Orientation Before and After Checklists

There's a lot to take care of before you start your first semester at Southern Miss.  There are things that you can go ahead and take care of now, while others can either be handled while you're at orientation or can only be taken care of after orientation. 

Before you come to orientation, you can:

  • Reset your SOAR password if you can't remember it. You'll have to log into SOAR during orientation activities.  If you can't remember your SOAR password, then go ahead and reset it before you attend orientation.  Click here to reset your SOAR password. (Your user name is a lower-case "w" followed by your 6-digit Southern Miss ID number.)
  • Activate your Southern Miss email account.  You'll need to log into SOAR to do this, but follow these instructions.  Your Southern Miss email account is the primary way that your professors and the university will communicate with you, so it's very important that you activate this account and start checking it regularly.
  • Familiarize yourself with the degree plan for your major.  Each academic major has a degree plan that outlines the courses you'll need to take in order to earn that degree.  You will create your class schedule each semester around this required coursework.  Take some time to view your degree plan and to think about the courses you would like to take during your first semester.
  • Contact Admissions if you want to change your major.  If you have changed your mind about what you want to major in since you applied for admission, contact Admissions to communicate your new major.
  • Complete your campus housing application.  Campus housing is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and Residence Life will not assign housing to students until an application is filed and the processing fee is paid. 
  • Submit any AP, IB, CLEP or college credit to Admissions.  If you have earned college credit from a source outside of Southern Miss, you must submit proof of that credit to Admissions so that it can be applied toward your degree.  If you have earned college credit through dual enrollment at another college or university, you must request official transcripts be sent to Admissions.

While you're at orientation, you can:

  • Get your student ID made.  Having that ID made makes it official: you're a Golden Eagle! And don't lose it - you'll need it literally every day.
  • Research meal plan options. Students who live on campus are required to purchase a meal plan.  Representatives from Eagle Dining will be on hand during orientation activities to discuss your options.
  • Talk with staff in the Office of Financial Aid.  Financial Aid counselors will be available during orientation activities to speak with you individually about your financial aid. (A veterans benefits coordinator will also be on site.)
  • Create your class schedule.  We encourage you to familiarize yourself with the degree plan for your major before you come to orientation so that you have a clearer idea of what you'll need to take during your first semester at Southern Miss.  Your academic adviser will help you finalize a class schedule during orientation.
  • Get lots of other questions answered.  There will be a variety of sessions during orientation that cover many topics first-time students and parents have about Southern Miss.  Student orientation leaders, staff members, and faculty will gladly answer any questions you have and address your concerns.  We understand that there is a lot of information to process, and we want to help you in any way that we can!


After orientation, you can:

  • Order your textbooks.  You can preorder your textbooks through Southern Miss Barnes & Noble.  You'll need your class schedule to get started.
  • Send your immunization records to Admissions.  State law requires that you submit proof that you have been immunized twice for measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).  Be sure you send that documentation to Admissions before classes start.
  • Send final transcripts to Admissions. Recently graduated high school seniors should send a final official transcript that reflects all grades earned during senior year and date of graduation.  New transfer students should send a final official transcript (with no work in progress) from the last community/junior college or university attended.
  • Get excited about Golden Eagle Welcome Week.  Golden Eagle Welcome Week (or GEWW for short) is how we welcome new students to campus in a big way!  This is a fun experience that will help you meet people and learn more about how to have a successful first year at Southern Miss.