Advising FAQ

Transfer Credit FAQ

▼   How do I know which courses at my community college will transfer to South?

Students at an Alabama community college may check the STARS web site (Statewide Articulation Reporting System), which lists the courses available at the community college that may be used toward a particular degree program at a four-year school in the state. The AGSC Transfer Guide (Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee) may be printed and used as a guideline for appropriate courses to take.

If you are attending Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Pensacola Junior College, or Okaloosa-Walton Community College, you may print a list of courses available at your school for transfer to South by visiting the USA Transfer Advising Guides page.

▼   Is there a limit to the number of hours that can transfer from a two-year school?

Yes, a bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 semester hours, and only one-half of your degree can be earned at a two-year school. If your degree requires more than 120 semester hours, then a maximum of 64 semester hours can be used toward that degree.

Click here for more information

▼   Is there a limit to the number of hours of AP and CLEP credit that can be used toward a degree?

Yes, no more than 32 semester hours of credit from Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), credit by exam, correspondence courses, military service courses, and other approved non-collegiate-sponsored programs are allowed.

Click here for more information

▼   Will "D" grades transfer from other schools?

As of Fall Semester 1998, South will accept "D" grades from other schools, with the exception of EH 101 and EH 102, Composition I and II. These composition courses require a minimum grade of "C".

▼   Will 300 and 400 level education credits transfer from a four year institution?
Education credits do not transfer between institutions. 

Scheduling Classes FAQ

▼   Why do I have an advising hold on my account?
Students that have earned less than 30 hours are required to meet with an advisor before they can register for classes. You can schedule an appointment by calling the Advising Center. If you are a secondary math major, you’re required to meet with an advisor from the Department of Mathematics each semester before registration.
▼   What is a full-time load?

Undergraduate students taking 12 or more semester hours are full-time. Graduate students enrolled in 6 or more semester hours are full-time. Students may need to be full-time to receive financial aid and/or to be covered by insurance. Note: Students receiving scholarship funds must take 15 semester hours each term.

▼   How many hours should one normally take in a semester?
Usually a student will take 15 to 16 hours each semester in order to complete a bachelor's degree in 4 years without taking classes during a summer semester.
▼   What should I do if I want to take more than 19 semester hours?
Contact the Director of Advising to request a maximum hours overload.
▼   I'm on probation and am limited to 13 semester hours?...What if I want to take more hours than that?
Check with your advisor to see if an exception may be made. Generally, exceptions are only made in extreme circumstances.
▼   What is a prerequisite?
A prerequisite is a course that must be taken prior to another course in order to be prepared for it. The PAWS system will block a student from registering for a course if the prerequisite has not been completed. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the department chair or the instructor of the course.
▼   How can I be exempt from EH 101?

If you have a score of 27 or higher on the English section of the ACT (SAT Verbal of 550 or higher), you will be exempt from EH 101 and may register for EH 102. Students must replace the 3 semester hours for EH 101 with another course if the minimum 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree are not met.

Currently, Advanced Placement (AP) credit will be awarded only for EH 101 with a score of "4" or higher. Official AP scores mailed from the College Entrance Examination Board are required.

College Level Examination (CLEP) credit for EH 101 and 102 will be awarded if a student scores "50" or higher on the College Composition Examination. Six semester hours of credit will be granted. Official CLEP scores mailed from the Educational Testing Service are required.

▼   Who is required to take the mathematics placement test?
Students who need credit for MA 112 and have not taken the ACT or who have not submitted their ACT score to the Office of Admissions. Please visit the Mathematics and Statistics homepage for testing information.
▼   Who does not need to take the mathematics placement test?
Students who can fulfill their mathematics requirement with MA 110, which has no prerequisite requirements, will not need to take the mathematics placement test. Students who have an ACT score on file, who have received transfer credit for a mathematics course at or above the level of MA 112 do not need to take the placement test.
▼   Does the College of Education and Professional Studies offer any online courses?
Yes, there are some online offerings. However, the majority of the courses offered for the undergraduate programs are traditional and blended courses.
▼   I have been accepted into South's honors program. What courses do I need to take?
Go to the Honors web site for details. It is wise to schedule an advising appointment and go over the requirements in person.
▼   How do I change my major or add a minor?
Students can change their major within the college and add a minor in the Office of Student Services UCOM 3020. Students can change their major outside of the college in the department of the new major.

Candidacy FAQ

▼   When do I apply for candidacy?
Candidacy applications are due one semester prior to starting classes that require candidacy. The intent is for students to apply for candidacy AND meet with their advisor prior to registration to enable appropriate planning decisions for upcoming semesters.
  • The Fall Semester Candidacy Application Deadline is generally the preceding June
  • The Spring Semester Candidacy Application Deadline is generally the preceding September
  • The Summer Semester Candidacy Application Deadline is generally the preceding March
▼   Where do I apply for candidacy?

Candidacy applications are completed in the Advising Center (UCOM 3360).

Teacher Education Candidacy FAQ

▼   What is the undergraduate teacher education GPA requirement?
  • 2.5 Minimum Overall GPA (All work attempted at USA)
  • 2.75 Minimum Program GPA (All courses used on the Advising Sheet, including transfer work)
  • 2.75 Professional Studies GPA (All courses used in the Professional Studies area, including transfer work)
  • 2.75 Minimum Teaching Field GPA (All courses used in the Teaching Field, including transfer work)
▼   What is the LiveText?

Livetext is an online assessment system for students majoring in Education and seeking an Alabama Teaching Certificate. Students in teacher education majors are required to purchase the 3-year license beginning with the first CEPS course containing teacher education standards taken and will continue to use the software throughout their program of study. For more information click here. 

Non-Teacher Certification Majors Candidacy (HPELS majors) FAQ

▼   What is the undergraduate Non-Teacher Certification GPA requirement?
  • 2.2 Minimum Overall GPA (All work attempted at USA)
  • 2.2 Minimum Major GPA (All courses used in the Concentration-Core, including transfer work)
▼   When will I complete my internship?

Students typically complete the internship in the last semester or two of the program. Internships cannot be completed until the student has entered candidacy.

Preparing for Professional or Graduate Programs FAQ

▼   What tests are required for admission to the College of Education and Professional Studies graduate programs?
Tests required for admission vary depending on the specific program. Check with the Office of Graduate Studies for the latest requirements.
▼   What can I do to prepare for the admission interview for a graduate program?
  • Get a variety of observation experiences in several settings.
  • Learn as much as possible about the work while you observe a professional in your field of choice.
  • Learn what is happening in your chosen profession and in the field in general (check out the websites for professional organizations in your major and graduate programs).
  • Read the catalog to discover what you will be studying in the professional component of your program.
  • Know yourself and what you will enjoy doing for many years to come.
▼   What is the GRE?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test that is required for entry into graduate programs. There are 3 sections: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing.

The verbal score ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments as does the quantitative score. The analytical writing score is reported from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The analytical writing section consists of two tasks: a 45-minute “Present Your Perspective on an Issue” task and a 30-minute “Analyze an Argument” task. Students may choose to word process or handwrite their responses. However, score reporting may take up to six weeks if you choose to handwrite the response.

Also, you may call (800) GRE-CALL or log on to the GRE web site for more information.

A number of books about preparing for the GRE may be found at any bookstore; also software is available. The cost of the test is approximately $115. The highest set of scores will be used if the test is repeated.

▼   What will the job market be like when I finish my degree?

Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook website, which is based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment projections for the next few years. You might also check the web site of the professional organization in your area of interest.