Why study public relations at Southern Miss?
Graduate students who study public relations at Southern Miss enjoy the benefits of a supportive, accessible and diverse group of faculty who hold wide-ranging research interests and are committed to the success of their students; bright and worldly classmates who are part of the student body that is smart and talented; and connections to successful and appreciative graduates. Alumni hold important positions in academia and in media organizations all over the world.
The graduate faculty combines applied knowledge with communication theory and works to engage students while challenging them to think critically as they address communication practices and issues. As such:
- Courses examine how mass communication creates, sustains, and changes political, corporate, non-profit, and cultural institutions, and society at large.
- The master’s degree programs integrate research and theory into a broad-based curriculum
designed to prepare recent graduates and experienced professionals for:
- Doctoral studies
- Professional advancement
- Personal enrichment
Regular Admission requirements include undergraduate transcripts from an accredited university with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on the last 60 hours of undergraduate study. Students must also provide GRE results with scores near or above the average of about 150 on the quantitative portion and 150 on the verbal portion. Additionally, students must provide three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, resume, and a writing sample.
International students must submit scores of at least 79 on the TOEFL exam or 6.5 on the IELTS exam.
Applicants without an undergraduate degree in mass communication must present evidence of general knowledge of the field and basic skills in news writing (including AP Style) and design. Such evidence may include courses taken post graduation and professional portfolios.
If applicants do not have sufficient evidence of a background in mass communication, they may be required to complete specified undergraduate courses concurrently or before entering the program. In most cases, these courses include:
- MCJ 102 -- Media Writing
- MCJ 203 -- Reporting
- MCJ 300 -- Multimedia storytelling
Students who do not have substantial professional experience may opt to complete a semester-length approved internship, consisting of at least 160 total hours completed during the semester in which the student is registered. Students are responsible for securing their own internship, but each position must be approved by the graduate coordinator. Internship opportunities help students: enhance practical skills, gain experience in the field and create networking opportunities with communication professionals.
In addition to the professional internship, students may choose to implement a professional project demonstrating multi-media skills. Projects may include the creation of a series of publications or articles including, feature stories, news stories, editorials, columns, photos, and a narrative explaining sources, problems and theoretical basis; the creation and implementation of a comprehensive advertising or public relations campaign; the planning and implementation of a professional conference or significant special event; or the production of a significant film project. The advising professor will determine and provide specific requirements.
A limited number of assistantships may be awarded to qualified master’s students by a competitive application process. Assistants currently receive an academic-year stipend and a tuition waiver for up to 12 credit hours for each term of the appointment.
- Students are encouraged to apply early and to notify the graduate coordinator of interest in applying for an assistantship upon acceptance into the program.
- Potential graduate students will not be considered for award until they have been formally accepted into the program. Currently enrolled students may also apply for the Gene Wiggins or Arthur J. Kaul endowment scholarships.
Master’s students are eligible to apply to the university’s British Studies Program.
There is currently a British Journalism and Social Media course offered during the
summer term. Graduate students are provided an enhanced research opportunity abroad,
as well as an opportunity to explore the UK and surrounding countries. Those interested
in the program or any study abroad opportunity, please visit the Office of Study Abroad website.
Please review the International Graduate Admissions web page for information regarding international graduate admissions.
For questions specific to international students, contact Ms. Elizabeth Shoemake at the International Student and Scholar Services Office:
Supportive, Accessible and Diverse Faculty
The mass communication program is served by 12 graduate faculty members who have significant professional experience in their fields as well as advanced academic careers. In addition to teaching assigned graduate courses, faculty may serve in the capacity of academic advisor, thesis advisor or professional project director. In each instance, faculty provides guidance, support and direction to guide students in the successful completion of their specific project and/or program.
|Public Relations MS||Hattiesburg|
- Public Relations Practitioner
- Non- and For-profit firm positions
- Communication Director
- Media Relations
- Amanda Calhoun, 2017,
Communications Coordinator, Moroch Partners
- D’Anthony Jackson, 2016,
Assistant Account Executive, Cohn & Wolfe
- Samone Faulkner Wilson, 2011,
Communications and Engagement Coordinator, Hattiesburg (MS) Public School District