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Graduate Admissions

Frequently Asked Questions

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If you're applying to a graduate program at Southern Miss, be sure to check out these frequently asked questions regarding required transcripts, test scores, program-specific required documents, the application, application deadlines and fees, admissions decisions, and other miscellaneous questions!

Questions about Transcripts

You should submit official transcripts for all regionally accredited institutions from which a bachelor’s degree or higher degree was obtained AND official transcripts for all work completed after obtaining the bachelor’s degree, including undergraduate and graduate coursework. Junior/community college transcripts are NOT required. (If you are applying for nursing programs and have earned an Associate’s of Science-Nursing, you should include those transcripts.)
No. You may submit in-progress, official transcripts from their current institution. If admitted, it is your responsibility to submit final, official transcripts during your first semester at Southern Miss.

You can track the receipt of all required documents, including transcripts, by logging into your application portal. Please be aware that transcripts typically take 24-48 hours to be processed.

If you were a former student at Southern Miss, you will NOT need to request your transcript. As a courtesy, we will request a transcript on your behalf. Just be sure to include Southern Miss in your education history.


Graduate Admissions accepts official transcripts sent in sealed, official envelopes via the postal mail and via electronic transcript services. For electronic transcript services requiring an email address, please use graduateschoolFREEMississippi, otherwise, be certain to select The University of Southern Mississippi - Graduate Admissions from any lists. Transcripts being sent via the postal mail should be addressed to:

International applicants should address official transcripts to:

The University of Southern Mississippi
Office of International Admissions
118 College Drive #5135
Hattiesburg, MS 39406 USA 

Official transcripts are received daily both electronically and through the postal mail. Once we have received a transcript, it typically takes 24-48 hours for the transcript to be processed and attached to your application. You can track the status of your transcripts by logging into your application portal. If you attended a previous institution under a different name, you may need to contact our office after sending your transcript.

Questions about Test Scores

Certain programs require standardized test results. (To review a list of programs that require test scores, please visit the Program Information webpage.) Of those that do, most programs require or accept GRE results. The College of Business and other select programs may accept GMAT scores. Programs in education may accept the MAT or request PRAXIS Core and/or PRAXIS II subject area results. Contact the office of your anticipated major to determine whether they will accept scores other than the GRE. If you have not already taken the GRE or other test, you should do so at least six weeks prior to your program deadline.

GRE and GMAT scores can take up to 7-10 business days to be reported from your request date. Electronic scores are loaded daily.

Southern Miss’s ETS code for GRE and TOEFL is 1479. All GRE test scores are delivered to Graduate Admissions, regardless of campus.

Some programs require graduate-level standardized tests for admissions. On rare occasions, certain programs may request a test score waiver from the Dean of the Graduate School for applicants who are particularly well qualified or who may have extensive experience in their field. Please contact the office of your anticipated major to inquire about test waivers.

Questions about Required Documents

The Graduate School determines the minimum GPA requirements for regular admission into masters, specialist, and doctoral programs. Your program may require a higher GPA.

  • Applicants to master’s programs must have at least a 2.75 GPA on their last 60 hours of undergraduate study.
  • Applicants to a specialist program must have at least 3.25 GPA on previous graduate work.
  • Applicants to a doctoral program who have not earned a master’s degree must have at least a 2.75 GPA on their last 60 hours of undergraduate work.
  • Applicants to a doctoral program who have earned a master’s degree must have at least a 3.5 GPA on all previous graduate work.
The Graduate School does NOT stipulate a minimum GRE, GMAT, or MAT score. Please contact the office of your anticipated major for questions regarding test score requirements. For additional information regarding regular admissions requirements and conditional admissions requirements, please see the current year’s Graduate Bulletin.

In addition to official transcripts and official test scores, you should be prepared to provide contact information for three individuals who are able to speak to your academic performance. (Applicants to the Speech Pathology program will be requires to submit form references. Applicants to the Political Science and Library and Information Science master’s programs are only required to submit two letters of recommendation.) Most programs require additional supplemental documents as part of the application file. Lists of those documents can be found in the Graduate Bulletin and within the application. You should contact the office that houses your anticipated major for additional information about those materials.

Applicants to any nursing program are required to complete a supplemental nursing application.

Applicants to the Nurse Anesthesia program will also need to download and complete the following documents: Shadowing Log (PDF), CRNA Interview (DOC), Clinical Competencies (PDF), and Additional Information Sheet (PDF),

You can download those materials from the application or using the following links: Case Vignette (PDF), Professional and Technical Standards (PDF), and Statement of Purpose Instructions (PDF).

Questions about the Application

Up until the point of submission, you can update any information on your application by logging into your application portal. Once you have submitted your application, the information is locked. If your information has changed, please contact The Office of Graduate Admissions at 601.266.5137 for assistance.

You can make changes regarding any uploaded documents until your application has been forwarded to the academic unit for review by logging into your application portal. Once your application has been submitted to the unit, the information is locked for review. However, if you have an updated document that you would like to submit, you can contact the office of your major for further instructions.

Up until the point of submission, you may change recommenders or recommender emails by logging back into your application application portal and excluding recommenders from your application and adding new ones. Once you have submitted your application, you can resend a recommendation request, change recommenders, or update recommender information by logging back into your application portal. In your application account, click the link for the recommendations page. From there, you can resend or exclude recommendation requests by selecting the appropriate recommender. If you exclude a recommender, please be sure to add a new recommender before logging out of your application.

You will not be able to upload letters of recommendation yourself. Instead, you will be required to enter the name and email address of each individual who will be writing a letter of recommendation. They will be sent an email with a link to upload their letter of recommendation.

Yes, you can, and should, submit your application before all required documents have been received. Waiting for all materials to be submitted before submitting your application may cause you to miss the application deadline. Once you have submitted your application and paid your application fee, you will be able to upload any missing materials through your application portal. 

Before submitting your application, you will be able to upload any required materials. If you submit your application before uploading all your materials, you will still be able to upload your remaining materials after paying your application fee. Just log back into your application portal.

Applications submitted and paid for by the application deadline are typically considered “on time”. If you have not submitted your application and paid the application fee, you should do so immediately. After the deadline, applications can longer be submitted.

Certain programs do require that all application materials be received by the application deadline. If you are concerned about missing application materials and the application deadline, contact the office of your anticipated major for additional information.

Questions about Application Deadlines and Fees

The application for graduate study is available until:

  • August 10 for Fall admissions
  • January 5 for Spring admissions
  • May 10 for Summer admissions

However, many programs have priority deadlines for admissions. For the most accurate information regarding application deadlines, you should contact the office of your anticipated major.

Application deadlines are firm. If you have missed the deadline, you can be admitted as a non-degree seeking student for your first semester and then apply for a future term in your program.

Please be aware that you will be required to submit a second, program-specific application and pay a second application fee. Non-degree seeking students must submit the online application, application fee, proof of bachelor’s degree, and immunization records. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for federal financial aid.

There is a $60 non-refundable, non-transferable application fee. The Office of Graduate Admissions offers fee waivers for domestic applicants who are active duty or veterans of the United States military, former or current McNair Scholars, Fulbright Student Scholars, and current, full-time Southern Miss employees. If you qualify for one of these waivers, you will be notified as you complete your application.

After submitting your application, you will be redirected to the payment portal. In that portal, you can pay using a credit or debit card. If you choose not to pay at the time of submission, you can pay later by logging into your application account. Once you have submitted your application, you will not be able to take any additional actions on your application until the application fee has been paid. Please be aware that your application will not be processed until your application fee has been paid.

Questions about Decisions and Post-Admission Actions

Once you have submitted your application, application fee and all required application documents, your application will be reviewed by graduate admissions staff, usually within 3-5 business days. Your application will then be forwarded to the academic unit for review. Each program’s review process and timeline is different. You can contact the office of your anticipated major for specific dates and timelines. Once the program has made their decision recommendation, you will be notified via email that a decision has been reached.

Admission decisions are made by the academic unit. Therefore, the Graduate School is unable to disclose reasons for admission denial to the applicant. Applicants can contact the program to request additional information. However, units may or may not choose to disclose this information to the applicant.

Students are admitted to a particular program for a specific term. To request a different start term, you will need to complete a deferral request. Deferral requests are approved at the discretion of the program, but cannot be more than one semester from the original term of admission.

Immunization records can typically be obtained from a previous educational institution, your personal physician or from your local health department. If you are unable to obtain your records, and you have received two doses of the MMR (or comparable vaccine), you can have a MMR titer test completed. If you were born before January 1, 1957, you are not required to submit proof of immunization. Records may be submitted online (link).

Yes. In-progress transcripts may be used for admissions purposes. However, if admitted it is your responsibility to submit your final transcript as soon as possible. You will not be permitted to enroll in their second semester of coursework until all final transcripts have been received.

Your advisor is assigned by your program and should be visible in your SOAR account. Contact your program if you do not have an assigned advisor or you have questions about your advisor.

You may transfer up to 33% of graded coursework for use toward the completion of a graduate level degree, with approval from your advisor. These credit hours can NOT have been used or obtained during the course of completion of a previous degree. To begin the credit transfer process, contact your advisor.

Graduate assistants are required to be enrolled in at least 9 hours of graduate level course work during the fall and spring semesters and 3 hours of graduate level course work during the summer semester. Undergraduate coursework does not count towards the hour requirement.

Additional Questions

If you wish to return to a graduate program to which you were previously admitted, enrolled, and completed at least one semester of classes, you need to fill out a new application, just be sure to indicate that you are seeking to be readmitted to a program in which you were previously enrolled. Applicants seeking readmission are not required to resubmit application documents or transcripts, unless they have attended another institution of higher learning since leaving Southern Miss.

If you wish to return to graduate school in a new or different program you should indicate that you are seeking to earn a degree, certificate, or badge as you complete the application.

Information regarding tuition and fees and other expenses can be found on the Business Services website.

Information regarding scholarships and other funding opportunities can be found under the Financing Your Education section of the Graduate School website.