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Graduate School
The University of Mississippi


The GradSHARK Launch PAAD program (Program for Accelerated Advanced Degrees) offers our outstanding advanced undergraduates the opportunity to begin earning credit towards a graduate degree while they complete the final requirements for their undergraduate degree. Participating in the GradSHARK Launch PAAD program can save students time and money as they complete their advanced degree.

The following is an alphabetical list of participating programs along with the requirements for participating in their specific program. Interested undergraduates should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator to discuss the process of participating in the GradSHARK Launch PAAD.

Participating Programs

Graduate Program Coordinator

Civil Engineering, MSDr. Cristiane Surbeck
Computer and Information Science, MSDr. Yixin Chen
Criminal Justice, MCJDr. Kimberly Kaiser
Early Childhood Education, MEdDr. Burhanettin Keskin
Electrical Engineering, MSDr. Lei Cao
Environmental Engineering, MSDr. Cristiane Surbeck
Exercise Science, MSDr. Tom Andre
History, MA Dr. Chiarella Esposito
Journalism, MADr. Marquita Smith
Philosophy, MADr. Donovan Wishon
Political Science, MADr. Jonathan Winburn
Southern Studies, MA
Dr. Catarina Passidomo
Secondary Education, MEd

Math Emphasis
Dr. Tom Brady
Special Education, MEdDr. Denise A. Soares
Sport & Recreation Management, MSDr. Tom Andre
Students must be accepted into a Launch PAAD and complete the requisite GradSHARK Launch PAAD Application Form for the Graduate School (the form requires approval from your undergraduate advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator for the area of graduate study you intend to pursue). After the student is accepted into the Launch PAAD, the student will need to complete the GradSHARK Launch PAAD Course Enrollment Form each term (students will not officially be registered for graduate courses until this form is complete).


Frequently Asked Questions

What if I start earning credit with the GradSHARK Launch PAAD and decide I do not want to take all of the graduate courses?

You can decide to discontinue your participation in the GradSHARK Launch PAAD program at any time. If you decide not to attend graduate school, the courses will still show up on your transcript with a special designation marking which courses you completed for graduate credit. It is important to note that many graduate schools have limits on the number and type of graduate credit hours that can be transferred in for credit.

How do I know how participating in the GradSHARK Launch PAAD will affect my plans to graduate on time?

It is important to talk with your Undergraduate Advisor and map out your plans (talk to them about your current degree plan and how these courses would fit into that plan). Before you can take courses as part of the GradSHARK Launch PAAD, you will need to have permission from your undergraduate advisor and be accepted into the Launch PAAD by obtaining approval from the Graduate Program Coordinator for chosen area of study.

How do I get into the GradSHARK Launch PAAD?

Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and must complete 90 undergraduate credit hours before they can be part of the GradSHARK Launch PAAD. Some disciplines have additional criteria for participating in their Launch PAAD (click on the link for the program that interests you above). Each area of graduate study has its own Graduate Program Coordinator. These individuals, along with the faculty, oversee the process of allowing undergraduates to participate in their Launch PAAD and must approve the form you will use to pick your courses. Until the Graduate School has that form, approved by your Undergraduate Advisor and the Graduate Program Coordinator, you will not be able to enroll in courses for graduate credit as part of the GradSHARK Launch PAAD.

How does tuition and financial aid work for the GradSHARK Launch PAAD when I am still an undergraduate student?

Undergraduate students will pay undergraduate tuition rates for courses they take as part of the GradSHARK Launch PAAD. In many cases, your scholarships may apply towards courses taken for graduate credit while you complete your undergraduate degree. However, it is important to understand that some Launch PAAD courses may not count towards the minimum requirements for financial aid. We strongly encourage students to contact the Office of Financial Aid to learn more.

What do I do to become an official graduate student?

UM undergraduates who participate in the GradSHARK Launch PAAD will still apply to the graduate program during their senior year of study following the application procedures of the program. Students should contact the Graduate Program Coordinator for more details about the application process. Participation in a Launch PAAD does not guarantee admission to the Graduate School or any graduate program. Programs are working to be sure that students who are successful in a Launch PAAD would be competitive as graduate program applicants.

How does tuition and financial aid work for GradSHARK Launch PAAD students once they earn their bachelor’s degree?

Once an undergraduate student at UM completes their bachelor’s degree and they are accepted into a graduate program, they become a graduate student. Students then pay tuition at the graduate student rate and are eligible for support offered to graduate students in their program. Please see our information about financial aid.