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2001- 2002 Bulletin Information


THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
The
Graduate School provides the student with opportunities for creative achievement and the advancement of knowledge. Graduate study fosters the spirit of independent investigation while creating an environment for free inquiry and intellectual challenge in advanced and specialized areas. Its emphasis upon scholarship, original thinking, and the practical application of knowledge to the solution of complex problems will enable the student to make a valuable contribution to society.

All graduate work is administered by the Graduate School under the direction of the Graduate Dean who is advised by the Graduate Council. The voting members of the council are eight Full Members of the Graduate Faculty and eight Graduate Directors, one from each college. Non-voting members ex officio are the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Graduate Dean and the Director of the University Libraries.

DEGREES OFFERED
The Graduate School offers sixteen different graduate degrees (M.A., M.Ac., M.B.A., M.S.N., M.Ed., M.P.A., M.H.S., M.P.T., M.S., M.S.S.H., M.S.CHE., M.S.E.E., M.S.M.E., M.S.C.I.S., Ed.S., Ph.D., and thirty-three programs, within numerous areas of concentration.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS
Education
See appropriate sections under College of Education.

Gerontology
See appropriate section under Program in Gerontology.

ASSISTANTSHIPS AND FELLOWSHIPS
Information concerning assistantships and fellowships may be obtained from the college or department concerned. In addition to a completed graduate assistantship/fellowship application which includes three (3) letters of recommendation, students must have attained regular standing and submit a standardized test score to be eligible for consideration for a graduate assistantship/fellowship. Tuition granted for a graduate assistantship/ fellowship may not be applied to courses outside of the degree program.

GRADUATE PROGRAMS
The following graduate degree programs are offered through the Graduate School of the University. More details are available under school/college listings elsewhere in this Bulletin.

The College of Allied Health Professions offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences, Master of Health Sciences (Physician Assistant Major), Master of Physical Therapy and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

The College of Arts and Sciences offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Communication, English, History, and Sociology; Master of Public Administration; Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Psychology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Sciences.

The Mitchell College of Business offers graduate work in business leading to the degree of Master of Business Administration and graduate work in accounting leading to the degree of Master of Accounting. These programs are given in the evenings and are designed for those individuals presently engaged in managerial or technical positions with business, industry, or government.

The College of Education offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Education, Master of Science, the Educational Specialist, and the Doctor of Philosophy.

The College of Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the degree of Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

The College of Medicine offers a program leading to the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Basic Medical Sciences. The objective of the program is to produce graduates with training and knowledge in basic human biology with an in-depth knowledge of one of the basic medical sciences (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Immunology, Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Physiology, Cell Biology and Neuroscience). A combined program leading to the awarding of both the Ph.D. and M.D. degree is available to highly qualified applicants.

The College of Nursing offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing.

The School of Computer and Information Sciences offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences.

GRADUATE SCHOOL ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS AND PROCEDURES
The Dean of the Graduate School, advised by the Graduate Council, establishes and monitors the standards under which students are admitted for study in degree programs under its jurisdiction.

Each student must be qualified for admission to the Graduate School. However, the fact of qualification does not guarantee admission. Admission may be restricted because of capacity limitations. Notice of actions on applications for admission is provided by the Office of Admissions. Any other correspondence between student and faculty members, department chairs, and/or administrative officers does not constitute nor does it imply admission to the Graduate School.

Application forms and other materials should be requested from the Director of Admissions, 182 Administration Building, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, telephone (251)460-6141 or toll-free telephone number (800)872-5247. The
e-mail address is admiss@usamail.usouthal.edu

International students should contact the
Office of International Services, Faculty Court South, Room 3, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, telephone (251)460-6050, for application information.

Specific information regarding academic programs may be obtained by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies in the appropriate colleges.

DEADLINES FOR APPLICATIONS
Final deadlines for all applications and supporting documents for new graduate students are as follows: August 1 for Fall Semester; December 15 for Spring Semester; and May 20 for Summer Semester. New graduate students who do not register for the semester in which they were accepted must update their admission in writing by the deadline if they wish to enroll in a future semester.

Deadlines for applications and supporting documents for new international students are usually at least one month earlier than the deadlines for U.S. citizens. Refer to the ďInternational StudentsĒ section for details.

Not all programs admit students each semester and some programs set earlier deadlines. Please see appropriate section of this publication for exceptions.

Former USA students who were admitted into the Graduate School and did not register for the semester in which they were accepted, but who wish to register for the same graduate program in the same academic year must reapply through the
Office of the Registrar. Deadlines are December 1 for the Spring Semester and May 1 for the Summer Semester. Fall semester begins a new academic year and requires submission of applications through the Office of Admissions.

Former USA graduate students who have failed to attend for one semester or more must file for readmission in the Registrarís Office by July 15 for the Fall Semester, December 1 for the Spring Semester, or May 1 for the Summer Semester. A graduate student who has not taken a graduate course within a five-year period or a graduate student who wishes to change degree program or type must apply through the Office of Admissions.

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR ADMISSION
All documents required for admission review (transcripts, test scores or letters of recommendation) must be official, i.e., mailed from the home institution or testing agency directly to the Office of Admissions, and become the property of the University of South Alabama.

CATEGORIES OF ADMISSION
Each program has specific requirements for admission that may exceed the requirements listed below for admission to the Graduate School. Persons interested in applying for admission to a specific program should consult the appropriate section of this publication, under Requirements for Admission

Applicants to the Graduate school may be admitted in one of the following categories.

  1. Regular Admission - Regular admission requires the following:
  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. A minimal grade-point average of 3.00 on all undergraduate work (A=4.00). The grade-point average used is that computed by the Office of Admissions.
  3. Sufficient courses in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline. A student who has a deficiency in courses in the discipline but who otherwise qualifies for Regular Admission will be required to complete appropriate prerequisite course work.
  4. Recommendation of the appropriate director of graduate studies and approval by the Graduate Dean.
  5. International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL test scores of 525 or above, or a bachelor’s or graduate degree earned at an accredited United States institution of higher education.

For those students who have had previous graduate work, performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements (see description of specific program).

  1. Provisional Admission - Students who do not meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be admitted to the Provisional Admission category. Provisional Admission requires:
  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
  2. A minimal grade-point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work (A=4.00) or 2.75 on the last 64 hours of college work. The grade-point average used is that computed by the Office of Admissions. Graduate Directors or Coordinators of each graduate program may recommend consideration of other factors in the review of an application.
  3. Recommendation of the appropriate Director/Coordinator of Graduate Studies and approval by the Dean of the College/School.
  4. International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL Test Scores of 525 or above, or a bachelor’s or graduate degree earned at an accredited United States institution of higher education.

For a Provisional student to be changed to Regular status, the following are required:

  1. Provisional students will be eligible for Regular status after accruing a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of course work taken at the University of South Alabama for graduate credit toward degree requirements, provided at least a B average is maintained in all such work attempted. No more than 15 semester hours of graduate credit earned as a Provisional Admission student may be approved for change of status to Regular Admission. The Provisional student who does not have the required B average upon completing at least 15 semester hours of graduate credit toward degree requirements will be subject to dismissal from the graduate program. See appropriate college or school and/or department section of this publication for any additional requirements. At all times, students are subject to the policy stated in the Academic Standards Section of this publication entitled "Academic Dismissal."
  2. Approval by the appropriate Director/ Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and Dean of the College/School.

3. Non-Degree Admission - Students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of Non- higher education who are not interested in earning graduate degrees or who need to complete prerequisites for particular degree programs may enroll as Non-Degree graduate students. A suitable background for the courses to be taken is expected.

Because of limited class size and resources, academic units may limit the enrollment of Non-Degree students. After admission, permission to enter each course is obtained from the Graduate Director/ Coordinator in the appropriate college, school and/or department.

Non-Degree students subsequently seeking admission into one of the graduate degree programs of the University must submit a formal application through the Office of Admissions to the Graduate Director/ Coordinator of the appropriate college, school and/or department. Students may be subject to further conditions, such as the completion of necessary undergraduate background courses. The student’s record in graduate courses taken while in the Non-Degree status may be considered. A maximum of 15 semester hours of graduate credit earned while in Non-Degree status may be applied toward a graduate degree if the student is later admitted to a graduate program of study.

International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL test scores of 525 or above, or bachelor’s or graduate degrees earned at accredited United States institutions of higher education.

TRANSIENT ENROLLMENT
Students in good standing in the graduate school of other universities may enroll in the Graduate School of the University of South Alabama, provided they have the written permission of the Dean of the Graduate School of the University of South Alabama. Enrollment as a transient student in no way implies further admission as a degree or non-degree graduate student. Students who wish to remain in transient status for more than one semester must submit the Universityís Transient Student Form and a readmission form (available from the Registrarís Office) each semester prior to the deadline (see ďHow to Apply for ReadmissionĒ).

STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES

Standardized test scores must be submitted for admission to graduate programs. (see description of specific program) If scores are more than five years old, applicants may be required to retake exam.

GRADUATE STUDY FOR ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATES
With permission of the department chair and appropriate director of graduate studies, a student who has completed 96 semester hours with a ďBĒ (3.)0 average may register for graduate courses provided the total load does not exceed 12 hours. This policy is extended to provide an opportunity for well-prepared undergraduates who meet two Regular admission criteria: minimum GPA and sufficient undergraduate course work in the major subject to qualify for graduate student in the involved discipline.

The same course may not be counted both as undergraduate and graduate credit, and the graduate course may count toward a degree in graduate school if and when the student is admitted to graduate school provided such course was not used to satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree.

ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY REQUIRED BY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Admission to Graduate School does not imply admission of a student to Candidacy for the masterís degree in the College of Education. The student is referred to the ďAdmission to Candidacyí section in the College of Education for further information.

GRADUATE SCHOOL ACADEMIC STANDARDS
A student who withdraws from the University or from a course will have WD recorded on his permanent record, provided the withdrawal occurs within the time limits listed in the official Calendar. Withdrawal after the time limits can only be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the appropriate director of graduate studies. (See ďWithdrawalsĒ
section of this Bulletin.)

GRADE STANDARDS

Courses for which the grade of D is assigned may not be counted toward a degree program. A maximum of two courses with the grade of C may be counted toward a degree program. However, some programs accept no grades of C; see specific program.

GRADES

Excellent .................... 4 grade-points per sem. hour
Good ......................... 3 grade-points per sem. hour
Satisfactory ................ (certain designated courses only)
Marginal .................... 2 grade-point per sem. hour
Unsatisfactory ............ 1 grade-point per sem. hour
Unsatisfactory ............ (certain designated courses only)
Failure ....................... no grade points

The following symbols are substitutes for grades. They are not grades:

I Incomplete 
X Absent for final exam 
WD Withdrawal in good standing
P Course in progress
AU Audit
UA Unsatisfactory Audit (did not meet attendance requirement)
N No grade or invalid grade 

CHANGE OF GRADE
Grades reported for graduate students by instructors to the Registrar may not be changed except in case of error in records or in evaluation. Grade changes require the approval of the instructor of record, with information regarding the change provided to the department chair, the director of graduate studies of the college in which the course is taught, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Grades on record for one-calendar year may not be changed for any reason.

ACADEMIC DISMISSAL
The Dean of the Graduate School has authority to dismiss graduate students from the Graduate School.

A student who receives six semester hours of D or F will be academically dismissed from Graduate School. In addition, any combination of nine (9) semester hours of grades of C or less (C,D,U,F) in all graduate courses or required undergraduate prerequisite or foundation courses will result in academic dismissal. Any term in which a graduate student drops below a 3.0 GPA, the student is placed on probationary status and has a period of two terms to attain a 3.0 GPA or be dismissed.

A student will be dismissed from the Graduate School after three unsuccessful attempts to pass the comprehensive examination. Some programs allow only two attempts.

A student in the status of Provisional Admissions who does not have a B (3.0) average upon completing 15 semester hours of graduate credit toward degree requirements will be academically dismissed from the Graduate School.

A student who has been academically dismissed is eligible to reapply to the Graduate School subject to the approval of the director of graduate studies of the specific new program and the Dean of the Graduate School. This is not intended to include the program from which the student has been dismissed.

FINAL GRADE GRIEVANCE POLICY
A student may initiate an inquiry under procedures set forth by the Graduate School Final Course Grade Grievance Policy. A copy of this policy is available in the deanís office of each college and in the Graduate Deanís Office.

APPEAL PROCEDURE
A graduate student dissatisfied with a ruling regarding academic affairs should consult with the faculty member concerned and the department chair to seek an acceptable solution to the problem. If no agreement can be reached, an administrative appeal procedure is available. Information concerning this procedure may be obtained from the office of the Graduate Dean.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY
English is the language of instruction at the University of South Alabama. Any remedial work in English language skill, which may be found needed after a student has been admitted to the Graduate School (Provisional Admission or Regular Admission), may be specified and requested by the director of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled. International students, except those who have earned a bachelorís or graduate degree at an accredited United States institution of higher learning, are required to take the English Language Proficiency Examination administered at this University at the beginning of the first semester in which they are enrolled. Students with deficiencies in any of the various areas of command of English (oral comprehension, reading comprehension, grammatical structure, vocabulary, etc.) will have appropriate ESL courses recommended. 

REGISTRATION
Registration (making course selections and enrolling in classes) occurs prior to the beginning of each semester. Students may register via the telephone utilizing USAís VIPS (Voice Interactive Phone System). (See the University Schedule of Classes for additional information.)

FULL LOAD OF COURSE WORK IN A SEMESTER
A full load is six to ten credit hours. Permission of the major department and the Graduate Dean must be obtained to take more than ten hours.

TRANSFER CREDIT
A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of approved transfer credit is allowed for a masterís degree. See specific Ph.D. program for transfer credit policy. The University of South Alabama does not award graduate credit for prior portfolio-based experiential learning.

CHANGE OF PROGRAM
A student wishing to change from one graduate program to another must apply to the new program through the Office of Admissions unless the new program is in the College of Education or the Mitchell College of Business. If the new program is in the College of Education or Mitchell College of Business, the student should consult the Director of Graduate Studies for the appropriate college.

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY
While the University of South Alabama will endeavor to provide timely and accurate advisement, it is the responsibility of the student to know and satisfy the degree requirements of the academic program.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER’S DEGREE

  1. A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in a program approved by the major department and the Dean of the Graduate School is required. The following limitations apply:
  1. No more than 12 hours of either dual-listed courses (400- and 500-level listings for the same course) or upper division undergraduate courses (400-level courses) may be counted toward meeting the minimum hours required for a degree; the total of dual-listed and 400-level credit hours may not exceed 18.
  2. A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit obtained at another accredited institution may be approved for transfer to the University of South Alabama. The credit is approved only after completion of a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit at the University of South Alabama. Transfer credit must have the recommendation of the major department and appropriate director of graduate studies and the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Only grades of A or B or the equivalent may be accepted as transfer credit. Grades equivalency must be verified by the appropriate director of graduate studies. Course work completed more than five years prior to the date for graduation may not be counted for degree credit. Students must meet all degree residency requirements. 
  3. A course applied toward credit for a degree at this institution, or elsewhere, will not be acceptable as credit toward a second degree, except in approved dual-masterís programs where a maximum of nine (9) hours may be counted in both programs.
  1. A minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average on all work attempted in the studentís specific program of study as well as an overall 3.0 grade-point average on all work attempted is required. Courses for which the grade of D is assigned may not be counted toward a degree program. A maximum of two courses with the grade of C may be counted toward a degree program; however, some programs accept no grades of C (see specific program).
  2. A minimum of 20 semester hours of degree program credit in residence at the University of South Alabama is required.
  3. All requirements for a master’s degree must be completed within five calendar years from admission as a graduate student at the University of South Alabama.
  4. A comprehensive examination is required and may be repeated no more than twice. For details see specific program.
  5. Submission of a standardized test score may be required. For details, see specific programs.
  6. A foreign language may be required. For details see specific programs. International students should note that English may not be offered as a foreign language. The foreign language requirement may be fulfilled, normally no later than two semesters before graduation, in one of two ways:
  1. Undergraduate course work in one acceptable foreign language which demonstrates successful completion of at least the second-year intermediate level (a course offered in the sixth quarter or fourth semester of an undergraduate sequence begun at the introductory level) with a minimum grade-point of 2.5 in all work attempted in the foreign language. The course work must have been completed within five calendar years before the date of graduation from the relevant program. Course work may be taken as a graduate student with no graduate credit.
  2. A satisfactory performance on an examination conducted at the University of South Alabama requiring a written translation from the foreign language into English, which examination will last no more than two hours and allow the use of a dictionary. The examination is offered only to matriculated students and must be passed no more than five calendar years before the date of graduation from the relevant program. The text set for translation will be related to the studentís subject area. Programs requiring a foreign language are invited to make recommendations regarding appropriate material to the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, which will appoint from its faculty a specialist to be the examiner and to schedule, prepare, administer, and evaluate the examination. The examiner will evaluate the translation as satisfactory or not satisfactory.
  1. Thesis
  1. A program may require or allow a candidate for the Masterís degree to prepare a thesis. A maximum of nine (9) semester hours of 599 thesis credit may be counted toward meeting the minimum hours required for a degree; some programs may allow fewer than nine hours (see specific program), but no fewer than three(3) hours.
  2. The grade of P (In Progress) is assigned to thesis credit; upon completion and approval of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate School, a quality-point grade (A, B, C, D, F) and accumulated credit are assigned. If not changed to a quality-point grade by the end of two years after the first P is given, the P automatically becomes WD.
  3. A student on a thesis option program will be required to prepare a thesis prospectus.
  4. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
  5. The student must be enrolled in at least one hour of thesis during the semester in which the thesis is approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. Normally, thesis students should be enrolled in 599 continuously from inception of the project until final approval of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  6. See "Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations" and "Standards for Theses and Dissertations" in this Bulletin.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE EDUCATIONAL SPECIALIST DEGREE
See appropriate section under College of Education.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE

  1. The specific requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Basic Medical Sciences, in Communication Sciences and Disorders, in Instructional Design and Development, and in Marine Sciences vary among the specialties. Each of the four programs leading to the completion of a Ph.D. degree has specific requirements regarding courses, seminars, laboratory studies, directed studies, workshops, and research. In general, a minimum of 60 credits of graduate work will be required for the Ph.D. degree. Transfer credit from regionally accredited universities may be accepted by certain programs.  Prior approval of the college director of graduate studies is required.  Only course with A or B grades are acceptable for transfer. The quality of the studentís program and performance are emphasized and are considered as important as the fulfillment of requirements. Completion of original research, and writing and defending a dissertation are requirements for the Ph.D. degree.
  2. Students who are candidates for the Ph.D. degree must be enrolled for Research and Dissertation during the semester in which the open defense of the dissertation is completed, and must be enrolled in at least one hour of Research and Dissertation during the semester in which the dissertation is approved by the Graduate Dean.
  3. All requirements for a Ph.D. degree must be completed within seven calendar years from admission to a Ph.D. program at the University of South Alabama. Extensions may be granted under appropriate circumstances.

GUIDELINE FOR THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

  1. Students who intend to write a thesis or dissertation should early in their programs consult with the department chair or program director/coordinator for a list of Members of the Graduate Faculty from which to select an advisor to supervise and direct their research.
  2. If the Member of the Graduate Faculty selected by the student consents to serve as an advisor, then the advisor and student initiate a recommendation for a thesis/dissertation committee using GS Form 11.
  3. Ph.D. degree dissertation committees must include at least one Full Member of the Graduate Faculty who is the committee chair and normally the studentís advisor/major professor. A Masterís thesis committee must have a minimum of three members and a dissertation committee must include at least four members of the Graduate Faculty. Both thesis and dissertation committees must have at least one member from outside the studentís department or program.
  4. The Dean of the Graduate School is the appointing authority for thesis and dissertation committees. Once the Graduate Dean has appointed the committee, the student prepares a thesis or dissertation prospectus under the direction of the committee.
  5. A Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations, sixth Edition, 1999, is the guide for preparation of the prospectus and the thesis or dissertation. The manual is for sale in the campus bookstore.
  6. Once a thesis or dissertation committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, the student may then enroll for 599 Thesis or 799 Dissertation credit with permission of the thesis/dissertation committee chair (advisor or major professor).
  7. To be considered for approval by the Dean of the Graduate School, an acceptable thesis or dissertation must be submitted to the Graduate School office by the deadline announced in the University Calendar.

STANDARDS FOR THESES AND DISSERTATIONS

  1. A thesis/dissertation should demonstrate that the student has the capacity for original research, facility in the use of the English language, the ability to review appropriate background material, formulate and address (a) significant question(s), obtain, collate, and analyze appropriate data and draw logical conclusions therefrom, and integrate in a meaningful way the new knowledge into the greater body of existing knowledge and state its significance. The final thesis/dissertation must be acceptable to the major professor, a majority of the thesis/dissertation committee, the chair of the studentís department, the college/ school director of graduate studies and the dean of the graduate school.
  2. The thesis or dissertation must be an original research and/or creative project. This document will demonstrate the student’s ability to:
  1. Select a topic and delineate a problem that can be studied in terms of time, equipment needs and experimental population available to the faculty sponsor.
  2. Search the literature for relevant studies on the topic of choice.
  3. Organize and analyze the information that is available, using logical and/or statistical analysis appropriate for the project.
  4. Present the results orally and in a written form to the satisfaction for the faculty thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate Faculty.
  5. Present a final document as a Thesis or Dissertation to the Graduate School Office in an accepted form and by the procedures outlined in the Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations, University of South Alabama.

APPLICATION FOR DEGREE
Each candidate for the Masterís, Educational Specialistís, or Doctor of Philosophy degree must make application for the degree during the semester preceding the semester of graduation in the Registrarís Office. The dates are specified in the University Calendar.
   

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