May 23, 2024  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2018-2019 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Arts and Sciences

Dean Chris Winstead
118 College Drive, Box 5004
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



Dean’s Office

The dean is the chief administrative officer of the College of Arts and Sciences and is responsible for all operations of the college. Associate deans and assistants to the dean coordinate curriculum, research, external relations and a variety of administrative matters.

Academic Units

The College of Arts and Sciences is organized into 13 schools, in addition to the Department of Aerospace Studies, Department of Military Science, and Center for Science and Math Education: the School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences; the School of Communication; the School of Computing Sciences and Computer Engineering; the School of Construction and Design; the School of Criminal Justice, Forensic Science, and Security; the School of Humanities; the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professional Development; the School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences; the School of Music; the School of Ocean Science and Engineering; the School of Performing and Visual Arts; the School of Polymer Science and Engineering; and the School of Social Science and Global Studies. Each school in the college offers a variety of programs, including undergraduate majors and minors in different disciplines. Please see the school descriptions below to learn more about each school and the programs within those units.

Standards for Admission and Transfer

High school graduates and transfer students from other accredited colleges or universities may be admitted directly into the College of Arts and Sciences and their chosen major programs, with a few exceptions. Some programs have admission standards or audition requirements and students should refer to the individual program listings below for specific requirements. Students entering the college will be assigned to an appropriate faculty member for academic advisement.

Foreign Language Requirements

Bachelor of Arts degrees in anthropology, sociology, art, communication studies, English, foreign languages, history, international studies, advertising, entertainment industry, journalism, music, philosophy, economics, legal studies, and political science require proficiency in a foreign language to be chosen from any one of the following: French, German, Italian, Latin, or Spanish. Not all of these languages will be available every year, so students should talk with their advisors about their language study to ensure that requirements can be fulfilled with their language of choice. The foreign language requirement is usually met with the completion of course level 202 or equivalent CLEP credit.

Students are encouraged to begin their study of a foreign language during the first semester of their freshman year. Students with previous language exposure (heritage speakers or high school experience) who begin at higher levels (e.g., 102, 201 or 202) may petition the school of their major for preceding courses to be waived. With the approval of their school director and the dean, international students may use their native language as an exemption from this requirement.

Students with previous experience are encouraged to contact the School of Social Science and Global Studies for advising on proper enrollment. Up to 12 hours of course credit in French, German or Spanish can be acquired through the CLEP examination – see Credit by Examination  section under General Academic Information  in this Bulletin or contact the school.

Study Abroad

In cooperation with the Office of Study Abroad, the College of Arts and Sciences encourages its students to take advantage of the many opportunities to study abroad. Summer credit-abroad programs are offered in many countries, including Austria, Belgium, Belize, Ecuador, England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Peru, and Spain; moreover, there are many year-long and semester-long programs of study available. Academic credit for study abroad may be used to satisfy requirements within the major or minor. Many students find study abroad a good way to complete their language requirement. Financial aid may be applied toward the cost of international programs offered through The University of Southern Mississippi.

For details on the college’s study-abroad programs, students should consult their advisor or the Office of Study Abroad at 601.266.4344.

Transfer Credits

Students who matriculate at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) as College of Arts and Sciences majors may not subsequently attend another institution of higher learning (e.g., community/junior college, four-year college or university) with the intention of transferring courses taken at these institutions back to their USM degree program unless they have received prior approval to take such courses by their school director and college dean.

University of Southern Mississippi students who take courses at another institution of higher learning without obtaining prior written approval of their director and dean may petition their director and dean for inclusion of such courses in their USM degree program, but approval will be granted only if the reasons for not obtaining prior approval are substantial and warrant such an exception to the above-stated policy. In all but the most unusual circumstances, USM students who take courses at another institution to repeat courses already taken at The University of Southern Mississippi will not be allowed to count these courses toward the completion of their degree.

University of Southern Mississippi students majoring in degree programs outside the College of Arts and Sciences who subsequently request transfer into one of the College of Arts and Sciences degree programs must meet all of the above conditions or receive prior approval by their new director and dean for any exceptions.

Teacher Education Programs and Requirements

The College of Arts and Sciences offers several programs leading to licensure at the K-12 or secondary level.

The “Gold Card” serves as documentation that a student has met all admission requirements and has been officially admitted into an undergraduate, initial licensure teacher preparation program within the Professional Education Unit at The University of Southern Mississippi.

The following requirements must be met for the Gold Card:

  • Completion of a core curriculum coursework
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.75 on the 44 semester-hour core curriculum coursework
  • A grade of “C” or better in English Composition I and II
  • A clear background check via the system currently selected by the Southern Miss Professional Education Council.
  • A subscription to the Tk20 assessment system. Tk20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes
  • Successful completion of a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment OR a teacher education normed entrance test:
    1. A minimum ACT composite score of 21 or a minimum SAT composite score of 1060.
    2. Acceptable scores on the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE): Reading Test Code 5712 with a minimum score of 156; Writing Test Code 5722 with a minimum score of 162; and Mathematics Test Code 5732 with a minimum score of 150.

After admission to a professional education program, the following requirements must be met to continue in the program: (1) a grade of C or better in all content courses in the academic major as well as all professional education courses with an overall grade point average of 2.5; (2) fulfillment of major requirements in subject area; (3) completion of professional education courses required by the major; (4) completion of Praxis II content and PLT tests with scores reported to The University of Southern Mississippi (code #1479) prior to graduation.

A minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience is required prior to teacher candidacy (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require more practicum hours.

Requirements for professional education programs are subject to modification. For current program information, students should contact the University’s Educator Licensure office, 121-A Owings-McQuagge Hall; 601.266.5522.

Mississippi Department of Education licensure requirements supersede the program requirements listed in the Bulletin. Mandated changes in program requirements will be communicated through the candidate’s school.

Interdisciplinary Minors

In addition to the degree programs offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, minors are offered through the academic schools.  Interdisciplinary minors in American Indian Studies, American Studies, Black Studies, General Science, Human Rights, and Women’s and Gender Studies are also available.

Centers and Institutes

Arts Institutes of Mississippi

Jay Dean, Director

The Arts Institute of Mississippi (AIM) was founded in 2015 to promote the arts statewide. AIM seeks to:

  1. Increase public awareness and promote the arts at the University of Southern Mississippi.
  2. Increase the connection between University of Southern Mississippi and other arts organizations in our state.
  3. Engage in educational and community outreach activities that reach all the way from pre-school children through growing retirement communities.
  4. Work with local and state governments to increase support for arts education and public arts.
  5. Encourage collaboration and public outreach among the University of Southern Mississippi arts programs in music, theatre, art and design, dance, English (creative writing), and communication (entertainment industry and film).
  6. Recognize and encourage local and statewide arts initiatives and special projects.
  7. Work with Partners for the Arts, an alliance between the Pine Belt Community and the University of Southern Mississippi that provides funding for university arts events.
  8. Recognize outstanding artistic talent in Mississippi.

Center for Science and Mathematics Education

Sherry S. Herron, Director

Booth, Herron, Nelson, Rhinehart, Sirola

The objectives of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education are (1) to coordinate all programs in teacher education offered by the College of Arts and Sciences; (2) to provide, in cooperation with the School of Education, a curriculum in the sciences and science methods for prospective elementary school teachers; (3) to provide the Science and Mathematics Education (SME) methods course and student-teaching courses for prospective secondary teachers; (4) to coordinate offering courses in environmental sciences (ESC); (5) to provide programs leading to advanced degrees in science education; (6) to work with public schools in the development of curricula, professional development, science outreach and other activities designed to improve K-12 science instruction; and (7) to utilize educational technology as an effective delivery tool for professional development.

Curriculum and Programs

The Center for Science and Mathematics Education offers elementary and secondary science teaching courses designated in the catalog as Science and Mathematics Education (SME).

Institute for Formulation Science

Robert Y. Lochhead, Director

The Institute for Formulation Science supports and coordinates research in formulation science. Formulation encompasses the arts and sciences of converting useful ingredients into useable materials. Formulation is necessary because pure chemical elements and compounds are rarely useable in their pure (or raw) form and most materials of commerce exist as mixtures or alloys that derive their favorable attributes from precise mixing in exact ratios following specific protocols. Formulation science is growing as a consequence of the continual introduction of new materials and the adaptation of formulations concomitant with health and environmental safety. The Institute serves as a knowledge hub for the physical and chemical principles of formulation especially as they relate to polymeric materials. This purpose is realized by regularly publishing reviews of formulation trends in appropriate source journals for formulators. Academically, the Institute prepares undergraduate and graduate students for careers in formulation. The Institute is an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences and functions in concert with the School of Polymer Science and Engineering.

International Coatings and Formulations Institute (ICFI)

Shelby F. Thames, Executive Director

The International Coatings and Formulations Institute (ICFI) is an organization dedicated to promoting cooperation between The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Polymer Science and Engineering and the coatings industry. Created in January 1998, ICFI affords participants a unique opportunity for industrial, academic and governmental partnerships in the field of coatings and formulations innovation and commercialization.

Mississippi Polymer Institute

Dr. Monica Tisack-Kathmann, Director

The Mississippi Polymer Institute was authorized by the Mississippi Legislature in 1983. The purpose of the Institute is to conduct research designed to increase the utilization of Mississippi raw materials in polymers and to support the rapidly growing polymer industry in Mississippi. The Institute is an integral part of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Polymer Science and Engineering.