About the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials
The School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the University of Southern Mississippi offers undergraduate and graduate programs leading to Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Polymer Science and Engineering. The goal of our undergraduate and graduate program is to educate incoming students in the theory and practice of polymer science, which is revolutionary and changing the face of our society. Students in all of our degree programs receive valuable training for a career in academia, commerce and manufacture which process and use polymeric materials. The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials has always pursued excellence in undergraduate and graduate studies and many of our former students hold prominent positions in many scientific and technical organizations. Our graduates are found in all corners of the nation.
Attributes of the Faculty. The principal goal of the school’s nationally-ranked graduate program is to educate incoming students in the fundamental theory and state-of-the-art practice of polymer science and engineering. Since the study of macromolecular systems involves becoming acquainted with complex material that is usually taught in a variety of academic disciplines such as chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, biochemistry and biology, a comprehensive and multidisciplinary curriculum is offered that meets the challenges of today’s technology-driven society. The internationally-recognized faculty has formal academic degrees in all the pertinent disciplines, and their research activities bridge all the fields relevant to polymer science and engineering. Through the recent growth of the faculty, the department continues to expand these fields of expertise and broaden the educational experiences for students.
A number of key factors, acting synergistically, set the graduate academic program apart from others. The entire faculty is dedicated to the educational process, and every member is solely responsible for teaching courses in their respective areas of expertise. The faculty also engages students with the philosophy that research is teaching. Through course work, the fundamentals are instilled, but in research, faculty members work one-on-one with students to teach the application of these fundamentals in state-of-the-art research projects. GAANN fellows will have the opportunity to work with undergraduate students in a one-on-one mentoring capacity, to gain an appreciation for the research mentor role in academia.
Hattiesburg Area. The University of Southern Mississippi was founded in 1910 in the city of Hattiesburg. Located in South Mississippi, the Greater Hattiesburg Area is the educational, cultural, industrial, retail and medical center for more than 250,000 people. The greater metropolitan statistical area has a population of over 100,000. The area is still surrounded by forests of southern yellow pines and is intersected by four major U.S. and interstate highways. The cities of Jackson, New Orleans, Meridian and Mobile are within 100 miles and the Mississippi Gulf Coast is only 60 miles to the south. Two local hospitals and several large medical specialty clinics serve the medical needs of much of south Mississippi. The local newspaper is the Hattiesburg American, whose website contains a brief synopsis of area communities and the local schools.