About Us--A Departmental Overview
The USM Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry is an ACS-accredited department granting B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees. The department currently has 11 budgeted tenure-track faculty positions, 3 instructors, 1 visiting professor, 2 joint faculty with other departments, and 3 staff scientists. The department celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2009.
The department boasts an excellent undergraduate program with ca 150 undergrad majors, all of whom participate in undergraduate research. Emphasis areas in the undergraduate curriculum include chemistry, biochemistry, ACS-certified chemistry, ACS-certified biochemistry, and ACS-certified chemical education (with licensure). There is an active ACS student affiliates group. A large percentage of majors are in the USM Honors College, and several have been Presidential and/or Goldwater Scholars. Graduates have gone on to prestigious graduate and medical schools including Baylor, Emory, Vanderbilt, Harvard, MIT, UT Southwestern, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia. Scholarships are available through the department, as well as through the college and the university. Almost all teaching laboratories are recently renovated and new science auditoriums contain state-of-the-art instructional technology.
The University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 1910 in the city of Hattiesburg. Located in South Mississippi, the Greater Hattiesburg Area is the educational, cultural, industrial, retail and medical center for more than 250,000 people. The greater metropolitan statistical area has a population of over 100,000. The area is still surrounded by forests of southern yellow pines and is intersected by four major U.S. and interstate highways. The cities of Jackson, New Orleans, Meridian and Mobile are within 100 miles and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is only 60 miles to the south. Two local hospitals and several large medical specialty clinics serve the medical needs of much of south Mississippi. The local newspaper is the Hattiesburg American, whose website contains a brief synopsis of area communities and the local schools.