Before applying for admission to a professional education program at The University of Southern Mississippi, the following requirements must be met:

  • Completion of a core curriculum of pre-major coursework
  • A minimum grade point average of 2.75 on the 44 semester-hour core curriculum of pre-major coursework
  • A grade of “C” or better in freshman English Composition I and II
  • Good academic standing at Southern Miss (a student on probation, probation continued, or suspension status cannot be admitted to teacher education until the transcript reflects good academic standing)
  • A clear background check via CastleBranch at, the system currently selected by the Southern Miss Professional Education Council. Students who pass the background check process will be issued a background check badge.
  • All candidates must subscribe to the Tk20 assessment system. Tk20 provides an electronic portfolio and storage system for students as well as tracks, stores, retrieves, and analyzes data for accreditation purposes.
  • Successful completion of a nationally normed ability/achievement assessment OR a teacher education normed entrance test:
    • Nationally Normed Ability/Achievement Assessment:
      • An ACT composite score of 21 or higher, with no scale score below 18 (all on the same test date). If the student did not take the ACT, an equivalent SAT score of 990 or above satisfies requirements as well.
  • Teacher Education Normed Test:
    • Acceptable scores on the Core Academic Skills for Educators Test (CORE): Reading Test Code 5712 with a score of at least 156, Writing Test Code 5722 with a score of at least 162, and Mathematics Test Code 5732 with a score of at least 150. This is the most recent teacher-normed test approved by the State of Mississippi. MDE will begin accepting this test 9/1/2013 with it becoming mandatory as the new test starting 1/1/2014.

Except for the Background Check that allows for a two week extension into the first semester (see Background Check Policy), all requirements must be met prior to enrollment in restricted teacher education courses.

After admission to a professional education program, the following requirements must be met to continue in the program:

  1. a grade of "C" or better in all content courses in the academic major as well as all professional education courses with an overall grade point average of 2.50;
  2. fulfillment of major requirements in subject area;
  3. completion of professional education courses required by the major;
  4. take Praxis II content and PLT tests and have scores reported to Southern Miss (code #1479) prior to graduation.

A minimum of 30 clock hours of clinical experience is required prior to teacher candidacy (15 hours of observation and 15 hours of practicum). Specific programs may require more practicum hours.

Requirements for professional education programs are subject to modification. For current program information, students should contact the University’s Educator Licensure Office, 121-B Owings-McQuagge Hall; 601.266.5522.

Mississippi Department of Education licensure requirements supersede the program requirements listed in the Bulletin. Mandated changes in program requirements will be communicated through the candidate’s department.