College of Arts and Sciences
College of Arts and Sciences
Welcome pre-professional students! Our office is designed to help students complete their undergraduate education at The University of Southern Mississippi and gain admission to both local and private professional schools in the field of their choice. Currently we offer the following programs*:
*These are supplemental programs, not degree programs.
If you do not see your desired program listed, or if you are unsure how your desired career fits into our programs, please contact one of our pre-professional advisors: Dr.%20Jeffrey%20Evans and Destiny%20DeLancey.Our offices are located at TEC 100 and LAB 212A. If you would like to meet with one of our pre-professional advisors to discuss your professional journey, please reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
If you are a current or prospective USM student seeking healthcare pre-professional education*, please fill out our contact form. By signing up for our email list, you can stay informed of current pre-professional events around campus, including:
*Students pursuing law school should speak to Sam Bruton or William Newman.
*Students interested in nursing should visit the College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Our pre-professional advisors can assist you in preparing for admission by arranging shadowing opportunities, providing mock interview sessions, and directing you to resources across campus for both academic and emotional support. Our pre-professional office also provides the following resources:
Pre-professional is another way of saying that, as a student, you are pursuing education beyond your undergraduate studies to become a healthcare, legal, or other specialized professional. In other words, as a pre-professional student you are aiming to supplement your degree with courses designed to help you pursue a career in a specialized field.
Pre-professional programs are not a series of majors like degree programs; rather, they are a set of courses varied by program to prepare you for entrance into professional schools. These courses can be taken regardless of what your traditional academic major may be.
The best major is one that interests and engages you. Your major should be in a field you would enjoy working in should you decide against professional school; it should be something that motivates you to get your undergraduate degree.
Most professional schools will accept any major, but do be mindful of their course prerequisites outlined in the above program links. Consider how those required courses would fit into your major education.
Admission into professional school is determined by many factors, including:
Our pre-professional advisors can assist you in preparing for admission by arranging shadowing opportunities, providing mock interview sessions, and directing you to resources across campus for both academic and emotional support. Our staff is dedicated to the success of our students, and they are always willing to lend a helping hand.
A “well-rounded” student is an ideal professional school applicant. While at USM, try to make the most of your time: join student groups, engage in community service, explore career opportunities, meet established professionals. It is also important to consider your next steps and explore potential professional schools and their communities; consider where you want to attend and why those schools stand out to you.
Preparation for a healthcare career has two phases:
For many fields, such as medicine, dentistry, and physical therapy, “pre-professional preparation” typically means a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree from Southern Miss followed by four or fewer years at a professional school. Some programs, such as pharmacy, dental hygiene, and occupational therapy, may consist of two to three years of courses at Southern Miss followed by up to four years in a professional school.
Admission to professional programs is very competitive and the application process must be initiated anywhere from several months to almost a year before the expected date of entry.
Effective July 1, 2004, Section 37-29-232 of the Mississippi Code requires that students enrolled in a healthcare professional academic program undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check before any clinical rotation in a licensed health care facility may occur. The background check typically occurs after the student completes an interview at the professional school. Some students are denied entrance into healthcare professional programs because of criminal incidents from their past or failing to report those incidents on applications.
Destiny DeLancey, Pre-Professional Advisor
Office Location: Liberal Arts Building 212A
Jeffrey Evans, Pre-Professional Advisor
Office Location: Bobby Chain Technology Center 100
Samuel Bruton, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Office Location: Liberal Arts Building 345A
William Newman, J.D., Assistant Teaching Professor
Office Location: Liberal Arts Building 411