Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

Frequently Asked Questions

Check here for answers to the most common questions that we receive. If, after reading this, you still have questions – drop us an email at gschool@olemiss.edu.

Application Process

How do I apply?
You can apply online by clicking HERE, or you may download a paper application form by clicking HERE.

How do I correct a mistake on my online application?
If you have already completed the application, take down your application number, full name and date of birth, and simply email us the correction at gschool@olemiss.edu.

What is the application fee and must I pay it?
A $50 nonrefundable application fee is charged for all applicants, whether you are international, domestic, a state resident or a UM undergraduate alumnus/a. However, the application fee is waived for any student who has previously been admitted to the UM Graduate School. We will waive the application fee for McNair Scholars if they contact the Graduate School before applying.

Do I have to pay the application fee each time I apply?
No, once you have paid your application fee and you are reapplying to the same program, there is no additional fee. If you are applying to a different program, you will be required to pay the application fee.

What do I need to turn in?

  1. A completed application
  2. Official transcripts from undergraduate institutions conferring the degree and from all postgraduate institutions attended. Please do not send junior college or community college transcripts.
  3. Letters of recommendation *Note: The number required are determined by the program. These should be completed on the online application. Paper forms are not available through the Graduate School.
  4. Official score reports of entrance exams (GRE, GMAT, PRAXIS I and II, TOEFL and/or IELTS). We accept scores that are less than 5 years old and TOEFL scores that are less than 2 years old.

How do I check the status of my application?
To check the application status, log back into your online application and click the link under the Status column.

How is my application reviewed, how can I track its progress, and how will I be contacted about a decision?
In general, an application for graduate school is reviewed by a committee of faculty within each program. These faculty committees then recommend whether to admit an applicant. To check the application status, log back into your online application and click the link under the Status column. Please allow 48 hours after submission online. The Graduate School will contact you, via e-mail if possible, when a decision has been made about your admission.

What are the criteria for evaluating my application?
Admission to a graduate program is based on multiple criteria, including an applicant’s undergraduate GPA and courses, scores on standardized tests, the match of expressed interests with those of the faculty and the availability of resources. Though a student can be recommended for admission to graduate school before completing his or her undergraduate degree, evidence of degree completion must be presented before a person can register for a graduate courses. (An exception is the case where a UM senior may enroll in a graduate course when certain conditions are met.)

Where can I take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/Praxis in the North Mississippi area?
The GRE, TOEFL and Praxis can be taken on the UM campus in our Office of Outreach and Continuing Education (contact by phone at 662-915-7283). GMAT is no longer offered on the UM campus. You must register directly with GMAT at 1-800-717-GMAT.

How much does the GRE/TOEFL/Praxis/GMAT cost?
Please check with the test websites for current cost.

How do I have a GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/Praxis score forwarded to the UM Graduate School?
The institutional code for the University of Mississippi is 1840.

Can I take the GRE/GMAT/TOEFL/Praxis more than once?
Yes.

What is a competitive GRE score?
Each program will set its requirement for acceptable minimum scores for consideration of admission.

What are the deadlines for application to a specific degree program? What if I miss a deadline?
Deadlines are listed HERE. If you would like to apply after the deadline, you will need to contact the department for a deadline exception.

Can I apply to more than one graduate program?
Yes, you will need to fill out an application for each one.

How do I contact someone in a specific graduate program?
Graduate program coordinators are listed HERE.

What is the Graduate School’s orientation program and who should attend?
The Graduate School hosts an orientation for entering students each fall. All entering students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Academic and Records Issues

What constitutes a full-time student?
Graduate students are considered full-time if they are enrolled in at least 9 credit hours for the fall or spring semesters and for at least 4 hours during the summer.

Are there minimum and maximum enrollment requirements per semester?
During the fall and spring semesters, a graduate student must be enrolled for at least 3 hours. Minimum enrollment for summer is 1 hour (unless the summer term is being used to satisfy continuous enrollment requirements for doctoral students, in which case 3 hours are required). Maximum enrollment for fall and spring semesters is 15 hours each. In the summer semester, a student may enroll for no more than 6 hours each summer term.

If a student is on an assistantship, additional enrollment requirements apply. For .25 time employment, a student must take at least 9 hours during a fall or spring semester but no more than 15 hours. In the case of a .50 time appointment, no less than 9 hours and no more than 12 hours may be taken.

Are there continuous enrollment or time limit requirements for master’s students?
Master’s students are not required to be continuously enrolled but have a six-year time limit for completing their degree.

Are there continuous enrollment or time limit requirements for doctoral students?
Yes. Once a doctoral student successfully completes his/her comprehensive exams and enters into candidacy, he/she must maintain continuous enrollment (i.e., must register for at least 3 hours for two of the three registration periods – fall, spring and summer – during an academic year). Students who fail to meet this requirement will have to pay a penalty fee. Contact the Graduate School for details on the penalty.

Doctoral students should complete their comprehensive examination and enter the candidacy stage within four years of initial enrollment in the doctoral program and must complete their dissertation within five years of entering candidacy. The Graduate School may grant a one-year extension to this time limit for serious, nonacademic hardships. Additionally, a student may petition his or her academic program for a limited extension for a reason unrelated to personal hardship. If granted, additional requirements may be imposed upon the student; this may include passing another comprehensive examination.

What is meant by candidacy and continuous enrollment?
A doctoral student enters into candidacy upon completion of all portions of his/her comprehensive examination. Once a student enters into candidacy he/she must maintain continuous enrollment. To be continuously enrolled, a student must register for at least 3 hours during at least two of the three semesters each academic year (i.e., fall, spring, summer).

If my enrollment has lapsed for one or more semesters, what do I do to enroll again?
If you have skipped only one regular semester (fall or spring), you must submit a Re-Admission Form, which is located on the Forms Library page.
If your enrollment has lapsed more than one regular semester, you must reapply to the graduate program. You may do this online. Indicate that you have previously been admitted to the UM Graduate School, and this enables us to obtain your UM transcript without any other action on your part.

Is there a penalty for breaking the continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students?
A financial penalty maybe be applied, depending on the circumstances that lead to the breaking of continuous enrollment. Contact the Graduate School for more information.

How do I obtain information about the format for a thesis or dissertation?
The Manual for Thesis and Dissertation Preparation is available for download on the Graduate School’s Forms Library page. Along with this manual, a student may also download Thesis/Dissertation templates, which are already formatted. If a student has any questions not covered in the Manual for Thesis and Dissertation Preparation, he or she may contact the Graduate School’s records coordinator for further information.

When and how should I apply to graduate/receive a degree?
Form GS8, Application for Graduate Degree, should be completed and submitted to the Graduate School prior to deadline. The deadline for the submission of this application is available on the Academic Calendar and on the End Game-Graduate Preparation page on this website. Once the student has submitted Form GS8 – Application for Graduate Degree, the registrar will authorize you to fill out an Online Diploma Application, which may be accessed through “myOleMiss.”

What is a Graduate Dean’s Hold and what should I do if I have one?
There are two types of Graduate Dean’s holds. The first, which is simply called a Graduate Dean’s Hold, may be placed on a student’s account for various reasons, such as the need to provide an official transcript from your undergraduate institution. The student should contact the Graduate School for specific information relating to them.

The second type, a Graduate Dean’s Hold-Probation, is automatically placed on a student when his/her grade-point average for a semester falls below a 3.0.

How do I notify the Graduate School about a change in my adviser or advisory committee?
The graduate program coordinator of your program should submit a Form GS2 – Update Advisor/Advisory Committee.

How do I set up my final thesis/dissertation defense/examination?
You or your adviser should submit a Form GS7 – Authorization for Final Oral/Written Defense to the Graduate School – at least 10-14 days prior to the scheduled defense.

What faculty are eligible to serve on my committee?
Thesis committees: Any graduate faculty member (associate of full member) may serve on a thesis committee. In other words, acting, adjunct, research, visiting and emeriti professors with appropriate terminal degrees and with appointments in an academic department having a graduate program may also serve on thesis committees.

Dissertation committees: The chair of the committee must be at least an associate or full Professor (i.e., a full member of the graduate faculty) in the academic discipline in which the research is being conducted. Two other faculty members in the student’s discipline and one faculty member from outside the discipline must also be on the committee. These other committee members may be either full or associate members of the graduate faculty (i.e., may be assistant, associate or full professor, including those with additional titles of acting, adjunct, research, visiting or emeriti with appropriate terminal degrees and with appointments in academic departments having a graduate program.

What kind of academic things can I appeal?
A student may appeal a grade in a course, a graduate assistantship appointment and degree requirements but may not appeal an admission decision. When an appeal route in not clear, a student can appeal to the Graduate School dean, who may submit the appeal to the Graduate Council.

What are the Graduate School’s workshops and who should attend?
The Graduate School sponsors a number of evening workshops during the year. These are free and cover such topics as resume preparation, library searching tools, how to prepare a prospectus, ethics in research and job searching strategies. The Graduate School’s Web page will provide information about these workshops.

Financial Aid Issues

What are the general policies that govern an appointment as a graduate assistant?
In order to receive a graduate assistantship, a student must be enrolled as a full-time student in full standing status and must maintain a 3.0 grade-point average. Graduate instructors must have completed 18 previous hours of graduate course work in the teaching area. Details about our policies related to the administration of graduate assistantships can be found in the Graduate Program Coordinators Handbook, which is available on the Graduate School’s Web page under Forms and Manuals.

What is a tuition scholarship and how do I qualify?
Graduate assistants who receive a 0.5 time assistantship appointment (determined as an assistantship of $800 or more per month) for a fall or spring semester and who register for 9 hours or more of graduate courses are also given a full tuition scholarship, including a nonresident fee scholarship. Graduate assistants who receive a 0.25 time appointment (determined as an assistantship of $400-$799 per month) for a fall or spring semester and who register for 9 or more hours of graduate courses are also given a 75 percent tuition scholarship and a full nonresident fee scholarship.

What are the refund policies regarding tuition?
These are complicated, and you should contact the Graduate School for explanations. A key rule is that if a tuition scholarship requires a student to be enrolled as full-time, then the action of dropping below full-time will trigger a payback of the tuition scholarship.

Is there a penalty for breaking the continuous enrollment policy for doctoral students?
A financial penalty may be applied, depending on the circumstances that lead to the breaking of continuous enrollment. Contact the Graduate School for more information.

What should I do if expected financial aid is not posted?
If a student expects a student loan that has not been awarded, the student should contact the Financial Aid Office (Help Line 800-891-4596). If a student has been awarded a departmental assistantship, he/she should first contact the academic department awarding the assistantship to verify that the paperwork has been submitted to the Graduate School. If the paperwork has been submitted, the student should contact the Graduate School. If a student has been awarded a fellowship that has not been posted, he/she should contact the Graduate School.

Does the Graduate School provide assistance for travel?
Yes, the Graduate School has some funds to support graduate student travel to professional meetings.

Does the Graduate School offer health insurance?
Yes, graduate assistants with appointments of 1/4 time or higher are required to participate in a health insurance program. Enrollment and payroll deduction of premiums will be automatic upon appointment for each fall and spring term. Premiums will be subsidized by the university. Click HERE to view specific information regarding the health insurance plan.

What is the mailing address for the Graduate School?
The University of Mississippi
Office of the Graduate School
P.O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677-1848

If you are using a courier service such as UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc., please send to:
The University of Mississippi
Office of Graduate School
University, MS 38677

How many students attend the University of Mississippi Graduate School?
Approximately 2,100

How do I contact someone in a specific graduate program?
Contact information is given on the Graduate School’s Web page under the link Graduate Programs and Deadlines.

Have a different question?
Contact us at gschool@olemiss.edu