Welcome to Arts and Letters


What is Arts & Letters?

What's So Special About Us?

Student Success

Study Abroad

A&L Events

Choosing a Major

Our Community

Our Faculty

Teaching Teachers (Licensure Programs)

Our Classes


Returning Students


Contact Us

What Is the College of Arts & Letters?

We are one of six academic colleges that together, along with University Libraries, Honors College, and the Graduate School, make up The University of Southern Mississippi. We are home to four fine arts departments, four social science departments, four humanities departments, two military departments, and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies.

 Visit our overview of all our departments and the degrees they offer, or check out individual department websites below.

Fine Arts

Social Sciences


Interdisciplinary Studies 

• Art & Design

• Dance

• Music

• Theatre 


• Anthropology & Sociology

• Communications Studies

• Mass Communication & Journalism

• Political Science, International Development & International Affairs 

• English

• Foreign Languages & Literatures

• History

• Philosophy & Religion

The Department of Interdisciplinary Studies allows you to design your own major by combining multiple disciplines from across the university.

What's So Special About The College of Arts and Letters?


What's so special about a degree from the College of Arts & Letters? We believe in teaching students the skills they need not just to get their first job, but to find a career they love, and to advance once they get their first job in their field.

We'll teach you how to read carefully and think critically, and how to evaluate the information you're getting for accuracy and bias.

We teach strong communication skills: the ability to understand your audience and to write compellingly, persuasively, and accurately.

We'll teach you how to unlock your mind and to see issues from a variety of viewpoints, which will both help you to solidify your own views and to understand those who have different viewpoints.

These skills are in high demand in a variety of careers, and most certainly in graduate programs and law schools for those students who want to pursue further education after graduation.

Wherever you want to go, The College of Arts & Letters can help you get there.


Our Commitment to Student Success

Student Success

The College of Arts & Letters is one of the largest colleges at Southern Miss, and we teach many of the introductory courses that students need in order to be successful at college. Because of our emphasis on making sure that students get a strong foundation on which to build the rest of their education, Arts & Letters has a special responsibility to help students who are struggling, either personally or academically.

We are the curators of the Student Success website, a one-stop shop for students, faculty, staff, and parents to find information on all the resources available on campus to help students have a fruitful and fulfilling experience at Southern Miss.

Need to visit the campus health clinic or talk to counseling services? Want to get involved in a student organization on campus? Need to know how to write a professional email to your professor? Visit the Student Success website for all the information you need.


Study Abroad

Study Abroad in Honduras

Our graduates often report that their semester or summer abroad was one of the most exciting, eye-opening experiences of their college of career.

If you're interested in seeing another country and learning about another culture firsthand, Arts & Letters is the place to be. Whether you want to learn Christianity and law in Rome, history in London (view photo gallery), Spanish in Spain, or music in Vienna, you'll find that the majors in Arts & Letters provide ample opportunities for you to travel the world. (Financial aid available for qualifying students.)

Learn more about study abroad programs at Southern Miss.


Arts & Letters Events Enrich Our Community

A&L Event

There's something going on in the College of Arts & Letters almost every day of the week. Our departments bring lecturers, artists (view photo gallery), poets, dancers, speakers, musicians, filmmakers, political activists, and scholars from all over the world to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to perform, give presentations, and work with students.

All our events are open to the public, and most are free, so if you're curious about who we are, we'd love to see you at one of our events.

Check out our upcoming events, subscribe to our biweekly email, the A&L Buzz to get a listing of all our events right in your inbox, or download this semester's series schedules to your mobile device.


Choosing a Major


If you're not sure what you want to major in, you're not alone. It's not uncommon for students to take a number of their core classes before deciding on a major, or for students to change majors once they find something that really excites them.

Take advantage of any of the following options:

• Browse our majors in the College of Arts & Letters.

• Visit Career Services, where a team of professionals can help you explore career options

• Explore your options online. If you find a major that sounds interesting, contact the department and ask to meet with an advisor who can give you more information about the major.

• Exploratory Studies, housed in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, is a program for freshmen who are undecided about what to major in. College is a time for exploration, and the number of majors offered at Southern Miss can be overwhelming. In Exploratory Studies, you'll take the core classes that are required for all majors, but also explore your career goals and engage in guided research on majors that interest you. The goal of Exploratory Studies is for students to find and declare a major by their sophomore year.


Student Ambassadors

Our Arts & Letters Ambassadors are students who volunteer their time to help new and prospective students learn more about Southern Miss. We asked them a few questions ourselves to get them warmed up—see what they said!


Our Community

Jump Scholars

One of the most critical parts of our mission is teaching students to see the world from different points of view, and we're excited about the diversity of A&L classrooms.

We actively recruit people from all walks of life, welcoming those of all races, gender identities, religions, orientations, political leanings, national origins, family statuses, ages, and abilities because we believe the best conversations happen when people from different backgrounds talk to each other in and outside the classroom.  

We encourage all our students to get involved in university life and have some fun (when you're done studying, of course)! Besides our great Arts & Letters events, there are student organizations, University Forum (which brings nationally known speakers from all over the country to Southern Miss), volunteer opportunities, recreational sports, and a wealth of restaurants, clubs, parks, and places to hang out in Hattiesburg. Learn more about getting involved over at Student Success


Our Arts & Letters Faculty

Our faculty is composed of active and engaged scholars who bring their research into the classroom, and talented artists, dancers, and musicians who perform across the nation and are committed to keeping current in their fields.

Above all, our faculty care about their students. We have an exceptional advising program which encourages students to get to know their advisors and share their aspirations and career goals so that faculty can guide them toward appropriate classes, internships, and opportunities to get experience in the field.

See some of the cutting edge research being done by Arts & Letters faculty, or take a look at our photo galleries.


We Teach Secondary School Teachers

English Licensure

Mississippi is in need of qualified, caring, motivated teachers, and Southern Miss is proud to provide the state with the majority of its secondary school teachers. We are ranked 6th nationally in providing new National Board certified teachers.

The College of Arts & Letters houses five licensure programs: English, Social Studies (History), Dance (K-12), Music (Instrumental and Choral) and Foreign Languages which offer students courses both in their subject area and in education. Licensure students also get teaching experience in real middle school and high school classrooms throughout the state, and graduate with a license to teach in the state of Mississippi. 

Worried about getting a job after graduation? Both the English and history licensure programs have had a 100% placement rate over the past several years!


Our Strength Is in Our Classes

Arts and Letters Classes

The College of Arts & Letter is home to a tremendously diverse and talented faculty, whose interests include:

• pop culture history
• civil rights in Mississippi
• the role of humor in communication
• the philosophy of Dr. Who
• Japanese samurai
• African American literature
• the Civil War
• and much more!

Our classes vary every semester, but you will be certain to find plenty of subjects to fascinate you and challenge your world view. Take a look at some of our current course offerings. 



We are proud to train tomorrow's military leaders  through our Aerospace Studies (Air Force ROTC) or Military Science (Army ROTC) programs. Students in these programs take regular academic courses along with their peers, but receive specialized leadership training as well, preparing them for exciting, challenging careers in the United States Armed Forces.


Returning Students

Many people start a four-year degree and then step away for family, work, or financial reasons. Others complete an associate’s degree and enter the work world, to find later that a bachelor’s degree is necessary for further advancement in their field. The Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree, housed in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, allows students the flexibility to choose courses that fit their schedule or can be completed online. 

Contact Us

We encourage you to browse our majors, come see a show, or contact our Arts & Letters recruitment and retention specialist, Donavan Johnson (601.266.4666), if you'd like to learn more about how the College of Arts & Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi can help you achieve your goals.