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Update - March 31, 2021

Commencement Ceremony Protocols

  • The University of Southern Mississippi looks forward to hosting all Spring 2020, Summer 2020, Fall 2020, and Spring 2021 graduates for Commencement ceremonies this May.
    • Monday, May 3, 7 p.m. – Undergraduates in the College of Nursing and Health Professions
    • Tuesday, May 4, 7 p.m. – Undergraduates in the College of Education and Human Sciences
    • Wednesday, May 5, 1 p.m. – Graduate Students Earning Doctoral or Master of Fine Arts Degrees
    • Wednesday, May 5, 7 p.m. - Graduate Students Earning Specialist or Master's Degrees
    • Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m. – Undergraduates in the College of Business and Economic Development
    • Friday, May 7, 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. – Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Sciences
    • Saturday, May 8, 3 p.m. – All Coast-based Undergraduate and Graduate Students
  • Students who wish to participate in Commencement ceremonies must register by April 16. Students who register after the original March 31 deadline will be assessed a late fee. Due to COVID-19 protocols, requests to participate in Commencement will not be accepted after April 16.
  • The following protocols will be in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while commemorating this special milestone.
    • Seating areas for students and guests will be clearly marked to facilitate physical (social) distancing.
    • Face coverings will be required for all ceremonies.
    • To maintain COVID-19 facility limits, tickets will be required for entry. Each participating student will have the opportunity to claim three digital tickets for guests. Details about the process for claiming tickets have been distributed to eligible students via email.
  • Additional information and instructions about how to register for Commencement may be found at Questions may be emailed to graduationFREEMississippi.
  • Please note plans may be adjusted further, pending future public health guidance.

Update - March 25, 2021

Additional On-Campus COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments

  • First-dose COVID-19 vaccination appointments in Hattiesburg and on the Gulf Coast are open to all USM students, faculty and staff over the age of 18, in line with current eligibility statewide.
  • Appointments are still required and are available on the following dates:
    • Hattiesburg - March 30 through April 1
    • Coast - April 9 and April 12
  • Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to schedule appointments as soon as possible and should check their USM email for additional details.
  • For individuals who are unable to secure an on-campus appointment, MSDH continues to administer vaccines at locations throughout the state. For more information about vaccine eligibility and distribution statewide, visit the MSDH website.

Update - March 1, 2021

Planning for a Full Return for Fall 2021

Reminder: Student COVID Relief Aid Priority Deadline

  • March 15 is the priority deadline for eligible students who wish to apply for COVID Relief Funds allocated by the United States Department of Education.
  • Information about eligibility and how to apply is available on the Office of Financial Aid's COVID Relief Aid web page.

Event Planning Guidelines


  • 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 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 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.