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School of Performing and Visual Arts


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Meg BrookerFrom the Director

Welcome to the School of Performing and Visual Arts, which houses the nationally accredited programs: Art and Design, Dance, and Theatre. As a collection of artists, we are happy to establish ourselves as a substantial and collective presence on campus and in the region.

  • Our nationally-renowned faculty members are artists, directors, performers, and scholars who continue to teach, perform and choreograph across the U.S., as well as create art that's exhibited at world-class museums.
  • We offer hands-on learning experiences thanks to our performance ensembles. From directing productions to choreographs, at Southern Miss, you get to participate on stage and behind the scenes.
  • Students in Art and Design not only present their work at annual exhibitions—applying skills towards realized final artistic products—but can get to work for our very own student-led Graphic Design agency.

If you are interested in choosing the School of Performing and Visual Arts, you should know about our on-campus recruitment events. The first time you step foot on our campus, you will feel at home! 

We also hope you can come see a show! We have regular exhibitions in the Museum of Art, as well as theatrical productions and dance concerts. This is a great way to see the work of our faculty and students.

We look forward to meeting you and welcoming you to Southern Miss!

-Meg Brooker

Attend a Recruitment Event


Our Programs 

Art and Design

 Art and Design

Growing steadily over its sixty-plus year history, the Art and Design program is proud of the many professional accomplishments of its alumni. Art courses have been offered at the institution since its inception in 1910. Today’s department is comprised of an extensive range of visual arts programs. While the majority of today’s students are enrolled in professional degree plans such as Graphic Design, Drawing and Painting, and Sculpture; all areas of study are vibrant with increasing enrollments.

  • Provide all students with an education that emphasizes comprehension and application of the expressive, theoretical, and investigative possibilities of the visual arts;
  • Prepare students to excel as visual arts professionals in our contemporary societies;
  • Encourage students to investigate culture, history, and technology through the visual arts;
  • Serve as an educational and cultural resource for Mississippi, the Southeast, and the nation.





The Dance program was the first program in Mississippi to offer the professional B.F.A. degree in dance and is the only program in the five-state region that offers a dance education K-12 emphasis.

  • The challenging and intensive four-year dance program is grounded in a comprehensive curriculum of dance technique (ballet and modern), choreography and performance.
  • The dance education emphasis is designed to provide students with the credentials necessary to teach dance in the Mississippi public school system.

The mission of the Dance Program at USM is to empower students to define their artistic voices and acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to pursue them professionally.

Through individualized mentorship and attentive faculty-student interactions, we aim for our students to become capable and experienced performers, choreographers, licensed dance educators, artists, and advocates for the field. Career readiness is at the forefront of our student-centered approach, incorporating research in teaching and dance, cultural and community engagement, experiential learning, internship opportunities, and guest artist residencies to supplement regular, rigorous training in movement practice and theoretical work.

As a program within the School of Performing and Visual Arts, we value collaboration, fostering belonging, and promoting active engagement in both the dance field and greater artistic community.







The Theatre program at Southern Miss provides  students with sound theory and intensive practical training, as well as opportunities for extensive performance experiences and exposure to visiting professional artists.

  • We seek to provide the best possible education for our students, preparing them for careers in the professional and educational arenas.
  • We emphasize the power of the imagination, passion, discipline and collaboration in the creation of art.
  • We seek to provide the best possible, and most creative, work environment for our students, faculty and staff, while offering the strongest possible support for the specific missions of the Theatre program.