The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park campus in Long Beach has reached record enrollment in the number of students enrolled to earn their master’s degree. For the spring 2014 semester, a total of 361 graduate students are working to earn one of 11 master’s degrees available to students at the university’s Gulf Park campus.
“An expanding number of career paths require graduate degrees and, as a result, we have seen consistent growth in our graduate programs at Southern Miss,” said Dr. Tom Lansford, Southern Miss Gulf Coast academic dean. “Programs such as logistics, trade, and transportation, computer science, and the master of business administration have seen especially strong growth over the past few years.”
Of the 11 master’s degree programs available to students at the Gulf Park campus, computer science is the largest program with 113 students. Dr. Greg Carter, interim associate dean for the College of Science and Technology on the Gulf Coast, explains that the modern world relies constantly on machines to help compute income tax, make phone calls, drive cars and listen to music.
“This list goes on and on,” added Carter. “So, as you can imagine, there is a high demand for specialists in computing and related sciences and technologies who know how to instruct machines to do all this work for us.”
The appeal for a graduate degree in computer science has also reached beyond residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast and local states. In recent years, the computer science master’s degree program has grown to include international students looking to enhance their academic background with degree programs that appeal to employers.
“One of the top requests of business owners on the coast is to educate more people in computer science,” Dr. Frances Lucas, vice president of the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus. “Another fact is that we are now in a global economy and American student's preparation is greatly enhanced by having the opportunity to study alongside international students. Therefore we are thrilled to have so many bright students from other countries.”
Master’s degree programs are offered in each of the university’s six academic colleges. These programs range from political science, business, educational administration, nursing, social work to computer science. A variety of master’s degree programs are also available as online, hybrid, or executive format programs. This allows working professionals to earn their master’s degree without attending classes during work hours.
For more information about graduate degree programs available at the Southern Miss Gulf Park campus, call 228.214.3444 or visit www.usm.edu/gulfcoast.