Students pursuing an undergraduate major within CoST may enroll in a Special Problems, Special Projects, Independent Study, or Research course, depending upon the policies of their home department or school. Note that the prefix and course number for these courses varies depending on the academic unit, so students are advised to consult the Undergraduate Bulletin for specific course names and numbers.
Students must consult with a potential faculty member before enrolling in one of these courses and there are often prerequisites and other requirements. For example, click here for a link to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry requirements plus advice and information about what to expect from this type of experience.
Graduation with Latin Honors
Graduation with Latin designations will be granted to students who complete the requirements for Senior Honors in the Honors College. As an alternative to Senior Honors, graduating cum laude will be granted to students who meet the following stipulations: (a) the satisfactory completion of a comprehensive examination in the major field, such examination to be designed and administered by the department involved; (b) the satisfactory completion of a senior project resulting in a written report on that project meeting guidelines based on those presently in effect for Senior Honors projects; (c) notice of intent to meet these requirements must be filed with the department chair or school director at least one calendar year prior to graduation and (d) an overall grade point average of 3.25 to 3.49. Graduating magna cum laude will be granted to students who meet the following stipulations: (a), (b) and (c) above, and (d) an overall grade point average of 3.50-3.79.
Graduation summa cum laude requires (a), (b), (c) and (d) an overall grade point average of 3.80 or above. Southern Miss does not round GPAs. A student's status concerning honors for commencement is based upon the student's cumulative GPA at the end of the term preceding the ceremony for which they will participate. After all grades are awarded, the honors standing will be adjusted accordingly on the diploma.
CoST Policies and Procedures for Alternate Latin Honors can be found here.
Financial Support for Undergraduate Research
There are several options for financial support to pursue undergraduate research. The National Science Foundation supports undergraduate research through its Research Experiences for Undergraduates program. Students work on a research project at the host institution; they typically receive a stipend and are often given financial assistance for housing and travel.
Find general information about the NSF REU program here
Search for current REU opportunities here
Find REU opportunities at USM here
Another opportunity for financial support for undergraduate research at USM is the McNair Scholars program, which provides support to students with strong potential; eligible students are low-income or first-generation college students or those under-represented in graduate education.
Publication and Presentation of Undergraduate Research
Undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to present the results of their research at a professional meeting or conference. A presentation of this sort typically includes a published abstract, which is a valuable addition to one’s resume or Curriculum Vitae (“CV”). Often undergraduate students give a poster or an oral presentation at the Mississippi Academy of Sciences or at a regional or national conference that their research mentor recommends. Occasionally the research contribution of an undergraduate is such that the student is included as a coauthor of a technical article published in a professional journal.
Another venue for publication of undergraduate research is USM’s Catalyst, “a multidisciplinary review of undergraduate research” that is edited by USM students.