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The Arts

USM is one of only 39 institutions in the nation accredited in theatre, art and design, dance and music.

Arts and Academics

When you think Arts, think Southern Miss



The School of Music is dedicated to its longstanding international reputation for musical excellence, providing a myriad of musical and educational opportunities for the professional and artistic growth of our student musicians.

Here you will work side-by-side with distinguished faculty who have performed on world-class stages and teach at festivals and conferences around the globe. Find yourself performing in ensembles including The Southern Chorale, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble and the Steel Pan Orchestra at regional, national and international events as well as attending master classes with guest artists.

School of Music

Performing and Visual Arts

The School of Performing and Visual Arts houses undergraduate programs in art, graphic design, painting and drawing, sculpture, dance performance and choreography, dance education, theatre, theatre performance, and theatre design and technology.

Graduate programs are offered in theatre performance, theatre design and technology, and directing.

The school produces exhibitions and performances throughout the year, and students are highly engaged in practice in the arts.

School of Performing and Visual Arts

English (Creative Writing)

The School of Humanities is comprised of the major disciplines of English, history, philosophy and religion. In other words, we are the school that examines and celebrates the human capacity for expression, empathy and critical evaluation.

The Creative Writing program in our School's Center for Writers offers courses and workshops in fiction, nonfiction, prose and poetry, taught by distinguished faculty who are widely published in their field. Students in the program can work toward an MA or PhD in English with an emphasis in creative writing and are afforded opportunities to study with internationally acclaimed resident and visiting authors. 


Center for Writers

Arts News

 The Latest on Our Vibrant Arts Community


USM Symphony Orchestra Set to Begin New Season

USM Symphony Orchestra announces its 102nd season, opening Sept. 30, 2021 and offering a concert a month throughout the academic year.

The season, entitled “Uncharted Territory,” explores the complicated landscape we face coming out of the pandemic. Recognizing that the world has been turned on its head by a series of events unprecedented in our lifetimes, the pandemic shook our will and made some question their belief in science and facts.

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USM Alumni, Faculty Artists to be featured in the Mississippi Museum of Art Invitational

Four alumni and a faculty member from USM were invited to participate in this year’s Mississippi Invitational exhibition, held by the Mississippi Museum of Art (MMA).

MMA selected 42 artists to be featured in the 2021 Mississippi Invitational exhibition, a survey of recent works created by contemporary visual artists living and working in the state.

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USM Alumnus Jeffrey Murdock Wins Grammy Educator of the Year

With the help of a family friend who paid for then five-year old Jeffrey Murdock to take piano lessons, the seed was planted for USM alumnus to be on a trajectory to pay it forward, with that same generous spirit, to help young people from all walks of life discover their own musical talents.

Now a music professor at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Jeffrey Murdock is recipient of the 2021 Grammy Music Educator award in the 63rd edition of the famed recognition ceremony, which honors achievements in the music industry. 

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