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Admission Requirements and Procedures
The Dean of the Graduate School, advised by the Graduate Council, establishes and monitors the standards by which students which students are admitted for study in degree programs under its jurisdiction.
Each student must be qualified for admission to the Graduate School. The fact of qualification does not guarantee admission. Admission may be restricted because of capacity limitations. Official 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 are available on-line at
The Office of Admissions contact information (for students who have graduated from a U.S. accredited university/college): 2500 Meisler Hall, 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 email@example.com.
The Office of Immigration and International Admissions contact information (for students who have graduated from an international university/college): 2200 Meisler Hall, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, telephone (251)460-6050, for application information. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specific information regarding graduate programs may be obtained by reviewing graduate program webpages listed at https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/programslist.html or contacting the Director or Coordinator of Graduate Studies in the appropriate colleges/schools.
Deadlines for Applications
Application deadlines are posted at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/graduate-deadlines.html and may be program specific. New graduate students who do not register for coursework in the semester for which they were accepted must contact their program for permission if they wish to enroll in a future semester.
Former USA graduate students who have not taken a graduate course within a seven-year period, or who wish to change degree programs, (exception within the same College/School), student type, or student level must apply through the Office of Admissions.
Deadlines for applications and supporting documents for new international students are posted at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/international/requirements-deadline.html.
Not all programs admit students each semester and some programs set earlier application deadlines. Please see appropriate section of this publication for exceptions.
Please note: The College of Education and Professional Studies and the College of Nursing re-evaluates files each semester and acceptance is only valid for the semester in which they apply.
USA graduate students who have not attended for three consecutive semesters must file for readmissions with the Office of Admissions by the published deadlines found at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/admissions. If a student has been absent from first enrollment in a Master's program for more than 7 years or from a doctoral program for more than 10 years, the student must apply through the Office of Admissions. Please note some programs may have shorter time limits.
Documents Required for Admission
Transcripts and test scores must be official, i.e., mailed or sent electrically from the home institution or testing agency directly to the address specified by the Office of Admissions, and become the property of the University of South Alabama. If a student changes programs, a new application must be submitted.
Each program has specific requirements for admission that may exceed the requirements listed as follows for admission to the Graduate School.
Applicants seeking admission must satisfy the following requirements:
Have earned a bachelor's degree from an accredited United States institution of higher education.
Have earned the minimum grade-point-average required by the relevant graduate program. See the individual program descriptions for details.
Possess sufficient coursework in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the relevant graduate program. Students with a deficiency in required coursework may be required by the admitting graduate program to take pre-requisite courses.
International students who do not meet the exception listed above or below must submit an official language test:
- TOEFL minimum score of 71
- IELTS minimum score of 6
- iTEP minimum score of 3.7
- PTE Academic minimum score of 48
- Duolingo minimum score of 100
Please note some programs may require higher scores to prove English proficiency.
Certain graduate programs waive the English proficiency requirement for international applicants who are citizens of or who have attended school in specific countries where English is an official language and/or the medium of instruction. Approved countries are listed below. See individual program requirements elsewhere in this bulletin.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Canada, with the exception of Quebec
- Cayman Islands
- Irish Republic
- New Zealand
- Saint Lucia
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales)
- Virgin Islands (British & US)
Standardized test scores for may be required by specific graduate programs for admission. See the individual program descriptions elsewhere in this Bulletin for details.
Performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration for students who have completed a prior graduate degree program, as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements (see specific program requirements).
Non-Degree Admission - Students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of higher education who are not seeking 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. A minimum grade point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work ("A" = 4.0) is required to enroll as a Non-Degree graduate student. Some graduate programs may impose additional requirements.
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.
International students must submit documentary evidence showing acceptable language
test scores (see Admission Requirement above for acceptable language test scores),
or bachelor's or graduate degrees earned at an accredited United States institutions
of higher education.
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 academic record in graduate courses taken while in the Non-Degree status may be considered. Students may be able to transfer courses toward a graduate degree program (see section on Transfer Credit).Non-Degree graduate students are subject to the Graduate School Dismissal Policy. For dismissal purposes, program GPA will be calculated based on all credits earned while in non-degree graduate status.
Dual Masters Degrees
A student may enroll in and pursue two master's degrees simultaneously. The student must apply to and be accepted in each of the two programs individually. One program has to be designated as primary and the other as a secondary degree program. All requirements for each degree have to be met, including the requirement for time to degree. A maximum of nine (9) credit hours may be counted towards both degrees if approved by each of the two degree programs. Although the start date of the two programs does not have to be the same date, the two degrees will be awarded on the same date after completion of both degrees. All requirements for the two degrees must be completed within seven calendar years of admission to the first graduate program.
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 Office of Admissions) each semester prior to the deadline (see "Readmission to the University").
Graduate Study for Advanced Undergraduates
With permission of the department chair and appropriate director of graduate studies, a student who has completed 89 semester hours with a "B" (3.0) average may register for graduate courses. Each course can be applied to an undergraduate degree or perhaps a future graduate degree. The same course cannot be applied to both an undergraduate and a graduate degree (except for accelerated master’s degrees and undergraduate/graduate dual degrees). Up to 12 graduate credit hours may be transferred to a future graduate degree at USA. If and when a student has applied to and been admitted into graduate school, courses can be evaluated for transfer provided they were not taken any more than seven years ago.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
The USA Accelerated Bachelor’s to Master’s (ABM) program provides exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree at an accelerated pace in select academic programs. ABM students may count up to 12 credit hours of graduate course work towards both the undergraduate and graduate degrees in approved programs. ABM students typically complete the master’s degree within one academic year after completing the undergraduate degree.
ABM students must meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. However, each degree program has specific requirements that may exceed Graduate School minimums. An ABM student must meet all requirements of their specific degree program. A complete Graduate School application is required.
- 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
- have completed at least 90 credit hours
- have completed at least 30 credit hours at USA
A student who withdraws or is dismissed from the ABM program may not count graduate coursework towards both degrees. Graduate courses for which an undergraduate student did not earn an “A” or “B” grade, may not be counted towards the graduate degree.
An ABM student must be a full time student and must complete all degree requirements for the master’s within three semesters of the semester in which they were admitted to the Graduate School. An exception for a fourth semester may be granted an additional semester is required for final revisions to and submission of a defended thesis. Exceptions to the ABM policy are at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Contact the program coordinator to discuss individual program requirements. Application deadlines vary by programs.
To qualify for a baccalaureate degree a student must complete a minimum of 120 approved semester hours, meet the university's general education requirements, meet the requirements of the major, and meet any specific requirements of the college or school. To qualify for a master’s degree a student must complete a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in an approved program of study.
Assistantships and Fellowships
Information concerning assistantships and fellowships may be obtained from the college or department concerned or on-line at https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/information.html. A completed graduate assistantship/fellowship application must be submitted. Tuition remission granted for a graduate assistantship/ fellowship may not be applied to courses outside of the degree program.
Graduate School Academic Standards
All students enrolled in graduate courses or graduate programs are subject to Graduate School Academic Standards and Procedures. This includes those students who are in graduate programs and graduate certificate programs, non-degree graduate students, and transient graduate students.
Courses for which the grade of "D" was assigned may not be counted toward a degree program. (Please note D grades are no longer granted on the graduate level). 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 and Grade-Points (Graduate)
Students are graded on the basis of the following guidelines:
|A||4 grade-points per semester hour|
|B||3 grade-points per semester hour|
|C||2 grade-points per semester hour|
|F||Failure, no grade-points (weighted)|
|F*||Failure in cases where the student does not officially withdraw, but who failed to attend or participate in class activities, or who stopped attending or participating in class activities prior to the end of classes. No grade points.|
|S||Satisfactory, no grade-points (unweighted)|
|U||Unsatisfactory, no grade-points (unweighted)|
|U*||Unsatisfactory in cases where the student does not officially withdraw, but who failed to attend or participate in class activities, or who stopped attending or participating in class activities prior to the end of classes. No grade points.|
|The following symbols are substitutes for grades. They are not grades:|
|I||Incomplete (see below)|
|WD||Withdrawal in good standing|
|P||Course in progress (see below)|
|UA||Unsatisfactory Audit (did not meet attendance requirements)|
|N||No grade or invalid grade (assigned only by the Registrar)|
The symbol “I” (Incomplete) is assigned when, for reasons beyond the student’s control, the student is unable to fulfill all the normal course requirements. The situation warranting an “I” must be a medical condition, an equipment problem, or other mitigating circumstance that is patently demonstrable to be beyond the student’s control. This symbol is not used to provide time for completion of extra work beyond the normal course requirements for improving the student’s grade, or to permit the student to avoid probation, suspension, or dismissal. The “I” symbol should not be assigned unless the amount of incomplete work can reasonably be completed in the time period allotted for an “I” grade without additional extensions. Extensions of “I” grades should only be granted in rare cases where additional and unanticipated circumstances beyond a student’s control have prevented completion. All records of the symbols “I” must be cleared by the specified deadline of the next term; if they are not, grades of “F” will be recorded by the Registrar.
The symbol “P” (In Progress) is assigned only in a limited number of approved courses which require more than one term for completion. P grades remain in effect until they are changed to a letter grade, or until the time limits for a graduate degree have expired.
Change of Grade
Grades reported by instructors to the Registrar may not be changed unless there was an error in recording or in evaluation. Grade changes require the approval of the primary instructor of record and the signature of the department chair and the dean of the college in which the course is taught (or, for graduate students, the Director of Graduate Studies and the Dean of the Graduate School.) A Dean may delegate this responsibility to an Assistant/Associate Dean or to a Director or other academic administrator in their college when appropriate. All grade changes involving an F* or U* grade will also require the signature of the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. Grades on record for one calendar year may not be changed. The approval authority of the Dean is not intended to impede or restrict the right of the faculty to request and be granted approval to change a grade when it has been erroneously entered into the official academic records of the University.
- Academic Dismissal
- The Dean of the Graduate School has authority to dismiss graduate students from the Graduate School.
- Any semester in which a graduate student drops below a 3.0 Program GPA, the student is placed on probationary status and has a period of two semesters to attain a 3.0 Program GPA or be dismissed.
- A student will be dismissed from the Graduate School after two unsuccessful attempts to pass the comprehensive examination or the Qualifying Exam.
- 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. See exception listed below.
- Students who have been previously academically dismissed from the Graduate School may apply for readmission. The student must present compelling evidence that it is probable the student will perform at the level required to satisfactorily complete the degree requirements of the program (see Readmission after Academic Dismissal form). The program’s graduate faculty and the Dean of the Graduate School must verify the student’s circumstances have changed and/or the student has substantially improved such that the student can satisfactorily complete the degree requirements of the program. The program coordinator/director must include a plan of study for the student (see Readmission after Academic Dismissal Approval form). As part of readmission, the program graduate coordinator/director may request the student be allowed to repeat up to two (2) courses for Grade replacement. The request must be approved by the Graduate School Dean. Individual programs reserve the right to 1) limit the number of courses that can be repeated and 2) restrict which courses can be repeated. The grade for a first courses is excluded from the student’s GPA calculation if higher than the original grade; only grade points from the repeated course will be counted toward degree completion. The student’s transcript will show all grades earned. Grade replacement is irrevocable. Only courses taken at USA may be used for grade replacement. Grades associated with a charge of academic misconduct many not be used for grade replacement.
- Non-Academic Dismissal
- A student dismissed from a graduate program as the result of an academic misconduct penalty or research misconduct will be automatically dismissed from the Graduate School and the University of South Alabama and will not be eligible to apply for readmission.
Final Grade Grievance Policy
A student may initiate an inquiry under procedures set forth by the Undergraduate Final Grade Grievance Policy. A copy of this policy is available in the dean's office of each college and is published in The Lowdown (Student Handbook) and in the Faculty Handbook.
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, may be specified and requested by the director of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.
Full Load of Course Work in a Semester
A full load is six to ten credit hours. Permission to take more than ten credit hours must be obtained within the college/department.
- Transfer credit to masters programs
A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of approved transfer credit from another institution is allowed for a master's degree. Transfer credit from regionally accredited universities may be accepted by certain programs. In the event that the university is non-accredited, the individual USA graduate program will determine if the quality and content of the course meets the standards of the program. Students may also transfer a maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of appropriate courses taken while at USA while in a non-degree graduate status or taken while in another program. Approval of the program's graduate coordinator, the college director of graduate studies, and the Graduate Dean is required. Only courses with "A", "B", or "S" grades are acceptable for transfer. The Graduate School does not award graduate credit for prior portfolio-based experiential learning.
- Transfer credit to doctoral programs
A maximum of one half of the minimum hours required for the degree is normally allowed as transfer credit. Exceptions are allowed under unusual circumstances, but in no case will the number of transfer credit hours exceed two thirds of the minimum hours required for the degree. Transfer credit from regionally accredited universities may be accepted by certain programs. In the event that the university is non-accredited, the individual USA graduate program will determine if the quality and content of the course meets the standards of the program. Students may also transfer appropriate courses taken while at USA while in non-degree graduate status or taken while in another graduate program. Some programs will allow graduate courses applied to certain master's degrees to be transferred in and also count towards the doctoral degree, subject to the limits of maximum transfer credit hours. The University of South Alabama does not award graduate credit for prior portfolio-based experiential learning.
Approval of the program's graduate coordinator, the college director of graduate studies, and the Vice President of Academic Affair's or Health Sciences as appropriate is required. Only courses with "A", 'B", or "S" grades are acceptable for transfer.
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. If the new program is a related program within the same college, the student should first consult the Director of Graduate Studies of the appropriate college.
Application for Degree
Each candidate for the Master's, Specialist's, or Doctoral 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.
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, to be aware of the University calendar and to understand and comply with University academic policies and procedures.
Thesis and Dissertations
Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations
- Students who intend to write a thesis or dissertation should consult early in their programs 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 the Appointment of Graduate Faculty to a Thesis, Dissertation, or COMP form.
- A Master's thesis committee must include a minimum of three members of the Graduate Faculty and a dissertation committee must include at least four members of the Graduate Faculty. Master's thesis committees may be chaired by Associate or Full Members of the Graduate Faculty. Dissertation committees must include at least one Full Member of the Graduate Faculty who is the committee chair and usually is the student's advisor/major professor. Both thesis and dissertation committees must have at least one member from outside the student's department or program. Administratively appointed graduate faculty members may serve on thesis/dissertation committees for a specified student. Two thirds of the committee must be USA Associate or Full Members of the Graduate Faculty.
- 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", accessed at https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/thesis.html, contains the guides for preparation of the prospectus and the thesis or dissertation. Diverse resources can also be found on this page.
- Once a thesis or dissertation committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, the student may then enroll for 599 Thesis or 699/799 Dissertation credit with permission of the thesis/ dissertation committee chair (advisor or major professor).
- 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 first submission deadline announced in the University Calendar.
Standards for Theses and Dissertations
- A thesis/dissertation must 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 relevant appropriate data and draw logical conclusions, and 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, 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 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 faculty sponsor.
- 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 of the thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate Faculty.
- Present a final document as the Thesis or Dissertation to the Graduate School Office in an acceptable form and by the procedures outlined in the Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations, University of South Alabama.
- All theses/dissertations should meet current standards relative to responsible conduct of research.
GRADUATE CERTIFICATE PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS
A graduate certificate program is a related cluster of credit bearing graduate courses that constitutes a coherent body of study within a discipline or set of related disciplines.
- Admissions follows the same graduate school standards and procedures as used for admission to a master’s level graduate program. The individual graduate certificate program may impose more restrictive standards as necessary for the purposes of the specific program.
- Available graduate certificate programs are listed here https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/certificateslist.html. The curriculum is defined by the individual graduate certificate program per university standards and procedures. See: https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/academicaffairs/resources/policies/guidelinesforcertificateprogramsjuly11_11.pdf
- Upon approval by the graduate program and Graduate School, a student may transfer from another accredited institution to a USA graduate certificate program: a maximum of fifty percent of the required graduate credit hours composing the certificate or 12 credit hours. Transfer credit must meet the guidelines established for master’s level programs.
- Graduate School academic standards policy applies to certificate programs.
- Completion of a graduate certificate does not guarantee admission into a graduate degree program. Credit hours earned in a certificate program may or may not be used in a future graduate degree program.
- The graduate certificate program must be completed within four years.
Research Integrity and Professional Ethics
Graduate level instruction in research integrity and professional ethics is required in all graduate programs.
Requirements for the Master's Degree
- A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in a program approved by the graduate program
and the Dean of the Graduate School is required. The following limitations apply:
- No more than 18 hours of dual-listed courses (400-and 500-level listing for the same course) may be counted toward meeting the minimum hours required for a degree. Graduate students will only receive graduate credit for the 500 level version of dual-listed courses.
- A maximum of twelve (12) semester hours of graduate credit obtained at another accredited institution may be approved for transfer to the University of South Alabama. Transfer credit must have the recommendation of the graduate program and appropriate director of graduate studies and the approval of the Dean of the Graduate School. Only grades of "A", "B", or "S" 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 seven years prior to the date for graduation may not be counted for degree credit. Students must meet all degree residency requirements.
- A course applied toward credit for a degree at this institution, or elsewhere, will not be acceptable as credit toward a subsequent master's degree, except in approved dual-master's programs where a maximum of nine (9) hours may be counted in both programs (except for accelerated bachelor's to master's degrees).
- 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 while enrolled in the current program of study is required. Courses for which the grade of "D" was 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 21 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 seven calendar years from admission as a graduate student at the University of South Alabama. Under extraordinary circumstances, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Dean for a time extension. The appeal form may be found on the Forms and Polices web page of the Graduate School. Some degree programs may set shorter time limits.
- Each student will be evaluated to ensure achievement of program outcomes. This evaluation may be in the form of a comprehensive exam or other measurement tools. If unsatisfactory, after corrective action, the evaluation may be repeated once. The comprehensive exam committee must be comprised of at least 3 graduate faculty members. 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 must 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 seven 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 seven 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 satisfactory.
- A program may require or allow a candidate for the Master's 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.
- A letter grade is assigned for each semester a student is enrolled in a thesis or dissertation credit hour course.
- 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 student completes their graduate degree. 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. Students who are not on campus or using University resources during the semester of their graduation may appeal to the Graduate Dean for an exception to this policy.
- See Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations and Standards for Theses and Dissertations.
Requirements for the Doctoral Degree
- The specific requirements for doctoral degrees vary among the specialties. Each program leading to the completion of a doctoral 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 doctoral degree. Transfer of graduate credit from regionally accredited universities may be accepted by certain programs. Prior approval of the college director of graduate studies is required. Only courses with "A" or "B" grades are acceptable for transfer. 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 doctoral degree.
- Students who are candidates for the doctoral degree must be enrolled for Research 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 student completes their graduate degree. Students who are not on campus or using University resources during the semester of their graduation may appeal to the Graduate Dean for an exception to this policy.
- All requirements for a doctoral degree must be completed within ten calendar years from admission to a doctoral program at the University of South Alabama. Under extraordinary circumstances, an appeal may be made to the Graduate Dean for a time extension. Some degree programs may set shorter time limits.
The Graduate School offers twenty different graduate degrees (Au.D., M.A., M.Acc., M.B.A., M.D., M.S., M.S.N., M.Ed., MFA, M.P.A., M.H.S., M.S., Ed.S., Ed.D., D.Sc., Ph.D.,, D.P.T., DNP in a wide variety of programs, with numerous areas of concentration. For specific admission and degree requirements, in addition to those of the Graduate School, see individual program webpages.
The following graduate degree programs are offered through the Graduate School of the University. Further information is available under the Colleges and Schools listings elsewhere in this Bulletin. Navigate to Degrees and Programs for a complete listing of graduate programs and certificates.
- Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences
- Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Master of Science of Physical Therapy
- Master of Rehabilitation Science in Occupational Therapy
- Master of Rehabilitative Science in Speech Language Pathology
- Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies
- Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Doctor of Audiology
- Doctor of Physical Therapy
- Master of Science in Biological Sciences
- Master of Arts in Communication
- Master of Arts in English
- Master of Arts in History
- Master of Science in Mathematics
- Master of Music
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Music
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Science in Psychology
- Master of Arts in Sociology
- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice
School of Marine and Environmental Sciences
- Master of Marine and Environmental Sciences
- Master of Environmental Toxicology
- Master of Science in Marine Conservation and Resource Management
- Master of Science in Marine Sciences
- Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Sciences
- Master of Accounting
- Master of Business Administration
- Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration
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.
- A limited residence Doctor of Business Administration is also offered.
- Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences
- Ph.D. in Computing
- Alternative Master of Education in Art Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Elementary Education
- Alternative Master of Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Alternative Master of Education in Secondary Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Education in Art Education
- Master of Education in School Counseling
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education with Reading Certificate
- Master of Education in Educational Administration
- Master of Education Educational Media
- Master of Education Elementary Education
- Master of Education in Elementary Education with Reading Certification
- Master of Education Physical Education - P-12 Teacher Certification
- Master of Education in Physical Education - Health Education
- Master of Education in Secondary Education
- Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Science in Educational Media and Technology
- Master of Science in Exercise Science
- Master of Science in Health Education
- Master of Science in Instructional Design and Development
- Master in Sport Management
- Educational Specialist in Early Childhood Education
- Educational Specialist in Elementary Education
- Educational Specialist Instructional Leadership
- Educational Specialist in Reading Specialist
- Educational Specialist in Secondary Education
- Educational Specialist in Special Education
- Educational Specialist in Teacher Leader
- Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership
- Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design and Development
- Master of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- Master of Science in Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering
- Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
- Master of Science in Systems Engineering
- Doctor of Philosophy in Systems Engineering
- 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.
- Medical Doctorate in Medical Sciences
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
Interdisciplinary graduate program
- Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology
USA Education/Study Abroad
- Graduate students are encouraged to incorporate international experiences in their academic program through participation in study, research, internship and work abroad experiences. For more information please contact your academic advisor and the Office of International Education.
- Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
- Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Human Performance Improvement
- Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Development
- Graduate Certificate in Reading Specialist
- Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering
- Graduate Certificate in Nursing Subspecialty Options
- Post-Graduate Certificates in Nursing