University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS

About the University of Southern Mississippi

Commonly known as Southern Miss, this public research university has two campuses and five teaching and research sites. The roughly 300-acre main campus is in Hattiesburg, MS, and the Gulf Coast campus is in Long Beach, MS.

Founded in 1910, as Mississippi Normal College, the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is home to the nationally known Mississippi Polymer Institute. According to The Princeton Review, USM was among the most environmentally friendly, or 'green,' universities in 2012. Additionally, the university was among the most popular national universities in 2012, according to U.S. News & World Report; popularity was determined by the percentage of accepted applicants who actually enrolled at the university.


The university offers 81 undergraduate and 99 graduate degree programs through its five colleges - Arts and Letters, Business, Education and Psychology, Health and Science, and Technology. Some courses are offered online and others through study abroad programs. The student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1.

The most popular majors are elementary education and nursing. In addition to producing the most entry-level nurses in Mississippi each year, Southern Miss is the university where 50% of the state's teachers earned their degrees. Southern Miss has five libraries that feature special collections, including the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection and the Historical Manuscripts and Photographs Digital Collection.


Applications are accepted on a rolling basis for fall or spring admission. A student can apply for admission on the college website or by contacting a recruiter. Admission requirements include an application fee, high school transcript, ACT or SAT scores and documentation of two doses of the measles, mumps and rubella immunization. Once admitted, students can declare a major or discuss their options with an academic adviser. The university accepts Advanced Placement testing, the College Level Examination Program and the International Baccalaureate examination for college credit. Students should submit their scores to the admissions office for credit evaluation. The graduate-level admission process requires students to submit separate admissions materials for each program they would like to pursue. All documents for graduate admissions can be submitted to a main portal.

In 2011, 63% of undergraduate applicants were accepted and 43% enrolled. In 2011, Southern Miss students included 82% undergraduates and 18% graduate students. Among undergraduates, 62% were female and 79% were in-state students. Additionally, 58% of undergraduate students were white, 31% were black and 11% included, but wasn't limited to, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian and Native Hawaiian.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The cost to attend USM per semester was $3,168 for full-time in-state students and $7,224 for full-time out-of-state students for 2012-13. For students staying on campus, the mandatory meal plan was $1,385 per semester, and housing rates ranged from $1,840 to $2,809 per semester. In addition to the above mentioned fees, a $100 course fee is charged to students enrolled in Hattiesburg GS 100 orientation classes.

The expected cost of living (including tuition, room and board, books, materials and other fees) for in-state and out-of-state full-time students was $18,426 and $26,382, respectively, for 2011-2012. In addition to grants and loans, merit scholarships are available and should be applied for no later than February 1 of each year. Graduate tuition is the same regardless of program entrance. Students are expected to pay in full when registering; however, a deferred payment plan is available.

School Type 4-year, public*
Degrees Offered Bachelor's, master's, post-master's, doctorates*
Religious Affiliation None*
Academic Calendar Semester**
School Setting Small*
Student Body More than 14,000 undergraduates and about 3,100 graduates**
Schools and Programs Five schools and 180 undergraduate and graduate programs**
Student-Faculty Ratio 16:1**
Most Popular Fields of Study by Degree Level (number of recipients) In 2011: Bachelor's: Nursing (208), Master's: Library and Information Science (59), Doctorate: Education, General (22)*
Undergraduate Graduation Rates 22% in 4 years, 47% in 6 years and 49% in 8 years*
Admission Rate 43% in 2011*
Entering Class Size About 1,700 in 2011*
First-Year Retention Rates 72% (full-time students), 44% (part-time students)*
Average ACT Score of Admitted Students In fall 2011, ACT average score was 22**
Application Due Date Rolling admission, but students encouraged to apply in fall semester of senior year in high school**
Tuition (per semester) In-state ($3,168), out-of-state ($7,224)**
Financial Aid Sources Available (percent of students receiving it) In 2011: Federal grants (54%), state and local grants (33%), institutional grants or scholarship (58%), federal student loans (67%)*
Percent of Students Receiving Some Form of Aid 95% in 2011*

Sources: *IPEDS Data Center, National Center for Education Statistics, **University of Southern Mississippi

School Contact Information

  • Address: University of Southern Mississippi, Kennard-Washington Hall, 118 College Drive, Box #5166, Hattiesburg, MS 39406
  • Phone: 601-266-5000
  • Website:

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