Distance Programs and Licensure

The University of Southern Mississippi offers several online/distance degree programs that prepare students for professional licensure and/or certification within the state of Mississippi.

The following information pertains to obtaining a professional license subsequent to completion of said programs:

  • Admission into programs leading to licensure and credentialing does not guarantee that students will obtain a license or credential or obtain employment in the specific field.
  • None of the USM online degree programs are guaranteed to initial licensure in a state other than Mississippi 
  • Licensure may be possible through:
    • a reciprocity agreement by first becoming licensed in Mississippi or
    • by using initial licensure in Mississippi to apply for an out-of-state license in another state;
    • by submitting a transcript to the licensing board some of which evaluate licensure on a transcript-by-transcript basis  



Please read the following information regarding USM's distance/online programs keeping in mind that licensure eligibility or certification may require more than simply completing a degree as further detailed below:

  • VARYING RULES/REGULATIONS: Professional licensure and/or certification requirements vary from state to state and can change frequently.  

  • LICENSURE IN MISSISSIPPI: USM cannot guarantee program requirements meet the licensure/certification requirements in states other than Mississippi for most programs:

    • Please review the program details as some programs may not lead to licensure in Mississippi: each program shall disclose whether licensure can be obtained in the State of Mississippi following the completion of their program. 
  • ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS: Additional education requirements, special authorization, or pre-requisites may apply as determined by the professional licensing/certification agency in that state.    

    • Right to Work Requirements  Licensure or credentialing requirements can include evidence of the right to work in the United States (e.g., Social Security number or taxpayer identification number), proof of legal citizenship, successfully passing a criminal background check, and may require additional state-mandated/specific coursework.
    • Background Checks -Checks are typically required for both those pursuing professional licensure as well as those participating in supervised field experiences (internships or clinical placements) and may include all or any of the following- Criminal background check; fingerprinting or drug screening.  The professional licensing board prohibits licensing of those with a criminal background. Each state board has both regulations and rules that determine how such matters are handled.  Given that professional licensure boards make those determinations, we recommend speaking with the licensing board that oversees the profession in which you are seeking a license. 
  • QUESTIONS- Out-of-state students seeking to enroll in a USM course or program that customarily leads to professional licensure/certification, should first contact the program to discuss licensing concerns or questions.   

  • NEED ASSISTANCE- If you need assistance in identifying the individual at the program level able to assist with licensure information, please contact professionallicensure@usm.edu.


Click the link below to review the page indicating which online programs that may lead to licensure.

Online Programs & Licensure