Southern Miss Overview & Facts

Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi opened its doors as a small teachers’ college. Today, the University has grown into a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven institution with a proud history and an eye on the future.

With a diverse student body of approximately 15,000 students from 67 foreign countries, all regions of the United States and every corner of Mississippi, we celebrate diversity in every sense of the word.

Not only is Southern Miss a haven for the arts, but the University maintains a tradition of success in both academics and athletics, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 180 programs through six degree-granting colleges. A dual-campus university, Southern Miss serves students on campuses in Hattiesburg and Long Beach, in addition to five teaching and research sites in Mississippi and Online at Southern Miss.

Hattiesburg Campus
Characterized by history and tradition, the Hattiesburg campus sits on 300 acres in the middle of the city. More than 180 buildings (map) dot a landscape that has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly environment for students, employees and visitors. From the rustic, industrial feel of the Power House Restaurant to the ultra-modern Trent Lott Center, the campus has a character and charm all its own in the heart of an urban setting.

Gulf Park Campus
Surrounded by live oak trees and sitting along the waters of the Gulf of Mexico sound, the 52-acre Gulf Park campus in Long Beach provides a beautiful setting for both learning and research. Not only is it the only beachfront campus in the state, but the Gulf Park campus offers educational opportunities ranging from freshman coursework to doctoral degree programs.

Providing an experience that lasts a lifetime
Students at Southern Miss are afforded international experience through study-abroad programs in 21 countries such as the Caribbean Studies program in Jamaica, the Business and Culture program in Japan, and the popular British Studies program in London.

The University is home to the sixth-oldest acceptance-based Honors College in the nation along with nationally recognized programs in the arts, polymer science and business.

Conducting transformative research
As the premier research university of the Gulf South, Southern Miss takes pride in being classified as a RU/H: Research University (high research activity) by the Carnegie Foundation for the advancement of teaching among doctorate-granting universities. The Center for Undergraduate Research affords students meaningful research opportunities, and as a proven leader in innovation, Southern Miss is generating real-world solutions through transformative research. In fact, one of our research projects was one of only two worldwide selected by NASA to be conducted on the International Space Station to explore whether life can survive on Mars.

The Center for Gulf Studies, administered through the Southern Miss Department of Marine Science at Stennis Space Center, serves the people of Mississippi, the northern Gulf region and the nation with a scientifically based understanding of ecosystem status and trends with special emphasis on improved forecasting abilities to ensure sustainable coastal and ocean ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security offers solutions for the security of sports stadiums and arenas that have been identified as potential targets of terrorism.

The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials is creating new polymer materials used in everyday products such as cosmetics, ship building and sports equipment, and is partnering with GE Aviation to focus on composites development processing for the GEnx aircraft engine.

Making an impact on the community
By going beyond the boundaries of our campuses, the people of Southern Miss are making a real difference in the community. Students contributed more than 100,000 hours of volunteer service in 2013-14. In addition, the University has been honored with the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification for the many ways in which students, faculty, staff and programs engage and enhance the people and places of South Mississippi and beyond.

Southern Miss is one of a select number of institutions in the nation accredited in all four arts disciplines: theatre, dance, art and music. The School of Music produces more than 300 performances each year, featuring students, faculty and world-renowned guest artists. By hosting artists such as Plácido Domingo, Yo-Yo Ma, Sir James Galway and Joshua Bell, the University has provided unparalleled cultural experiences to our communities

Treasuring history and tradition
Southern Miss has a long history of achieving on the field and in the classroom. Winning national scholarships is a proud tradition of the Honors College. In 2013 and 2014, Southern Miss accounted for the only Truman Scholarship winners from a Mississippi university. And since 2006, Southern Miss students have collected seven Goldwater Scholarships, three Truman Scholarships, 10 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships and numerous other prestigious awards.

The Department of Athletics offers 16 sport programs at the Division I level sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). On the field, Southern Miss has won five Conference USA football championships, three Conference USA baseball championships and the 2014 Conference USA basketball championship. Off the field, the University is continually recognized for having the highest graduation rate in the state among men's athletics programs, winning the Halbrook Award in 2013 for the ninth time in 10 years. And for the second consecutive year, the Southern Miss women's cross country team has posted the highest GPA in the country.