B.A. in Southern Studies
Seek to understand the American South in all of its complexity.
Southern Studies at the University of Mississippi is an interdisciplinary major, with students taking classes from across the College of Liberal Arts, including African American Studies, anthropology, art, English, gender studies, history, music, political science, and sociology. A senior seminar with an in-depth research project is a capstone experience for the major. Admission is by application only.
For Southern Studies majors, the laboratory is all around them. Students not only conduct library research but also oral histories, take photographs, listen to music, and consider ways to understand Southern life. They gain a broad understanding of the region and skills in critical reading, analysis, writing, research, and oral presentation. The Center for the Study of Southern Culture greatly enhances the student experience.
A liberal arts education prepares graduates to deal with complexity and change. They gain key skills in communication, problem-solving, and working with diverse groups. Related careers in Southern Studies include education, archivist, journalism, government, business, cultural affairs officer, arts promoter, museum program, documentary filmmaker, policy analyst, social worker, nonprofit manager, urban planning, fundraising, health services, and human resources.
Students enrolled in the Southern Studies program enjoy getting involved in the activities of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, such as the Southern Foodways Alliance, Southern Documentary Project, the Oxford Conference for the Book, and Living Blues magazine.
B.A. in Southern Studies Faculty
Nearly 50 faculty members from across the University of Mississippi are affiliated with and provide courses that support the major. Of those, eleven hold a joint appointment in another department such as English, History, and Sociology & Anthropology, and are listed below.
A major in Southern studies for the B.A. degree consists of 30 hours of courses, including S St 101, 401, 402, two courses from S St 103-110, and one S St course at the 500 level. Students must take 12 hours of Southern studies electives from at least two different departments:
- African American Studies (AAS 201 or 202; 302, 308, 310, 316, 320, 325, 326, 334, 337, 341, 342, 367, 373, 386, 395, 413, 414, 420, 421, 438, 440, 441, 443, 468, 477, 479, 493, 504, 517, 518, 593)
- Art (AH 369, 386)
- Economics (Econ 453)
- English(Eng 314, 354, 355, 357, 361, 362, 367, 373, 374, 414, 458, 460, 461, 462, 468, 479, 514)
- Gender Studies (G St 337, 418, 421, 454)
- History (Hst 404, 414, 415, 418, 420, 422, 423, 424, 440, 450, 451, 452, 453, 454, 455, 456)
- Journalism (Jour 513)
- Music (Mus 517, 518, 577)
- Political Science (Pol 307, 317, 318, 320)
- Sociology and Anthropology (Soc 334, 413, 414, Anth 309, 315, 316, 317, 319, 333, 334, 337)
- Writing and Rhetoric (477)
Admission to the Bachelor of Arts in Southern Studies degree program is by separate application. Admitted first year students should complete the UM Special Programs and Scholarship Application by February 15. Transfer students and current UM students should visit the Center for the Study of Southern Culture website.
Neal (B.A. in Economics and Southern Studies, 2014) spent time in Scotland learning about the emerging marine renewable industry, resulting in a thesis about the community and environmental impacts of wave and tidal energy development. After an honors course on the lower Mississippi River system, he pursued a Master's in marine affairs at the University of Washington. He later accepted the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship in Washington, D.C., where he joined Senator Wicker's staff to promote Mississippi ocean policy. Later promoted to Legislative Assistant, Neal also covers issues related to the Department of Interior. He plans to one day return to the South as a leader in environmental policy.
Why Southern Studies at UM?
"Southern Studies majors explore the South, and America as a whole, from many different angles. The wide range of classes are meaningful and intriguing. You can sample diverse disciplines and craft a personalized path forward. The faculty gave me the freedom to explore and design a thesis that was impactful to my future. My thesis on marine renewables industry set me apart from my colleagues and led me to a marine focus in my policy degree. This experience prepared me to lead Senator Wicker's environmental policy with a local and international perspective."