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Graduate School

Graduate Education at Southern Miss

Through an extensive selection of outstanding degree and certificate programs and professional development opportunities, graduate students at The University of Southern Mississippi acquire the knowledge and skills for success. Our graduates impact the world in such diverse fields as ocean science, psychology, social work, nursing, business, and the arts. Currently, over 3440 students from across the globe are pursuing degrees in a broad variety of degree and certificate programs across all academic colleges.

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Opportunities for Professional Development

As part of its commitment to educating future professionals both academically and practically, The Graduate School offers you opportunities to build the necessary skills to be successful both within the academe and outside.

At present, the university has approximately 900 university assistantships in all areas. Assistantships are awarded competitively by academic programs or other service areas. Students wishing to apply for graduate assistantships should correspond directly with the office or program offering the assistantship. Students are free to apply for assistantships in any office or program, not only in the program to which they are admitted. 

To maintain an assistantship, students must enroll in nine hours of graduate course work during the fall and spring semesters (or three hours during the summer). Additionally, students are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA.

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The purpose of the Graduate Student Senate (GSS) is to provide the student perspective to the dean of the Graduate School who serves as its official adviser. It is a voice for all graduate students and an advocate for their concerns and ideas concerning graduate education and graduate students at The University of Southern Mississippi. The Senate is composed of a representative from each program or school nominated by the program or school director. Nominations for the upcoming academic year are solicited during the summer semester.

The Graduate School has subscribed to a new set of tools which provided students with a full set of digital academic and professional development services. Graduate students now have free access to weekly webinars, self assessments, video shorts, an app, wellness tools, academic writing help and so much more. Learn more by viewing the OnDemand PD Resoruces.

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Professionals in Preparation is a professional development program designed to help students improve their transferable skills (leadership, effective communication, problem solving, management, etc.) making them more marketable and effective in an increasingly competitive job market. The two-semester program consists of:

• Bimonthly seminars and workshops
• Mentor-ship training 
• Participation in communication competitions

The Proposal Project aims to strengthen grant-writing skills of graduate students through training and practice and increase the number of externally-funded fellowships and traineeships awarded to graduate students at Southern Miss.

Tuesday, September 20: Identifying Funding Resources for Graduate Students (Hybrid)

  • Presenter: Maurine Pace, Information Specialist, Office of Research Administration

Thursday, September 22: Grant Proposal Development for Graduate Students (Hybrid)

  • Presenter: Marcia Landen, Associate Vice President for Research

Friday, October 21: Deadline to submit Letter of Intent.

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The Susan A. Siltanen Graduate Research Symposium will be held on Thursday, April 6, 2023.
The symposium provides graduate students with an opportunity to present their research to faculty, staff and students in a friendly competitive environment through oral and poster presentations. The symposium is designed to enhance the scholarly environment for graduate students and highlight the innovative and scholarship being done by Southern Miss graduate students. 

Deadline to register is Monday, January 30, 2023 at 5 p.m.

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The 9th Annual Three-Minute Thesis will be taking place November 2-4, 2022.  Find out more about prizes, rules, and eligibility! 3MT competitors are asked to explain their thesis or dissertation in a three-minute presentation; effectively communicating the complexity of their topic and research to a non-academic audience. The competition is a great opportunity for students to hone their 30-second elevator pitch and win prizes while doing so. Check out previous winners!

Deadline to register is Monday, October 3, 2022 at 5pm.


Applications are now being accepted for the Graduate Competitive Travel Award. The funds may be used to support graduate student participation in a virtual or in-person professional conference, exhibition, or other appropriate venue for purposes of presenting research or other forms of creative work in conjunction with a student’s program of study during the months of January – July, 2023.

Applicants may request up to $500 to be used for virtual conference registration fees or domestic travel or up to $1000 for approved international travel.

Deadline to apply is Friday, October 28, 2022 at 5pm.

Apply today!


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Graduate School
143 JB George
Hattiesburg Campus

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 A R1 research university, USM garnered $74 million in sponsored funds.


USM students represent 72 countries and all 50 states. 


USM offers 81 doctoral, 126 master's, 2 specialist, and 20 certificate programs.