University of Southern Mississippi

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Updated August 6, 2020

The University of Southern Mississippi is a public university in Mississippi that most refer to as Southern Miss. It has a convenient location that puts students two hours or less from major cities like New Orleans. Though Southern Miss has a large campus in Hattiesburg that functions as its flagship campus, it also operates a smaller campus in Long Beach and several smaller satellite campuses and research institutes. Founded as the Mississippi Normal College when it opened in the 1910s, it later operated as a state teachers college and later a full college.

Many know Southern Miss, because of the hard work its dean did after Hurricane Katrina to restore its Long Beach campus and to open that campus back up again for students. The university used fundraising programs to open up residence halls and help students get back to their studies. U.S. News & World Report, which consider Southern Miss a Tier 4 college, placed it at number 220 on its list of the best American colleges. This Mississippi university also ranks as one of the top colleges in the United States on lists recently released by Washington Monthly and Forbes. In 2016, enrollment at the university reached more than 14,000 students.

University of Southern Mississippi Accreditation Details

Southern Miss has a long history of providing its students with the best opportunities and resources, which includes the accreditation that the campus holds. Its main or regional accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Not only does SACS give you the right to apply for government loans and grants, but this type of accreditation also lets you know that your degree is meaningful. Southern Miss also sought accreditation for some of its degree programs, including those in engineering, education and nursing. Some of the professional organizations and groups that granted this southern university accreditation include:

  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
  • Council on Social Work Education Office of Social Work Accreditation
  • Council for Interior Design Accreditation
  • Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc.
  • Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs

University of Southern Mississippi Application Requirements

The University of Southern Mississippi put certain admissions requirements in place to ensure that the best students receive acceptance letters every year. It looks for students who followed a college prep curriculum in high school. This type of curriculum includes four years of English, three years of social studies, life sciences and math and two years of advanced courses. You'll also need to show that you took at least one year of a performing or visual art. The university also asks that you have a grade point average of 3.2 or higher on a 4.0 scale. If you have a lower GPA, you must score higher on one of the standardized tests and be within the top 50% of your graduating class.

When you visit the Southern Miss website, you can fill out its online application. This application asks for general background information regarding both you and your parents. Once you complete this application, you must pay a $40 application fee. You have the option of paying through the mail via check or money order or using a debit or credit card to pay online. Fee waivers are also available for those who qualify. Before the university will process your application, it asks that you submit an official test score, which must come from the testing board itself, as well as an official high school transcript that comes directly from your school and has your school's seal on it.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As Southern Miss is a public university, it naturally charges less than private colleges do, but the cost you pay depends on whether you are a Mississippi resident. Mississippi residents pay just under $8,000 for tuition alone, but this tuition rate lets you take 12 or more credits each semester. If you are a resident of another state, you'll pay a tuition rate of around $10,000 a year. All students must also pay miscellaneous fees of around $270 a year. If you want to live in a campus residence hall, you'll pay around $10,000 extra each year, which covers both your room and your meal plan. Other meal plans and dorm rooms may cost more or less.

To receive federal government assistance, you only need to take six credits each semester, but full-time students usually qualify for more aid. Southern Mississippi recommends that you complete and file the FAFSA by the end of February or the beginning of March when starting classes in the fall. Grants, loans and admission to the university's work-study program are options for full-time and part-time students. There are also multiple grants and loans available through the state government too as well as scholarships that you can apply for before classes start.

Political Science Programs

The Department of Political Science, International Development & International Affairs is the Southern Miss department that offers classes and programs in political science. One unique feature of this department is that it allows students to focus on international affairs rather than just domestic issues. Students have the option of enrolling in a Bachelor of Science in Political Science or a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Though each program requires that students take 124 credits of classes, the programs include different types of classes.

Some of the political science classes you might take include political analysis, political research and a seminar in political science. This seminar looks at a specific problem facing the political arena today or an issue from history. Students will do research in the class and then write a paper that they submit at the end of the course. Southern Miss also requires that political science students take courses on topics like gender studies and that they demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language.

Related Resource: Top 20 Most Affordable Online Master's in Political Science

This department offers other programs that political science students may find interesting, including programs in American studies, legal studies and economics. The American studies program requires that students take courses on art appreciation, history, political science, ethics, religion and philosophy. All these majors end with a seminar class that allows students to write papers or create projects based around a specific subject. The University of Southern Mississippi has internship programs available for students majoring in these subjects too.

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