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Art and Design at USM offers two distinct degree plans that include a broad range of opportunities for preparation in either traditional or professional career paths.

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), a broadly based, traditional arts program offered in general Art studies.
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.), professional career preparation in Drawing & Painting, Graphic Design, or Sculpture.

We also offer Minor Degrees in Art, Art History, Graphic Design, and Sculpture. 

The University of Southern Mississippi is an accredited, institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art & Design.

Request info Apply PORTFOLIOS

1Museum of Art
2Buildings Dedicated to Visual Arts
3BFA Emphasis Areas

What Will I Learn?

Students begin their studies with Art Foundations, a first-year experience that includes studio courses in drawing, design, and color theory. Advanced studio courses and courses in art history follow. All courses in Art and Design are oriented toward understanding the creative process, and comprehending and developing personal aesthetic sensibilities. Students build confidence and a strong artistic vocabulary relating to the visual arts as a whole.


Art and Design awards over 20K annually in scholarships. Scholarship awards are based on portfolio review, academic achievement, and other USM requirements. 

Follow the steps below to apply for a scholarship:

When reviewing a portfolio, we look for the following:

  •  An interest in and commitment to art
  • Skills in drawing and/or painting from observation/imagination
  • A sense of color and design
  • All other creative abilities in any visual arts medium

Portfolio Guidelines:

  • Take good photographs of your work.
  • Create a document that includes 10-15 images of your work.
  • 1-2 images per page, with title/project name, medium, size, and date.
  • Save the document as a single PDF file, no larger than 25MB.
  • Filename: save file as firstname_lastname_portfolio.pdf
  • You may include images of drawing and painting from observation/imagination, printmaking, sculpture, other three-dimensional works, ceramics, posters, packaging design, illustration, typography, web design, identity campaigns (logos and branding), digital photography, interactive media/motion graphics, etc.
  • If you have interactive media/motion graphics, please share the URL when submitting the form.

Submit Portfolio

Art and Design students planning to major in Graphic Design are required to purchase specific hardware and software necessary for the curriculum. Learn more


Faculty Spotlight

Jennifer Torres

Creative Research Scholar of the Year


Jennifer Torres, professor of sculpture and ceramics at Southern Miss, showcased her most recent creative endeavor titled, “Misfit Children: Landscapes and Creatures from the Mind of Jennifer Torres,” at the Tennessee Valley Museum of Art. The exhibition intrigued visitors with the stories each piece had to tell using texture, color, and intentional detail. As the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Creative Research Scholar of the Year, we sat down with professor Torres to get to know her and learn more about her exhibition and creative process.

Read more

Areas of Study 


An intense first-year experience organized to prepare you for a successful transition into their desired area of visual specialization.


Students in Drawing/Painting

Gain an understanding of the expressive and investigative possibilities of the two-dimensional formal plastic arts.

Graphic Design

Graphic Design

Develop a high level of proficiency in traditional artistic and digital skills to transform decisions into effective digital graphics for sophisticated audiences.


Obtain an artistic proficiency in a wide range of materials and techniques.



Contact Us

School of Performing and Visual Arts
George Hurst Building, Room 106
Hattiesburg, MS 39406 

Hattiesburg Campus

Campus Map




  • Artist
  • Art Educator
  • Historian
  • Graphic/Multimedia Designer
  • Art Gallery Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Jesse McDonald
    2012. SEO Specialist at Geek Powered Studios in Austin.
  • Jared Walters
    2006. Marketing Manager/Burton Computer Resources, web developer for/Communication Arts Company, web communications specialist/Mississippi College.
  • Blake O'Brien
    2016. Working artist with exhibitions in Covington, LA. Dime Magazine Featured Artist.


The Museum of Art/Gallery of Art and Design present a wide range of regional to national exhibitions—providing a forum for education by hosting lectures and gallery talks, workshops, and symposia by leading artists, critics, curators, and historians. 


Museum Tour

The 3-D Arts building is a state-of-the-art facility that includes a ceramics lab, metal shop, and foundry

Building Tour