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The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), located in Hattiesburg, is a mid-large sized campus with a total population of over 14,000 students, 11,000 of whom are undergraduates. These undergraduates are in pursuit of degrees that will help them launch brilliant careers. There are degree opportunities available in many fields and approximately 20 degree opportunities for students who need extra flexibility. USM also offers graduate, accelerated master's, and certificate programs for online students.

Overview of University of Southern Mississippi (USM)

USM students enroll for more than cerebral stimulation, however. The Hattiesburg campus provides loads of resources that help foster a well-rounded educational experience for all. After class, USM students can use campus resources to arrange adventures that take them off-campus or to new corners of the USM grounds. They also find ample resources for working out, playing sports, or learning to optimize their diet for best health. There are intramural leagues for students who like fun, friendly competition, but there are also club sports that are more accessible than varsity teams but bring the game to other campuses throughout the region. Students also appreciate the modern comfort of the on-campus residency halls. These include study lounges and there are even free tutors available to help bring that B+ up to an A.

General Information

School Type Public
Campus Setting City: Small
Campus Housing Yes
Student Faculty Ratio 17:1
Graduation Rate 49%
Year Founded 1910

Student Enrollment

Total Students14,133


Undergraduate Student

Male 4,290
Female 7,304

Graduate Student

Male 939
Female 1,600

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USM Acceptance Rate and Admissions


Male 3,234
Female 5,983


Male 3,105
Female 5,863

Acceptance Rate97%

Male 96%
Female 98%

Enrollment 1,878

Male 650
Female 1,228
Application Fee $40
High School GPA Required
High School Rank Recommended
High School Transcripts Required
College Prep Courses Recommended
Recommendations Recommended
SAT/ACT Required
Other Test (Wonderlic,WISC-III,etc) Recommended
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) Required
Application Deadline Rolling
Common Application Accepted No

USM Tuition Cost & Financial Aid

Southern Mississippi University in Hattiesburg is a publicly funded postsecondary institution that helps state residents achieve a college degree at the lowest possible cost. Mississippi state residents are the chief beneficiary of this terrific value, but out-of-state students aren't gouged by any means. In fact, state residents face a total gross academic cost of around $11,000 for a year's worth of tuition, books, and other supplies. And out-of-state students only pay around $13,000 for the same.

Naturally, it's not free to be a student and once all living costs are tallied, in-state USM students see their gross costs rise to $26,000 for either off, or on-campus living. Out-of-state students pay nearly the same with their total gross payout totaling around $28,000. However, these figures don't factor in the financial aid available to USM students.

Once the financial aid office works its magic with applicable grants and scholarships, the net price tag falls precipitously. They are able to cut the gross costs nearly in half. The average net price for a year of studying and living at USM is only $14,000. This figure falls to under $13,000 for the lowest-income households and barely rises above $18,000 for households that earn over $110,000 per year.

Average net price 2018-2019
Net Price $14,485
Average Total Aid $8,064
Students Receiving Financial Aid 93%
Room & Board $10,937

Sticker Price

  • Tuition In-State - $8,896
  • Tuition Out-of-State - $10,896
  • Books and Supplies - $1,500
  • Room & Board - $10,937
  • Other - $3,336


Students seek out a diploma from Southern Mississippi University for many reasons. Some enroll to continue a family legacy and others are interested in the athletics. However, the most important part of being an USM student is the academics. While USM does enjoy a terrific reputation for academic excellence, our researchers investigated to get the facts. They pulled academic statistics on USM's retention rate and graduation rate, among other metrics, to affirm its reputation.

Southern Mississippi University's retention rate is a measure of how many first-time, full-time students return to campus for their second year. The school reports a strong retention rate of 70%. Students and their families are thus deemed to be happy with the faculty, curriculum, and campus resources they find in Hattiesburg.

Students are so pleased that they stick around to graduate. USM reports a graduation rate of 52%. Unfortunately, USM does not report how many students opt to transfer to other universities, such as the University of Mississippi in Oxford. USM also holds current regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They have held these credentials since 1929. Thus, USM is clearly a solid choice for any aspiring college student who demands top-notch academics in a fun, supportive environment.

Student Population Total

Student Population 14,133

Evening Classes : Yes
Online Learning : Yes

Most Popular Programs & Majors

(# of Diplomas Awarded by Subject)

All Business Majors 445 Total Graduates / 18%
Business Administration and Management, General 172 Graduates
Accounting 76 Graduates
Marketing/Marketing Management, General 66 Graduates
Human Resources Management/Personnel Administration, General 38 Graduates
Health Professions and Related Programs 315 Total Graduates / 13%
Registered Nursing/Registered Nurse 163 Graduates
Public Health, General 59 Graduates
Audiology/Audiologist and Speech-Language Pathology/Pathologist 44 Graduates
Dietetics/Dietitian 18 Graduates
All Education Majors 172 Total Graduates / 7%
Elementary Education and Teaching 125 Graduates
Music Teacher Education 29 Graduates
Physical Education Teaching and Coaching 11 Graduates
Special Education and Teaching, General 5 Graduates
Liberal Arts and Sciences, General Studies and Humanities 162 Total Graduates / 7%
Liberal Arts and Sciences/Liberal Studies 105 Graduates
General Studies 5 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, Leisure, Fitness, and Kinesiology 150 Total Graduates / 6%
Exercise Science and Kinesiology 107 Graduates
Parks, Recreation, and Leisure Studies 24 Graduates
Sport and Fitness Administration/Management 19 Graduates
All Other Diplomas 50%

Outcome & Salary

USM students have high aspirations of succeeding and becoming the top in their field. While no academic institution can guarantee any job or salary outcomes, our researchers did discover data from former graduates that may give current students an idea of what they might expect from their USM education.

When surveyed, respondents reported their earnings to researchers. The top earning graduates from USM turned out to be the registered nursing students, who earn a reported median salary of $57,000. The fifth highest earning graduates were from the marketing department, who reported median earnings of $44,000 to start. It's worth noting that these median salaries are not averages and that they don't reflect other forms of compensation, such as bonuses or benefits. Furthermore, most of these students are likely living and working in Mississippi, which is known to have a lower cost of living relative to other parts of the country.

Graduates Salary
College Grads Early Career Salary $45,700
College Grads Average Salary $61,717
College Grads Mid Career Salary $83,200
Return on Investment (ROI)
10 Year Salary Earnings Potential $617,170
20 Year Salary Earnings Potential $1,449,170
Cost of Education (Net Price) 4 Year $57,940
10 Year Projected ROI $559,230
20 Year Projected ROI $1,391,230
No College Education Salary Comparison
National Average Salary $38,792
10 Year Projected Income $387,920
20 Year Projected Income $775,840

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