Skip navigation


Student Information - Hattiesburg


UPDATED: April 25, 2019

Steps for students to participate in the Commencement ceremony
All Undergraduate, Master's and Specialists degree candidates who have filed for degree and wish to participate in the Spring 2019 Commencement ceremony must reserve a seat.  Candidates may reserve a seat free of charge from January 24, 2019 through March 31, 2019. Any seating reservation made from April 1, 2019 through April 18, 2019 will be assessed a $100.00 late seating fee. Requests for seating after April 18, 2019 will not be honored and those students will not be allowed to participate in the Spring 2019 commencement ceremony.  RSVP online.

Commencement Virtual Rehearsal

Commencement Details

The Commencement program contains the DEGREE name for all candidates who have met the degree application deadline for the term for Hattiesburg and USM Gulf Coast.  All changes (addition, deletion, corrections, etc.) to the program must be made no later than Friday, March 1, 2019 for printing purposes.

Doctoral candidates must contact the Documents Specialist with any changes to the program no later than Friday, March 1, 2019 for printing purposes.

In keeping with the spirit of academic traditions, both faculty and students will process into the coliseum and to their seats under the direction of the Registrar’s Office.  As candidates cross the stage their names will be announced. Doctoral candidates will be hooded individually on stage after their names are called.

Due to limited floor capacity and length of ceremony, we will have two separate ceremonies by colleges, and we expect approximately 600 candidates at each ceremony.  The Commencement Ceremony is an elective event for undergraduate, masters, and specialists degree candidates. This a required event for doctoral candidates. Those who cannot participate must provide a valid reason for not attending to the Dean of the Graduate School through the Documents Specialist. Out of respect for others, all candidates are expected to remain on the coliseum floor until the conclusion of the ceremony. Any action that is deemed disrespectful or disruptive will result in the candidate’s diploma being held for disciplinary reasons.

Degree candidates who are the children of USM Alumni are also known as ‘Legacy’ students.  In an effort to recognize those families who have carried on the Southern Miss tradition, we collect the names of the Legacy degree candidates and their USM Alumni parents.  These Legacy students will be designated in the Commencement program, recognized as a group within the Commencement Ceremony, in addition to having their names listed on the Commencement website after degrees are conferred.  Legacy students are asked to submit their alumni parent information regardless of their participation in the Commencement ceremonies through the RSVP link provided.

Doctoral candidates are asked to provide this information directly to the Graduate Reader via email when requested.

All alumni parents will be recognized by a special Legacy pin that is distributed to the graduate at Cap & Gown pick-up.

Dress Code
Commencement is a formal celebration.  We encourage candidates to take this into consideration in regards to wardrobe.  Comfortable shoes are STRONGLY encouraged since candidates will be walking long distances, standing for long periods of time, and utilizing steps and a steep incline in the tunnel.  Please choose appropriate footwear.

All university parking lots, unless otherwise marked, will be open to the public on the day of Commencement. Participants should review the traffic flow details for changes after each commencement listed under Maps and Parking. See the Commencement Parking map (PDF) detailing available parking areas on campus.

The Commencement ceremonies will be Webcast live via the USM website. Southern Miss videos of Commencement are available for viewing at a later time via the Southern Miss YouTube channel.

Check-in Time and Location

Degree candidates should check in at the appropriate location and time listed below, please do not be late

Baccalaureate participants will be grouped and seated by colleges. Specialists and then Masters will be grouped and seated in alphabetical order by degree. Doctoral candidates will be grouped and seated by degree. Baccalaureate, Specialist, and Masters arriving after the processional line is finalized (15 minutes prior to each ceremony) will be added to the end of the processional line and may not be grouped and seated with their college in the coliseum.

6:00 p.m. Ceremony – Graduate School 




Doctoral, Specialists and Master’s candidates

Payne Center Gym

4:15 pm

Doctoral candidate's hooding professors Payne Center Gym 4:15 pm

9:00 a.m. Ceremony – College of Arts & Sciences and College of Nursing and Health Professions 





Baccalaureate candidates

Payne Center Gym

8:00 – 8:15 am


 2:00 p.m. Ceremony – College of Business and Economic Development
and College of Education and Human Sciences




Baccalaureate candidates

Payne Center Gym

1:00 - 1:15 pm


Items Needed at Check-in

Baccalaureate – Candidates should check in with their caps, gowns, name card, and student ID.

Masters/Specialist – Candidates should check in with their caps, gowns, hoods, name card, and student ID.

Doctoral – Candidates should check in with their doctoral regalia (cap and gown); hoods and name cards will be issued by the Graduate School at the Payne Center during check-in. 

Processional & Recessional (Processional-PDF)
To begin the Hattiesburg ceremonies, doctoral candidates followed by specialist's and master's candidates will lead the baccalaureate candidates in a processional from the West tunnel. Afterward, the students and guests will be asked to stand for the platform and faculty processional.

Following both ceremonies, the platform party and the faculty will lead the students in a recessional exiting through the East and West tunnels.

Items Needed at Check-in
Baccalaureate – Candidates should check in with their caps, gowns, and name card,
Masters/Specialist – Candidates should check in with their caps, gowns, hoods, and name card.

Impact of Weather
In the event of rain, umbrellas can be used to walk from the check-in location to the coliseum and left in the tunnel until the recessional. If weather is severe enough (heavy rain, thunderstorms, tornado watch/warning) to necessitate a delay in the start of the ceremony, instructions will be announced on-site to students and guests. If the forecast indicates no change in the severity of the weather, cancellation of the ceremony will be announced.

If the ceremony is underway but is interrupted by severe weather, students and guests should follow instructions as announced. It is advised that you prearrange a meeting place with your family and guests in case the ceremony is canceled. Instructions and updates will be provided via the USM Website and through local media outlets.

Accommodations for People with Disabilities or Special Needs
Special parking lots will be reserved for persons with disabilities or special needs that meet ADA guidelines. See Disability Access for complete details.

Doctoral candidates with special needs should also make the Graduate Reader aware of the needed arrangements.

Commencement Photos
A Commencement photographer from LifeTouch Photography will be available to take photos of the candidates as they cross the stage and receive their diploma covers. LifeTouch can be reached at 1.800.505.9496 or by emailing To view your photos please visit

Students may choose to have their photos made in advance of the ceremony through Southern Miss Photo Services. Call 601.266.4149 to set up an appointment in Hattiesburg.

There will be designated photo areas throughout campus on the day of Commencement.  We encourage graduates and their families to arrive early enough to take photos in these location prior to checking in at the Payne Center.

After the submission of final grades, the degree clearance review is a 6-8 week process.  The spring 2019 degree clearance process will conclude on June 14, 2019. Diplomas do not display the major in which a student completed their degree in. Diplomas only display a student's degree type (i.e. Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, etc.) and will be mailed to the degree address listed on your Graduation Application on Monday, July 1, 2019.

Doctoral candidates who have not completed all requirements for their degree will not be allowed to participate in Commencement.


Please note:  The Registrar's Office will communicate Commencement information through the student's email account. Students wishing to participate in the Commencement ceremony should check their email account for pertinent Commencement/Graduation information. 

Fire codes allow a maximum of 700 chairs on the Bernard Reed Green Coliseum floor.  Commencement seating is reserved on a first come, first serve basis for each ceremony.  Once the maximum capacity of 700 has been reached for a ceremony, the Registrar’s Office will discontinue accepting seat reservations.

Contact Us

Office of the Registrar
110 Kennard-Washington Hall

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map



Contact Us

Student Services One Stop
Hardy Hall, 1st floor

Gulf Park Campus

Campus Map