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.
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
The Graduate School offers seventeen 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.
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 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, 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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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 "International Students" section for
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 Registrars 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.
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.
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
Applicants to the Graduate school
may be admitted in one of the following categories.
- Regular Admission - Regular admission
requires the following:
- A bachelors degree from an accredited
institution of higher education.
- 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 bachelors 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).
- Provisional Admission
- Students who do not meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be admitted to the
Provisional Admission category. Provisional Admission requires:
- A bachelors 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 bachelors 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 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."
- 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 students 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 bachelors 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 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
Universitys Transient Student Form and a readmission form (available from the
Registrars Office) each semester prior to the deadline (see "How to Apply for
Test score submitted to meet admission requirements (see description of
specific program) may not be more than five years old.
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 "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 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.
TO CANDIDACY REQUIRED BY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Admission to Graduate School does not imply admission of a student to
Candidacy for the masters degree in the College of Education. The student is
referred to the "Admission to Candidacy section in the College of
Education for further information.
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 "Withdrawals" on page 26 of this Bulletin.)
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 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.
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
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.
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 deans office of each college and in the Graduate Deans 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 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 bachelors 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.
Registration (making course selections and enrolling in classes)
occurs prior to the beginning of each semester. Students may register via the telephone
utilizing USAs VIPS (Voice Interactive Phone System). (See the University Schedule
of Classes for additional information.)
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.
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. 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
- 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:
- 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 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. 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-masters programs where a maximum of nine (9) hours may be
counted in both programs.
- A minimum overall 3.0 grade-point
average on all work attempted in the students 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).
- A minimum of 20 semester hours of
degree program credit in residence at the University of South Alabama is required.
- All requirements for a masters
degree must be completed within five calendar years from admission as a graduate student
at the University of South Alabama.
- A comprehensive examination is
required and may be repeated no more than twice. For details see specific program.
- 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 students
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.
- A program may require or allow a candidate for the
Masters 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 specialities. 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 students 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
GUIDELINE 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
- 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 students
advisor/major professor. A Masters 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 students 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 the committee.
- 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 major professor).
- 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 Graduate School.
- 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 (see inside front cover of this Bulletin).
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 students department, the college/
school director of graduate studies 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 students
- 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 of choice.
- 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 for the faculty thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate
- 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.
Each candidate for the Masters, Educational
Specialists, or Doctor of Philosophy degree must make application for the degree
during the semester preceding the semester of graduation in the Registrars Office.
The dates are specified in the University Calendar.