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
The Graduate School offers twelve 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., Ed.D. [cooperative program with Auburn University]),
and thirty-three programs, within numerous areas of concentration.
See appropriate sections under College of Education.
See appropriate section under Program in Gerontology.
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
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 College of Business and Management Studies 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. This program is
given in the evenings and is 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, the
Doctor of Education (degree awarded by Auburn University), 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, Structural
and Cellular Biology). 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
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 a student and faculty members, department chairs, and/or
administrative officers does not constitute nor does it imply admission to the Graduate
Application forms and other materials should be requested
from the Director of Admissions, 182 Frederick Palmer Whiddon Administration Building,
University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, telephone (334) 460-6141 or
toll-free telephone number (800) 872-5247. The e-mail address is email@example.com.
International students should contact the Office of International Services,
Faculty Court South, Room 3, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002,
telephone (334)460-6050, for application information.
Specific information regarding academic programs may be
obtained by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies in the appropriate colleges.
Final deadlines for all applications and supporting documents for new
students are as follows: August 1 for the Fall Semester; December 15 for the Spring
Semester; and May 20 for the Summer Semester. 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.
Not all programs admit students each semester,
and some programs set earlier deadlines. Please see appropriate section of this
Students who have previously attended USA and who 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 update their
admissions through the Office
of the Registrar by December 1 for the Spring Semester, or May 1 for the
Summer Semester. Fall Semester begins a new academic year and requires submission of
applications through the Office of
Deadlines for applications and supporting documents for
international students are usually at least one month earlier than the deadlines for U.S.
citizens. Refer to the "International
Students" section for details.
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR
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.
Regular Admission. Regular admission
requires the following:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of
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
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.
Recommendation of the appropriate director of graduate
studies and approval by the Graduate Dean.
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).
Students who do not meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be admitted to the
Provisional Admission category. Provisional Admission requires:
A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of
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
Recommendation of the appropriate Director/Coordinator of
Graduate Studies and approval by the Dean of the College/School.
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:
Provisional students will be eligible for Regular status
after accruing a minimum of 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."
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 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.
4. Transients. 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 future 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 University's
Transient Student Form and a readmission form (available from the Registrar's Office) each
semester prior to the deadline (see "How to Apply for Readmission").
STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES
Test scores submitted to meet admission requirements (see description of
specific program) may not be more than five years old.
GRADUATE STUDY FOR ADVANCED
With permission of the department chair and appropriate director of
graduate studies, a student who has completed 96 semester hours with a "B" (3.0)
average may register for graduate courses provided the total load does not exceed 15
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 study 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 master's degree in the College of Education. The student is referred to
the "Admission to Candidacy" section in
the College of Education for further information.
GRADUATE SCHOOL ACADEMIC
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
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.
CHANGE OF GRADE
Grades reported for graduate students by instructors to the Registrar may
not be changed except in case of error in recording 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.
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 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.
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 Admission 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 dean's office of each college and in the Graduate Dean's Office.
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 bachelor's 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 be required to successfully complete the
appropriate ESL courses. All ESL courses must be completed as soon as possible but not
later than the end of the second semester after matriculation.
A former USA graduate student who has failed to attend for one semester or
more, or an admitted student who did not register within the same academic year must file
for readmission in the Registrar's
Office. 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.
Specific degree programs may have additional requirements. Consult the appropriate section
within this Bulletin for any additional information.
Registration (making course selections and enrolling in classes) occurs
prior to the beginning of each semester. Students may register via the telephone utilizing
USA's V.I.P.S. (Voice
Interactive Phone System). (See the University Schedule of Classes for additional
FULL LOAD OF COURSE WORK IN A
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.
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 College of Business and Management Studies. If the new program
is in the College of Education or College of Business, the student should consult the
Director of Graduate Studies for the appropriate college.
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.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MASTER'S DEGREE
A minimum of 32 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:.
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
A maximum of 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 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. Grade 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. Transfer credit for courses offered at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab
must be listed in the MESC Bulletin. Any other courses at the Sea Lab not listed in the
MESC Bulletin and offered by other institutions must have prior approval by the Dean of
the Graduate School to be considered for transfer credit.
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-master's programs where a maximum of 9 hours may be counted in both
A minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average on all work
attempted in the student's 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
A minimum of 20 semester hours of degree program credit
in residence at the University of South Alabama is required.
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
A comprehensive examination is required and may be
repeated no more than twice. For details see specific programs.
Submission of a standardized test score may be required.
For details, see specific programs.
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:
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.
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 student's 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
A program may require or allow a candidate for the
Master's degree to prepare a thesis. A maximum of 9 semester hours of 599 thesis credit
may be counted toward meeting the minimum hours required for a degree; some programs may
allow less than 9 hours (see specific program).
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.
A student on a thesis option program will be required to
prepare a thesis prospectus.
An oral defense of the thesis is required.
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.
for Theses and Dissertations" and "Standards for Theses and Dissertations"
in the Bulletin.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE
EDUCATIONAL SPECIALIST DEGREE
See appropriate section under College of Education.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR OF
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 may be accepted by certain programs, but must be
approved in advance by the college director of graduate studies. The quality of the
student's 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.
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
GUIDELINES FOR THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
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.
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.
Ph.D. degree dissertation committees must include at
least one Full Member of the Graduate Faculty who is the committee chair and normally the
student's advisor/major professor. A Master's 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 student's department or program.
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
A Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations, Fifth
Edition, 1997, is the guide for preparation of the prospectus and the thesis or
dissertation. The manual is for sale in the campus bookstore.
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
Normally, thesis/dissertation students should be enrolled
in 599/799 continuously from inception of project until final approval of the
thesis/dissertation by the Dean of the Graduate School.
The student must be enrolled in at least one hour of 599
or 799 in the term in which the thesis/dissertation is approved by the Dean of the
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
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 student's department, and the Dean of the Graduate School.
The thesis or dissertation must be an original research
and/or creative project. This document will demonstrate the student's ability to:
Select a topic and delineate a problem that can be
studied in terms of time, equipment needs and experimental population available to the
Search the literature for relevant studies on the topic
Organize and analyze the information that is available,
using logical and/or statistical analysis appropriate for the project.
Present the results orally and in a written form to the
satisfaction of the faculty thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate Faculty.
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 Master's, Educational Specialist's, or Doctor of
Philosophy degree must make application for the degree during the semester preceding the
semester of graduation in the Registrar's Office. The dates are specified in the University Calendar.