In 1910, what is now the University of Southern Mississippi was founded as Mississippi Normal College by a legislative act as the state’s first state-supported teachers training school. The college began conferring bachelor's degrees in 1922, and it became the State Teacher's College. Finally in 1962, the college achieved university status and became the University of Southern Mississippi. The institution has a mission "to be a model student-centered public research university that prepares students to thrive in a global society by providing high quality programs and transformative experiences in a community distinguished by inclusiveness."
USM offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees and certificates from the following colleges:
- College of Arts & Letters
- College of Business
- College of Education & Psychology
- College of Health
- College of Nursing
- College of Science & Technology
Many degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels can be earned completely online through the department of Online Learning.