Jul 13, 2024  
2024-2025 Graduate Bulletin 
2024-2025 Graduate Bulletin

University Mission and Accreditation


The University of Southern Mississippi


The University of Southern Mississippi is a community of engaged citizens, operating as a public, student-centered, doctoral-granting research university serving Mississippi, the nation, and the world. The University is dedicated to scholarship and learning, integrating students at all levels in the creation and application of knowledge through excellence in teaching, research, creative activities, outreach, and service.  The University nurtures student success by providing distinctive and competitive educational programs embedded in a welcoming environment, preparing a diverse student population to embark on meaningful life endeavors.


The University of Southern Mississippi aspires to be a model student-centered public research university that prepares students to thrive in a global society by providing high-quality programs and transformative experiences in a community distinguished by inclusiveness.


The mission of the institution is supported by the following values: 

  1. Research and instructional excellence focused on student success at all teaching sites and  through campus-based and distance education
  2. Student engagement that fosters personal growth, professional development, and a lifelong commitment to wellness
  3. An inclusive community that embraces the diversity of people and ideas
  4. Institutional governance that respects academic freedom and faculty inclusion
  5. A campus culture characterized by warmth and mutually-supportive connections among students, faculty, staff, and alumni
  6. An approach to academics, research, and personal conduct based on integrity and civility
  7. An evolving curriculum that fosters lifelong curiosity and critical thinking
  8. Community participation that promotes social responsibility and citizenship

Institutional Strategic Goals

  1. Support student success to foster retention, progression and graduation 
  2. Promote teaching, research, and creative excellence  
  3. Strategically expand undergraduate and graduate enrollment  
  4. Strengthen economic and community partnerships 
  5. Invest in faculty and staff to maximize their potential 
  6. Promote a culture of inclusiveness of people and ideas 
  7. Enhance physical, technological, and financial infrastructure to support our mission, vision, and values
  8. Improve efficiency and effectiveness of institutional processes and systems

SACSCOC Accreditation

The University of Southern Mississippi is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award bachelor’s, master’s, specialist’s, and doctoral degrees. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of The University of Southern Mississippi may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website (www.sacscoc.org).

Routine inquiries about the institution, such as admission requirements, financial aid, educational programs, etc. should be addressed directly to The University of Southern Mississippi and not the SACSCOC Office.

The accreditation of all campuses related to The University of Southern Mississippi is dependent on the continued accreditation of the parent campus. All campus sites, regardless of location or mode of delivery, are incorporated in the institution’s self-assessment and its determination of compliance with the standards.

SACSCOC accredits the institution as a whole and not specific degrees or programs. 

Program Accreditation

Below are the names and links of program-level accrediting agencies:

University Libraries

University Libraries provides a dynamic physical and virtual learning environment that supports the intellectual development and creativity of the University community. Joseph Anderson Cook Library, Special Collections and Archives, the Gulf Coast Library and the Gunter Library at the Gulf Coast Research Lab offer services that meet information needs and support the research, teaching, learning, and service of the University’s faculty, staff, and students. An extensive website provides access to the libraries’ holdings, including full text and article databases, electronic journals and books, and digitized collections and services such as reference and research assistance, tutorials, and document delivery.

The Joseph Anderson Cook Library

The Joseph Anderson Cook Library contains the principal holdings of books, journals, microforms, music, media, and other materials, which support the research and instructional programs of the University. Cook Library has five floors of book stacks, study areas, and computers, and access is provided to countless books and journals and other resources in print and electronic formats. Library services, such as circulation, reference and interlibrary loan, can be found on the first floor with the collections being housed on all five floors.

Special Collections

Special Collections offer a variety of historical resources ranging from fifteenth-century illuminated manuscripts to Civil War letters, Civil Rights documents and current Mississippiana. The University of Southern Mississippi’s Special Collections are located in the William David McCain Library, built in 1976. Four units comprise Special Collections: University Archives; Rare Books and Mississippiana; Historical Manuscripts; and the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection. Research services are directed from the Cleanth Brooks Reading Room and are available to the public and University community. Materials are discoverable through the online catalog and additional descriptive finding aids.

The Gulf Coast Library

The Gulf Coast Library, located on the Gulf Park Campus in Long Beach, houses print and non-print materials that support the research and curriculum needs of the students, faculty, and staff. All of the University Libraries’ electronic holdings are accessible to the students on the Gulf Coast and materials are available for campus-to-campus loan. The Gulf Coast Library houses about 80,000 physical resources in its collection and provides study space and access to computers throughout all three floors of the facility.

The Gunter Library

The Gunter Library, located in the Richard L. Caylor Building, at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs provides technical information for the research staff, resident faculty, and students. A collection of 1,663 print journals and over 30,000 books, reprints, reports, and gray literature, environmental impact statements; fishery management plans; and other materials supporting the research and teaching done by the Department of Coast Sciences and GCRL scientific staff are available to support research, education, and services in the coastal sciences.

The Aquila Digital Community

The Aquila Digital Community is an open access digital repository containing all of the scholarly works created by The University of Southern Mississippi faculty, staff, and students. Aquila also hosts digital journals and newsletters published by the University, as well as information and resources from events hosted by the University. All submissions to Aquila have open access availability and are indexed, making them highly discoverable through internet search engines, such as Google, thereby extending the University’s scholarly output to a wider audience.

Mississippi Digital Library

Hosted and managed by University Libraries, The Mississippi Digital Library (MDL) is the collaborative digital library program for the state that provides online access to primary source materials held by repositories in the state of Mississippi. MDL includes materials covering a wide range of subject areas, with contributions from museums, public libraries, historical societies and other cultural institutions throughout the entire state. MDL’s collections represent more than 150 years of history and culture from Mississippi’s Delta to the Gulf Coast. From photographs to oral histories, the treasures contributed to the Mississippi Digital Library exhibit the incredible diversity of resources that can be found in the state.

The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art

Originally established in 1977 as the C. W. Woods Gallery through a generous donation from the Woods family, the gallery was later expanded and renamed The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art in 1997 by the Board of Trustees. Previously located in the Fine Arts Building, the museum now has a new gallery space, the Gallery of Art & Design located on campus in the historic George Hurst Building, 104 Southern Miss Drive.  

Recent exhibitions hosted by the Museum of Art have included: Aquaflora, a contemporary painting exhibition and collaboration with the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art and Oddfellows Gallery;  Graphic Advocacy: International Posters for the Digital Age 2001-2012, on loan from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design; and Beyond the Window, an exhibition of contemporary painting by Zeuxis, an association of still life painters founded in NYC in 1994.

In addition to exhibiting both historical and contemporary works of art, the museum also exhibits the work of Southern Miss Department of Art and Design faculty with a biennial faculty exhibition, as well as the works by Art and Design students and graduating seniors each year.

The museum also displays works of art from the permanent collection. The collection includes works by Joan Miro, Georges Rouault, Max Papart, Thomas Downing, Ed McGowin, Thornton Willis and many well-known Mississippi artists such as Walter Anderson, Dusti Bongé, Marie Hull, and Richmond Barthé. Select pieces from the permanent collection can currently be seen on long-term display in the Cook Library Art Gallery.

General Information

iTech Help Desk
Cook Library 102

Network and 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.

E-mail Accounts

The university provides Microsoft Office 365 licenses to all current Southern Miss students, faculty, and staff. Microsoft Office is available to all active students at no additional cost. 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 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 password 24 hours a day.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended deals with one subject only: educational records. The purpose of the law is to define, more precisely than ever has been done, who may or may not see them. On the one hand, the law grants students guaranteed access; on the other hand, it takes from the universities the privilege of indiscriminate disclosure.

The FERPA sets forth these main requirements:

  1. It allows a student access to each educational record that a university or college keeps on him or her;
  2. It requires the institution to establish a policy on how students can go about seeing specific records;
  3. It requires the institution to inform all students as to what rights they have under the amendment, how they can act on these rights according to school policy, and how they can see a copy of the policy; and
  4. It requires the institution to seek student permission, in writing, before disclosing any personally identifiable record to individuals other than professional personnel employed in the university or college (and others who meet certain specified requirements).

The university has developed and put into writing a policy for handling requests from students and for disclosing personally identifiable information about students. Students are notified of their rights under the law by publishing the university policy in the Student Success Guide.


Policy Statement

The University of Southern Mississippi does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, gender identity, genetic information, religion, race, color, national origin, veteran status, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local law, in its admission, treatment, or access to its educational programs and activities or in its employment practices.  The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault and misconduct, and other forms of interpersonal violence.

Reason for Policy/Purpose

The University of Southern Mississippi complies with federal and state laws that prohibit discrimination based on the protected categories listed above, including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination based on sex (including sexual harassment) in the University’s educational programs and activities. Consistent with our commitment to providing a learning, living, and working environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, it is the policy of the University not to tolerate unlawful discrimination or harassment in any form and to provide those who feel that they are victims of discrimination with mechanisms for seeking redress.

Who Needs to Know This Policy

All members of The University of Southern Mississippi community.

Website Address for this Policy



The University of Southern Mississippi is an equal opportunity employer committed to the principle of equal opportunity in education and employment in compliance with Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990/Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, the Violence Against Women Act, and other federal or state laws.

The University of Southern Mississippi does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, pregnancy, gender identity, genetic information, religion, race, color, national origin, veteran status, or any other status protected under applicable federal, state, or local law, in its admission, treatment, or access to its educational programs and activities or in its employment practices.  The University of Southern Mississippi prohibits sexual and gender-based harassment, including sexual assault and misconduct, and other forms of interpersonal violence.

The University of Southern Mississippi will investigate formal complaints of discrimination or harassment in accordance with the University’s policies and procedures. The University will take steps to prevent discrimination and harassment, to prevent the recurrence of discrimination and harassment, to prevent retaliation for bringing a claim or assisting in an investigation, and will take appropriate action to remedy the effects of discrimination and harassment.

The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for the University’s Title IX compliance efforts and for coordinating the University’s response to all complaints involving possible discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, student pregnancy, and gender identity, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and other sexual misconduct.  For more information or for inquiries concerning any such complaints or the application of Title IX, contact the University’s designated Title IX Coordinator listed below:

Dr. Cristin Reynolds
Title IX Coordinator
Cook Library 129, (Hattiesburg Campus)
118 College Drive # 5079
Hattiesburg, MS  39406
Telephone:  601.266.6804

The Director of the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and related statutes and regulations.  For more information or for inquiries concerning discrimination, such as age, disability, religion, race, color, national origin, genetic information, pregnancy, and veteran status, contact the University’s designated Director of the Office of Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity listed below:

Quentisha Jones, EEO/Employee Relations Director
McLemore Hall 310, Hattiesburg Campus
118 College Dr. #5168
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Telephone:  601.266.5973
Email- affirmativeaction@usm.edu

You may also file a complaint with:

Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Education
1999 Bryan Street, Suite 1620
Dallas, TX 75201-6810
Telephone: 214.661.9600
Fax: 214.661.9587;
TDD: 800.877.8339
Email: OCR.Dallas@ed.gov


Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Dr. A.H. McCoy Federal Building
100 West Capitol Street, Suite 338
Jackson, MS 39269
Telephone: 800.669.4000
Fax: 601.948.8401
TTY: 800.669.6820

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

Since 1992, students and faculty of The University of Southern Mississippi have benefited from its membership in Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU). ORAU is a consortium of 120+ colleges and universities, and a contractor for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. ORAU works with its member institutions to help their students and faculty gain access to federal research facilities throughout the country; to keep its members informed about opportunities for fellowship, scholarship, and research appointments; and to organize research alliances among its members.

Through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), the DOE facility that ORAU operates, undergraduates, graduates, postgraduates, as well as faculty enjoy access to a multitude of opportunities for study and research. Students can participate in programs covering a wide variety of disciplines including business, earth sciences, epidemiology, engineering, physics, geological sciences, pharmacology, ocean sciences, biomedical sciences, nuclear chemistry, and mathematics. Appointment and program length range from one month to four years. Many of these programs are especially designed to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science- and engineering-related disciplines. A comprehensive listing of these programs and other opportunities, their disciplines, and details on locations and benefits can be found on the ORISE website: http://www.orau.gov

ORAU’s Office of Partnership Development seeks opportunities for partnerships and alliances among ORAU’s members, private industry, and major federal facilities. Activities include faculty development programs, such as the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards, the Visiting Industrial Scholars Program, consortium research funding initiatives, faculty research and support programs, as well as services to chief research officers.

For more information about ORAU and its programs, contact

Dr. Kelly Lucas                                                        University Partnership Programs
Vice President for Research                                   865.576.6513
ORAU Councilor for Southern Miss                         

Visit the ORAU home page at http://www.orau.org.

Policies on Student Rights and Responsibilities

As students at The University of Southern Mississippi, graduate students are subject to the Policies on Student Rights and Responsibilities articulated in the Student Handbook.  This information can be found by clicking on the following link: http://www.usm.edu/student-handbook

Retention of Students and Program Completion Information

The University of Southern Mississippi Fact Book includes information on retention and graduation and is located in the reserve material at the circulation desk in Joseph Anderson Cook Library and is available upon request.

Sexual Harassment

To foster an environment of respect for the dignity and worth of all members of the university community, Southern Miss is committed to maintaining working and learning environments free of sexual harassment. It is the policy of the university that no member of its community shall sexually harass another. Any employee or student who violates this policy is subject to disciplinary action which may include termination. Sexual harassment is illegal under federal law. Contact Dean of Graduate School with concerns at (601) 266-4369.

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.


The University of Southern Mississippi has three publications each year: the Undergraduate Bulletin, the Graduate Bulletin, and the Regional Campus Publication. To obtain information about the complete programs of the university, please check each publication.

The University Press of Mississippi

The University Press of Mississippi was founded in 1970 to encourage the dissemination of the fruits of research and study through the publication of scholarly works. Functioning as the scholarly publishing arm of the state-supported universities in Mississippi, The University Press is governed by a Board of Directors made up of one representative from each of the eight state universities, one representative from the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, and the director of the press.

The University Press publishes more than 50 books each year. Primary areas of interest are Mississippi history and literature, but manuscripts in all areas of study are welcomed.

Administrative offices of The University Press are located in the Education and Research Center of Mississippi, 3825 Ridgewood Rd., Jackson, MS, 39211.

The University of Southern Mississippi Alumni Association

The Alumni Association was established in 1917 as an organization mainly involved in functions relating to placement service, until 1946 when the executive committee recognized the need for a working Alumni Association with organized alumni groups. Today, the Alumni Association is the driving force behind alumni engagement at Southern Miss.

Southern Miss alumni are encouraged to become active in the Alumni Association through membership in the organization and participation in events and service opportunities available exclusively to alumni of the institution. Currently, nearly 13,000 alumni are active members of the Association.

The Association provides a number of benefits to its members, including a subscription to its quarterly magazine, The Talon, which provides information on campus development and alumni achievements. Other benefits include resident tuition rates for children and grandchildren of active members, select University library privileges, vehicle decals, complimentary admission to the Association’s Eagle Landing pre-game events and exclusive early access to other special events. The Association maintains www.SouthernMissAlumni.com and communicates important information to alumni through electronic communications.

Southern Miss alumni can connect with fellow Golden Eagles through local geographic groups known as Alumni HUBs. Through Alumni HUBs, alumni of all ages are able to remain engaged with the University by recruiting students to attend Southern Miss, networking with fellow Golden Eagles, serving the University through mentoring current students, volunteer leadership roles and supporting the efforts of the University.

The Association is active in supporting all areas of the University through programs such as the Pierce Legacy Scholars Program, which awards one-time scholarships to select children and grandchildren of active members, sponsoring campus events and the development and implementation of the Growing Up Gold legacy engagement program.

The Association sponsored the drive to raise funds necessary for the construction of the first R.C. Cook University Union building, helped establish the USM Foundation for private giving to and organized the Student Alumni Association aimed at promoting spirit and enthusiasm through campus traditions.

The Association has also supported the University through a $100,000 contribution to the Tornado Restoration Fund in 2013 and through funding the construction of Southern Station, a multi-use entertainment venue in Spirit Park in the spring of 2020.