FAQs Graduation Information

1. What are the graduation requirements?
  • Graduation requirements are determined by the individual college and major area of study.  Most degrees require a minimum of 124 hours with a minimum USM grade point average of 2.0.  Of the required hours, 50% must be earned at a senior institution, and 45 hours of the 50% applied to the degree must be upper division (300-400 level) courses. Students must earn 25% of their last semester hours from Southern Miss
2. How can I find out what my degree requirements are?
  • The Advisement Report (also called the DPR) includes all the degree requirements necessary to receive an undergraduate degree. 
  • The DPR (with option of PDF view) is available for students to print their own via their Academic Requirements link on their SOAR self service page.
  • Graduate students print their “GRD11” which includes graduate degree requirements also via SOAR self service page.
  • Questions concerning your degree requirements should be directed to your college dean’s office or the Graduate School for graduate students
3. How can I get a class substituted for my degree requirements?
  • Some courses may or may not be substituted for other degree requirements depending on extenuating circumstances, availability, requirements, GPA, etc.  Students must get ALL substitution requests approved and documented PRIOR to completion.
4. How do I file for my degree?
  • Students begin the process to file for their degree by completing the degree application form for their major via the Graduation Application link on their SOAR self service page.
  • After completing the form, students should follow the steps as provided by each individual college.  The steps can be located at http://www.usm.edu/registrar/graduation-commencement
5. How do I qualify for 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.
  • 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
6. How do I participate in the graduation ceremony?
  • Students who have filed for degree must reserve a seat for Commencement.  Details and deadlines can be found at http://www.usm.edu/registrar/graduation
  • For additional assistance regarding the graduation ceremony, contact the Degree Auditors in the Registrar’s Office in Kennard-Washington Hall, room 110.
7. How do I get a copy of my diploma?
  • Diplomas are typically mailed to graduates approximately 5 weeks after graduation barring any financial obligations to the University. 
  • Students who need a replacement or duplicate diploma may request one by completing the “Replacement Diploma Request” form from the Registrar’s website (www.usm.edu/registrar/forms)
  • Replacement diplomas cost $30 per diploma
8. What is a Capstone requirement?
  • The Academic Council has placed a capstone requirement for all undergraduates completing their baccalaureate degree.  Students are required to complete capstone designated courses prior to graduation. 
  • Capstone courses are noted in the class notes and on the transcript as ‘Capstone’ courses.
  • Capstone courses that are required for degrees vary depending on the student’s major.  See the University Bulletin for specific degree requirements
9. What is a writing intensive requirement?
  • The Academic Council has placed a writing intensive requirement for all undergraduates completing their baccalaureate degree.  Students are required to complete a minimum of 9 hours of writing intensive designated courses prior to graduation. 
  • Writing intensive courses are noted in the class notes and on the transcript as ‘Writing Intensive’ courses.
  • Writing intensive courses that are required for degrees vary depending on the student’s major.  See the University Bulletin for specific degree requirements.