Skip navigation

Honors College

About Nationally Competitive Programs

Nationally Competitive Programs (NCP) helps University of Southern Mississippi students and alumni cultivate the skills  they need to pursue prestigious scholarships and fellowships at the national level. These awards are designed for specific career and professional goals, so students must undergo initial university screening processes before applying and being endorsed by the NCP Advisor housed in the Honors College. These scholarships assist in the cost of study abroad, research or graduate school. The office is available to help all students including graduate and alumni, with nationally competitive program applications. 

Our Role:

  • Serve as the campus liaison for all external organizations.
  • Provide centralized information and resources to increase student awareness of the scholarship search and application process via workshops, events, online resources, and individual advising.
  • Collaborate with faculty and staff to identify and support potential student scholars as we coordinate application processes for a number of national scholarship opportunities.
  • Mentor students through intense processes by offering resources, advisement, and individual feedback which result in competitive applications for local and national scholarships.

Be great with the Big 8

These are eight awards where USM holds state records in applicants and/or winners. We primarily specialize in maintaining our rankings among these awards, but can help students with application processes for other awards. We encourage you to start with these awards or view a full list of popular NCP awards and fellowships through the link below. 

  • Barry Goldwater Scholarship: Funds a junior or senior year for STEM majors planning to pursue a PhD in research following his or her undergraduate degree. Goldwater Scholarships have been awarded to thousands of undergraduates, many of whom have gone on to win other prestigious awards like the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Fellowship, Rhodes Scholarship, Churchill Scholarship and the National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship that support our Scholars’ graduate school work. Today, Goldwater alumni can be found conducting research that is helping defend the Nation, finding cures for catastrophic diseases and teaching future generations of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.
    • Deadline: Campus in December and National in January
  • Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship: Opportunities for undergraduates, graduates, and alumni. The most popular award offers grants for Pell Grant eligible undergraduates to pursue study abroad. Can stack with summer financial aid and study abroad scholarships. Applicants must be approved for a USM study abroad program prior to applying. 
    • Two application cycles:
      • Fall is due the first Tuesday of October 
      • Spring is due the first Tuesday of March
  • Fulbright Scholarship: All majors interested in teaching or researching abroad. In partnership with more than 140 countries worldwide, the Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers unparalleled opportunities in all academic disciplines to passionate and accomplished graduating college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals from all backgrounds. Program participants pursue graduate study, conduct research, or teach English abroad. 
    • Deadline: Campus in September and National in October
  • Marshall: The Marshall Scholarship is available for all majors to study at any British University in any subject at graduate level. 
    • Deadline: Campus in August and National in September
  • Mitchell Scholarship: Up to twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one academic year of graduate study. It is open to all majors for study at approved institutions in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship Program provides tuition, accommodation, and a stipend for living expenses and travel. The scholarship covers September through May of an academic year.
    • Deadline: Campus August and National in September
  • Rhodes: Each year 32 young students from the United States are selected as Rhodes Scholars. Provides full financial support for Rhodes Scholars to pursue a degree or degrees at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. All majors are welcome. 
    • Deadline: Campus August and National September
  • The Washington Center: The Washington Center is an Academic Internship Program designed to assist students in building skills, professional experience and networks in Washington D.C. It is open to all majors and academic levels for fall, spring, or summer internship support. Students earn academic credit and participate in an academic internship in Washington D.C. 
  • Truman Scholarship: All majors with demonstrated leadership and campus/community involvement with career plans in public service or public policy. This is a merit-based grant given out by the Truman Foundation to third-year students needing financial support to attend graduate or professional schools in preparation for a career in public service leadership (government, non-profit, or elsewhere). The Truman Scholarship is meant to celebrate and prepare the nation's next generation of public service leaders. Scholars receive up to $30,000 for graduate school as well as access to extensive Scholar programming, priority admission and financial support from public service graduate programs, advising and mentoring from other public service leaders, and preferred hiring with the federal government.
    • Deadline: Campus in December and National in February



Contact Us

Honors College
Honor House
118 College Drive #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map