Advising 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, only 64 semester hours can be accepted for transfer from a two-year school. A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 128 semester hours, and only one-half of your degree can be earned at a two-year school.
▼   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.
▼   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".


Scheduling Classes FAQ 

▼   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 on semesters?
Usually a student will take 15 to 16 hours each semester in order to complete a bachelor's degree in 4 years.
▼   What should I do if I want to take more than 19 semester hours?
Contact the Associate Dean to get approval and he will assist you in registering for the 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. If so, your advisor and the Associate Dean will assist you in registering for the overload.
▼   Do I need to take the courses in the model curriculum for my major exactly the way they are listed?

No, it is just a suggested model. Note the prerequisites for the required courses. Many of the general core curriculum courses do not require any prerequisites and may be taken at any time.

Students also should consider other factors when scheduling their classes, such as the number of work hours each week, family responsibilities, the possible need for developmental studies classes to be better prepared for college-level work, etc. These issues can be discussed with your advisor.

▼   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.
▼   What is the core curriculum?

These are general required courses for your degree that may vary from major to major. Check with your advisor if you have questions about course options that may be available. Five areas are included:

Area Course Hours
Area I
Written Composition
6 hours
Area II
Humanities & Fine Arts
12 hours
Area III
Natural Sciences & Mathematics
11 hours
Area IV
History, Social & Behavioral Sciences
12 hours
Area V
Preprofessional, Major & Elective Courses
19-23 hours
▼   Are the first two years going to be the same for all Allied Health majors?
No, it varies according to the program, particularly the science courses required. For instance, the Radiologic Sciences program does not require any chemistry. The sooner you can narrow down your choices of a program, the better.
▼   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 128 hours for a bachelor’s degree are not met.

Currently, Advanced Placement (AP) credit for EH 101 and 102 will be awarded with a score of "3" or higher. Six semester hours of credit will be granted. Note: Effective Spring 2005, 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 "500" or higher on the English Composition - General Examination. Six semester hours of credit will be granted. Official CLEP scores mailed from the Educational Testing Service are required.

▼   Where should I start in math?

New Policy: Effective Fall 2004, students must complete the online Math Placement Test in order to register for a 100 level mathematics course. The test should be taken at least 48 hours prior to registration to allow time for the scores to be added to the Banner student record system. The test will determine the most appropriate math course for which you are qualified. The registration system will enforce the placement and course prerequisites as indicated in the table below.

The placement test must be completed by the student within 2 hours, and the use of calculators is not allowed. The test may be taken as soon as the JAG number is received from the Office of Admissions. Students should keep a copy of their results from the Math Placement Test to take to their academic advisors.

Placement Scores

Minimum Grade/Score USA Math Course
DS 082
MTH 100
MA 112
MA 113
MA 125
▼   What can I do if I am not ready for MA 115 (Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry), which is required for my degree?
Based on the guidelines listed, you may start with MA 112, Precalculus Algebra, and then take MA 113, Precalculus Trigonometry, which together equate to MA 115. If you are ready to start with MA 113, you may take it and it alone will satisfy the requirement.
▼   Where should I start in my science classes?

The Chemistry Placement Test must be taken prior to enrolling in CH 131/131L, General Chemistry I/Lab. A score of 35 or higher is required. If you score below a 35, you must take CH 100, Fundamentals of Chemistry. In order to take CH 100, you must have MTH 100 credit or MPT score 66.

If you have a score of less than 26 on the science reasoning section of the ACT, you should not attempt to take BLY 121/121L, General Biology I/Lab, and CH 131/131L, General Chemistry I/Lab, in the same semester. Because BLY 121/121L has a chemistry component, you may wish to take the chemistry first.

▼   Does Allied Health offer any online courses?
Yes, the Department of Biomedical Sciences offers the following: BMD 311, Human Anatomy (3 hours).
▼   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.


Preparing for Professional Programs FAQ 

▼   What can I do to prepare for the admission interview for the professional 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 healthcare field in general (check out the web sites for professional organizations in your major)
  • Read the catalog to discover what you will studying in the professional component of your program
  • Make sure you have thought through the commitment of time and money you will be making to enter 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.

The GRE is given by computer on a regular basis at the Sylvan Learning Center, 820 South University Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36609, (251) 344-6284. 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 web site, 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.