Jun 13, 2024  
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin 
2019-2020 Graduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student Expenses and Financial Aid

The University of Southern Mississippi is supported chiefly by legislative appropriations. Increases in student fees are put into effect only when public support funds are inadequate and no other recourse is available. Increases are made only for support of the institution or improvement of the activity program of the students; therefore, the university must reserve the right to increase or modify fees and expenses without prior notice but with approval of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Fees and expenses are in the form of general tuition, room and board, and special fees.

General Tuition

This fee, together with the allocation from the legislative appropriation, is used for general support of the university. Athletic activities and University Activity Council (UAC) programs are not included for part-time students.

Full-time students for purposes of assessing fees are those who take nine (9) or more semester hours during fall, spring and summer semesters. Graduate students enrolled for more than thirteen (13) semester hours during fall, spring and summer semesters will be assessed the applicable fee for each additional semester hour. Tuition does not include course fees. Clinical and hospital services covered by the health service charge included in the general tuition fee are limited to cases of ordinary illness. Services are provided within the limits of the professional, technical, and physical resources of the clinic. The university does not assume responsibility in cases of extended illness or for treatment of chronic diseases. Cases requiring surgery must be handled by a physician and hospital of the student’s choice and at the student’s expense.

Telephone Service

Telephone services for students residing in Residence Halls and PineHaven is available. For more information regarding student telephone services, visit http://www.usm.edu/itech/student-telephone-request-process.

Post Office Box

The post office box rental fee is assessed to all students living in university-controlled housing. Fees are assessed on an academic year basis and are calculated on time remaining in the academic year. The fee covers box rental for the remainder of the academic year provided the student remains enrolled. Those students living off campus may rent a post office box if they so desire.

Student ID Cards

The ID card is a permanent card for each student. The fall semester (permanent) ID card will also be used for spring and summer semesters. The same card must be kept and used even when returning from a previous year or semester. Do not destroy, lose, bend or tamper with an ID card. The fee for first time enrolling freshman, graduate or transfer students is $15. Lost ID cards can be replaced at Southern Miss Image Center for $25. Payment for first time and lost cards is due at the time the card is printed. Payments can be made by cash, VISA, or Mastercard. Payments CANNOT be made to the student accounts.

Department of Housing and Residence Life

For more information about Housing and Residence Life, visit our Web site at www.usm.edu/housing or contact our office at 601.266.4783 or reslife@usm.edu.

Dining Services

Get a Bite on Campus

What is the most important meal of the day? The next one, right?

Eagle Dining has you covered with 12 locations, from all-you-care-to eat residential facilities to favorites like Chick-Fil-A, Freshens and Starbucks. There is definitely a location to fit your busy schedule.

Eagle Dining has a variety of meal plans that allow you to dine regularly at our all-you-care-to-eat facility - the Fresh Food Company. You can purchase additional Dining Dollars and receive discounts of up to 50 percent off the retail cost, as well as free guest meals.

There are meal plans available for both on-campus students (residents) and off-campus students (commuters).  All meal plans are a 1-year contract.  For your convenience, you will billed on a per semester basis.

To find out more information, stop by our table during orientation, check out eagledining.com or visit our main office located on the ground floor of the Thad Cochran Center, where any of our team members will be happy to assist you.

How Meal Plans Work


You can use your meal swipe at either of our all-you-care-to-eat locations, the Fresh Food Company or RFoC at Hillcrest.

Bonus Bucks:

Bonus Bucks are an integral part of each meal plan and supplement your residential meals.  Bonus Bucks can be used at all Eagle Dining retail locations, including any of our four P.O.D. convenience outlets.

When you have a meal plan, your student ID works like a debit card.  Just swipe it, and the meal swipe is recorded or the Bonus Bucks are deducted from your account.

Residential Meal Plan Options

Resident students will automatically be assigned to the Go Gold Plan when they choose on-campus housing. Students will have the opportunity to upgrade their meal plans, add Dining Dollars or make other changes to their meal plans before the University’s deadline for charges to student accounts, usually about a week after the start of each semester. Each residential unlimited meal plan includes 5 guest meals swipes, which will allow you to treat a friend or visiting relative to a meal at either the Fresh Food Company or RFOC at Hillcrest.

To The Top Upgrade - $2,250/semester

This upgrade offers the most value ($4,080, based on 3 meals per day @ the Fresh Food Company in a 122 day semester) and flexibility to USM students.  As with all of our plans, the To the Top upgrade includes unlimited meals at the Fresh Food Company and RFoC at Hillcrest, as well as 5 guest meals.  In addition, students get the flexibility of $500 Bonus Bucks that can be used all over campus at any of our Eagle Dining retail locations. You get all of this for an additional $400 over the Golden Eagle Pass! 

Go Gold Plan - $2,150/semester

Resident students will automatically reap the benefits of this plan (a $3,930 value) when they sign up for campus housing. Our default meal plan provides students with the peace of mind of unlimited meals at either of our residential locations on campus and $350 bonus bucks to help satisfy cravings for familiar retail favorites. 

Golden Eagle Pass - $1,900/ semester

Our very basic resident plan offers unlimited meals and $100 in Bonus Bucks.  This plan offers the least amount of flexibility, but still provides students with an affordable, all-you-care-to-eat plan that can be used at either of our residential locations on campus.

Southern Miss 100 - $1,900/ semester (Greek Meal Plan)

This plan is exclusive to our Greek students living in Fraternity Housing and the Village, and includes 140 meal swipes at either the Fresh Food Company or RFoC at Hillcrest and $600 in Bonus Bucks that can be used at all of our retail locations on campus.

Commuter Meal Plan Options

Both of our Commuter plans combine residential meal swipes and dining dollars. Select a plan that best meets your needs, or combine one of these plans with a Dining Dollar block to maximize flexibility.

Campus Connector - $730/semester

This popular plan (a $1000 value) provides 80 meals and $140 in Dining Dollars each semester. Students that are on campus only a couple times a week are given the opportunity to enjoy a meal at either of our residential locations, as well as to have the option of grabbing a bite to eat at their favorite retail location.  All unused meals and Dining Dollars left on your Campus Connector plan will automatically roll over from semester to semester and year to year with this plan.

The Daily 9 - $950/semester

Our most popular commuter plan ( a $1,678 value), the Daily 9 provides students with $9 in Dining Dollars and 1 meal in the Fresh Food Company or RFoC at Hillcrest each day, Monday through Friday. This plan resets at the end of each day, and you may spend your $8 at any of our retail locations on campus. For commuting students who are only on campus for one meal but who want to get a hot coffee and a fresh pastry to start their busy day, the Daily 9 is a great option.

Don’t Forget to add Dining Dollars!

Dining Dollars supplement your meal plan when Bonus Bucks run dry. There is no minimum deposit, no balance to maintain and no fees. In fact, we will pay you for just purchasing them!  When you purchase any of the Dining Dollar blocks below, we will give you an additional percentage - FREE!

Dining Dollar Blocks

Eagle 100 - You pay $100 and we will give you $5 FREE!   (5% more purchasing power)

Eagle 300 - You pay $300 and we will give you $30 FREE! (10% more purchasing power)        

Eagle 500 - You pay $500 and we will give you $75 FREE! (15% more purchasing power)

Unused Dining Dollars roll over from semester to semester, and from year to year. It’s easier than cash, safer than credit!


How do I sign up for a meal plan?  As mentioned above, traditional residents are automatically enrolled in our Go Gold Plan.  Commuters, and residents wishing to upgrade to our To the Top Plan, or make other changes to their meal plans, may purchase a plan during orientation, visit the Eagle Dining office or go online to sign-up at eagledining.com.

Can I change my meal plan?  Yes! You may upgrade or make other changes to your plan any time prior to the University’s deadline for charges to your student account, usually about two weeks into the semester. Visit our website, eagledining.com to change your meal plan or visit the Eagle Dining Office, located next to the Image Center on the ground floor or the Thad Cochran Center.  Any member of our Eagle Dining team will be happy to assist you.

Can I treat friends or family with my meal plan?  Yes! You can treat a guest with either a guest meal swipe, Bonus Bucks or Dining Dollars. Remember, 5 guest meals are included with all of our resident meal plans.

Can I carry over my unused meals to the next semester? This depends on which plan you’ve selected.  All Resident meal plans and Bonus Bucks expire at the end of each semester. If you are a commuter and have chosen the Campus Connector, all remaining meals and Dining Dollars roll over from semester to semester and from year to year. The Daily 8 plan Bonus Bucks reset every day and do not carry over to the next day, or the next semester.

What if I lose my Student ID?  You should report lost or stolen ID cards to the University’s Image Center or the University Police Department to place a hold on your account.  We won’t let you starve, though – come on into the Eagle Dining office and, as long as you have a plan, we will make sure that you are able to get a meal.

What do I do if I run out of Bonus Bucks? When you’ve run out of Bonus Bucks, just add Dining Dollars online at eagledining.com. You may charge Dining Dollars to your student account as long as the University’s deadline for charging to student accounts has not passed.  If it has, you may also purchase Dining Dollars with cash, check, money order or credit card.

How do I know how many meals or Bonus Bucks I have left on my account?  Feel free to stop by the Eagle Dining Office between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.  Any one of our team members will be happy to assist you!

Do I have to re-enroll for a spring semester meal plan? All residents holding a meal plan for the fall semester will automatically be enrolled in the same meal plan in the spring semester. Your meal plan contract is for one school year. Once again, you may change your plan within roughly the first two weeks of the spring semester, prior to the University’s deadline for charging student accounts.

All commuters holding a meal plan for the fall semester will automatically be enrolled in the same meal plan in the spring semester. Commuter meal plans may be changed or cancelled prior to the University’s deadline for charging student accounts.

What are my payment options? You may charge your meal plan to your student account, pay with cash, credit card, check, or money order.

What if I have a question that’s not answered here? Please don’t hesitate to contact the Eagle Dining office at 601.266.5376 (8-5, Monday through Friday), stop by the Eagle Dining office or visit www.eagledining.com

Academic Related Exemptions


A student must miss a minimum of 50 percent of meals served per week. The meals missed must be due to an internship.

Documentation Required:

  1. A statement, on letterhead stationery, signed by the student’s adviser, giving the student’s hours, on a daily basis, Monday through Friday.
  2. A copy of the student’s advisement and registration appointment form which shows the student’s class schedule.

Work-Related Exemptions

University policy does not allow for dining membership exemptions for students holding part-time or full-time employment.

Other Financial Information

Payment of Fees

One-half of a student’s total fees will be required for students to charge to their student accounts. Students with loans, grants or scholarships may use those funds as payment for the first half of total fees. Loans, grants, scholarships and checks made payable to the University must be applied to fees in full before a refund can be given. These loans, grants and scholarships may not be used to pay prior term outstanding balances. Fees deferred past the last day to register each term will be billed monthly. A monthly late fee of 1.5 percent will be applied to the unpaid balance. If charges are not paid by the end of the term a $100 late payment fee will be assessed. All charges from a prior and/or current term must be paid for the student to attend the next term.

The university accepts payment by check, money order and cash in person at Hattiesburg Business Services located in Forrest County Hall, Room 101 or Gulf Park Business Services, Hardy Hall, Room 231, Long Beach, MS. Paper checks and money orders may be mailed to USM Business Services, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406. All Credit and Debit card payments must be made online via student’s SOAR account and a convenience fee will be added to the payment. Students may also pay online with an eCheck, an ACH transfer from your bank account, and this payment will NOT incur a convenience fee. The university reserves the right to refuse payment by check or eCheck where an individual has previously given a check that has been returned.

The university reserves the right to withhold readmission of a student until all delinquent accounts have been paid. In fact, all past due accounts will be included on registration fee invoices and monthly bills. Transcripts of credits will not be issued for students whose accounts are delinquent. All fees must be paid before a degree will be awarded. Payments by personal check on delinquent accounts will be sent for collection before transcripts or degrees will be released. To avoid any delay in receiving these documents, payments can be made by cash, cashier’s check, or money order.

By registering for classes, the student agreed to the terms and conditions in the AGREEMENT TO PAY as posted in SOAR including but not limited to

  • The student entered a legally binding contract to pay all tuition and fees and related expenses.
  • The student is liable for all collection costs and attorney fees Southern Miss may incur to collect any unpaid balance on the student account.
  • To avoid financial obligation to Southern Miss, a registration cancellation must be completed prior to the first day of class for the semester or term
  • Once the term begins, the student is responsible for completing the withdrawal through SOAR. Log in to SOAR>Self Service>Student Center>Academic Enrollment>Drop all classes

Fines accumulated as a result of failure to adhere to the established procedures of the university, such as library and public safety regulations, or any other policy establishing regulations for the protection of university property, shall become collectable by the Business Office. If not collected, these fines shall constitute a delinquent account. If further action is warranted, the student may be responsible for all collection costs and legal fees.

Late Registration

A fee of $50 will be assessed students who register during the late registration period.

Students whose checks for registration fees are returned will be assessed the late registration fee of $50 in addition to the $30 returned check handling fee. Returned checks not promptly paid may result in dismissal from the university.

Courses requiring special fees and music fees are shown in the Special Fee listing and are indicated by a plus sign in the Course Description Section of the Bulletin.

Financial Assistance for Graduate Students

At present, the university has available about 900 university assistantships in all areas as well as fellowships provided by federal and private agencies. Amounts of assistantships vary from department to department. Contact the specific department for information regarding stipend levels available. In order to hold an assistantship, the student must have a regular admit status. Students admitted conditionally are ineligible to hold an assistantship. Assistantships entail one half time of teaching or research assignment. To maintain an assistantship a student must have an average of “B” (3.0) or better each semester. General tuition and the non-resident fee are waived for graduate assistantship holders. To qualify for this waiver, students on assistantships must be registered for courses totaling nine (9) graduate hours each semester (1-3 graduate hours during Summer term pending funding availability). Courses taken as audit or undergraduate courses do not count toward these hours.

Inquiries regarding assistantships should be directed to the department to which the student is applying. Applications for assistantships must be filed by the department’s deadline. Check with the department for the deadline. Graduate assistants also receive health insurance as a 50% benefit.

The Stafford Loan Program and the Federal Work-Study Program are also available to graduate students. Applicants for Stafford Loans and Federal Work-Study Program should apply by March 15 (priority date) for loans and work to begin the fall term. Contact the Office of Financial Aid for more information.

Students receiving financial aid must complete a minimum number of credits each semester or term. Graduate students must attempt at least four (4) graduate hours each semester in order to receive financial aid. Graduate students enrolled during a summer term must attempt at least three (3) graduate hours. Passing grades include A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, E, and P. Grades of I, F, Audit, and W will not be accepted as passing grades. Students failing to meet this quantitative measure of academic progress after the summer and fall semester will receive a warning letter. Students failing to complete the minimum number of hours after the spring semester will be placed on financial aid suspension and will be ineligible for federal financial assistance.

Graduate students will be deemed in good standing and eligible to receive federal financial assistance until they have attempted twice the number of hours normally required to complete their program of study leading to a master’s or doctoral degree. Attempted hours will include all courses on the academic transcript including grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+, C, C-, D+, D, E, F, P, W, and I.

Graduate students pursuing an additional master’s degree will be limited to a maximum of 120 graduate hours. This total includes all graduate hours accumulated. Once a student earns a specialist’s degree, he or she will be eligible for additional financial assistance only at the doctoral level; once a student earns a doctoral degree, he or she will be ineligible for additional federal financial assistance.

Schedule of Fees

For Housing rate information, please visit Housing and Residence Life at www.usm.edu/housing or contact their office at 601.266.4783 or reslife@usm.edu.

For information on tuition and fees, please visit Business Services at www.usm.edu/business-services.

Special Fees and Expenses

Some colleges and departments have additional fees for selected graduate courses and for special services offered to students. Those fees are listed on the Graduate School Web page www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Master’s, specialist’s, doctoral, revalidation, and graduation deferral fees are also listed on the Graduate School Web page, www.usm.edu/graduateschool. Students may call 601-266-4369 if they have any questions.

Refund Policy

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the university must complete the online withdrawal process. Navigate to Self Service> Student Center> Drop All Classes.

Refunds are based on the following (applies to withdrawals and dropped classes):

  Withdrawal prior to the first day of classes of any term 100 percent
  Fall and Spring Semesters  
  The first through the 6th working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the 6th working day None
  8W1 and 8W2 Fall and Spring Semesters  
  The first through the third working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the third working day None
  Summer Term  
  The first through the 6th working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the 6th working day None
  Summer Session I & II  
  The first through the third working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the third working day None
  Intersession Classes  
  The first through the second working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the second working day None

These schedule dates are posted in the Business Office, and on the Business Office website: Hattiesburg- http://www.usm.edu/business-services/withdrawals-and-tuition-credit and
Gulf Park - http://www.usm.edu/gulfcoast/business-services/withdrawal-dates

Refunds are based on the assessment, not upon the amount paid by the student.

Appeals for refunds due to extenuating circumstances may be made in writing to The University of Southern Mississippi, Business Services, Attn: Tuition Appeals Committee, 118 College Drive #5133, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001. Appeals must be received prior to the end of the academic year.

Refunds/returns of Title IV funds for students who participate in SFA (Student Financial Assistance) programs are calculated based on federal regulations. The processing steps for determining refunds/returns are available in Business Services, Forrest County Hall, Room 101.

Residency Regulations

Petitions for Change of Residency: Petitions for change of residency must be made on or before the last day of late registration. Forms are available in the Office of the University Registrar.

Legal Residence of Students: The definitions and conditions stated here are as required by state law in the classification of students as residents or nonresidents for the assessment of fees. Requests for a review of residency classification should be submitted to the university registrar; forms for this purpose are available from the Office of the University Registrar.

A Minor: The residence of a person less than 21 years of age is that of the father. After the death of the father, the residence of the minor is that of the mother. If the parents are divorced, the residence of the minor is that of the parent who was granted custody by the court; or, if custody was not granted, the residence continues to be that of the father. If both parents are dead, the residence of the minor is that of the last surviving parent at the time of that parent’s death, unless the minor lives with a legal guardian of his or her person duly appointed by a proper court of Mississippi, in which case his or her residence becomes that of the guardian.

An Adult: The residence of an adult is that place where he or she is domiciled; that is, the place where he or she actually physically resides with the intention of remaining there indefinitely or of returning there permanently when temporarily absent. Adult students who are residing outside of the state of Mississippi, but whose parents have moved to this state and have become residents, must establish residence in their own right. In determining residence for tuition purposes of persons who return to Mississippi after temporary departures such as school attendance, work elsewhere, or military service, cognizance is taken for evidence showing continuity of state residence and demonstrated intent to return to the state.

Removal of Parents from Mississippi: If the parents of a minor who is enrolled as a student in an institution of higher learning move their legal residence from the state of Mississippi, the minor is immediately classified as a nonresident student.

Required 12 Months of Residence: No student may be admitted to the university as a resident of Mississippi unless his/her residence, as defined herein above, has been in the state of Mississippi for a continuous period of at least 12 months immediately preceding his or her admission.

A student who has lived within the state for 12 months following his or her 21st birthday may establish residence in his or her own right by showing that he or she is living in the state with the intention of abandoning his or her former domicile and remaining in the state of Mississippi permanently or for an indefinite length of time. Intent may be demonstrated or disproved by factors including, but not limited to, filing of Mississippi income tax returns, eligibility to vote in Mississippi, motor vehicle registration in Mississippi, possession of a Mississippi operator’s license, place of employment, and self-support.

Residence Status of a Married Person: A married person may claim the residence of his or her spouse. (Foreign students refer to Legal Residence of a Foreign Student.)

Children of Parents Who Are Employed by the University: Children of parents who are members of the faculty or staff of the university may be classified as residents without regard to the residence requirement of 12 months.

Military Personnel Assigned on Active Duty Stationed in Mississippi: Members of the armed forces on extended active duty and stationed within the state of Mississippi may be classified as residents, without regard to the residence requirement of 12 months, for the purpose of attendance at the university. Resident status of such military personnel who are not legal residents of Mississippi, as defined above under legal residence of an adult, shall terminate upon their reassignment for duty in the continental United States outside the state of Mississippi.

Children of Military Personnel: Resident status of children of members of the armed forces on extended active duty shall be that of the military parent for the purpose of attending the university during the time that their military parents are stationed within the state of Mississippi and shall be continued through the time that military parents are stationed in an overseas area with last duty assignment within the state of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi. Resident status of minor children shall terminate upon reassignment under permanent change of station orders of their military parents for duty in the continental United States outside the state of Mississippi, excepting temporary training assignments en route from Mississippi.

Certification of Residence of Military Personnel: A military person on active duty stationed in Mississippi who wishes to avail himself or herself or his or her dependents of the provisions of the paragraph titled “Military Personnel Assigned on Active Duty Stationed in Mississippi” must submit a certificate from his or her military organization showing the name of the military member, the name of the dependent (if for a dependent) the name of the organization of assignment and its address (may be in the letterhead), that the military member will be on active duty stationed in Mississippi on the date of registration at the university; that the military member is not on transfer orders; and the signature of the commanding officer, the adjutant, or the personnel officer of the unit of assignment with signer’s rank and title. A military certificate must be presented to the registrar of the university each semester at (or within 10 days prior to) registration for the provisions of the paragraph “Military Personnel Assigned on Active Duty Stationed in Mississippi”, named above, to be effective.

Legal Residence of a Foreign Student: Students with permanent immigrant status or refugee status can establish residence in the state by meeting the provisions of the Mississippi Statute.