Grad FAQs

Getting Started

How do I get a SOAR password once I have been admitted?

The first thing you need is your student ID, which should have been emailed to you by the Graduate School when you were admitted.  (If you don't know your ID, you can email the School of Humanities at and we'll be happy to send it to you.)  Once you know your ID, call iTech at 601-266-HELP and they will set you up with a temporary password and instructions on how to change it to one of your choosing.

Where do I sign up for the Grad Listserve?

You can sign yourself up for the graduate mailing list here. Your name will be submitted for approval, and assuming you are a grad student in the English Department currently enrolled in classes, you will be approved within 48 hours. Once you have been added as a member, you can post to the list by emailing

Where can I get things printed?

Unfortunately, the English Department is unable to provide printing service for either graduate students or faculty. The nearest location to print is Cook Library.

I have questions about my USM insurance.

Visit HR's webpage to find out more about the graduate student insurance.  If you still have questions, please contact Amy Hester in the department of Human Resources. 

How do I get access to wireless on campus?

Please visit iTech's wireless help page for information on getting connected to USM's wireless network.



How do I drop a class?

If you have an assistantship, all dropping of classes must be done via add/drop in SOAR. Dropping courses can change your full-time status. This is because dropping below the nine hours you need to maintain your assistantship, even if you are under-enrolled only for a minute while you drop one class and add another, will automatically trigger the billing department to charge your account for tuition.

If you do not have an assistantship, you may drop yourself on SOAR up until the last day to drop without academic penalty (check the academic calendar for dates), and thereafter with an add/drop form from Student Services.

How do I audit a class?

Please note: Audited classes do not count towards full-time enrollment, but tuition is the same as for a regular class. If you have an assistantship, this means that you will be responsible for paying for any classes you audit, as you still need to be enrolled in 9 hours under the terms of your assistantship, and the audited class will be an additional three hours not covered by your tuition waiver.

As a courtesy, you should speak to the instructor of the class and ask if you may audit it. If s/he agrees, enroll in the class via SOAR just like you would any other class. After the semester begins, email the registrar's office and tell them that you want to change your enrolment status to "Audit". 


I have an assistantship, but I am being billed for tuition. Why?

Your tuition waiver may take time to go though and may not be entered before Business Services has billed your account. To see if your waiver has posted, follow these instructions:

1. Open your Student Services page in SOAR.
2. Under Finances, under My Account, click the link for Account Inquiry.
3. Click the little box-with-an-arrow on the bottom right labeled "Display Min Payment Due."
4. In the right column, look at your "Antc Fin Aid." If the number there matches or exceeds the "Total Charges" in the left-hand column, your tuition waiver has posted and your bill will be adjusted automatically with no action on your part.

If you don't have anything listed under Antc Fin Aid, please call Diane Miller at (601) 266-4369.

Where can I find thesis/dissertation guidelines?

You can find out everything technical you need to know, from deadlines to acceptable font size to how to contact the Graduate Reader for title page approval, on the Graduate School's website under Center for Graduate Student Success. 

My incomplete has turned to an F. What do I do?

Incompletes turn to "Fs" if they are not completed within one semester after the completion of the class. You should inform your advisor of the situation and work with him/her and your instructor to make a plan for completing the work. Once your work has been graded, your instructor will change your grade.

How do I get approval for an independent study (English 692)?

To be approved, a Special Problems course (692) must do one of the following:

1. Fulfill a requirement towards the student's progress to degree that he/she is unable to fulfill through traditional coursework. The department recommends that students enroll in seminars rather than 692 when possible because the seminar format provides greater rigor in terms of its weekly meetings, discussion with peers, and range of assignments. If a seminar is full, then approval can be granted for a special problems course that will fulfill the same distribution requirement.
2. A student has fulfilled all of their requirements for the degree and would like to take extra coursework in order to prepare for exams or pursue a scholarly interest. We encourage interested faculty and students to work together in this way so long as the 692 does not impede student's work in required academic areas.

In either case, a well-developed syllabus with meeting schedule, reading and writing assignments, grade breakdown, and course rationale is required for approval. A graduate student can be approved for no more than two independent studies during their career.




When are grades due?

Find grade entry due dates on the Registrar's page here

Grade Roster Types

Not Attending 

The Not Attending roster is designed to make sure that students are attending the classes and sections they are officially enrolled in. It is visible only in SOAR and is not shown on students' official transcripts.  Grade changes are not necessary on the Not Attending roster.


Interim grades provide feedback to students and their advisors about how they are doing early in the class, which can help them make changes if needed to improve their performance.  Interim grades are visible only in SOAR and are not shown on students' official transcripts.  Grade changes are not necessary on the Interim roster.


The Final roster is the official record of students' academic performance in their classes and will be shown on their official transcripts.


How do I enter grades?

Find a PDF with grade entry instructions here

A student emailed me about registering for my closed class. Can I allow them to join even though the enrollment cap has been reached?

Enrollment is controlled in the main office and varying situations call for us to set an enrollment at a specific cap. If a student requests to join your closed class, please have them email ( or call (601.266.4320) the main office.

I have a problem student. Who can help?

If you have a student who appears to be in distress--emotional, financial, academic or otherwise -- USM has an CARES (Campus Action Referral and Evaluation System) system to help. To send a message to CARES, follow this link. This will take you to a form you can fill out online, which will let university staff know that a student is having difficulty in a certain area, and someone trained in that area will contact the student. 

If you feel the student is in imminent danger, you can reach Student Counseling Services at (601) 266-4829 during work hours or (601) 818-6352 any time day or night. 

If you have a student who is threatening or disruptive in class, you should talk to the Director of Composition or the School Director as soon as you can. If you need immediate assistance, you can call the campus police at (601) 266-4986 or the School of Humanities office at (601) 266-4320 and someone will be sent to your classroom to help. Please also email our department security authority, Dr. Luis Iglesias, and apprise him of the situation.