For those who are professionally oriented, the program provides experiences of sufficient breadth and depth to develop professional standards of performance. Students from the Southern Miss painting and drawing program have gone on to advanced studies in the best graduate schools in the United States and abroad.

Teaching is done by a two-dimensional visual form problem-solving method, using traditional materials on a planer surface to produce visual artwork. An open and ongoing dialogue about painting, drawing and visual aesthetics is done in group criticism sessions, as well as individual (one-on-one student/faculty) criticism sessions

Theses, combined with group classes and individual projects, will prepare the student for the senior project and exhibition. Advanced courses are individualized and highly independent.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree requires 124 semester hours credit total, of which 83 semester credit hours are required in art and with a minimum of 45 semester credit hours in drawing, design and painting courses.