Department of Housing and Residence Life
Department of Housing and Residence Life
The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) is committed to providing students with a comprehensive educational experience. USM recognizes the educational and social benefits students receive from residing on campus their first year, as compared to living off campus. Ample research across the United States over the last 30 years has provided compelling evidence that students who live in university-provided housing perform better academically, and enjoy a higher degree of satisfaction with their college experience, than students who live off-campus or commute. In recognition of the value of the living-learning experience associated with on-campus living, the USM Department of Housing and Residence will begin a freshman residency program effective Fall Semester 2022 for the Hattiesburg campus. This program 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 first year residency requirements for a number of years.
Can I be exempt from the 2022 First Year Live on Requirement?
Students can be exempt from this requirement for the following reasons:
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 child is your dependent, must be submitted.
The student is a veteran who has completed 2 years of active military service. A copy of certificate of release/discharge from active duty 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 transcript 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.
Click on the "Enter Housing Portal" link on the homepage of the website, and then login with your SOAR ID/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 have submitted the Housing Contract Lease Agreement, and gone through all the steps of the application until you receive a final confirmation. If not a current student continuing from the previous semester, the non-refundable processing fee must also be paid.
Students who do not know anyone coming to Southern Miss will be assigned a 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 "Southern Miss Roommate Connection" program. 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.
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.
Yes, 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 page 9 of the Department of Housing and Residence Life Handbook