Office of Student-Oriented Services

The Office of Student-Oriented Services provides independent and objective assistance to students, parents, faculty and staff in resolving issues related to students. The office provides a safe, comfortable and confidential environment for presenting issues to ensure students' and parents' needs are met and afforded due process. We are also here to answer any questions you may have about university policies and procedures relative to class attendance, withdrawal from the university and the administrative withdrawal process, as well as other issues that may arise.


Student Absences

Students are expected to attend class each time it meets. When it is necessary that a student be absent from a class, it is the student's responsibility to provide an explanation to the professor: A class attendance policy will be set by the professor who is expected to set a reasonable policy with respect to documented absences that are truly beyond the student’s control. It will be the responsibility of each professor to notify his or her class in writing at the onset of each semester as to the attendance requirements. 

The Office of Student-Oriented Services serves to notify professors of extenuating circumstances. The request for an excuse does not alter the requirements of the class set forth by the professor. Additionally, grades and make-up procedures are determined by the professor.  

The Office of Student-Oriented Services can assist students who miss a class due to illness, emergency, or other unavoidable circumstances. Some professors require a formal letter of excuse from the department. Individuals who need this letter of excuse must complete a Request for Assistance Form and submit documentation verifying the situation causing the the absence(s). The office verifies all documentation presented prior to providing a letter of support. 


Request for Assistance form (printable PDF)


Administrative Withdrawal

A university transcript is a legal document that provides a true and accurate account of academic performance. An alteration to a student's history of academic performance as reflected by a university transcript should be done only if there is a compelling rationale for doing so.

On rare occasions, academic performance is severely affected by some emotional or personal tragedy beyond the control of the student. If a timely withdrawal was impossible or overlooked, a procedure known as Administrative Withdrawal (AW) may be an option. This policy does not apply to situations where students stopped going to classes, simply performed poorly after transferring to Southern Miss from another academic institution or wanted to make "minor adjustments" to their transcripts. Administrative withdrawal is specifically intended for students who were negatively affected by some extenuating circumstance that was beyond their control (e.g. the death of an immediate family member, a severe illness or incapacitation, a debilitating accident).

To discuss the criteria for an Administrative Withdrawal - Administrative Withdrawal Policy (printable PDF) - or begin the process, please contact our office. The Administrative Withdrawal Request form may be picked up from our office located in the R.C. Cook Union, room 221 or by clicking here, Administrative Withdrawal Request form (printable PDF)


*Graduate Students must meet the guidelines of the Graduate School. For more information, graduate students should contact the

Graduate School – Dean’s Office

McCain Library Room 205D



Free Speech Policy

The University has established highly visible areas on campus in order to facilitate robust debate and the free exchange of ideas. These “free speech zones” may be used by any person, including non-students and other campus guests. Please visit the Office of Student Oriented Services for more information.


For More Information Contact:

Alfreda Horton - Coordinator

Office of Student-Oriented Services
The University of Southern Mississippi

R.C. Cook University Union - Room 221

118 College Drive #5073
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001

Phone: 601.266.4025
Fax: 601.266.6331