USM partners with Copiah-Lincoln Community College to create smoother pathway to Honors College


Kelly Dunn, USM Photo Services

USM President Dr. Joe Paul and Co-Lin President Dr. Jane Hulon Sims sign the MOU.

The University of Southern Mississippi and Copiah-Lincoln Community College have partnered together to create a smoother pathway to the university’s Honor College.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, officials from the two schools signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Trent Lott Center on USM’s Hattiesburg campus. The understanding allows any students that have graduated or will graduate—in good standing from the Co-Lin Honors College—to receive admission to USM’s two-year Keystone Honors College program. Students at the 10 or 21 credit-hour level and have a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher will be eligible for admission.

Co-Lin students with an honors diploma must complete multiple courses to graduate from the USM Honors College. Within the Honors College, students must keep an average cumulative GPA of 3.25 or higher, participate in Honors advising, and “make satisfactory progress toward degree completion.”

“Co-Lin Honors College students can now smoothly transition to our Keystone program, which is the research portion of the USM Honors College. The Memoradum of Understanding paves a smooth pathway to admission. The Southern Miss Honors College has access to a pool of academically talented, highly motivated students who want to complete their bachelor’s degree and maybe stay for graduate school at our University,” said Dr. Sabine Heinhorst, Dean of USM’s Honors College.

Juniors and seniors can select their own courses and navigate their curriculum through the senior Honors Thesis course, a creative or research project. Students must follow the standard university admissions requirements for transfer students to properly complete the Keystone application.

Dr. Joe Paul, President of USM, praised the deal between the two schools.

“We have long been the university of choice for Mississippi’s best community college graduates,” Paul said. “And now, the best and brightest honors graduates from Copiah-Lincoln can seamlessly become a part of our honors program and our University.” Paul said that transfer students from Copiah-Lincoln Community College always do well academically.

“They become campus leaders,” Paul said. “They go out in the world and do great things and give back to both institutions.”

For more information on USM’s Honor College, call 601.266.4533, or visit their website at