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When You Think Music, Think Southern Miss

Master your musical artistry and prepare to be a prominent educator and artist through the study of music. At Southern Miss, this is accomplished through a well-rounded education focused on applied lessons and performance-driven opportunities from one-on-one training with professors and participation in major ensembles including band, choir, jazz band, or orchestra, to music history and theory classes.

This program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.

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8Degrees: 7 BM, 1 BA
11 minor in Music

What Will I Learn?

At Southern Miss, you will achieve musical excellence through academic engagement, on and off the stage. From an introduction to being a music major where students learn the skills needed to be a successful music major, performer and teacher to hour-long, one-on-one lesson with a professional performer/faculty member, and a wide range of courses with various levels of concentration.

Offering 5 BM Performance, including Percussion, Piano, Strings, Voice, and Wind;
BM Jazz Studies, and BM History and Literature; and a BA in Music.

The Southern Miss Experience

A Look at the USM Symphony Orchestra

All students applying to pursue a degree in the School of Music must audition for admission.

Audition here

Academic Scholarship: Presidential, National Merit, Academic Excellence, Golden Opportunity, Regional, Leadership and Lucky Day scholarships are available through the Admissions Office.

School of Music Scholarships: Prospective students who audition (as music majors or as non-majors) for the SOM are considered for these competitive music scholarships.

Foundation Scholarship Finder: Donors to the USM Foundation have set up scholarships to assist individual students that meet criteria specified by the donor.

Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA): If you are interested in state and federal financial aid the USM School code for FAFSA is 002441.

Dr. Edward Hafer, Musicologist and Director of the Study Abroad Program to Vienna, Austria. Each summer Dr. Hafer travels to Vienna with an entourage of both graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Music and the Honors College for a two and a half week journey to visit and study Vienna's major historic sites - all relative to Music History.

Learn more about Study Abroad

Trombone Studio Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Ben McIlwain

One of Dr. Ben McIlwain’s main passions and research interests is supporting new music for the trombone, commissioning over 30 new works for trombone solo and/or ensemble. At Southern Miss, Dr. McIlwain directs all aspects of the trombone studio including The USM Trombone Choir, Select Octet, and Hub Bones. The USM Trombone Choir was invited to perform twice at the 2013 International Trombone Festival in Columbus, GA and at the American Trombone Workshop, 2015.

Meet Our Faculty



Contact Us

School of Music

112 Mannoni Performing Arts Center

Campus Hattiesburg

Campus Map





  • Musicologist
  • Private Studio Teacher
  • Performer
  • Music Theorist
  • Arts Administration
  • Band Director
  • Luis Alfaro, BM 2017,
    Graduate Assistantship, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
  • Jorge Gonzalez, BM 2001 and MM 2003,
    Assistant Professor of Music, Coordinator of String Activities and Theory at William Carey University
  • Dan Kyzer, BM 2009,
    Adjunct Instructor, Guitar, The University of Texas at Tyler