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Advisement Center

Professional Advisors and Faculty Mentors

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Professional advisors and faculty mentors both play critical roles in student success, and students are advised to consult with both. Here's how they differ.


Professional Advisors

  • Professional advisors are particularly helpful during your freshman year when you are still exploring your major and learning about campus resources and the way the university works.
  • Professional advisors are a great resource if you are looking to change your major but you're not sure which direction you want to go in. They can help you explore all the majors the university has to offer and help you find the one (or two! or three!) that's a perfect fit for you.
  • Professional advisors have received training in all the resources Southern Miss offers to help students—from academic coaching to career services to financial aid to research librarians to counseling services. They can answer general questions, and will be able to direct you to the exact person you need to talk to if you have a problem that needs to be resolved.
  • Professional advisors are experts on reading degree plans and checking your degree progress report to make sure you are on track for a timely graduation. They are also well informed about required paperwork and university deadlines.

Faculty Mentors

  • By the end of your sophomore year, you should have a fairly firm grasp of what you want to major in, and you will want to make sure that you are talking with a faculty mentor in your major at least once a semester during advisement period.
  • Faculty mentors are experts in their field, so having a mentor in your major is critical. Your mentor can talk with you about the current state of the field, job prospects, and new research that might be of interest to you.
  • Faculty mentors are knowledgeable about the classes in their field, and can help you choose upper-level classes that will challenge you and meet your personal learning objectives. They can also help with undergraduate research projects and make you aware of any discipline-specific activities your school offers, such as honor societies, student organizations, or guest speaker speakers.
  • Faculty mentors can give you advice about applying to graduate school. (And the better your mentor knows you, the better prepared s/he will be to write you a letter of recommendation when the time comes.)
  • Faculty mentors understand the value of networking, and can support you both in your own professional networking and also in identifying professional organizations you should consider joining. They can also connect you to other mentors and agencies outside of campus if necessary.
  • If you're not sure who your faculty mentor is, check your SOAR Student Center. If you don't have a mentor listed, call the main office of your school and they should be able to assign a mentor to you. 


In short, both professional advisors and the Southern Miss faculty care about students and want them to be successful. You should definitely take advantage of the help and advice they're offering. 


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Advisement Center
Cook Library 203
Hattiesburg Campus

118 College Drive #5096
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

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