The mission of the College of Health is to create, apply and transmit expert knowledge, within and across the domains of its constituent disciplines, for the well-being and betterment of individuals, community, state, nation and world.
Advancing health and well-being through excellence and innovation in teaching, research and service.
The administrative units of the College of Health on the Gulf Coast campus include the School of Social Work, the Department of Public Health and the School of Kinesiology.
School of Social Work
The Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) is a 124-hour program. The degree prepares students for generalist social work practice at the entry level within the social work profession. The BSW is offered at both the Hattiesburg and the Gulf Park campuses.
BSW students, while acquiring the knowledge, values and skills needed to practice social work in any social service agency, are prepared to practice within the context of Mississippi, a state characterized by limited social welfare safety nets and scarce public resources. BSW students are prepared to improve the interactions between individuals (especially those who are members of vulnerable populations) and their social environments as well as to advocate for social changes that would remove institutional barriers that prevent individuals from full social participation.
The Southern Miss School of Social Work's Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education. The program has been accredited continuously since February 1996, retroactive to 1992.
Offerings for Nonmajors
A number of courses offered within the School of Social Work do not have prerequisites and are excellent choices for non-social work majors. Additionally, these same courses are prerequisites to the BSW program and are classified as pre-social work courses.
(includes a service-learning component)
Overview of Major
The social work curriculum builds upon a liberal arts foundation through which students develop core competencies. Students are required to have a solid background in the social and behavioral sciences, including theories of individual development, group processes and organizational behavior. The BSW program teaches students the knowledge, values and skills necessary for effectively working with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities.
Students begin the BSW program by taking nine hours of prerequisite course work (SWK 300 , SWK 301 , SWK 315 ). During the pre-social work semesters, students apply to the BSW program. Subsequent to an admission process, a cohort of students is selected from the applicant pool. A new cohort of social work students begins the BSW program each fall and spring semester in Hattiesburg. A new cohort begins the BSW program at the Gulf Park campus every fall semester. Once students are accepted into the BSW program, they must complete three semesters of course work followed by a senior field practicum capstone course requiring a minimum of 450 hours of supervised practice within an approved human service agency. Each student intern is supervised by a licensed master's-level social worker.
Once graduates of the BSW program pass the state-mandated licensure exam, they are recruited by human service organizations within the region and across the state. Although the following is not an exhaustive list, alumni are employed in hospitals and mental health centers, schools, children and family services, addictions programs, youth courts and correctional facilities. Many BSW alumni also pursue the Master of Social Work degree at Southern Miss or other graduate programs. BSW graduates may be eligible for admission to Southern Miss' Advanced Standing Master of Social Work program.
Field Experiences and Practicums
BSW students are required to complete one 40-hour volunteer service-learning experience as part of the SWK 301 course (Introduction to Social Work). The volunteer service experience must be approved by the instructor of the course and must have a social worker as a supervisor.
The final integrative senior practicum requires students to work 450 hours (only in the fall or spring semesters) in a human service agency approved by the field coordinator of the school. Students work under the supervision of a licensed master's-level social worker, applying the generalist problem-solving method to their work with individuals, families, groups, organizations and communities. Students also attend a weekly three-hour seminar that requires them to demonstrate, through written and oral presentations, the mastery of content related to their social work practice.
Special Program Requirements
A limited number of students are accepted into the program each semester. The following admission standards must be met by all applicants to the BSW program.
- Complete , , , , and (or higher)
- Complete all but 6-9 hours of the General Education Curriculum and the Social Work Program Curriculum remaining requirements listed in DEG02 and DEG03 (See Social Work B.S.W. degree plan)
- Earn grades of C or above in all required courses (including transfer courses) used to meet the social work degree requirements
- Maintain Southern Miss GPA of 2.5 or above (excluding remedial courses; if applicable)
- Successfully complete the 40 hours of volunteer experience (a requirement of SWK 301 )
- Participate in an interview with the BSW program's Admission Committee
The following progression policies apply for all students accepted into the BSW program.
- Maintain Southern Miss GPA of at least 2.5 (excluding remedial courses; if applicable) (The minimum GPA is required for acceptance into the senior practicum.)
- Earn grades of at least C or higher in the BSW program
- Adhere to the standards of conduct specified in the Social Work Code of Ethics
- Complete the senior practicum (450 clock hours) in an agency setting designated by the school's field coordinator
Department of Public Health
Overview of Majors
Students majoring in allied health with an emphasis in management must have graduated from an accredited two-year allied health program with an associate degree and be eligible to sit for a national certification examination in the specific discipline area for the associate degree level allied health professional.
Students majoring in public health with an emphasis in health policy and administration will complete courses pertaining to health care planning, management, marketing and financing in addition to public health course work.
Students majoring in public health with an emphasis in health promotion will complete courses pertaining to personal wellness, contemporary health issues, community program planning and evaluation, health policy and administration, and social and behavioral psychology.
Students with a degree in public health work in a variety of health-related settings, including hospitals, health clinics, health departments, nursing homes, assisted living communities, and non-profit and community outreach organizations. The allied health degree enhances the skills and employment options for graduates of community college allied health programs such as respiratory care, radiology technology, dental hygiene, etc., preparing students for management positions in a wide variety of health care settings.
Public health students are required to complete a 200-hour practicum at an approved health-related facility. In the practicum, students will observe and participate in daily activities under the direction of a facility preceptor. Students in the allied health program must complete a special problems course under the supervision of an administrator in a health care facility.
Special Program Requirements
The following are requirements for a degree in public health or allied health:
Cumulative GPA of 2.5 to be admitted into the program
Cumulative GPA of 2.5 before taking any DPH course above 300 (except DPH 430 and DPH 436 )
Grade of C or better in all program curriculum courses
Though a student may be admitted to the program based on a cumulative GPA earned at a previous institution (i.e., junior college), once admitted the student must obtain and maintain a Southern Miss cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better to remain in good standing within the program. Students with a Southern Miss cumulative GPA of less than 2.5 will be placed on program probation and will not be allowed to enroll in DPH courses 300 level and above until the cumulative Southern Miss GPA is once again 2.5 or above
Requirements for a Minor in Public Health
Public Health offers two minors:
Health Policy and Administration - Students must complete the following courses with a grade of C or better: DPH 425 , DPH 427 , DPH 428 , DPH 460 , DPH 470 and 3 additional hour of DPH courses 300/400 level.
Public Health - Students must complete a minimum of 18 hours with a grade of C or better including DPH 101 , DPH 305 , DPH 321 , DPH 420 , DPH 432 and 3 additional hour of DPH courses 300/400 level.
Offerings for Non-majors
A number of courses offered within the Department of Public Health do not have prerequisites and are excellent choices for electives.
Danielle Robinson-Fastring, Ph.D., M.S., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Coordinator
College of Health
The University of Southern Mississippi
730 East Beach Blvd.
Long Beach, MS 39560
Tel: 228.214.3313 Fax: 228.214.3272
Degree Plans and Semester-by-Semester Guides
Department of Public Health
School of Social Work