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Update - October 1, 2020

Spring 2021 Calendar and Commencement Updates

  • The University of Southern Mississippi has released a condensed academic calendar for Spring 2021, which includes changes to holiday schedules and Commencement ceremonies, in an effort to limit travel and prevent the spread of COVID-19 in accordance with health and safety protocols.
    • Spring classes will still begin on Wednesday, January 20, and regular instruction will conclude Thursday, April 22, with exams to follow.
    • Traditional Mardi Gras and Spring Break student holidays have been replaced with two new student holidays on Friday, February 19, and Friday, March 19.
    • A University-wide holiday will be observed on Friday, April 2.
    • Commencement ceremonies that were tentatively scheduled for December have been moved to May of 2021. Additional details have been distributed via email.
    • The full Spring 2021 academic calendar will be posted on the Office of the Registrar’s website by October 2.

Update - September 30, 2020

Reminder: Community Standards

UPDATED September 18 Students and Families: Flight Path

UPDATED September 23 - Faculty and Staff

UPDATED September 30 - COVID-19 Testing Data

Previous Updates Still in Effect


  • Wear a Face Covering
  • Maintain 6 Feet of Distance
  • Wash Hands Frequently
  • Avoid Touching Your Face
  • Stay Home If You Are Sick

CDC Prevention Guidelines

USM Health Protocols

CDC Protection Guidelines

USM Health Protocols

Previous Updates Still in Effect

  • University of Southern Mississippi faculty have launched a free, online public course that assists in understanding COVID-19 and related pandemic topics. Each module is presented in a video format by a USM faculty member whose expertise and academic focus is on the given topic. Access the course.
  • Eligible students may now apply for the laptop loan program, which is made possible through the generosity of the USM Foundation as well as an allocation from CARES funding.
    • Loaner laptops are available on both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses and must be picked up in person at the respective campus.
    • Students must be enrolled full-time and have a valid USM ID. Priority will be given to students who have no technology available to them off campus.
    • To request a laptop, log in to the online application with your USM SOAR credentials and complete the application.
    • Laptops must be returned at the end of the current semester.
  • The Everbridge App is now available to current USM students, faculty and staff to assist with COVID-19 prevention. The app includes multiple features, including a daily symptom checklist, direct links to Student Health Services at Moffitt Health Center for scheduling a COVID-19 test, and confidential reporting.
  • To download and access the app:
    • Search and download “Everbridge” in your phone’s app store (Click here for iPhone and here for Android).
    • Identify USM as your “community” within the app.
    • Enter your USM ID (ex: and password to sign-in.
    • Opt-in to services in which you wish to participate.
  • COVID-19 testing data is updated weekly on the Student Health Services website. Data represents results across all categories of individuals served by the Moffitt Health Center, including students, faculty, staff, and immediate family members.
  • The Student Resources (PDF) provides a downloadable summary of key resources.
  • Student Quick-Start guides for Microsoft Teams and Cisco WebEx have been added to the Help & Resources tab inside Canvas.
  • University Libraries is now offering curbside pickup at Cook Library in Hattiesburg and the Gulf Coast Library in Long Beach, so students, faculty and staff have the option of requesting materials online and picking them up without leaving their car.
    • Log into Seymour Info, select your items, and choose the pickup location and date. An email notification will be sent when materials are ready, and a USM ID is required for pickup.
    • Look for the curbside pickup sign on the west side of Cook Library, on Golden Eagle Avenue, or in the parking lot on the south side of the Gulf Coast Library.
    • Call upon arrival, and your items will be delivered to your car.
    • Materials may be returned through the outside book drops at each library.
  • The Student Services One Stop at the Gulf Park campus is now offering curbside document drop-off and pickup for students.
    • Look for the curbside pickup sign located in the parking lot on the north side of Hardy Hall.
    • Call the phone number on the sign upon arrival for assistance.
    • For more information, contact the Student Services One Stop at 228.214.3370 or email onestop_gpFREEMississippi.
  • The University's COVID-19 Response Status levels have been updated to reflect Fall 2020 plans. The current response status has moved to Yellow, which means the University has implemented comprehensive health protocols and adapted traditional course work, select student services and select operations to virtual formats.

The Fall 2020 semester begins on August 17. Below are links to several resources to help students prepare.

  • We are planning a fall semester that will provide students a flexible experience focused on their success.
    • Traditional face-to-face and hybrid lecture courses will be delivered remotely for the first three weeks. Students should log in to Canvas to access online coursework, syllabi and updates from their instructors. In-person meetings for these classes begin September 8.
    • Most labs and clinicals will meet face-to-face beginning August 17. The most current information for each course will be posted in Canvas.
  • USM Barnes & Noble bookstores are located in the Thad Cochran Center on the Hattiesburg campus and in Hardy Hall on the Gulf Park campus. Three options are available to purchase textbooks and other course materials.
    • Pre-order online and pick-up in store. You will receive an email when your order is ready, typically within 24-48 hours, and you will need to show your email notification when you go to pick up your order.
    • Order online with free shipping. Note the shipping address cannot be changed once the order is placed.
    • Purchase materials in digital formats, where available.
  • University Libraries are open and have implemented increased spacing between seating and work areas, regular cleaning of high-touch areas, one-way directional flow in hallways and stairwells, and limited capacity in accordance with University protocols.
    • Library computers are available for remote access to programs such as Office 365, Gmetrix, SPSS 26 and Matlab 2019.
    • The libraries’ vast array of e-books, e-journals, streaming media and other online content will continue to be available to students 24/7.
    • University Libraries will continue to provide a robust suite of virtual services, including personalized research assistance.
  • Step-by-step instructions are available from iTech for accessing on-campus WiFi and student email.
  • Fall 2020 parking permit registration is open. Register your vehicle online before coming to campus.
  • Students can log in to SOAR to access their records and class schedules.
  • On-campus dining locations are open with modifications, including adjusted seating capacity, additional grab-and-go dining options and convenient cashless payment options.
  • Students, faculty and staff are expected to take personal responsibility for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following our Community Standards.

The Flight Path: Fall 2020 website continues to be updated with the latest information for students and families. Local and statewide updates are accessible through the Community Updates page.

  • The Graduate School has extended standardized test waivers (excluding English proficiency exams) to applicants through the Summer and Fall 2021 terms. Please be aware that applicants to certain programs will not be eligible for this waiver due to accrediting or state and/or federal admission guidelines. Details are available on the Graduate Admissions website.
  • Beginning July 1, 2020, University-sponsored domestic and international travel may be considered on a case-by-case basis and will require approval by each division’s executive officer.
  • For Students
    • For immediate relief in managing stressors, try Eagle Cares.
    • Student Counseling Services remains available to assist students who may be feeling anxiety related to COVID-19 or social isolation.
      • Counselors are available remotely for students who are currently residing in Mississippi.
      • Counselors will assist students who are currently residing out-of-state with finding resources where they are located.
      • Students may call 601.266.4829 for assistance during normal business hours.
      • For after-hours and weekend emergencies, call 601.606.4357.
      • More information is available on the Student Counseling Services website.
  • For Benefit-Eligible Employees
    • USM’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP), GuidanceResources, has a Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources toolkit available online. Access instructions for benefit-eligible employees and their dependents are available on the Human Resources website.
    • Remember, benefit eligible employees and members of their household have telephonic access to talk to a counselor, financial advisor or legal advisor: 800.272.7255.