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Graduate Programs

SoMC Graduate Program FAQs

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When do I need to apply if I want an assistantship?

The priority deadline for students seeking an assistantship for Fall 2025 is January 31st, 2025.  The priority deadline for Fall 2024 admissions has already passed. Assistantships for master’s students admitted in the spring semester are limited.

How are assistantships awarded?

After students are admitted into the program, have indicated that they are seeking an assistantship, and are eligible to be considered for one, the graduate committee meets to award assistantships based on the strength of the admitted student’s application and the needs of the School of Media and Communication.

Do I need to apply separately for an assistantship?

No you do not.  You may indicate when you complete your application through the regular admissions portal that you are seeking an assistantship and may then be considered upon your admission into the program.

When are assistantships awarded?

Assistantships are only awarded or considered after a student has been accepted into our programs. We do not consider students for assistantship or make promises of assistantship prior to admission.

Can I get the application fee waived?

The University of Southern Mississippi does not waive the application fee for any students applying to its graduate programs.

Do I need to secure an advisor before I apply to the programs?

No, you do not.  Students are encouraged to discuss their programs of study with multiple professors within our programs in order to select an advisor after they are admitted.

What happens if I am conditionally admitted to the program?

Students who are conditionally admitted into our programs must earn a 3.5 GPA in the first nine hours of regular class credit (no independent studies) completed with the program before they can clear their conditional status. We do not offer assistantships to students while they are on conditional admit status. 

When can I start the grad programs? 

Both the Communication M.A. and Public Relations M.S. programs accept students in the fall and spring semesters each year. The Communication Ph.D. program only accepts applications for the fall semester.

How long are graduate students funded for?

Master’s students who are offered an assistantship within the School of Media and Communication are funded for two years (four semesters).  

Ph.D. students who are offered an assistantship are funded for three years (six semesters). It is understood that the Ph.D. is a designed as a three-year program of study and assistantships are used to meet the needs of the student in the program and the needs of the school. An additional fourth year Fellowship Program may be available for students who meet all of the program requirements, can show a need for further funding and are approved by the SoMC graduate committee.

What do assistantships cover?

Full-time graduate assistantships cover up to 12 hours of class credit per fall and spring semester, as well as provide a stipend. 

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