Feb 22, 2024  
2012-2013 Graduate Bulletin 
2012-2013 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 and spring semesters and seven (7) semester hours during summer term. Graduate students enrolled for more than thirteen (13) semester hours during fall and spring semesters and for more than six (6) semester hours during the summer term 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.


Board fees are assessed to all students living in the residence halls and fraternity houses. Board is available to all other students on an optional basis. Resident students may choose from a variety of Resident Meal Plans but will automatically be assigned to the Golden Eagle Pass Membership. Students have the first two weeks of the semester to change their meal plan to a plan that better suits their lifestyle. Each plan comes with a designated number of meals per week that can be redeemed at The Fresh Food Company or Hillcrest. Each plan also comes with a designated amount of “Bonus Bucks” which can be used to purchase items at any campus dining location or convenience store. A complete listing of resident and commuter student meal plans and dining locations can be found at www.eagledining.com.

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/status/12.

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 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. A fee of $25 will be charged at the time a replacement card is made. New students will be charged $11 to their student account.

Department of Residence Life

The Department of Residence Life is committed to providing a premier physical, social and cultural environment that encourages and supports the holistic development of the residential student. The department is made up of 27 residence halls, which offer diversified housing options to an on-campus population of more than 3,000 students.

Research indicates that students who live in residence halls show a higher scholastic performance and are more likely to graduate than those who live off campus. The Residence Life staff encourages high academic success by offering programs that help students with study skills, as well as providing them with a quiet study lounge in most halls. We also provide tutoring in the halls for general courses at no cost to the student.

The safety and security of our residents is a top priority of the Residence Life staff. All residence halls offer controlled card access entry, 24-hour front desk assistants and hall staff on each floor. In addition, University police officers assist with desk operations on a nightly basis and patrol the exterior and interior of our halls. Students also have access to a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week escort service.

Residence Life at Southern Miss strives to provide a safe environment that allows for the development of student relationships and the building of fun, living-learning communities…an opportunity for friendships that last a lifetime!

Family Housing

Pine Haven Apartments, located on the west side of campus, consists of 96 one-bedroom, 56 two-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom unfurnished apartments designed to offer convenient and comfortable living opportunities to students and their families. For questions or to check eligibility, please contact the Pine Haven office at 601.266.2705 or visit our Web site at www.usm.edu/residence-life.


Application for campus housing can be made through our Web site at www.usm.edu/residence-life. To receive an assignment, you must be accepted to the University, submit a completed housing application and processing fee.

The Department of Residence Life accepts applications for housing regardless of age, race, creed, color or national origin.

For more information, contact our office at 601.266.4783 or reslife@usm.edu.

Dining Services

Eagle Dining is committed to providing excellent food in a clean and appealing environment. All students living in a residence hall or a fraternity house are required to purchase a Resident Meal Plan. There are several memberships to choose from:

Go Gold Upgrade* unlimited meals + $275 Bonus Bucks
Golden Eagle Pass* unlimited meals + $75 Bonus Bucks
Rollover 10** Meal Membership + $150 Bonus Bucks
Rollover 7** Meal Membership + $275 Bonus Bucks

*unlimited meals per week, up to one per hour **meals per week

(Note: all resident students will be assigned the Golden Eagle Pass upon registration. If the student lives in Hillcrest, the Village or fraternity housing, they will be assigned a different meal plan. Your membership may be changed the first two weeks of classes by visiting the Eagle Dining Office or the dining website at www.eagledining.com.)

Each Resident Meal Plan includes a certain number of meals per week (Monday-Sunday) that may be redeemed at the Fresh Food Company in the Thad Cochran Center, and RFoC at Hillcrest. The Golden Eagle Pass provides an unlimited number of meals per week at these locations during regular restaurant hours. Resident meal plans are non-transferable and may not be taken within one hour of the last meal redeemed.

A designated amount of Bonus Bucks is included with each Resident meal plans. Bonus Bucks are good for the current semester and may be used at any Eagle Dining location. For a complete and up to date listing of these locations, please visit our web site at eagledining.com. Chick-fil-A, Subway, and Starbucks are just a few of the retail locations where Bonus Bucks and Dining Dollars may be used to purchase food or convenience items.

Dining Dollars are like Bonus Bucks, but carry over on your account from semester to semester if not used. Dining Dollars are great to add on to your account when Bonus Bucks are running low.

Commuter students are welcomed to purchase a Resident meal plan or may choose from one of our Commuter Dining Memberships listed below:

  Fresh Food 100 (100 meals)*
save $174 off lunch door price
  Fresh Food 50 (50 meals)*
save $74 off lunch door price
  Campus Connector (60 meals)*
$110 Dining Dollars
  Fresh Food 25 (25 meals)*
save $40 off lunch door price
  Any Eagle Membership - Deposit as many or as few Dining Dollars as you like
  *meals never expire and are all-you-care-to-eat

Dining memberships may be purchased with any major credit card online or at the Eagle Dining office located in the Thad Cochran Center.

Meal Plan Exemptions

Meal plan exemptions are allowed only for those students with modified diets that cannot be prepared by the University Dining Services and for those students with internships which conflict with dining hall serving hours. Those students who may qualify for an exemption should make arrangements for an evaluation PRIOR TO REGISTRATION. However, those not arranging for an evaluation prior to registration should go to the Eagle Dining Office in the Thad Cochran Center after registering for classes. Those students who have not completed the requirements for a dining membership exemption prior to registration will be charged for a membership during the registration process. Because the extensive serving hours in the Fresh Food Company, work-related exemptions will not be permitted.

Medical Exemptions

Those students with a medical problem requiring a modified diet who feel their needs cannot be met by the Eagle Dining should make arrangements to have their diet evaluated by the registered dietitian before registration. Documentation required for this evaluation includes a prescription signed by a physician which specifies the student’s modified diet and a copy of the modified diet.

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 hundred percent of all prior term charges plus one-half of a student’s total fees will be required for student to charge to their student accounts. Students with university 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 or change can be given. These loans, grants, and scholarships may not be used to pay prior semester outstanding balances. Fees deferred past the last day to register each term will be billed monthly. A monthly service charge of 1.5 percent will be applied to the unpaid balance. All charges for a term must be paid by the end of that term to avoid a $100 late payment fee and possible cancellation of preregistered classes for the upcoming semester.

The university accepts payment by check, money order, cash, and all major credit cards. Students may pay with a credit card via SOAR. Log in to your SOAR account and navigate to SA Self Service>Learner Services>Finances>Make a Payment. The university reserves the right to refuse payment by check 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 that 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, and, if not collected, shall constitute a delinquent account. If further action is warranted, you 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. 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 twelve (12) hours each semester (1-6 hours during Summer term). Courses taken as audit do not count toward these hours.

Inquiries regarding assistantships should be directed to the chair of the department to which the student is applying. Applications for assistantships must be filed by the department’s deadline. Check with the department chair 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. Applications for the Stafford Loan Program, and the Federal Work-Study Program may be secured by writing the Office of Financial Aid.

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

Housing rates (per semester) * subject to change

FULL-TIME STUDENTS (Per Semester)    
  General Tuition $2,917  
  Housing Rates (per semester) *subject to change    
    Bolton $1,840  
    Century Park $2,809  
    Hattiesburg $1,955  
    Hickman $1,840  
    Hillcrest $1,955  
    Jones $1,840  
    McCarty $2,435  
    Mississippi $1,955  
    Pulley $1,840  
    Roberts $1,840  
    Scholarship $2,324  
    Village (10 halls) $2,324  
    Wilber $1,840  
      One-bedroom Two-bedroom
    Cedarbrook Apartments   $2,456  
    Pinehaven Apartments $2,075 $2,221 $2,367
    Go Gold upgrade* + $275 Bonus Bucks $1,565    
    Golden Eagle Pass* + $75 Bonus Bucks $1,385    
    Rollover10** Meal Membership + $150 Bonus Bucks $1,385    
    Rollover7** Meal Membership + $275 Bonus Bucks $1,385    
    * unlimited meals per week, up to one per hour ** meals per week   


Other Fees When Applicable    
  Non-Resident Fee (This fee is in addition to the tuition fee above.) $3,978  
  Post office box rental fees are non-refundable and are assessed as follows:    
    Rented beginning fall semester $65  
    Rented beginning spring semester $40  
    Rented beginning summer semester   $15
  Optional at same rates to students living off campus.    
  Technology fee $65  
PART-TIME STUDENTS—Each semester hour    
  General Tuition—graduate student $325 $325
  Non-resident fee (In addition to general tuition):    
    Graduate student $442 $442
  Technology fee $7.35 per unit  
General tuition, room, board, and post office, if applicable, are payable each semester/session.

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 10th working day . 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the 10th working day None
  8W1 and 8W2 Fall and Spring Semesters  
  The first through the fifth working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the fifth working day None
  Summer Term  
  The first through the 10th working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the 10th working day None
  5W1 and 5W2 Summer Term  
  The first through the fifth working day 100 percent less a $30 withdrawal fee
  After the fifth working day None
  Mini-Session Classes  
  The first and 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 at www.usm.edu/bizserv.

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.