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Music (Jazz Studies)

The degree will provide outstanding musicians with tools for a professional career in music through study of improvisation, jazz theory, arranging and composition, and performance.

When You Think Music, Think Southern Miss

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music has a longstanding international reputation for musical excellence. The school is recognized for its eminence in musical artistry, education and community service.

The School of Music provides a wealth of valuable opportunities for the professional and artistic growth of our students. Our faculty members perform at major venues around the world and teach at international festivals and conferences every year, and our student ensembles have been featured performers at national conventions, including the World Saxophone Congress and the Denton (Texas) Arts and Jazz Festival.


The Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz Studies requires eight semesters of applied (private) lessons, eight semesters of jazz ensemble participation, and four semesters of jazz combo participation.

The capstone for the BM Jazz Studies degree is a full senior solo recital, which includes historical transcription, arranging and composition, and stylistic specifications. This performance training is coupled with an extensive list of music theory and history courses to ensure a well-rounded musician.

Degree Options

There is one Bachelor of Music (BM) degree available.

More about this Major


This degree prepares students to both go on to graduate school in jazz as well as move into the "real world" as freelance musicians.

The School of Music gives over 200 performances a year and has over 40 faculty members: music historians and educators, conductors, instrumentalists and vocalists.

Meet Some of Your Professors

Larry Panella

Associate Professor, Director of Jazz Studies

Favorite Course: MUS 367: Improvisation

Expertise: Jazz

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Apply to Southern Miss

Be aware of our deadlines, $40 application fee and other items on our checklist. Admission requirements vary for freshmen, transfers, prospective Honors College students and others.

Southern Miss undergraduate degrees are available online, at the Hattiesburg campus, at the Gulf Park campus, and/or through a hybrid delivery that includes both online and on-campus courses.