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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2014-2015

 

UNDERGRADUATE ACADEMIC
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
 
The University of South Alabama’s academic policies and procedures provide the framework for the orderly conduct of its degree programs. They are intended to ensure a thorough and complete education for each of the University’s graduates. Academic programs are administered through the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and the Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences.
 
GENERAL INFORMATION
 
UNIVERSITY EMAIL
Each student admitted to the University of South Alabama is assigned a free, permanent, official University e-mail address (@jagmail.southalabama.edu). Most changes in University policies and official University correspondence will be transmitted via the student's official e-mail account. Instructors may also utilize this address to communicate with students. Students are responsible for regularly reading e-mail sent to this address. The official University e-mail address cannot be changed, but students may elect to have official mail forwarded to any other personal e-mail address. To activate your jagmail account, select that link on the University's PAWS web site at http://paws.southalabama.edu.
 
ACADEMIC TERMS AND CREDIT HOURS
The institutional process for assigning credit hours to courses is based on the minimum academic activity to achieve intended learning outcomes as verified by evidence of student achievement. For traditional classes, a credit hour consists of approximately one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out of class work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time for semesters of other durations.  For classes offered in other formats leading to the award of academic credit, the equivalent amount of academic activity is required.
The University academic terms are two semesters (Fall and Spring) and a Summer term. Semesters normally consist of fifteen weeks of class followed by a final examination week. In some programs of study, courses may be scheduled for parts of terms different from a normal semester. Usually, one semester credit hour is awarded for each 50-minute lecture class per week or 2-3 hour laboratory or studio period.
Each hour of lecture usually requires two hours of outside preparation. Thus, a student carrying sixteen semester hours should be prepared to spend at least 48 hours in class and study per week.
 
STUDENT CLASSIFICATION
A student’s classification is determined by the number of credits earned toward the degree. A student is classified as follows:
Freshman 0 - 29 semester hours
Sophomore 30 - 59 semester hours
Junior 60 - 89 semester hours
Senior 90 semester hours or more
 
FULL-TIME/PART-TIME ENROLLMENT STATUS
Undergraduate degree seeking students carrying twelve or more credit hours of work each term are considered full-time. However, students must carry at least sixteen hours each term (for eight semesters) to meet requirements for graduation in four academic years. Co-op students who alternate full-time enrollment with employment are considered full-time students for enrollment purposes. Students carrying six to eleven credit hours are considered half-time and students enrolled for one to five credit hours are considered less than half-time.
 
FULL LOAD OF COURSE WORK IN A SEMESTER
Permission of the student’s academic dean is required to take more than 19 semester hours.
 
REGISTRATION
Registration (making course selections and enrolling in classes) occurs prior to the beginning of each term. All students obtain registration appointment times ("time tickets") and register utilizing USA's Personal Access Web System (PAWS) at http://paws.southalabama.edu. (See the University Registration Guide for additional information.)
Registration is not complete until all fees have been paid and all admissions documents and examinations furnished. Failure to satisfy any of the admission or registration requirements is sufficient cause for dropping a student from all classes. Enrollment status can be found in PAWS web site at http://paws.southalabama.edu.
 
COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM
Course Number
001-099 Remedial courses which do not carry credit toward graduation
100-199 Freshman
200-299 Sophomore
300-399 Junior
400-499 Senior
500-699 Graduate/Professional
700-799 Doctoral
 
ATTENDANCE AND ABSENCES
An individual student is responsible for attending the classes in which the student is officially enrolled. The quality of work will ordinarily suffer from excessive absences. At the beginning of classes, instructors must define their policy on absences, and all cases of illness and emergency shall be promptly reported and verified to the instructor. For excessive absences (two or three consecutive class meetings) due to illness, death in family, or family emergency, the Dean of Students’ office should be advised. Absence notices will be sent to each instructor notifying him of the reason for and the approximate length of the absence. This notification does not constitute an excused absence.
Students receiving veterans’ benefits are required to attend classes according to the regulations of the Veterans Administration.
All international students on F-1 visas must comply with attendance regulations as dictated by the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Services. They must remain students in good standing with at least twelve (12) hours per term.
Students attending authorized off-campus functions or required activities shall be excused by the responsible University official through the Office of Academic Affairs. In case of doubt, instructors may consult these lists in that office. Work missed as a result of these excused absences may be made up.
 
COMPUTER ACCESS REQUIREMENT
All students enrolled at the University of South Alabama are required to have access to personal computer. This may be achieved by individual ownership, access to a family machine when residing at home, sharing with a roomate, or other suitable arrangements not dependent on University public computer laboratories. Student personal computer access must include a current version of word processing software appropriate to college-level work, access to the Internet, and access to the university's e-mail system. Individual degree programs and specific courses may have additional requirements appropriate to curriculum needs.
 
STUDENT ACADEMIC SUCCESS AND RETENTION

The Office of Student Academic Success and Retention supports the mission of the University of South Alabama by offering, supporting, and assessing programs and services designed to improve student academic success, including but not limited to retention and graduation. Programs designed to improve student outcomes include first year experience courses, living learning communities, supplemental instruction, JagSuccess early alert program, and the JagPAL program. This office also collaborates with other programs designed to improve student academic success.

 
First Year Experience Courses
First Year Experience (FYE) courses are offered at universities and colleges across the world. USA currently offers FYE courses in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Mitchell College of Business, the School of Computing, and the College of Nursing. These courses include both general tools and skills to help students succeed in college as well as specific academic content related to a discipline or theme. Students are encouraged, and in some colleges required, to register for a FYE. Refer to colleges for specifications. If one is not available in their college, they are encouraged to register for CAS 100, the course offered by the College of Arts and Sciences.
 
Living Learning Communities

A Living Learning Community (LLC) is a group of students with shared interests who live in the same residential area. National research shows that students in a living learning community report a more positive social life and higher levels of student-faculty interaction. USA is working to increase student success by fostering communities of learners. Members of the community attend two or three classes together. Generally, one of these classes is first year experience course and the other(s) meets a program requirement or is a general education class. Students in living learning communities also enjoy participating in learning community activities outside of class. These include guest speakers and presentations or "field trips" related to a particular topic.

 
Supplemental Instruction
Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an additional resource attached to courses that are generally more difficult for many students. It offers additional meeting time outside of class time where students enrolled in the class will learn from other successful students how best to prepare and learn in particular courses. For example, an SI student leader for a specific Chemistry class is a student that performed quite well in that course and is comfortable working with other students to help them prepare for the class. This resource is offered in selected classes for no additional fee.
 
JagSuccess

JagSuccess is an 'early alert' program that provides feedback to students in 100 and 200 level classes. Faculty members submit alerts that inform students who are not meeting expectations that they have attendance and/or performance problems. All faculty teaching 100 or 200 level sections are required to submit academic early alerts for those students having performance or attendance problems. These early alerts provide feedback for students in time for improve their attendance and/or performance and be successful in the course.

 
JagPALs

JagPALs or Peer Academic Leaders, is a peer mentoring program. JagPALs serve in a variety of capacities, including as SI leaders and FYE peer mentors. JagPALs offer an opportunity for successful, upper level students to give back to newer students at the university. It also allows new students to learn, from someone like themselves, how to be successful in college. Generally, mentors meet and interact with students in the FYE class or SI sessions, e-mail them during the week, and are available to share information on academics and student life. These mentors fill an important role as they help new students adjust to college and life at South. We value our peer leaders; if you are interested in serving as a peer leader in the future, please e-mail the Director of Student Academic Success and Retention at studentsuccess@usouthal.edu.

 
Faculty In Residence
The Faculty in Residence (FiR) program is the result of a partnership between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. This initiative is designed to integrate academics into residential space. A FiR is a dynamic faculty member who is strongly supportive of undergraduate education and student success and lives in an apartment in a residence hall. The faculty member provides an academic voice in the residence hall and brings educational and social programming into the community. This provides opportunities for both students and faculty to increase engagement and interaction, and enrich the university experience.
 
UNIVERSITY WRITING CENTER
The University Writing Center, located in Alpha Hall East, provides assistance in writing to any student enrolled in classes on any of the University’s campuses. Students work with writing consultants one-on-one in a relaxed, informal setting to improve their writing skills. The consulting schedule varies slightly from semester to semester, but information may be obtained by calling (251) 460-6480, or visit the web site at http://www.southalabama.edu/writing.
 
ACADEMIC ADVISORS
Before entering the university, students should study the curricula outlined to determine the program best suited to their interests and needs. Before registering, each student will select, tentatively at least, a curriculum. This decision will determine the academic unit in which the student will be advised. The designated academic advisor will counsel with the student regarding the proposed curriculum and choice of courses. This relationship continues as needed throughout the student’s stay in the University, unless another advisor is assigned or the student selects a new program.
 
STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY
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.
 
DS AND ESL COURSES
Credits earned in the Developmental Studies Program or the Department of English as a Second Language cannot be used to satisfy University degree requirements.
 
PLACEMENT AND PROFICIENCY EXAMS:
Computer Skills and Mathematics
 
Technology Proficiency
Technology Use Requirement
All undergraduate students must have access to and training in the use of technology to enhance learning and appropriate to meeting the objectives of individual degree programs.
Each degree program will specify how their students will meet this requirement.
 
Mathematics Placement Exam
All incoming students must take the online Mathematics Placement Exam. The only exceptions to this policy are:
  1. Students who have been admitted as Conditional Freshmen should not take the online Math Placement Exam. They must take the Math Placement Exam on campus during Orientation in the Department of Developmental Studies.
  2. Students who transfer credit for MA 112 or higher with a grade C or better and who plan to take subsequent mathematics courses are not required to take the Math Placement Exam. Nevertheless, they are encouraged to take the exam to help evaluate their level of preparation.
  3. Students who transfer credit for MA 110 or higher and who DO NOT plan to take any other mathematics courses are exempt from taking the Math Placement Exam. Note that MA 110 does not fulfill prerequisite requirements for any other mathematics or statistics course.
For students not subject to the three exceptions listed above, the Math Placement Exam and instructions are available online at http://mps.southalabama.edu/mps/. Calculators and other outside resources are not permitted during this exam. Students should complete the exam at least 48 hours prior to coming to campus for orientation. If the exam is not taken, students will be blocked from registering for all mathematics courses. Questions concerning the Math Placement Exam should be directed to the Math/Statistics Department (ILB 325, (251) 460-6264).
 
REQUIREMENTS FOR A BACHELOR'S DEGREE
 
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. Some colleges and schools also require a minor. Degree requirements in some academic programs may exceed 120 hours. Students should consult the individual college or school for more details.
 
I.  GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS
 
General Education Mission

The General Education Curriculum at USA helps students succeed intellectually in college, be prepared for their professional careers, be equipped for life-long learning, and become responsible citizens and leaders.  To meet these goals in a dynamic world, General Education provides shared experiences for students to acquire foundational skills and knowledge, along with an appreciation of diverse perspectives and a broad intellectual context in which students can situate their specialized fields of study.

 
General Education Competencies and Student Learning Outcomes
 
Communication Skills:
  • The student will demonstrate effective writing skills
  • The student will demonstrate effective oral presentation skills.
 

Aesthetic and Critical Interpretations:

  • The student will demonstrate a foundational knowledge of artistic and literary interpretations, and the student will demonstrate proficiency in basic interpretive skills.
 
Scientific Reasoning:
  • The student will demonstrate a foundational knowledge of artistic and literary interpretations, and the student will demonstrate proficiency in basic interpretive skills.
 
Quantitative Reasoning:
  • The student will demonstrate proficiency to quantitative reasoning and the use of mathematics.
 

Social Scientific Literacy:

  • The student will demonstrate foundational knowledge of the social sciences.
 

Historical Perspectives:

  • The student will demonstrate a foundational knowledge of historical perspective.
 
General Education Course Requirements
All students must fulfill the following general education requirements consisting of a minimum of 41 semester hours plus two designated writing courses. Specific degree program and college requirements may exceed any or all of the minimum general education requirements. Also, since specific course requirements in general education will vary from major to major, students must refer to the program section of the Bulletin for their major before enrolling in courses intended to satisfy general education requirements, as well as other program requirements. In addition, students should plan their degree program with an academic advisor. The general education requirements are:
 
Area I.  Written Composition
  EH 101 and 102 are required of all students, unless exempted. In addition, two designated writing (W) courses are required; with at least one course chosen from offerings in the student’s major or minor. Courses carrying this required credit are identified in this University Bulletin by a (W) after the course title. EH 101 and EH 102 are prerequisites to writing courses.
Students must demonstrate general competence in writing by earning a “C” or better in EH 101 and a “C” or better in EH 102. Students may exempt the EH 101 requirement with an enhanced ACT English score of 27 or above; a recentered SAT score of 550 or above on the verbal portion. Students scoring a minimum of 50 on the CLEP English Examination may satisfy the EH 101, EH 102 requirement. A score of 4 or higher in the Advanced Placement Program may satisfy the EH 101 requirement. Students completing IB degree with an IB exam score of 5 or higher in English, may satisfy the EH 101, EH 102 requirement. Students failing to complete IB degree, but have an IB exam score of 5 or higher in English, may satisfy only EH 101 requirement.
NOTE: Credits earned in the Department of English as a Second Language or Developmental Studies will not be acceptable toward meeting writing competency requirements.
 
Area II.  Humanities and Fine Arts
  Requirements include at least 12 semester hours in humanities with a minimum of three semester hours in literature, and three semester hours in the arts, and the remaining semester hours from the humanities and fine arts. In addition to literature, disciplines in the humanities include, but are not limited to, philosophy, religious studies, speech*, foreign languages, art, music, theater, and dance.
  Courses should be broad in scope and content rather than specific and should emphasize a global perspective. Courses in the arts should emphasize history and appreciation rather than performance. Examples in the humanities and fine arts include, but are not limited to, world literature, art history, music appreciation, comparative religions, and history or origins of dance.
  *Students must complete one course that demonstrates competency in oral communication. Within the Colleges of Allied Health Professions, Arts and Sciences, Education and Nursing, the School of Computing, and the Departments of Civil Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Interdisciplinary Studies and Mechanical Engineering, students must complete CA 110 to satisfy the competency in oral communications requirement. Students majoring in the College of Business and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering must meet the specific oral communication requirements of their major (see appropriate sections of this Bulletin for details.)
 
Area III.  Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  Requirements include at least 11 semester hours with at least three semester hours in mathematics at the finite mathematics (MA 110) or precalculus algebra (MA 112) level or higher, and at least eight semester hours in the natural sciences which must include laboratory experiences. See MATHEMATICS PLACEMENT section.
  Disciplines in the natural sciences include, but are not limited to, astronomy, biology, chemistry, geology, physical geography and physics.
  Courses in the natural sciences should be broad in scope and content rather than specific to an aspect of a discipline, and may include interdisciplinary science courses. Courses in the natural sciences must include laboratory experiences which emphasize the scientific method.
 
Area IV.  History, Social, and Behavioral Sciences
  Requirements include twelve semester hours in history, social and behavioral sciences with at least six semester hours from among other disciplines in the social and behavioral science. Other disciplines include, but are not limited to, anthropology, economics, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology.
  Courses should be broad in scope and content, include global or international perspectives, and must emphasize the methods of inquiry in the social sciences.
  Students must complete a six semester hour sequence in literature or history.* Note that some majors specify the sequence and the requirements of the major should be referred to before deciding upon either a literature or history sequence. If the sequence selected is in literature, an additional three hours must be taken in any of the history, social science or behavioral science disciplines above.
  *Students preparing to complete the BS degree in engineering are required to complete nine rather than 12 semester hours in the humanities and fine arts. Rather than the six hour sequence in history or literature they must demonstrate in-depth study in a particular discipline of the humanities and fine arts or history, social and behavioral sciences through completion of six semester hours in a particular discipline.
 
II.  MAJOR REQUIREMENTS
(Refer to the program section of the bulletin)
 
TECHNOLOGY USE REQUIREMENT
All undergraduate students must have access to and training in the use of technology to enhance learning and appropriate to meeting the objectives of individual degree programs.
Each degree program will specify how their students will meet this requirement.
 
PREREQUISITES
Students may not register for courses for which they do not have the prerequisites specified in the course descriptions. Any student who does so will be withdrawn by the Registrar, the student's dean, or the dean of the college in which the course is taught.
 
MINIMUM GRADE-POINT AVERAGE
A student must earn a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.00 ( an average grade of “C”) based on all course work taken at the University of South Alabama. Students enrolled in the College of Education must have a minimum grade-point average of 2.20 (2.50 grade-point average for teacher certification). Grades in pass-fail (S/U) courses do not carry quality points and are not used in determining the grade-point average.
 
HOURS IN RESIDENCE/RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT
A candidate for graduation must complete a minimum of 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree through instruction offered by the University of South Alabama in upper-division course work (300 and 400 levels). Upon the recommendation of the dean of the appropriate college and approval of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Sciences, other credit earned at USA may be substituted to meet the residency requirement. Up to 15 credit hours of study abroad courses may be used to satisfy USA upper-division course requirement. In such cases, up to 15 credit hours of lower-division courses may be used to help meet the requirement that a minimum of 25 percent of the credit hours required for the degree are accomplished through courses offered by USA.
There is also a minimum number of semester hours that must be completed in the major and minor at the University of South Alabama: A minimum of 15 credit hours of courses at the 300/400 level in the major discipline must be completed at the University of South Alabama. If a minor is required in the particular degree program, 9 credit hours of courses in the minor must also be completed at the University of South Alabama.
Any deviation from these residency policies must be approved by the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Sciences. Students should consult the University Bulletin for additional regulations in each academic unit.
 
DOUBLE MAJOR
Undergraduate students may elect to fulfill the requirements for two majors concurrently. To do so, the student must declare a primary major and a secondary major on the Declaration of Program form that is filed with the Registrar’s Office. The student’s principal academic file will be maintained in the department of the primary major. A second file should also be maintained in the department of the second major. Students who declare a double major must participate in academic advising in each major. Completion of a minor is not required of students completing two majors. Students who declare two majors from different colleges will be required to fulfill all requirements for each major and to fulfill all degree requirements, including those for general education, that apply in the college of the primary major. Students who complete requirements for two majors from different colleges will be awarded the degree granted by the college of the primary major, and transcripts will designate that both the primary and secondary majors were completed.
 
SECOND MAJOR
Students who have been awarded a bachelors degree at the University of South Alabama may return to study for a second major as an non-degree student (see unclassified). Such students must fulfill the following requirements to have a second major recorded on their academic record:
1. They must be enrolled in the college in which the major is administered.
2. They must meet all the requirements of the second major.
3. At least half the total number of hours required for the second major must be satisfactorily completed in residence at the University of South Alabama.
4. At least nine hours of the work in the second major satisfactorily completed in residence at the University of South Alabama must be in addition to work completed as part of the bachelor’s degree.
5. The appropriate dean’s office is responsible for notifying the Registrar’s office of satisfactory completion of the second major.
When these requirements have been met, a notation will be entered on the student’s record to indicate that the student has “completed work equivalent to a major in _____”. Students completing a major equivalency in this fashion may not apply the additional course work toward a second bachelor’s degree.
 
DUAL BACHELOR'S DEGREES
Students currently enrolled in a degree program, may pursue a dual degree. A dual degree differs from a double major in that the dual degree has additional requirements beyond those of a second major's as specified below. To earn a dual degree, students must fulfill the following requirements:
1. They must complete the appropriate form(s) in the Registrar's Office.
2. They must be enrolled in the college(s) in which both degrees are administered.
3. They must complete at least 150 total semester hours.
4. They must complete a course of study, approved by the appropriate dean, consisting of at least 30 credit hours in upper division course work in residence over and above the requirements for the first bachelor's degree including a recognized major program.
5. They must satisfy all degree requirements of the college(s) awarding each degree.
6. They must comply with all other University regulations.
 
SECOND BACHELOR'S DEGREE
Students who have been awarded a bachelor's degree from any institution may seek a second bachelor's degree. To earn a second bachelor's degree, students must fulfill the following requirements:
1. They must complete the appropriate form(s) in the Admissions Office or Registrar's Office if a former USA student.
2. They must be enrolled in the college in which the second degree is administered.
3. They must complete a course of study, consisting of at least 30 credit hours in upper division course work in residence over and above the requirements for the first bachelor's degree, including a recognized major program.
4. They must satisfy all degree requirements of the college awarding the second degree.
5. They must comply with all other University regulations.
   
Students returning for a second degree in the College of Arts and Sciences must meet the requirements for a second major and meet the University requirements for a second degree. Students seeking a second degree in the area of the minor used for their first degree must have an additional minor.
 
GRADUATE STUDY FOR ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATES
With permission of the department chair and appropriate director of graduate studies, a student who has completed 91 semester hours with a “B” (3.0) average may register for graduate courses, provided the total load does not exceed 12 hours. This policy is extended to provide an opportunity for well-prepared undergraduates who meet two Graduate School Regular admission criteria: minimum GPA and sufficient undergraduate course work in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline.
The same course may not be counted both for undergraduate and graduate credit. The graduate course may only count toward a degree in graduate school if and when the student is admitted to the graduate school, provided such course was not used to satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree, was taken no more than 5 years prior to the completion of the graduate degree, and the course is approved for credit by the graduate advisor.
 
ADDING OR DROPPING COURSES
Students may drop courses, using PAWS (the student on-line self-service system), without penalty provided the withdrawal occurs within the time limits listed in the official calendar. See procedures for withdrawals below. Course drops may also be submitted in person to the Registrar's Office. The grade of “F*” or “U*” is recorded for a course abandoned without an official withdrawal. Students who withdraw from a course after the last day for refunds may continue to attend the course but may participate in class activities and assignments only to the extent permitted by the instructor. Students who withdraw from clinical courses or laboratory or field experiences must have permission of the department chair to continue in the course.
 
WITHDRAWALS
Official withdrawal (dropping all courses in progress) from the University can be done through PAWS (the student on-line self-service system). Students attending with VA benefits need to check with the Veteran Affairs Office prior to withdrawing. Students with financial aid need to check with that office to determine the impact of course drops or complete withdrawals on financial aid eligibility or possible repayments. International students must get authorization from the Office of International Services prior to withdrawing. The symbol "WD" is recorded for all courses when the student completes the withdrawal within the time limits listed in the official calendar. A grade of “F, F*, U, or U* ” is recorded when a currently enrolled student leaves the University without completing the withdrawal.
 
COURSES REPEATED FOR CREDIT
A student may repeat a course in which a grade of "D" or "F" is received. Total grade-points are computed on the basis of all attempts. A student who has a grade of "C" or better may repeat the course with the approval of the appropriate academic dean. Credit for a repeated course may be counted only once toward graduation, but all grades are recorded on the student’s transcript and are counted in determining quality points.
 
GRADE REPLACEMENT POLICY

Certain courses are not eligible for grade replacement. Courses that are not eligible include: Graduate courses, PE activity courses, internships/clinicals, health science professional courses, field experiences, research seminars, independent/directed studies, and special topics courses. Please check with your specific program for further restrictions on eligible courses.

Please Note:  A USA grade point average that includes grade replacement, may not be used for some purposes.  For example, graduate and professional programs may recalculate your grade point average with no grade replacement for admissions decisions.

If you are receiving financial aid, please be aware that the Standards of Academic Progress Policy is separate from the Grade Replacement Policy.  Replacement of a grade does not change the satisfactory academic progress calculation.  All work attempted is part of this calculation and repeating courses could negatively affect your eligibility for financial aid.  If you have questions please contact the Office of Financial Aid (251-460-6231 or finaid@usouthal.edu).

This policy is subject to the following conditions:
  • Only USA undergraduate students qualify for this policy
  • All attempts for each course are recorded on the transcript.  Courses that are not used in calculating the GPA will remain on the transcript.
  • Only courses taken at USA are eligible for grade replacement.
  • Courses in which a B, C, D or an F was earned are eligible for grade replacement.
  • A maximum of three course grades can be replaced.  In each case, the student must have repeated the identical course with an improved grade relative to the course grade being replaced.
  • It is possible for a student to have more than one grade removed from the GPA calculation for the same course. However each grade that is removed counts towards the maximum of three course grades that can be replaced.

  • Course substitutions are not eligible for grade replacement.  To be eligible, the repeated course must have the identical course number and identifier as that for the grade being replaced.
  • Certain courses are not eligible for grade replacement.  Courses that are not eligible include:  Graduate courses, Honors courses, PE activity courses, internships/clinicals, health science professional courses, field experiences, research seminars, independent/directed studies, and special topics courses.  Please check with your specific program for further restrictions on eligible courses.
  • A course grade received as a result of academic misconduct does not qualify for grade replacement.
  • Once a student graduates, a class may not be repeated to improve his/her grade point average.
  • Grade replacement does not change a student's past academic standing.
  •  
    Application Procedure
  • Complete a Grade Replacement Application form and turn it in to your College Advising office.
  • Each course grade replacement request must be done on a separate form.
  • Once a grade is replaced, the action is irrevocable.
  • A maximum of three grades for repeated courses can be replaced.  Additional requests will not be granted.  This rule may not be appealed.
  • This form may be turned in anytime before the awarding of the bachelor's degree.
  • You will be notified through your USA e-mail of the approval or denial of this request. You may confirm by viewing your PAWS transcript.
  •  
    EXAMINATIONS, GRADES AND GRADE-POINTS (UNDERGRADUATE)
    Final examinations are held at the end of each semester. Students are graded on the basis of the following guidelines:
    A Excellent, 4 grade-points per semester hour
    B Good, 3 grade-points per semester hour
    C Satisfactory, 2 grade-points per semester hour
    D Minimum Passing, 1 grade-point 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 failed to complete assignments or who failed to participate in class activities. It should be used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. 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 failed to complete assignments or who failed to participate in class activities. It should be used when, in the opinion of the instructor, completed assignments or course activities were insufficient to make normal evaluation of academic performance possible. No grade points.
    The following symbols are substitutes for grades. They are not grades:
    I Incomplete (see below)
    X Absence from Final Exam (see below)
    WD Withdrawal in good standing
    P Course in progress (see below)
    AU Audit
    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, nor is it assigned to permit the student to avoid probation, suspension, or dismissal. The symbol “X” (Absence from Final Examination) is assigned only in cases where illness or an unforeseen emergency precludes the student’s appearance at the scheduled examination. All records of the symbols “I” or “X” 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. Unless the “P” is removed by the end of the second succeeding term, a grade of “F” will be recorded.
    A student whose work is unsatisfactory for any reason shall receive a final grade of “F” for the course.
     
    PLAGIARISM AND CHEATING
    Plagiarism and other forms of cheating are academic matters; accordingly, no credit will be given for work in which they are involved. In addition, incidents of this nature may be reported to other appropriate authorities for further disciplinary action. (See Student Academic Conduct Policy).
     
    CREDIT BY EXAMINATION
    USA students may receive credit by special examination upon approval of the appropriate academic personnel (statement of application procedures may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar). A fee of $30.00 will be charged for each examination. In addition, the student will be charged the current course fee per hour of credit. Hours attempted will be included in determining the student’s grade-point average.
     
    COLLEGE LEVEL EXAMINATION PROGRAM (CLEP)
    The University of South Alabama is a participant in the College Level Examination Program. Transfer credits earned through the College Level Examination Program will be evaluated according to standards established by this University. Prospective or enrolled students may seek information from the Office of Admissions or Office of the Registrar.
     
    30-HOUR CREDIT LIMITATION
    No more than a combined total of 30 semester hours of credit will be allowed for credit received through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), Advanced Placement Program (AP), International Baccalaureate Program (IB), credit by examination, correspondence courses, military service school courses, and other approved non-collegiate-sponsored programs, as recommended by the American Council on Education.
     
    REPORTING OF GRADES
    Final grades are available only through PAWS (Personal Access Web System at http://paws.southalabama.edu) at the completion of each term.
     
    CHANGE OF GRADE
    Grades reported by instructors to the Registrar may not be changed except in case of error in recording or in evaluation. Grade changes require the approval of the instructor and the signature of the department chair and the dean of the college in which the course is taught. Grades on record for one calendar year may not be changed for any reason.
     
    FINAL GRADE GRIEVANCE POLICY
    A student may initiate an inquiry under procedures set forth by the Undergraduate Final Course 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.
     
    ACADEMIC RECOGNITION
    Candidates for all honor lists must be undergraduate degree-seeking students with a clear academic status. Graduates, professional level, unclassified, auditors, transients, non-degree, or other special categories are excluded.
    The President’s Scholars include all full-time students earning a 4.0 semester grade-point average.
    The Dean’s List includes all full-time students earning a 3.50 semester grade-point average.
    The Dean’s Honor List includes all full-time students who have completed a minimum of 30 hours at the University of South Alabama, earned a cumulative grade-point average of 3.40 or greater.
    The Dean’s List for part-time students (students taking fewer then twelve hours) includes all students who are enrolled in at least six semester hours and have earned a semester grade-point average of 3.50 or greater.
    All of the above lists are compiled upon completion of the processing of a particular semester’s grades. Removal of "I"s, "X"s or other such symbols at a later date will not qualify the student for recognition. Grades recorded in error will be considered only if properly changed and the Dean’s office is notified before publication of the lists.
     
    ACADEMIC STATUS POLICY FOR UNDERGRADUATES
    Required Grade Point Average
    All undergraduate students must meet the established standards designating appropriate academic progress. To stay in good academic standing with a clear status, a student must maintain a grade point average of 2.0 or greater on University of South Alabama course work.
    As discussed in the section, General Requirements of Bachelor Degrees, a student must earn a minimum cumulative USA grade point average of 2.0 to graduate. (See special requirements in the College of Education.)
     
    Academic Probation
    Students with a cumulative grade point average below 2.0 are having academic difficulties and are alerted to this fact by being placed on academic probation. Students on academic probation are restricted to taking not more than 13 credit hours per term, unless exempted from this regulation by the dean of their college. Students with grade point averages substantially below 2.0 are subject to academic suspension or dismissal as indicated below.
     
    Academic Suspension
    Academic suspension for one regular semester results if a student at the end of any semester does not have the minimum grade point average indicated in the suspension and dismissal table following. The minimum required grade point average varies with the total number of credit hours attempted at the University. No student will be suspended before they have at least thirty GPA credit hours at the University.
     
    Academic Dismissal
    Academic dismissal for one calendar year results if a student who has been reinstated following a previous academic suspension or dismissal fails to make satisfactory progress. Satisfactory progress is specified in the sections following titled Reinstatement Following Academic Suspension and Reinstatement Following Academic Dismissal.
     
    SUSPENSION AND DISMISSAL TABLE
    GPA Hours
    Minimum GPA
    30-42
      1.20
    43-54
      1.43
    55-66
      1.56
    67-77
      1.64
    78-89
      1.69
    90-102
      1.73
    102-up
      1.80
     
    Reinstatement Following Academic Suspension
    Students reinstated following one regular term (excludes summer term) of academic suspension are readmitted on academic probation. Students in this category are subject to academic dismissal if they do not make satisfactory progress. A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress as long as he or she maintain a USA grade point average for each semester of 2.00 or above until their cumulative USA grade point average is above the minimum required grade point average for dismissal as outlined in the table above. Once a student achieves a grade point average higher than the minimum required grade point average, he or she is subject to the requirement to maintain his or her grade point average above the minimum value as listed in the table. Returning students will remain on Probation until the cumulative USA grade point average is 2.0 or greater.
    Students intending to seek readmission after suspension must first file a Readmission Form by the official deadline with the Office of the Registrar.
    Reinstatement Following Academic Dismissal
    Students academically dismissed from USA may be considered for readmission on academic probation after a period of one calendar year has passed. Readmission requires dean's approval. Students readmitted after dismissal are subject to a second dismissal if they do not make satisfactory progress. A student is considered to be making satisfactory progress as long as he or she maintains a USA grade point average for each semester of 2.00 or above until their cumulative USA grade point average is above the minimum required grade point average for dismissal as outlined in the table above. Once a student achieves a grade point average higher than the minimum required grade point average, he or she is subject to the requirement to maintain his or her grade point average above the minimum value as listed in the table. Returning students will remain on Probation until the cumulative USA grade point average is 2.0 or greater.
    Students intending to seek readmission after dismissal must first file a Readmission Form with the Office of the Registrar by the official deadline. Readmission after academic dismissal requires approval by the academic dean.
     
    ACADEMIC BANKRUPTCY
    Undergraduate students readmitted after an absence of at least one or more calendar years may choose to count all or none of their University of South Alabama credits toward completion of degree requirements and the computation of their GPA. Should the student elect to count none of the prior work, i.e., declare academic bankruptcy, the student is, in effect, allowed to start academic work at the University of South Alabama over with a GPA of zero; however, all course work will remain on the student’s academic record. This determination must be made by the student during the term of reentry no later than the last day of class for that term, but preferably at the time of application for readmission. It requires dean’s office approval. This election may be made only once during a student’s USA career and is irrevocable. Such election also carries with it the stipulation that the student’s choice of Bulletin is limited to those in effect from the time in which the student declares academic bankruptcy onward. Academic bankruptcy applies only to courses completed at the University of South Alabama.
    In determining academic honors at the University of South Alabama, only the course work taken after academic bankruptcy has been declared counts in the calculation of GPA.
    The option of academic bankruptcy is not available to a student who has received a bachelor’s degree or certificate.
    For financial aid recipients - filing academic bankruptcy will not clear your satisfactory progress problem nor reinstate your federal financial aid eligibility (including loans).
     
    READMISSION TO THE UNIVERSITY
    Students who have been previously enrolled in the University of South Alabama, and who have not attended for one regular term (not including summer) should comply with the following:
    How to Apply for Readmission
    An applicant should request the appropriate forms from the Registrar's Office. The readmission form, including all required credentials, should be filed with the Registrar's Office by the published deadlines found on the Registrar's web site http://www.southalabama.edu/registrar/readmission.htm.
    Requirements for Readmission
    An applicant must be eligible to return to the University of South Alabama on the basis of a previous academic record at this institution. If the student has attended any college or university subsequent to last enrollment at the University of South Alabama, the student must also have the required transfer average or higher (as computed by the University of South Alabama) on work attempted, and must be in good standing and eligible to return to the last institution attended. If a graduate student reverts to an undergraduate level, then returns as a graduate student, the student must apply through the Office of Admissions rather than the Registrar's Office.
     
    CREDITS EARNED IN OTHER COLLEGES AS A TRANSIENT STUDENT
    A student enrolled in the University of South Alabama is not permitted to take credit work as a transient student at another institution to be applied toward a degree without prior permission from the dean of the college. The permission must be in writing, specifying which courses are acceptable and their equivalents at the University of South Alabama. A copy of this permission must be filed with the University Registrar. Students do not need transient approval if they have not been enrolled at the University for two or more consecutive terms.
     
    STUDENT RECORDS
    The University of South Alabama maintains records and data relative to the individual student to facilitate the educational process of the student and to assist in the administration of student needs by the University. The University of South Alabama complies with the rights of privacy and access to the educational records of the student as set forth in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.
    The University of South Alabama has formulated the following policy in accordance with the Act:
    No information from records, files, or data directly related to a student other than that defined as “directory information” shall be disclosed or released to any individual or agency outside the University without the prior written consent of the student, except according to lawful subpoena or court orders, or except in the case of need by other educational agencies or governmental agencies. Information will be available to University personnel and faculty only for legitimate educational purposes. The student shall have the right of access to and to review the accuracy of all such information with those exceptions that are defined within this policy statement.
    Records may be released to parents of a student who is claimed as a dependent on their most recent federal income tax form, as defined by Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The University is not required to disclose information from the student's education records to any parent of a dependent student. Discretion in releasing the student's records to the parent will be exercised.
    Information about deceased students may be released to legal next of kin and or the executor of the student's estate. The request for deceased student information must be in writing accompanied by an official death certificate and any additional documentation deemed necessary by the University.
    A deceased student's educational records may also be accessed by subpoena and or court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction. No notification of such subpoena or court order will be issued by the University.
    Directory information may be released by the University without the written consent of the student. Directory information, as defined by FERPA, includes the student's name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major, dates of enrollment, degrees conferred and dates of conferral, any graduation distinction, institutions attended prior to admission, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of University athletic teams.
    To request nondisclosure of directory information, students must complete a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form in the Registrar’s Office. This request will remain in effect unless changed by the student.
    Additional information on FERPA may be found in the University Lowdown (student handbook) under "Student Record Policy". A complete explanation of FERPA is available in the Registrar's Office. Any complaints regarding University compliance with this law may be filed with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Department of Education, Washington, DC 20201.
    The Registrar's Office follows the recommendations of the State of Alabama Records Disposition Authority and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers in the retention and disposal of student records.
     
    TRANSCRIPTS
    Upon the written request of the student, transcripts are normally issued by the Registrar's Office within one to three business days. The fee is $8.00 per transcript. Faxed transcripts carry an additional charge of $10.00 for domestic and $15.00 for international. All outstanding obligations to the University must be cleared prior to the release of transcripts. The University does not release copies of transcripts from other institutions.
     
    ENROLLMENT CERTIFICATION AND DEGREE VERIFICATION
    The Registrar's Office will provide official enrollment/degree verification upon the written request of the student.
    For enrollment/degree verification related to financial aid, the University of South Alabama is a participant in the National Student Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is a repository for enrollment/degree status information and was established to simplify, standardize and automate the status verification and deferment process. The Clearinghouse, the University's agent, will provide student enrollment/degree information directly to the guaranty agencies, lenders, and other services.
     
    GRADUATION
    Application For Graduation
    Students planning to graduate must make application according to the dates specified in the University Calendar. Failure to make application will result in a delay in scheduled graduation dates.
    A student must file an application for graduation with the Registrar’s Office two terms before expected degree completion (see University Calendar for deadlines). The degree audit/official check sheet must be approved by the chair of the major department and the academic dean.
     
    Choice of Bulletin Under Which A Student Graduates
    A candidate for the bachelor’s degree must fulfill the requirements of a degree program as specified in the Bulletin in effect during the academic year of the student’s first matriculation as a degree student. Students may select a subsequent Bulletin during their matriculation with the approval of the appropriate academic dean. If a student does not attend the University for a period of one (1) calendar year or longer, the student will be required to fulfill the requirements of the degree program as specified by the Bulletin in effect during the year of the student’s return as a degree student.
    If a student prolongs the completion of a degree program, curricular or programmatic changes may occur to such an extent that the requirements for the degree program as outlined in a Bulletin for which the student would otherwise be eligible can no longer be fulfilled. If in the judgment of the appropriate academic dean, this has occurred, such Bulletins cannot be used for meeting degree requirements. In these cases, the academic dean would designate the appropriate Bulletin for determination of degree requirements.
    If a student changes degree programs, the college or division may require the student to fulfill the requirements of the Bulletin in effect when the change of degree program is approved.
    The University reserves the right to make changes, as required, in course offerings, curricula, academic policies, and other rules and regulations affecting students, to be effective whenever determined by the University. These changes will govern current and former students. Interpretations of these policies will be made by the appropriate University authorities, keeping in mind the interests of the students and the University. Enrollment of all students is subject to the conditions and policies as set forth in the Bulletin.
     
    Evaluation of Degree Requirements
    Each candidate will have one official check of remaining degree requirements following filing of the degree application for graduation which includes the payment of the $50.00 application fee. This evaluation will be available from the student’s dean. A fee of $25.00 will be charged for any additional degree check necessitated by a student’s subsequent change of Bulletin, program of studies, or failure to complete degree requirements by the prescribed term.
     
    Graduation With Honors
    Undergraduate students who have at least 60 GPA hours in residence with a grade-point average of 3.50 or better at the University of South Alabama are graduated with distinction. Transfer credit hours are not included in the determination of academic honors. Academic honors are not awarded for graduate or professional degrees.
    Students completing a second undergraduate degree at USA are eligible for consideration of academic hours. Such students must have 60 or more undergraduate work at USA, counting any work towards a first degree at USA and all work on the second degree. All undergraduate work at USA is used in the calculation. Now work at another institution is considered.
    Students earning a grade-point average of 3.90 or higher are graduated summa cum laude.
    Students earning a grade-point average of 3.70 but less than 3.90 are graduated magna cum laude.
    Students earning a grade-point average of 3.50 but less than 3.70 are graduated cum laude.
    Since commencement occurs before final grades are processed, final official honors cannot be determined before the commencement ceremony. Thus tentative honors, based on the student's academic record through the end of the last term completed, will appear in the printed commencement program and will be recognized in the ceremony. Final, official honors will be computed after all grades are processed at the end of the term for the last term of attendance, and will appear on student's diploma and transcript.
     
    Honors Program
    Students who have completed all requirements for the University of South Alabama Honors Program with an overall grade-point average of 3.5 or higher will receive special recognition at graduation. For details of the USA Honors Program see USA Honors Program.
     
    Commencement
    The University has a Spring and Fall commencement. Students who are candidates for graduation spring term are eligible to participate in the Spring Commencement only. Students graduating summer term and who are candidates for graduation for fall term are eligible to participate in Fall commencement only.
     
    Diplomas
    Diplomas are issued each term; however, degrees are conferred at commencement. Diplomas will be held until all outstanding obligations to the University have been cleared. Unclaimed diplomas become the property of the University one calendar year thereafter.
     
    Awarding of Posthumous Degree
    A posthumous degree may be awarded to a deceased undergraduate student who had senior academic status or to a deceased graduate student near completion of his or her graduate program. Qualifying students must have been registered at the University of South Alabama within twelve months of the time of death and be in good academic standing at the University. The Dean of the student's college submits a recommendation to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Health Sciences for review. If approved, the recommendation will be forwarded to the Office of the President for final approval.
    If they so desire, the deceased student's family may receive the diploma in a regularly scheduled university commencement ceremony or in a private ceremony.
     
    INTERNATIONAL ACADEMIC OPPORTUNITIES - EDUCATION/STUDY ABROAD
    University of South Alabama students in all academic disciplines are encouraged to participate in a study abroad experience for credit toward their major, minor or elective credits. Academic research, practicum, internship and work abroad experience are also highly encouraged for all disciplines and all USA students. Students should check with their academic advisors and the Office of International Education for available opportunities, information on scholarships and application/approval procedures.
     
    Study Abroad: All students receiving academic credit for study or interning abroad must be enrolled in the official USA Abroad "course" (check with the Office of International Education for course and section numbers). This includes participation in faculty led USA Abroad programs as well as other USA approved study abroad programs offered by other universities and third party program providers. To participate in USA Abroad, students must be 19 years of age prior to departure from the U.S. and have an overall GPA of at least 2.5 for undergraduates and 3.0 for graduate students (see Office of International Education for "exceptional" circumstances procedures). Students with a GPA between 2.0 and 2.5 must demonstrate positive and constructive maintenance of their GPA with no decline in order to be considered for study abroad. Students should have no incomplete coursework due from the term prior to going abroad. Students experiencing academic challenges on campus should work closely with their academic advisors and the Office of International Education prior to making any plans to study abroad. Students requiring accommodations or special services should contact the USA Office of Student Disability Services and discuss such arrangements with OIE and the host program well in advance of their proposed activity abroad. All applicants for USA abroad activities must be in good academic and non-academic standing prior to and during the proposed activities abroad.
    With some planning, study abroad can be fully integrated in USA degree programs and applied to core, major, minor and elective courses. Prior knowledge of a foreign language is not required although many programs provide access to all levels of language learning (beginning to expert). All programs encourage and facilitate language and intercultural learning opportunities. Opportunities abroad may last from a few weeks (depending on the nature of the program) to a full academic year and are available for all semesters including summer. Upon receipt of a completed USA application including the course approval form(s) students will be enrolled in the USA Abroad "course". This course carries with it a USA administrative and registration fee of at least $150 per program and term abroad. With this registration students are able to receive academic credit for courses taken abroad and while abroad have access to a 24/7 emergency assistance network. Additionally this registration provides access to study abroad advising and support services. All students who plan to study abroad must attend required USA Abroad information and pre-departure sessions. By participating in an approved program, students will retain official full time USA student status and may apply for or retain their financial aid program. Freshmen are encouraged to begin planning their study abroad upon arrival on the USA campus. Scholarship information is available through International Education on USA scholarships for specific disciplines as well as for external sources such as the Gilman Scholarship, Freeman Asia Scholarship, U.S. Fulbright Awards for graduating seniors and the National Security Education/Boren Program for Undergraduate and Graduate Students. Additionally, students eligible for the Alabama prepaid tuition (PACT) program, vocational rehab and veterans benefits may be able to apply these funds to their study abroad program. Please visit the Office of International Education web site at www.southalabama.edu/international or schedule an appointment for an information session by e-mailing intledu@usouthal.edu.
     


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    Date last changed: April 4, 2014 11:21 AM
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