Advising FAQ's

Q. Who is and how can I get in contact with my academic advisor?
  • Gennifer Hicks: Fashion merchandising, human resource management, supply chain management, and business management majors
  • Lisa Lowery: General Business, Entrepreneurship, Tourism, and Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management majors
  • J. Christian Sweatt: Accounting & International Business
  • Michelle Templeton: Marketing, Healthcare Marketing, Finance, Real Estate, and Personal Financial Planning
Q. Am I required to meet with an academic advisor?
  • Only first year students, graduating seniors, and students whose GPA is below a 2.0 are required to meet with an advisor.  All other students may make an appointment to be advised, however, they may opt to self-advise.
  • If students want to self-advise, they simply sign a self-advisement slip, and we will remove the "NEE - Needs Advisement" indicator from the student's SOAR account.
  • Students who are not required to meet with an advisor may still make an appointment to be advised.
Q. What will I need to prepare for my advisement?
  • Students are asked to think about what classes they are required to take next and place those in their SOAR shopping cart.
Q. How do I create my schedule in SOAR?
  • Students can use the tutorials on the INFO page at info.usm.edu/soar and click on "SOAR Tutorials"in the left-hand navigation menu.
Q. How do I change my major?
  • You can come by our office, Joseph Greene Hall, room 110, and complete a "Change of Major/Minor" blue form as long as you are changing to or within a College of Business major/minor. Remember, you must always go to the department within that major to change.  For example, if you are changing from Accounting to Math, you must visit the math department to do paperwork with them.
  • You may also DOWNLOAD the Change of Major form and return the completed form to us.
Q. What are academic probation, and probation continued?

Probation

  • The first semester that a student’s grade point average falls below the minimum required, he/she is placed on academic probation.
  • The student is required to go through advisement for pre-registration.
  • Students on academic probation are allowed to pre-register for the next term after being advised in their department

Probation Continued

  • The second consecutive semester that a student’s grade point average is below the minimum required, he/she is placed on academic probation continued.
  • The student is required to be advised by their department and sign a probation-continued contract.
  • Students on academic probation continued are allowed to pre-register for the next term after the probation-continued block has been removed by their departmental advisor
Q. What is Academic Suspension, and can I still register?
  • The third consecutive semester that a student’s grade point average is below the minimum required OR the first semester a student fails ALL courses with a full-time status, he/she is placed on academic suspension.
  • Students who are placed on academic suspension and have pre-registered for the next term will have their courses dropped if the academic suspension is not cleared by the last day before classes begin.
  • Students who are placed on academic suspension and have pre-registered for a mini-session will be dropped from their mini session course immediately.
  • Students placed on academic suspension for the first time are not allowed to attend any institution for one semester.
  • If students placed on academic suspension take any course work at another institution without prior written approval will not be allowed to use the transfer work toward their academic degree.
  • College of Business students may appeal their academic suspension by setting up a meeting with Dr. Pate by calling 601.266.4663. Students must also complete a suspension appeal form, located HERE
  • If suspended students get readmitted, they are given a contract GPA they must meet. If they meet the contract GPA, their pre-registered courses are held for the upcoming term. If they do not, they must appeal their suspension immediately or their pre-registered courses will be dropped. Regardless, all suspended students must meet with their departmental advisor or college dean by the end of each term to file a new contract to become eligible for continued enrollment each semester.
  • If a student is placed on academic suspension a second semester and does not meet the minimum term grade point average, they will not be allowed to enroll for two semesters.
Q. What is academic suspension but with continued enrollment?
  • Students who successfully achieved the contract GPA as stipulated on their academic suspension appeal will be given a Continued Enrollment status. 
  • The pre-registered courses for students with continued enrollment will not be dropped for the upcoming term although their OVERALL GPA has them on academic suspension.
  • Students with continued enrollment status must get a new contract GPA prior to the end of their next semester enrollment in order for additional pre-registered courses to be held
Q. What is admissions probation and can I still register?
  • Students who fail to meet standard admission criteria can be placed on admissions probation. 
  • Students with admissions probation must make a minimum 2.0 grade point average on the first 12 hours.
  • Students with admissions probation will be allowed to pre-register after being advised by their departmental area.
  • Students with admissions probation who fail to meet the minimum 2.0 grade point will be placed on admissions suspension
Q. What is admissions suspension and can I still register?
  • Students who are placed on admissions suspension will have their pre-registered courses dropped unless the admissions suspension is removed prior to the last day before classes begin.
  • Students with admissions suspension are encouraged to attend another institution to improve their overall grade point average and return by meeting all regular admission criteria
Q. What is are full- and part-time credit load?
  • Full-time undergraduates: The typical undergraduate student load is 12 to 19 semester hours (fall/spring); 9 to 14 semester hours is considered a full load during the summer session.
Q. What are the maximum hours that I can take in a term?
  • Students may take up to 19 hours per semester without incurring additional charges and without needing permission from their college or department. Students needing to take more than the maximum load must obtain permission from their college department (undergraduates).
Q. How do I apply for graduation within the College of Business?
  • All graduation applications are handled through each student's SOAR account. Instructions can be found HERE
Q. How many classes should I take each semester?
  • The College of Business publishes a semester-by-semester guide, which suggests students take anywhere from 14-16 hours per semester in order to graduate on time. Please refer to your semester-by-semester guide for specific information on exactly what classes are required of you each semester.
Q. What are the guidelines for taking courses at other institutions?
  • Students are allowed to take courses at other institutions as they wish. Courses can be applied to their USM degree only if they are not in their last 30 hours of their degree program, and if the course will transfer successfully to USM. To check whether Junior College classes will transfer, please check HERE.
  • A student must earn his/her last 25% of course work from The University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, a student must earn at least 12 hours in the major area of study from Southern Miss. 120 hour program = 30 hours from USM.
Q. Can I test out of any courses?
  • To receive credit by examination (e.g AP, CLEP, IB), please read over guidelines published by the Office of Admissions. All questions regarding these exams should be directed to Admissions at 601.266.5000, or admissions@usm.edu.
Q. What is an 8w1, 8w2, 5w1, 5w2 class?
  • Some courses meet for shorter periods than a full-term class.  Depending on the course, the class may meet two periods back-to-back or every day for half of the semester.  Review the Schedule of Classes via SOAR Class Search for complete details of when the class meets.
  • Courses meeting 8w1, 8w2, 5w1, 5w1, etc. have different academic deadlines.  Depending on the session of the class, the deadline will vary.  For deadlines, review the Academic Calendar at http://www.usm.edu/registrar/calendars
Q. What is a mini session class?
  • Mini session classes meet between the regular semester classes.  Some mini session classes will meet for one week while other mini session classes will meet for two weeks. Review the Schedule of Classes via SOAR Class Search for complete details of when the class meets.
  • Students can register for a mini session class via their SOAR self service page.
  • Additional tuition will be applied to mini session classes.
  • Deadlines for adding and dropping mini session classes are different from regular semester classes.   For deadlines, review the Academic Calendar at http://www.usm.edu/registrar/calendars
  • Grades for mini session classes do not post to the student’s transcript until the end of the regular semester session.
Q. How do I search for mini session and/or online classes?
  • A complete listing of mini session classes can be found at http://www.usm.edu/minisession/
  • Class Search instructions via SOAR are available HERE
  • A complete listing of online courses and programs can be found at http://www.usm.edu/elo/programs_courses.php
  • On class search, use the additional search criteria and select Mode of Instruction/Online, Internet, Web.  Also select campus and career.
Q. How do I take an online class?
  • Some courses and/or degree programs are offered online. Students may register for an online course via their SOAR self service page.
  • A complete list of online course and/or degree programs offered can be found at http://www.usm.edu/elo/programs_courses.php/
  • Additional tuition charges will apply for online courses.
Q. What are “holds” on my account and how do I get them removed?
  • 
Holds on your record can be, but are not limited to academic holds, financial holds, library or parking fines, etc. When you have a “hold” on your account, you are not able to adjust your schedule in any way, and it may impact enrollment for future semesters, depending on the type of “hold”.  In order to have the hold removed, you will need to contact the appropriate office or department.


Q. Where can I find out what courses fulfill General Education Requirements (GEC)?
  • Please refer to the published GEC guide to learn all about curriculum requirements.
Q. I have a learning disability, how do I get help?



Q. If I don’t attend for a semester do I have to re-apply?
  • Students who decided to sit out because of financial or personal reasons will need to re-apply to USM through Admissions.
  • Students who sat out because of Academic Suspension are not required to re-apply to the University
Q. How do I find out about Study Abroad?

Q. I want to take a credit overload. How do I get permission?

  • College of Business majors who wish to take more than 19 hours must fill out a CoB Requisite Verification form. The Undergraduate Academic Services office staff will review and either approve or deny any overload requests depending on student's current GPA and other academic variable.
Q. Can I repeat a course?
  • Repeat Policy for Undergraduate Students: Students may RETAKE a course as much as necessary.  However, students will be permitted to mark a "repeat" on a course a total of two times or a total of six semester hours in order to improve his or her grade point average. (That is, he or she may repeat one 3-hour course twice; or two 3-hour courses once). When a course is marked as a 'repeat,' the course remains on the transcript but is no longer counted in the GPA.  The first two repeats used shall stand.  All other attempts after the repeats have been marked will count in the student's GPA.  This policy does not apply to courses for which a grade was assigned for reasons of academic dishonesty. Courses must be retaken at The University of Southern Mississippi.
Q. What GPA do I need to be on the President's/Dean’s List?
  • Students are placed on the President’s List if they have earned a grade point average of 4.0 (all A’s) on a load of 12 semester hours or more during fall or spring, nine or more during summer, provided they have no grade of Incomplete (I) for the term. Courses taken for pass-fail credit will not be used in computing the minimum academic load.  The President’s List is earned each term of enrollment. The University does not round GPAs.
  • Students are placed on the Dean’s List if they have earned a grade point average of 3.5 or above on a minimum academic load of 12 semester hours or more during fall or spring, nine or more during summer, provided they have no grade of D or below for the term (includes F or Incomplete). Courses taken for pass-fail credit will not be used in computing the minimum academic load. The Deans’ List is earned each of term of enrollment. The University does not round GPAs.
  • Students with exceptional academic records may be awarded degrees with honors or highest honors based on hours attempted at The University of Southern Mississippi. A degree with Honors will be granted to a student who maintains a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or more.  A degree with Highest Honors will be granted to a student who maintains a cumulative grade point average of 3.8 or more. The University does not round GPAs.
Q. How do I qualify for Latin Designation/Honors in the graduation ceremony?
  • Graduation with Latin designations will be granted to undergraduate students who complete the requirements for Senior Honors in the Honors College or filing for an Alternate Honors Designation one calendar year prior to graduation. The Latin designations are based on completion of various criteria and USM grade point averages. Minimum grade point averages for Cum Laude requires 3.25-3.49; Magna Cum Laude requires 3.50-3.79; Summa Cum Laude requires 3.80 or above. The University does not round GPAs.
  • As stated in a previous question, undergraduate students who do not participate in the Honors College can obtain an honors designation at graduation with the USM grade point average of 3.50 or higher; Highest Honors designation with the USM grade point average of 3.80 or higher