Summer Field Program - Details

Depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible courses may be shifted to a hybrid, or partially web-supplemented, format. The safety of students and staff is of the highest importance and any decisions will be made in the best interest of health and safety. Once you have applied for the program, your contact information will be on file, and you will be notified if there are any changes to course format. Information will also be posted on the GCRL Summer Field Program Facebook page. The most up to date university-wide information can be found on USM’s COVID-19 response website:

If you have any questions or concerns please email Margaret at


The University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory was established in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in 1947 and is home to the Summer Field Program. The Summer Field Program is designed to allow undergraduate an intensive field- and lab-based setting. On-site amenities include research vessels, dormitory, dining hall, research labs, library and a specimen museum. Make your plans today to attend the GCRL Field Program and gain an experience of a lifetime!


The Summer Field Program runs May 24-June 23 (Session (I) through June 24-July 26 (Session II). A student may enroll in only one course each session. Students should not take classes at other campuses while taking field courses at the GCRL.

Class descriptions and schedule are here.

GCRL Summer Field Program on Facebook Check out GCRL's Summer Field Program on Facebook.


Admissions questions? Send email to or call 228.818.8852.

Application Requirements / Process

Undergraduate Students

Apply to the GCRL Summer Field Program here.

  1. $40 non-refundable application processing fee for undergraduate students (fees not applicable to current USM students) Make Check payable to The University of Southern Mississippi.
  2. Official transcript (electronic transcripts preferred, send to
  3. Copy of immunization records

Official transcript, Application Fee and Immunization Record can be sent electronically to or mailed to the

Division of Coastal Sciences
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory, Attn: Margaret Firth
703 East Beach Drive • Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Graduate Students

To apply, contact Margaret Firth for admission instructions at 228.818.8852 or

Fees and Costs


All students must have a valid University of Southern Mississippi parking permit. Parking permits can be purchased online through the University of Southern Mississippi Parking and Transit Services website: Summer parking permits cost $25 and are valid from May 15, 2021, through July 31, 2021. USM students with a valid annual permit do not need to purchase a summer permit for GCRL. If students are taking classes for more than one term, they do not need to purchase more than one parking permit.

Assistantships and Scholarships

A limited number of assistantships and scholarships are available to qualifying students attending the GCRL Summer Field Program. For more information, contact us at

Students with Disabilities

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations (ODA) for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact ODA if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. 


The University of Southern Mississippi
Office for Disability Accommodations
118 College Drive # 8586
Hattiesburg, MS   39406-0001
Voice Telephone:  601.266.5024 or 228.214.3232    Fax: 601.266.6035

Individuals with hearing impairments can contact ODA using the Mississippi Relay Service at 1.800.582.2233 (TTY) or email ODA at

Transcript Requests

Transcripts can be ordered through the office of the registrar at the following website: For questions regarding transcripts, please contact the office of the registrar at 601.266.5006.

For More Information

Questions may be addressed to Please fax us at: 228.818.8894

Larisa Lee
Undergraduate Program Manager

For Admissions:
Margaret Firth, GCRL Admissions Specialist


The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's air-conditioned dormitory houses two students per room. Suites consist of four rooms and a common bathroom facility. Other GCRL dorms have up to four students per room with a common bathroom. Requests for housing are filled as received. Married couples must make their own arrangements for off-site housing. All rooms have Internet access via WiFi.

The dining hall serves three meals daily. Commuting students may purchase meals at a modest cost. Students should bring linens, towels, and clothing suitable for field work, such as shorts, bathing suits, hat, long-sleeved shirt and light-weight pants, washable athletic shoes, polarized sunglasses as well as a good sunblock. Laundry facilities are available on-site.

Dormitory stays typically provide excellent opportunities to meet other students, as well as to engage in water sports, fishing, golf, tennis, biking, weight lifting, aerobics, and hiking that form some of the many summer pastimes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The community of Ocean Springs, as well as the neighboring cities of Biloxi, Gulfport, Gautier, and Pascagoula provide ample opportunities for shopping, banking, dining, and recreation. New Orleans is less than two hours away by care. Mobile, Alabama is about an hour drive.

Summers are hot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and students should be prepared to protect themselves from intense sunshine. Bring a good sunblock, hat, sunglasses and a reusable waterbottle.


Academic Credit

All courses are offered through the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in the Division of Coastal Sciences and are accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Upon completion, a transcript request must be submitted to transfer credit hours to home institution.

Resident Faculty – Division of Coastal Sciences