact International Student and Scholar Services).

Procedures for Applying for Admission (Non-U.S. citizens/International)

International Admissions
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5135
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
U.S.A.
(601) 266-4841
fax (601) 266-4898
isss@usm.edu

 

International Admissions processes all international applications, evaluates foreign academic credentials, and issues the appropriate immigration documents for non-immigrant foreign students.

International Admissions disseminates Southern Miss information to foreign schools, U.S. embassies/consulates abroad, and non-profit international organizations (such as the Institute for International Education). This office also provides information to and immigration documents for research scholars invited by Southern Miss to participate in research opportunities.

Admission Procedure:

  1. The applicant must submit a new online application for each program and/or degree sought: certificate, master's, specialist's, and doctoral at www.usm.edu/graduate-school. The application and supporting documents must be received by March 1 for summer admission, June 1 for fall admission and October 1 for spring admission, or by specific department deadlines, whichever comes first.
  2. All credentials (an official transcript from each institution attended, certified English translations and official report of standardized test scores) must be submitted to International Admissions. Letters of recommendation and other required materials should be submitted online (see online application). If applying to more than one department, students should submit two applications and all materials. Test scores should be submitted via the testing agency.
  3. Application materials submitted to the university will not be returned.
  4. All applicants must pay an application fee for each application submitted. Applicants may pay by credit card when they submit their online application.
  5. After all credentials are received, graduate school admissions office will compute the applicant's grade point average and will forward the application and transcripts tot he appropriate department chair. As soon as the application has been processed by the department chair, the college dean, and the Dean of the Graduate School, the Graduate School will notify the applicant of the university's decision on the request for admission. The letter from the Dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.
  6. An applicant's admission status is good for a maximum of 3 semesters. However, some departments require a new application if the applicant does not enroll the semester he/she is admitted. Applicants must secure department approval to change their admission date. Once a student's admission window closes, all paperwork (transcripts, etc.) is shredded, and a student must again apply for admission (not readmission).
  7. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE exam to demonstrate English proficiency. Exceptions may be made if the applicant has earned a degree from a U.S> accredited university or an English speaking university.
  8. Financial Resources: In order to meet requirements for entry into the United States for study, applicants are required by federal law to demonstrate sufficient financial resources. Students must be prepared to provide proof that he/she has sufficient funds to cover the first year of study. In addition, students must demonstrate financial solvency for future years of study to establish thet he/she will not become a public charge. Applicants must provide documented evidence of their financial resources for university study since the university has no special fund for financial assistance to international students.

A Certificate of Eligibility for exchange Visitor Status (Form DS-2019 for a J-1 visa) or a Certificate of Eligibility for Student Status (Form I-20 for an F-1 visa) is issued only to those applicants who have been officially admitted to the university.

Immunization Requirements

All students (including transfers and online) entering the university for the first time and enrolling for academic credit must document proof of immunization for measles and rubella.

  1. Proof of immunization may be documented in the following manner:
    1. Obtain a Certificate of Compliance with Immunization (Form No. 121-C) from a local Mississippi State Board of Health office, if a resident of the state of Mississippi. Two doses of measles vaccine are required. All international students must have a chest X-ray to screen for tuberculosis;
    2. Documentation (month and year) of immunization that was received after the first birthday;
    3. Positive measles and rubella serology titer with date;
    4. Physician-documented history of having had measles with date of disease. History of rubella is not acceptable.
  2. Temporary exceptions - one semester:
    1. Pregnant women
    2. Women suspecting pregnancy
    3. Women anticipating pregnancy within three months
  3. Permanent exceptions:
    1. Medical disease that will cause a permanent contraindication to immunization
    2. All persons born prior to 1957

If born after 1956, a Certificate of Compliance is required. International students may have additional requirements.