Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Bulletin 
    
2024-2025 Undergraduate Bulletin

University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast


 


Academic Programs

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast provides a flexible educational delivery system designed to respond to the needs of the constituency served. A sufficient number of courses are offered so that students may earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in a variety of specialty areas. As the scope of the University’s programs broaden in response to students’ needs, additional areas of specialization will become available. 

Southern Miss operates under the semester calendar and awards semester-hour credits for all courses. Classes meet in the morning, afternoon and evening.

Gulf Coast History

The genesis of The University of Southern Mississippi on the Mississippi Gulf Coast goes back to 1947 when what was then Mississippi Southern College first organized classes at Van Hook Hall, Methodist Camp Grounds, in Biloxi. At that time, there were no permanent personnel assigned. In 1958, classroom space and facilities for Mississippi Southern College on the Gulf Coast were furnished by Mary L. Michel Junior High School in Biloxi, and thus the operation moved from the Methodist Camp Grounds. At that time, one person was assigned permanently to a combined teaching and administrative position. For teaching personnel, MSC on the Gulf Coast drew upon the talents of local professors, teachers and qualified instructors. Supplementing this teaching group were occasional professors who commuted from the main Hattiesburg campus to teach night courses.

By 1962, Mississippi Southern College attained university status and was renamed The University of Southern Mississippi. In the 1960s, the demand for education in all phases grew to the extent that course offerings were broadened to meet the needs of various occupational fields and interests. Included in these categories were Keesler Air Force Base personnel and their dependents; the industrial community, including Ingalls Ship Yard in Pascagoula; NASA at Bay St. Louis; civil service personnel associated with the naval base at Gulfport; the two Veterans Administration hospitals and other government agencies.

By the end of the 1964 summer session, The University of Southern Mississippi moved from Mary L. Michel Junior High School to Keesler Air Force Base. In September 1965, in addition to KAFB, more classroom facilities were obtained for night classes from the Jefferson Davis Campus of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College District. The addition was called The University of Southern Mississippi Harrison County Resident Center. In September 1966, the University further extended its offerings by adding the Jackson County Resident Center, located on the Jackson County Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College in Gautier.

In March 1972, The University of Southern Mississippi Harrison County Resident Center program moved from the Jefferson Davis Campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College to the campus of the former Gulf Park College for Women located on Highway 90 in Long Beach. In July 1972, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning established The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park Campus and Keesler Air Force Base teaching sites as an upper-level, degree-completion regional campus of The University of Southern Mississippi. The Jackson County Resident Center continued as a teaching site to deliver higher education programs and courses to the citizens of Jackson County. A new building to provide facilities for the Jackson County Resident Center was constructed and equipped by the Jackson County Board of Supervisors in 1982-83.

By this time, a comprehensive plan was developed for providing needed higher education opportunities on the Gulf Coast. The plan entailed close cooperation and coordination between the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College District, which would be responsible for all freshman and sophomore courses, and The University of Southern Mississippi, which would be responsible for all junior, senior and graduate offerings. Accordingly, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College established the Jefferson Davis-Keesler Center for freshman and sophomore coursework in 1972, while Southern Miss continued to administer upper-level work at Keesler.

The cooperation that had long existed between the University and the local junior colleges was formalized in July 1976. The landmark Two Plus Two Agreement between The University of Southern Mississippi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College District provided fully coordinated comprehensive programs through the associate, bachelor’s, master’s and selected specialist levels for Gulf Coast citizens. The University of Southern Mississippi and Pearl River Community College also formalized a Two Plus Two Agreement in 1992.

In 1998, The University of Southern Mississippi was classified as a dual-campus system. In 1999, the State of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning approved The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast to add freshman and sophomore coursework. Southern Miss Gulf Coast admitted its first freshman students during the summer session of 2002.

Hurricane Katrina hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast on Aug. 29, 2005, and devastated the Gulf Park campus. The Category 3 storm, with its 130-plus mile-per-hour winds and 30-foot storm surge, damaged or destroyed every building on the campus.

In spring 2007, night classes returned to the Gulf Park campus in the Holloway and Business complexes on the north end of the property. In fall 2007, both day and night classes returned to the Fleming Education Center. The Gulf Coast Library reopened in spring 2008.

During 2011-12, renovation and restoration projects on the three most southern buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina began. Additionally, a new Science Building construction project began and an existing building was converted to the College of Nursing Building.

The first buildings to be completed on the Gulf Park campus were the Science Building and the Nursing Building, both located on the northwest corner of campus. The Science Building, a $10 million new construction project, features nine teaching laboratories, research space, approximately 20 faculty and administrative offices, and an 80-seat instructional classroom. The $1.5 million Nursing Building was a renovation project and features two laboratories, faculty offices and student-learning and study areas within the 10,000-square-foot facility.

The historic restoration projects for Hardy Hall and Lloyd Hall were completed in spring 2013. The $10 million project for Hardy Hall included renovations, as well as new construction for the Barnes and Noble Bookstore and an adjacent parking lot. The three-story building also houses dining services, the College of Education and Psychology and administrative offices, including Admissions and Student Services. Lloyd Hall was a $2.4 million project, which provided 10 classrooms for students.

Elizabeth Hall, which houses the College of Arts and Letters, was the final building to complete renovations after all five buildings broke ground in 2011. In addition to faculty offices, Elizabeth Hall is also home to the University’s film pathway, which currently occupies 10 rooms. The renovation project for Elizabeth Hall cost $1.7 million.

Geographic Locations

Gulf Park Campus

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus brings the excellence that is Southern Miss to the people of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as the second campus in the University’s dual-campus system. The University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at this location.

The 52-acre beachfront Gulf Park campus features state-of-the-art teaching, research and student service facilities. With recent renovations and restoration projects, the Spanish mission-style architecture is evident throughout the campus. Along with classroom facilities, there are teaching and research laboratories, a Learning Commons, a 55,000-square-foot library, a dining facility, Barnes and Noble Bookstore, Fitness Center, Health Center, public tennis courts, a 500-seat auditorium and a center that serves community members with disabilities.

Marine Research Center 

The Marine Research Center (MRC) is an 18,000-square-foot facility at the Port of Gulfport where professionals in maritime-related industries and federal partners collaborate, test and refine their technology. It was designed by ocean explorers and engineers so these groups can easily get their technology into the marine environment. Partners have access to the MRC’s fabrication shop, research vessels and marine testing sites to support the advancement of blue technology innovation. The MRC is the hub for advancing uncrewed maritime systems and ocean data science. University scientists offer access to research on a range of maritime sensing, surveillance and security technologies.

Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise

The Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise provides space for a research and development partnership program focused on uncrewed maritime systems and blue technology innovation. The 62,500-foot facility at the Port of Gulfport houses federal and industry partners of USM and provides laboratories, training and conference space. The complex includes deep- and shallow-water access for oceanographic research vessels.

Gulf & Ship Island Building

The historic Gulf & Ship Island Building (GSI) in downtown Gulfport is the centerpiece of the Gulf Blue initiative and features collaborative workspace for global blue tech companies. By working at GSI, these companies have access to USM’s research scientists, local partners and federal agencies to bring new technologies and products to market faster. The location of GSI provides convenient access to the Port of Gulfport, rail, interstates and the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport.

Gulf Coast Research Laboratory

The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) occupies 275 acres at two sites in Ocean Springs. GCRL is the home of a summer field program in the marine sciences that has operated continuously since 1947. Headquartered at GCRL are the Division of Coastal Sciences, the Center for Fisheries Research and Development, the Marine Education Center, and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium. The Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Research Center also operates through GCRL. Approximately 200 faculty, technical personnel, support staff and students work at GCRL.

Center for Fisheries Research and Development

The Center for Fisheries Research and Development addresses fisheries issues important to Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico region. Focusing on fisheries, habitats and invasive species, scientists work closely with marine resource users and managers in conducting research and putting new knowledge and skills to use. Scientists at the Center fill roles as leaders in charting directions for future research strategies and as sources of accurate and timely information needed for resource management plans based on scientific findings.

Marine Education Center

The Marine Education Center (MEC) is the educational and outreach arm of The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. MEC endeavors to produce a cadre of well-informed and knowledgeable stewards on our coastal ecosystems. The center supports a career-based working environment that utilizes formal, non-formal, and free-choice learning and higher education strategies focusing on the coastal ecosystems of the north-central Gulf of Mexico that will promote careers in marine science and foster community involvement.

Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Research Center

The Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Research Center is headquartered at GCRL in Ocean Springs. It is committed to the development of sustainable, scientifically-based marine aquaculture that contributes to the management of important marine resources through responsible stocking programs and economic development through the advancement of technology to support commercial marine aquaculture as part of the U.S. seafood industry. The center comprises more than 100,000 square feet and is one of the premier marine aquaculture facilities in the United States.

John C. Stennis Space Center

The John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., is home to The University of Southern Mississippi Division of Marine Science and the Center of Higher Learning. Stennins is home to NASA’s lead center for rocket propulsion testing and earth sciences and the location of numerous other government and private agencies involved in ocean-related activities, which Stennis is an ideal setting for the marine science program. Networking opportunities for students are unparalleled as more oceanographers work at Stennis than any other single location in the world. The Division of Marine Science offers an undergraduate degree in marine science, as well as an undergraduate degree emphasis -and professional certification- in hydrography, which are offered exclusively at the Gulf Park campus. The Center of Higher Learning is a consortium of three universities and one community college that provides graduate and undergraduate education, training and applied technology opportunities to employees of the space center and residents of the surrounding area.

Center for Gulf Studies

The Center for Gulf Studies, located within the Division of Marine Science at John C. Stennis Space Center, serves as a focal point for new, long-term research and socioeconomic initiatives along the northern Gulf of Mexico.  Staff at the center seek sound, comprehensive science and technology-based understanding of chronic and acute stressors, both anthropogenic and natural, on the dynamic and productive waters and habitats of the northern Gulf of Mexico. They also seek to facilitate sustainable use of the Gulf’s important resources.  The center is externally funded through research projects from state and federal agencies.

Hydrographic Science Research Center

The Hydrographic Science Research Center, located within the Division of Marine Science at John C. Stennis Space Center, is the research component to the academic program in hydrographic science.  Under the sponsorship of various government and commercial activities, its externally funded research has assess emerging trends in the science of hydrography, developed innovative techniques and technologies capturing these trends, and implemented these techniques and technologies into hydrographic operations. 

Admission to the University

Office of Admissions
601.266.5000
www.usm.edu/admissions

All communications regarding entrance to the undergraduate colleges and schools of the university should be addressed to the Office of Admissions, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive, #5166, Hattiesburg, MS 39406.

Eligibility for admission will be determined when the application, application fee, transcripts, ACT/SAT score and scholastic records have been submitted. These items should be received before the deadline date for the semester which the student is applying. The academic record, character and conditions of application of the applicant must be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and with the laws of Mississippi. The applicant must have excellent moral character and must be willing to conduct his or her affairs so as to be a credit to 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 mutually beneficial to himself or herself and to the institution. Any undergraduate applicant who is denied admission to the university may have his or her case reviewed by the Undergraduate Admissions Appeals Committee. To initiate the review procedure, the student should contact the Office of Admissions. Applicants should note carefully the law governing legal residence and the penalty for falsifying residence information. The law appears in the “Residency Regulations” section of this publication. The University of Southern Mississippi does not discriminate on grounds of age, sex, race, color, religion or national origin. These provisions also apply to disabled individuals, pursuant to current federal and state regulations and subject to reasonable standards of admission and employment. All inquiries concerning discrimination should be referred to the director of Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employment Office, The University of Southern Mississippi, 118 College Drive #5177, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001.

Admission requirements are subject to change as mandated by the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, without prior notification.

Orientation

Orientation is a campus event designed to prepare new students for a successful transition to life at Southern Miss and the Gulf Park Campus. New students are introduced to campus services and resources through interactive sessions that promote student success and experience our Southern Miss culture firsthand as you meet faculty, staff, and students who will support you through your academic journey. Additional components of orientation are campus tours, a resource fair, meet and greets with campus partners and peers, and bookstore visits. 

Advisement

All new students are assigned to academic advisors and are given time to meet with their advisors for assistance in scheduling classes and planning programs of study to meet their individual needs. Assignment of advisors is based on the student’s stated educational major.

Financial Aid

Financial Aid Office
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive #5101
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Application Deadline

Students who wish to apply for federal student aid, including grants and student loans, must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid each year. To receive full consideration, the Southern Miss priority date for FASFA submission and supporting documentation is December 15. Late applications will be accepted and considered as funds permit.

Please see Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Scholarships for more information.

General Academic Information

The Student Services One Stop at Gulf Park
228.214.3370
www.usm.edu/gulf-park-one-stop/index.php

As members of the university community, the Student Services One Stop at Gulf Park is committed to serve and support students in the pursuit of their educational and career goals. Their focus is on enhancing students’ academic performance by minimizing efforts on administrative processes of the university.

For more information, see University Academic Policies and Information.

Student Services

Parking and Transit Services

​Vehicle Registration

The University utilizes a license plate recognition (LPR) system on all University owned and controlled properties. Physical permits are no longer issued. License plates are used to verify that a vehicle can park at a particular location on university property. Faculty, staff and students are allowed up to four vehicles registered to their virtual permit; however, only one vehicle is allowed to park on university property at any given time.

Virtual Parking Permits is an electronic authorization for an individual to park a vehicle on a university campus or teaching/research site in a specified parking zone.

E-Citation (citation) is an electronic citation via email (with the exception of non-registered vehicles). Non-registered vehicles will receive a citation on the windshield indicating a violation has been issued.

Faculty, staff and students are required to register online at www.usm.edu/parking-transit-services to obtain a parking permit. Parking registration is an individual responsibility.  Parking permit are issued to individuals, and ownership is nontransferable. By obtaining a permit, the permit holder agrees to become familiar with and abide by the parking and traffic regulations.

Visitors

A visitor is any person, other than a faculty, staff, student or contract employee, who parks a vehicle on a campus on infrequent occasions. Visitors must obtain a visitor pass and park in legal parking spaces. Visitors who park frequently on our campuses or teaching / research sites must register for a parking permit and are subject to all regulations herein. Visitors can also retrieve a visitor pass online @ $2.00 per day. 

Gulf Park Campus

  • Visit the Department of Parking and Transit Services: 138 Beach Park Place. Visitors must show a valid driver’s license to obtain a visitor pass.

GCRL (including Halstead Road and Cedar Point locations)

  • Visit the Business and Financial Affairs Office in the Oceanography Building (on Halstead Road). Visitors must show a valid driver’s license to obtain a visitor pass.

Parking &Transit Services
138 Beach Park Place
Long Beach, MS 39560
228.214.3290
www.usm.edu/parking
parking@usm.edu

Bookstore

The Gulf Coast Bookstore location in Long Beach offers course materials for all Gulf Coast sections including Gulf Park, GCRL, and Stennis.  All Hattiesburg section course materials are located at the Hattiesburg Campus Bookstore.  Students with online courses can order at shopsouthernmiss.com and choose delivery or in-store pick-up.  Buyback will be held on a daily basis at the Gulf Park Bookstore.

Gulf Coast Library and Media Center

During 2002, Cox Library, Media Center and Curriculum Lab moved to the spacious new 55,000-square-foot building named The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library and Media Center. Filled with natural light, this state-of-the-art facility offers computer work stations, a presentation room, group study rooms, and access to a 24/7 study space (accessible with a current USM I.D. card).

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library serves as a resource center for the Gulf Park campus. It contains collections of print and nonprint material that directly support the instructional programs offered by Southern Miss Gulf Coast. This includes over 100, 000 books, over 3000 dvds and cds, and 18,000 volumes in the Curriculum Lab. The library has access to over 200 electronic databases, many offering the full text of the articles. The library uses the Library of Congress Classification System. Special collections include the Curriculum Lab, the Gulf Park College for Women Archives, and the Hurricane Collection.

The university-wide library cooperative program gives Gulf Coast students and faculty access to most library resources on the Southern Miss campus in Hattiesburg. This program is facilitated by The University of Southern Mississippi Libraries’ online catalog, which can be searched in The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library, as well as by remote access via the Internet, and/or from a home or office computer. A thrice-weekly shuttle transports library materials between the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus and the Gulf Park campus. The shuttle transports materials twice a week between GCRL and the Gulf Park campus. Materials not available in The University of Southern Mississippi libraries are borrowed through interlibrary loan services from other lending libraries throughout the United States.

Audiovisual Services of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library Media Center has audiovisual equipment available for use by faculty, students and staff. Graphic Services of The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Library Media Center can generate for students, faculty and staff items such as transparencies, posters, labels, forms, newsletters and brochures, and can assist with designing displays and presentations.

Gulf Coast Geospatial Center

The Gulf Coast Geospatial Center is charged with building the university’s capability for applying remote sensing technologies in the coastal zone. The center acquires, coordinates, and manages extensive data sets of geospatial data related to the gulf region; and conducts research focused on coastal zone issues. The center also serves as the Mississippi Spatial Reference Center for the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration.

Technology

iTech Help Desk
helpdesk@usm.edu
601.266.4357

The responsibility of managing technology on the Gulf Coast is placed in the Information Technology (iTech) Department. Technology issues are planned, installed, set up and maintained by technicians that reside at Stennis Space Center, Gulf Park and the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) and Hattiesburg campus campus. For more information regarding technology services, you can visit the iTech website at http://www.usm.edu/itech.

E-Mail

The university provides Microsoft Office 365 licenses to all current Southern Miss students, faculty, and staff. Microsoft Office is available to all active students for free. In addition to having access to web versions, licensed users will be able to download Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus applications on up to 5 devices (PC, Mac, and/or mobile devices - Android or iOS).  For more information, please visit https://www.usm.edu/itech/microsoft-office-365

CampusID and Password Reset

After you have established your username and password, you can reset a lost or forgotten password by going to www.usm.edu/itech/campusid. CampusID will allow you to conveniently reset your passwords 24 hours a day.

Wireless Internet Access

The University of Southern Mississippi offers students, faculty, staff and guests access to wireless services. For more information about wireless services offered, go to the iTech website at www.usm.edu/itech/network-and-wireless-services 

Institute for Disability Studies Gulf Park

The Institute for Disability Studies (IDS) is all about people. For over 30 years, IDS has worked to provide technical assistance, training, resources, and supports for Mississippians with disabilities and their families. IDS is providing pathways to a better life for people of all ages—infants, toddlers, school-age children, youth, workers, parents, families and seniors. IDS provides opportunities for recreation, health, and relaxation through adapted recreation programs and assistive technology equipment, health and wellness programming, and family support and training for families of children with special healthcare needs.  IDS provides the following components at the Gulf Park Campus:

Lending Library

IDS Gulf Park offers a wide variety of assistive technology devices and recreational equipment available for check out for a 90-day period.Switches, puzzles, augmentative communication devices, iPads, assistive writing devices, as well as regular, switch-activated, and sensory stimulation toys and much more, are also available. IDS also provides beach and sports wheelchairs, hand bikes, kayaks adaptive golf gear, adaptive fishing gear, and adaptive work out equipment available for check-out.

Opportunities for Learning

IDS provides learning opportunities through professional development, as well as monthly training and education sessions.Training based on individual and organization needs is provided for professionals, parents, caregivers, and clients.

Athletics

IDS Gulf Park provides many opportunities for athletics and physical activity through its wheelchair softball and basketball programs, golf, kayaking, tennis, archery, cycling, and an on-site fitness trail. IDS is a recognized Paralympic Sports Club that offers exhibitions, demonstrations, and Paralympic experiences year-round.

Fun Experiences

IDS promotes health through recreation and health and wellness programming and support. By offering pottery and art therapy, adaptive fishing, games, toys, an adaptive playground and monthly recreational opportunities for everyone, IDS provides numerous opportunities for fun and play.

Community Support

IDS provides opportunities to meet new people and make new friends who share similar experiences through support groups, community outreach, and resource training for the community.

Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute

Jack and Patti Phillips Workplace Learning and Performance Institute (WLPI) is the only state organization, public or private sector, with the broad-based conceptual workplace learning and performance experience and expertise needed to help build a sustainable human capital development infrastructure for Mississippi.

Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The University of Southern Mississippi complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. No otherwise qualified individual with a disability or qualifying condition, solely on the basis on their disability or qualifying condition, will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in the administration of any educational program or activity, including admission or access thereto or in treatment or employment therein by the University of Southern Mississippi. All reasonable accommodations must be approved through Student Accessibility Services (SAS) for students, or the Human Resources director for faculty/staff. Students who need assistance in reasonably accommodating a disability or qualifying condition in the classroom or on campus should contact SAS at 601.266.5024 (Hattiesburg) or 228.214.3302 (Gulf Park); faculty and staff should contact the director of Human Resources at 601.266.4050. Individuals with hearing impairments can use Mississippi Relay Services at 800.582.2233 (TTY) to contact campus offices.

Student Accessibility Services (SAS)

In accordance with the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), Southern Miss does not discriminate based on disability in the admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs or activities. Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities/ qualifying conditions are provided through Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

SAS verifies eligibility for accommodations and collaborates with eligible students to create and organize plans for providing those accommodations. Eligible students, whether enrolled in degree or non-degree programs at The University of Southern Mississippi, are deemed capable of fulfilling all university program requirements despite having a disability or qualifying condition. These individuals must meet the criteria for disability, or a qualifying condition outlined in the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Appropriate accommodations may include but are not limited to exam modifications, assistive technology, accessible housing, descriptive video, video captioning, and American Sign Language Interpreting. SAS does not prescribe accommodations that fundamentally alter a course or program.

To receive appropriate and timely accommodations, eligible students should contact SAS in a reasonable amount of time before a semester begins to file an application and submit documentation of disability for review. SAS is committed to creating an accessible campus environment where students with disabilities are encouraged to pursue careers based on personal interest and ability and feel included when doing so.

Students must self-identify with SAS to receive accommodations. For an application and disability documentation guidelines, please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS), 118 College Drive #8586, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001, call 601.266.5024 or visit the website at www.usm.edu/sas. To register, complete the online application found on the website, and submit documentation confirming the diagnosis of a disability or qualifying condition. Individuals with hearing impairments should use the Mississippi Relay Service at 800.582.2233 (TTY) to contact SAS.