Below are frequently asked questions regarding assignments, residence halls, and general questions.
In recognition of the value of the living-learning experience associated with on-campus living, the USM Department of Housing and Residence Life has a freshman residency program for the Hattiesburg campus. This would require all new first-time, full-time freshman students to live on campus their first year at USM. This is also consistent with the other state institutions in Mississippi, who have had their first year residency requirements for a number of years.
Possible exemptions from the 1st year live-on requirement include:
- The student is 20 years of age prior to the first day of classes of the student's first semester. A copy of the certificate of birth or passport must be submitted.
- The student is married. A copy of the certificate of marriage must be submitted.
- The student has custody of dependent children. A copy of the certificate of birth and copy of your federal tax return, verifying the child is your dependent, must be submitted.
- The student lives with parent(s)/guardian(s) whose current permanent primary place of residence is not more than 50 miles driving distance from USM. A completed parent/guardian verification statement must be submitted.
- The student is a transfer student and USM has accepted at least 24 semester credit hours. A copy of unofficial transcripts must be submitted.
- The student is enrolled part-time (less than 12 hours per semester). A copy of class schedule must be submitted.
- The student has a compelling circumstance. A letter concisely and fully describing the circumstance and any supporting documentation must be submitted.
Note: If you are a transfer student with a freshman status, meaning less than 24 credit hours, you will be required to live on campus for your first year at USM.
You need to be fully admitted to the university with a student ID number to apply for housing. As soon as you have your ID number and have been admitted to the university, you will be able to apply for housing by logging into the Housing Portal. This number will be given to you by the Office of Admissions.
Click here to be directed to the Housing Portal, and then log in with your SOAR ID and password. Then, click on the "Applications and Assignments" tab and then click "Apply Now." Select which term you are applying for.
Please Note: In order for your housing application to be considered complete, you must sign and submit the Housing Contract Lease Agreement and pay the non-refundable application fee where you will then receive final confirmation. If you are a returning upperclassman student, you will not have to pay the non-refundable application fee.
For freshman students, the application and processing fee can be submitted at any time; however, the earlier your application is complete (application submitted and non-refundable processing fee paid) the better chance you have of selecting the room you prefer on campus.
For upperclassman and transfer students, the earlier you apply for housing, the better the chance you will have at being placed in a room on campus. Due to the 1st year live-on requirement, we have to prioritize freshman students first, so please apply for housing as soon as it becomes available!
Also, freshman and transfer students applying by March 1st, the priority deadline, will have an application fee rate of $75. After March 1st, the non-refundable processing fee increases to $150.
The non-refundable processing fee is assessed to students for the process of reviewing applications and making assignments. The processing fee can be paid online using a VISA or MasterCard. Students may also pay using a money order mailed to the Department of Housing and Residence Life (118 College Drive #5064, Hattiesburg, MS 39406) or turned in to the front office located in Hattiesburg Hall. Students should note their name and student ID number on the money order.
If you are accepted to the Hattiesburg campus, there are on-campus residence halls and apartments to choose from. However, if you're accepted to the Gulf Park campus, there are no on-campus living options, so you have the option to commute or look for housing. That being said, the first-year live-on requirement is only applicable to the Hattiesburg campus.
Students who cancel their application through the Housing Portal by June 1st for the following fall/spring terms will be released without any financial penalty. Students who cancel after June 1st, but prior to July 1st, will be charged a $500 cancellation fee. Students who cancel between July 1st - August 1st, will be charged a $750 cancellation fee.
Beginning August 2nd, students will be held to the terms of their contract lease agreement. Students charged either the cancellation fee or the full contract fee may appeal at any time. Appeal forms and information can be found in the Housing Portal under the "Miscellaneous Forms and Requests" tab.
Housing priority is established based on completed application date which includes a fully signed and executed contract lease agreement and completed parent contract and payment of the non-refundable processing fee, if required.
Students who do not request a roommate will be assigned a random roommate. These assignments are based on a matching system in which preferences are reviewed and students are matched based on the highest compatibility listed on their application.
Students may also use the Roommate Connection program available in the Housing Portal after completing the housing application. This program allows students to create a profile and search others who have similar profiles. It also allows for students to email one another so that they can communicate and determine if they would be compatible roommates.
We encourage incoming students who find a roommate or have a preference to ensure they have updated their roommate pairings. Both students must have a completed application in order to be paired together. If you have not paired properly with your preferred roommate prior to room selection, you will need to add your roommate during room selection using their roommate pin number that they received upon completing a housing application. In the event a student needs to reset their roommate pin number, please contact the Housing and Residence Life front office. Once the student’s online room selection window has opened only one student will need to complete the room selection process for themselves and the roommate. The student who does the room selection process will pull their paired roommate into the room booking. Each student will receive an assignment confirmation email once a room has been selected and the process is completed.
For students who are applying for living learning communities, you will need to adjust roommate preferences within that particular LLC’s portal. Those portals will become available as soon as offers are sent out (typically around March 1st). ACES, Honors College, and Luckyday residents are required to live with other members of their communities.
It is a requirement that freshman students live with other freshman students. In addition, students who receive certain scholarships may be required to live with students of the same scholarship/living learning community. These guidelines are determined by the scholarship program administrators and noted within the particular scholarship guidelines. A student in a living learning community may request a student who is not a member of that community, however, the request will need to be approved by the scholarship program administrators.
Current residents who go through room selection will receive their assignment information upon completion of that process. If student’s do no go through room selection or apply after the January 1st priority deadline, they will be placed by the assignments team and receive their assignment by June 1st pending available space.
New upperclassman/transfer students who go through room selection will receive their assignment information upon completion of that process. If student’s do not go through room selection or apply after the March 1st priority deadline, they will be placed by the assignments team and receive their assignment by June 1st pending available space.
Incoming freshmen who go through room selection will receive their assignment information upon completion of that process. If student’s do not go through room selection or apply after the March 1st priority deadline, they will be placed by the assignments team and receive their assignment by June 1st.
Note: All students who apply after June 1st will receive their assignment when space becomes available throughout the summer.
All assignment information (including room selection information) is communicated to students via their USM email address. Please check your USM email regularly for information.
Designated move in dates will be sent out in July for the upcoming fall semester to student emails. In that email will be the link for the early/late arrival form. The first date that students may select will be July 31st (intersession move in only). Students that are requesting to move in prior to their designated move in date will be charged a $25/day fee unless they are moving in early for a university required reason (Athletics, GEWW Crew, On-Campus Job, etc.).
Smoking, or the use of any tobacco product including e-cigarettes, vapes, etc. is prohibited within the residence halls, Sorority and Fraternity housing, and Cedarbrook II apartments. For more information about The University of Southern Mississippi Tobacco-Free policy, please visit the Student Health Services website.
Pets are defined as any animal except harmless aquatic life (fish). Dogs, cats, hamsters, mice, snakes, birds, lab/research animals or any other animals are not permitted in the residence halls, Sorority and Fraternity houses, and Cedarbrook II apartments. Properly registered service animals and emotional support animals are allowed. In regard to service animals and emotional support animals, students are responsible for said animals and must uphold all policies and procedures associated with them. Small aquarium fish are the only pets allowed (aquarium size is limited to a maximum of 15 gallons). Visitors must be informed to leave their animals and pets elsewhere. Residents or visitors who violate this policy could be fined $100 as well as subject to judicial action.
Note: Residence Life professional staff members are permitted to keep small dogs or cats in their apartment.
Emotional Support Animals and Special Housing Accommodations
Residents who are registered with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) must complete documentation with Housing and Residence Life. For further details, see page 19 in the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
Cooking appliances, such as toasters and hot plates, are not allowed in student rooms. George Foreman grills or similar products are also not permitted. Any item that has a heating element cannot be kept in a residence hall room. Single-cup coffee makers with automatic shut-off functions, such as Keurig, are permitted in rooms. For further details, see the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
Please review the "What to Bring" list located here: What to Bring/What Not to Bring
TVs: Resident's personal television MUST be able to receive a digital signal in order to view the Xfinity on Campus cable programming provided by Housing and Residence Life. In addition, the resident will need to bring the "thread" or "screw on" type cable wire with them to connect to the cable outlet in their room.
iTech has advised that the "push on" type connection cables do not always work.
Residents are not allowed to have visitors of the opposite sex stay overnight. All residents and guests must follow the guidelines of the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
What is the overnight visitation policy? On occasion, residents are permitted to have a guest of the same sex stay overnight in their rooms, if the guest is registered with the hall supervisor at least 24 hours (USM student) or 48 hours (off-campus guest) prior to the guest’s requested overnight stay. Residents must submit an Overnight Guest Form, available in the Student Housing Portal.
Overnight stays are contingent upon the following:
- A 24-hour notice is required for overnight guests who are enrolled at Southern Miss.
- Requests for Friday-Sunday nights must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday.
- Overnight stays for guests not enrolled at Southern Miss require a 48-hour notice with proper identification (see department handbook for acceptable IDs).
- Overnight guests not enrolled at Southern Miss are limited to Friday and Saturday nights ONLY. Approval is contingent upon agreement by the roommate and may or may not be given.
- Guests are to stay no longer than two nights, and only one guest is permitted per room per night.
- Overnight requests for same sex siblings between ages 14 and 17 must receive approval five business days prior to the requested stay.
- The Overnight Guest Form for Minors is available in your Housing Portal and at the front desk of your residence hall. Minor siblings are limited to Friday and Saturday nights ONLY.
Students with non-registered guests will be subject to disciplinary action and assessed a charge of $20 per night.
All rooms are equipped with either a micro-fridge (refrigerator, freezer, microwave combination unit) or a compact refrigerator/freezer. For further details, see the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
If you have a problem with your room, contact your Resident Assistant or any other staff member in your hall. If it is a maintenance request, you may enter the Housing Portal to submit the "Maintenance Request" form or call 601.266.5404 during business hours (Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) to speak to a maintenance representative.
All of the beds in the residence halls are extra-long twins (mattresses are 80 inches long).
Note: Sorority houses (excluding Scholarship Hall) and duplex buildings contain full-size 80 inch mattresses.
The beds cannot be bunked and bed risers are not allowed, however, the height of the bed frame may be raised or lowered. For assistance, residents should submit an online maintenance request form in the Housing Portal.
For safety reasons, beds cannot be lofted.
Students are encouraged to decorate their room so that they feel at home. However, in order to help maintain the condition of the rooms, certain rules must be observed when decorating.
- The use of tape, nails, staples, or glue on walls is prohibited.
- 3M poster and/or picture hanging strips should be used to attach posters and pictures to the walls.
- When vacating the room, remove the poster/picture and leave the strip on the wall for maintenance to remove to avoid possible damage.
- Permanent adhesives (double-sided masking tape, contact paper, etc.) should not be used.
- Wall borders, removable wallpaper and/or adhesive light strips are not permitted.
For further details concerning this policy, see the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook.
The residence halls now remain open during holiday breaks. Students who plan on staying in their residence hall during holiday breaks must sign up and be approved for Break Housing.
Please Note: Students will be charged a break housing rate if they are not staying on campus for a university required reason.
If you lock yourself out of your room, you should report to your hall’s front desk to locate a staff member (i.e., Residence Life Coordinator, Senior Resident Assistant or Resident Assistant) of your hall to let you into your room or issue you a temporary access card.
Students wishing to have telephone service in their room should contact iTech at 601.266.4357 or helpdeskFREEMississippi.
Students experiencing wireless issues should contact iTech at 601.266.4357 or helpdeskFREEMississippi.
Students must register their vehicles and purchase a parking decal from Parking and Transit Services located in McLemore Hall. Residents must park in the residential parking zones. To learn more, visit the Parking and Transit Services website.
All resident students are issued a post office box and will need to visit the Post Office located on the ground level of the Thad Cochran Center to receive their box assignment and code. Click here to view the Post Office website for further information.
1. Complete a housing application in the student Housing Portal (sign contract and pay processing fee).
2. A pin number that will be included with the application completed email that will be sent to the student's USM email address.
3. Students who wish to be roommates will share their pin number with their preferred roommate, so the request is mutual.
4. Once the students’ window for online room selection is open, one student within the roommate pairing group will log into the Housing Portal and select a room for both roommates by entering the roommate pin number at that time to pull the other roommate into the room.
Please contact our office if you need to reset your roommate's pin number. You can send us an email at reslifeFREEMississippi our call us at 601.266.4783 Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
If you have questions that weren't answered above, you can contact Housing and Residence Life by email at reslifeFREEMississippi or by phone at 601.266.4783, Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.