Registrar FAQs


▼   Commencement/Graduation FAQs

When do I apply for graduation?
You must apply for graduation by the deadline published in the University Bulletin (catalog), the Schedule of Classes and on the Registrar’s Office website. This deadline is two terms before you expect to complete all degree requirements. NOTE: You should apply for the term you will actually complete ALL degree requirements because you will be blocked from registration for any future terms. Graduation applications are valid for one term.

How do I apply for graduation?
The Application for Graduation is available online through PAWS.

Are there any fees that I need to pay for graduation?
The application fee is $50.00. This fee will be charged to your student account and can be paid through the Office of Student Accounting (Meisler Hall, Suite 1300) or online through PAWS.

What happens after I apply?
Before advising for your last term your college will provide you with a check sheet listing your remaining requirements.

After I have submitted my application and I change my major, minor or concentration do I need to inform the Registrar's Office?
You will need to complete a Change of Program Form in your department. Your college/department will send the form to the Registrar's Office and your student record and application will be updated. You will receive a new check sheet from your college evaluating your revised information.

When and how will I get information regarding the commencement ceremony?
Information concerning the commencement ceremony is posted on the Registrar’s Office Website. You should check this site often for information and updates.

Who is eligible to participate in the commencement ceremony?
All candidates who have a pending graduation application are eligible to participate in the ceremony held for their graduation term. The commencement ceremony for Spring candidates is held in May. Summer candidates participate in the Spring commencement ceremony with the exception of doctoral candidates. Summer doctoral candidates will have their degrees conferred at the Fall commencement ceremony. Fall candidates participate in the Fall ceremony.

How do I get information about the graduation ceremonies events?
Instructions and information for the ceremony will be posted on the Registrar’s Website during the term that the commencement will be held.

Are tickets required for guest to the commencement ceremony?
No and there is not a limit to the number of guests you may have for the ceremony.

What if a candidate needs special accommodations?
Candidates need to inform the Registrar’s Office by phone at (251) 460-6251 or by email if special accommodations need to be made at least two weeks in advance of the ceremony.

Where do I pick up my cap and gown?
The cap and gown can be picked up in the USA Bookstore two weeks prior to the ceremony. See the commencement website for the regalia distribution dates for your commencement (click here). Please bring your student ID or driver’s license with you when you come to pick up your regalia. Alternatively, regalia may be picked up in the Health, Kinesiology, & Sport (formerly HPELS) building the morning of the commencement ceremony. Return the cap and gown to the Graduate Supply House representative after the ceremony in the appropriate room in the HKS building. Please visit the Graduate Supply House FAQ page (click here) for additional information.

May I keep my tassel or honor cord?
Yes, you may keep these items.

Are diplomas presented at the commencement ceremony?
Ph.D. and professional level candidates may pick up their diploma immediately after the ceremony in Room 1106 of the Mitchell Center. All other candidates are presented with diploma covers during the ceremony and their diplomas will be mailed approximately four to six weeks after the end of the term.

How do I get my diploma if it is not presented during the commencement ceremony?
Diplomas for graduates are sent through the U.S. Postal Service to the address listed on their graduation application.  If you need to change that address you will need to complete the Diploma Mailing Form and return it to the Registrar's Office by the deadline. This form is available on the Registrar’s Office website. After the deadline, the form will not be available on the website and you will need to contact the Registrar’s Office by phone at (251) 460-6251 or by email at (

What if I need to...
order a duplicate diploma?
You will need to complete the Duplicate Diploma Order Form, include the 25.00 fee payment information and submit the form to the Registrar's Office at University of South Alabama, Registrar’s Office, 390 Student Center Circle, Suite 1100, Meisler Hall, Mobile, AL 36688 or email it to us at (

replace the original because it was damaged?
You will need to complete the Duplicate Diploma Order Form, pay the $25.00 fee at the Office of Student Accounting and send  the form and the original diploma to the University of South Alabama, Registrar’s Office, 390 Student Center Circle, Suite 1100, Meisler Hall, Mobile, AL 36688.

see why I have not received my diploma?
You will need to contact our office at (251) 460-6251 or by email at

get a notarized copy of my diploma?
You will need to contact our office at (251) 460-6251 or by email at

What if I have additional questions?
Contact the Office of the Registrar, Graduation Area, Meisler Hall, Suite 1100, call our office at (251) 460-6251, option 4, or email our office at


▼   General FAQs

How do I change my major or program?

A student may obtain a “Change of Undergraduate/Major/Minor/Concentration Form” in the college/department or from the Registrar’s Office. For quick access the form is also available on the Forms page of the Registrar’s website. Complete the Student Section of the form and deliver it to your NEW major/department for processing. Please leave the form with your NEW major/department as they will send the Major Change Form to the Registrar’s Office for completion.

How do I apply for academic bankruptcy?
After an absence of a least one or more calendar years, a USA student may be eligible to declare Academic Bankruptcy. The student must first complete a readmission application and be accepted to the University. The Academic Bankruptcy form must be completed and signed in the Office of the Registrar. Dean’s office approval is required. For additional information, you may call (251) 460-6251.

How can I prevent my personal information from being released without my permission?
A student has the right to request that the University not release public information. To request non-disclosure of directory information, students must complete a “Request to Prevent Disclosure” of Directory Information” form in the Registrar’s Office. This request is valid until the student notifies the Registrar through a written request to remove the non-disclosure flag. For additional information go to 

How do I request in-state or service area residency reclassification?
You may obtain the application and information brochure at the Registrar’s Office OR you may obtain the application at The application and all documentation must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by the deadline listed on the application.


▼   Preferred Name FAQs

How can I set my preferred name?
You must submit a Preferred Name Request Form to the Office of the Registrar along with a photo ID. The ID will only be used to verify that the student is making the request.  A current driver’s license, Jag ID, or passport may be used.

For detailed instructions on completing this form, please visit or contact the Office of the Registrar.

When will my preferred name appear in the university systems?
Once you submit a Preferred Name Request Form, allow 48-72 hours for it to be displayed in the University’s student information systems.

Will my preferred name appear or be used everywhere in university systems?
No. Initial implementation will begin in the Fall 2016 semester and its use will expand as other campus systems or departments express interest in utilizing preferred name. Legal name will always be used in business processes that require use of the legal name, such as for payroll records, student transcripts and financial aid.

May I specify a preferred middle or last name?
No. Preferred name only applies to your first name. If you would like to change your middle or last name on your university record you will need to change your legal name.

Can I set my preferred name to whatever I want?
Students may determine and designate the preferred name that they want to be known by in university systems. The University reserves the right to remove a preferred name if it contains inappropriate or offensive language, or is being used for misrepresentation.

Do I have to provide and set a preferred name?
No. Using a preferred name is entirely optional.

When/why will campus departments use my legal name?
Some campus departments interact with, and send reports to federal, State and other government agencies that verify the identity of students using the legal name, in some cases Social Security Number, and other personal identifiable information which prohibits the use of preferred name.

How do I correct or change my legal name for university systems?
Students who wish to change their legal name must supply supporting legal documentation and complete the Request for Name Change Form with the Office of the University Registrar.  Students must also provide the appropriate legal documentation to authenticate a change of name. For more information, visit

Can I change my email address to better match my preferred name?
Not at this time.

Can I get a new JagID card with my preferred name?
No.  The state of Alabama considers a University issued ID to be a legal form of identification.  Your legal name must be used.

Are employees included in the use of preferred name?
This service is student focused.  Employees may request a preferred name, but the University is not currently using preferred names for employees in any business practices.