The page uses Browser Access Keys to help with keyboard navigation. Click to learn moreSkip to Navigation

Different browsers use different keystrokes to activate accesskey shortcuts. Please reference the following list to use access keys on your system.

Alt and the accesskey, for Internet Explorer on Windows
Shift and Alt and the accesskey, for Firefox on Windows
Shift and Esc and the accesskey, for Windows or Mac
Ctrl and the accesskey, for the following browsers on a Mac: Internet Explorer 5.2, Safari 1.2, Firefox, Mozilla, Netscape 6+.

We use the following access keys on our gateway

n Skip to Navigation
k Accesskeys description
h Help
    University of Southern Mississippi
   
 
  Jul 24, 2017
 
 
    
Skip Navigation
2013-2014 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Requirements and Procedures



Since applicants must always be admitted to a specific program, all applications are closely reviewed and must be approved by faculty and the chair of the department in which the applicant intends to study by the college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School. 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 must be sent to the Graduate School Admissions. Applicants may apply online by going to www.usm.edu/graduateschool. 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 take the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). 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 GRE, the GMAT, and the MCAT. 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 a copy of their scores be sent to Graduate School Admissions. The university's testing center offers all of the tests. For additional information, call 266-6123.

Admission decisions result from evaluation of quantitative and qualitative information submitted by the applicant or submitted at the applicant's request. In addition to test scores, applicants must provide a completed application form and official transcripts from all institutions attended. The applicant must provide three letters of recommendation 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 the quality of his or her previous academic experience, as well as the applicant's purpose of study, the appropriateness of the applicant's purpose when weighed against 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, character, and conditions of the applicant must be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and with the laws of the state of Mississippi. The applicant must have excellent moral character in conformity with the generally accepted standards customarily in effect at 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 listed in the Graduate Bulletin. Students may not pursue a second undergraduate degree while pursuing a graduate degree. If questions, contact the dean of the Graduate School.

Admission Review

Any applicant who is denied admission, or any student whose admission is suspended, who questions the type of admission granted, or whose admission status is changed after matriculation, may have his or her case reviewed by the Graduate School Appeals Committee. Any request for review must be made within one year of the date of the denial or suspension. Students should contact the Dean of the Graduate School for specific procedures, 601-266-4369.

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/graduateschool).

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

Types of Admission to Master's Programs

Master's degree provide broad-based advanced knowledge, training, and an understanding of research, and/or creative or problem-solving activities in a discipline that will enable the recipients to contribute to their disciplines and professions.

An applicant may be granted regular or conditional admission to a masters program. 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 degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency.
    2. The applicant must be eligible to re-enter in good standing the last college or university attended.
    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 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. The applicant must have at least three (3) letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for master's work sent to the department/school. If applying to more than one department, students must have letters submitted to each department (see online application).
    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. See 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 master's degree requirements.
    8. International students must submit TOEFL or IELTS 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
    An student who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis; provided, however, such a student possesses a grade point average of at least 2.50 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) on the last 60 hours of courswework. Conditional admission can be given only upon the recommendation of the department chair, the college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School.

    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 course work. Lower-level coursework (500) taken to remedy perceived deficiencies may not be counted toward the nine-hour requirement. 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 master's degree. 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

Specialist degrees provide more advanced knowledge, problem-solving skills, and training needed to contribute to a discipline with greater emphasis on skill development and integration of applied research.

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 in good standing the last college or university attended.
    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 they attended.
    4. The applicant must have at least three letters of recommendation from persons qualified to assess the applicant's readiness for specialist work. If applying to more than one department, students must have letters submitted to each department (see online application).
    5. Applicants must have official results from the general tests (all sections) of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) sent to Graduate School Admissions. Consult specific departments for additional information.
    6. Applicants 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 or IELTS 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
    A student who fails to qualify for regular admission may be admitted on a conditional basis; provided, however, such a student possesses a grade point average of at least 3.00 on previous graduate course work. Conditional admission can be given only upon the recommendation of the department chair, the college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School.

    A specialist 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 in good standing the last college or university attended.
    3. The applicants 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. Applicants 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 course work.
    5. All applicants must submit official transcripts from all other institutions they attended to Graduate School Admissions.
    6. Applicants 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 or IELTS scores.
    9. Applicant must pay an application fee for all 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. Applicants 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, however, such an applicant possesses a grade point average of 2.50 (calculated on a 4.0 scale) in his/her last 60hrs. 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. Conditional admission can be given only upon the recommendation of the department chair/director, the college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School.

    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 application form, proof of degree, and their application fee to Graduate School Admissions. The Graduate School will register applicants for classes if they are approved.

Permission to take courses as a non-degree graduate student may be granted for any of the following reasons:

  1. The applicant did not meet requirements for conditional or regular admission before the deadline. These admission requirements must be met and the non-degree status changed to conditional or regular by the end of the first full semester after the student enrolls in graduate courses in order to continue course work. Permission from the department offering the course,the dean, and dean of the Graduate School must be secured in order to register for the course.
  2. The applicant may or may not be able to meet admission requirements but does not desire to work toward a graduate degree. For example, an individual may wish to take courses for licensure.
  3. The applicant wishes to earn a Graduate certificate.
  4. The applicant is enrolled in another university and desires to obtain credit from The University of Southern Mississippi to be transferred to the university in which he or she is seeking a degree.
  5. Applicants who have been denied admission to a program, but who wish to take graduate courses, may request permission to take courses as a non-degree seeking graduate student. They must have the permission of the chair of the department offering the course, the dean, and dean of the Graduate School to register for any graduate course.

Even though a non-degree graduate student is allowed to take courses at the university, he or she has not been admitted to any department or to any degree program. He/she is admitted to the Graduate School. Moreover, no credit earned beyond the master's degree while classified as a non-degree student may be applied toward the doctoral degree. Non-degree graduate students must have the permission of the chair of the department offering the course, the dean, and the dean of the Graduate School to register for any graduate course. Students should come to The Graduate School for processing.

A non-degree graduate student must hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. Non-degree graduate students are not eligible for financial aid.

To be allowed to continue as a non-degree graduate student, the student must consult with the department chair or academic adviser of the department in which he or she is taking courses during the first semester enrolled at the university regardless of whether or not the student plans to seek a degree

No more than twelve semester hours earned while classified as a non-degree graduate student will be accepted toward a master's degree at The University of Southern Mississippi. A student must, therefore, gain conditional or regular admission before completing more than nine semester hours of study.

An applicant for specialist's and doctoral degrees may take courses as a non-degree graduate student if the department chair, dean, and the dean of the Graduate School give their permission. However, no credit earned as a non-degree graduate student may be applied to doctoral degrees. All non-degree graduate students at the advanced level must have the permission of the chair of the department offering the course and the dean, and dean of the Graduate School to register for any graduate course.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Credit Hours

Graduate certificate programs require a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Admission Requirements

  1. Applicants must complete the Application for Admission to a Certificate Program, indicating Non-Degree under Academic Status, and submit the application to The Graduate School.
  2. The applicant must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution approved by a recognized accrediting agency. Some certificate programs require the application to hold a master's degree or to be currently enrolled in a gradaute 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) college dean, and the dean of the Graduate School must be satisfied that the applicant shows promise of satisfying the certificate program requirements.
  6. The applicant must pay the application fee for each application submitted.

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 four 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.

Limitations on University Faculty Members

Members of the faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi above the rank of instructor cannot become candidates for a doctoral degree at the institution. They may, however, enroll for graduate courses as a non-degree student. Faculty members of the rank of instructor may become candidates for doctoral degrees at The University of Southern Mississippi on the same terms as any other advanced graduate student candidate.

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

Exceptionally well-qualified undergraduate students at The University of Southern Mississippi may apply to The Graduate School for permission to take course work for graduate credit if they are 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 will not be given final approval until after he or she satisfies all requirements for the baccalaureate degree. Undergraduate students taking graduate courses must receive permission from the department chair and the dean of the Graduate School. They must complete a non-degree form for each graduate course they take. They must complete a graduate application and submit these materials to graduate admissions. The student must submit a non-degree application 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 might 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 if they have questions. Students may not earn an undergraduate degree while earning a graduate degree.

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

  1. Applicants 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, the college dean, and the dean of the Gradaute 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.
  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).

International Admissions

International Student and Scholar Services

Barbara Jackson, Administrator
118 118 College Drive #5151
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
U.S.A.
(601) 266-4841
fax (601) 266-48 98
www.usm.edu/isss
isss@usm.edu

International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) coordinates all facets of international admissions and student services. ISSS provides counseling on immigration regulations, personal matters, culture shock and adjustment, as well as some academic counseling in conjunction with the various departments. ISSS processes all international applications, evaluates foreign academic credentials, and issues the appropriate immigration documents for non-immigrant foreign students. Multi-cultural programming for international students and the community is also coordinated by the office.

ISSS 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. For further information, contact

The University of Southern Mississippi
Barbara Whitt Jackson, Administrator
International Student and Scholar Services
118 College Drive #5151
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
U.S.A.
Tel. (601) 266-4841 FAX (601) 266-4898
Internet: www.usm.edu/isss
e-mail: isss@usm.edu

English Language Proficiency: Applicants whose native language is not English must present the results of the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL or the IELTS exam). Exceptions may be made if the applicant has earned a degree at an accredited U.S. college or university. TOEFL and IELTS requirements vary from program to program. See admission requirements for international students under the department listings for specific TOEFL or IELTS requirements.

English Instruction: Applicants without English language proficiency can consider enrolling in the university's English Language Institute prior to academic enrollment. For more information, write The University of Southern Mississippi, English Language Institute, 118 College Drive #5065, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, USA or email eli@usm.edu.

Admission Materials: Applicants must submit all application materials required by the departments to the online application - see Graduate School . Official reports of graduate test scores (GRE or GMAT, depending on department) are also required. Official transcripts with degrees posted must be submitted for each school attended. These documents should be submitted in their native language with a certified English translation.

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 that 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.

Admission Procedure:

  1. Applicants may apply online - see Graduate School.
  2. 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.
  3. Have all official transcripts and diplomas from all former institutions attended sent to International Student and Scholar Services. Please note: photocopies are NOT acceptable. Transcripts should be in native language with certified English translations.
  4. Have all appropriate official test scores sent to International Student and Scholar Services.
  5. After all application materials are received, the applicant's file will be sent to the appropriate department, college dean, and dean of the Gradaute School. The Graduate School will notify the applicants of the admission decision. The letter from the dean of the Graduate School is the official letter of admission.
  6. Application materials submitted to the university will not be returned.

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) entering the university for the first time and enrolling for academic credit must document proof of immunization for measles and rubella. Students enrolled in online degree programs or online courses only and who are not on a Southern Miss campus, do not have to submit proof of immunization.

  1. Proof of immunization may be documented in the following manner:
    1. Obtain a Certificate of Compliance with Immunization (Form No. 121-C) from your local Mississippi State Board of Health office, if you are 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.