University Bulletin 2017-2018

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Graduate School

Admission Requirements and Procedures

The Dean of the Graduate School, advised by the Graduate Council, establishes and monitors the standards under which students are admitted for study in degree programs under its jurisdiction.

Each student must be qualified for admission to the Graduate School. However, 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 online at http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/graduatestudents/index.html.

The Admissions office contact information: 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 admiss@southalabama.edu.

International students should contact the Office of International Services, 2200 Meisler Hall, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002, telephone (251)460-6050, for application information.

Specific information regarding academic programs may be obtained by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies in the appropriate colleges.

Deadlines for Applications

Final deadlines for all applications and supporting documents for new graduate students are as follows: July 15 for Fall Semester, December 1 for Spring Semester, and May 1 for Summer Semester. New graduate students who do not register for the semester in which they were accepted must update their admission in writing by the deadline if they wish to enroll in a future semester.
A former USA graduate student who has not taken a graduate course within a seven-year period, or a graduate student who wishes to change degree program, student type, or student level must apply through the Office of Admissions. Deadlines are stated above.
Deadlines for applications and supporting documents for new international students are usually at least one month earlier than the deadlines for U.S. citizens. Refer to the "International Students" section for details.

Not all programs admit students each semester and some programs set earlier application deadlines. Please see appropriate section of this publication for exceptions.

Students who were admitted into the Graduate School and did not register for the semester in which they were accepted, but who wish to register for the same graduate program in the same academic year must submit an update form to the Office of Admissions to reactivate their file. This form can be requested from the Office of Admissions. If a student has attended another institution in the interim, all official transcripts must be sent to the Office of Admissions and their file will be re-evaluated for acceptance into the graduate school.

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. Acceptance is not valid for an academic year in programs within these two colleges.
USA graduate students who have failed to attend for three consecutive semesters must file for readmissions with the Admissions Office by the published deadlines found on the Graduate Readmission website http://www.southalabama.edu/graduatemajors/graduateschool/grad_readmissions.htm 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

All documents required for admission review (transcripts, test scores or letters of recommendation) must be official, i.e., mailed from the home institution or testing agency directly to the Office of Admissions, and become the property of the University of South Alabama. Students applying for admission to the Graduate School must pay a $35 non-refundable processing fee by the appropriate deadline. If a student changes programs, a new processing fee and application must be submitted.

Categories of Admission

Each program has specific requirements for admission that may exceed the requirements listed as follows for admission to the Graduate School. Persons interested in applying for admission to a specific program should consult the appropriate program's Requirements for Admission.

Applicants to the Graduate school may be admitted in one of the following categories.

  1. Regular Admission - Regular admission requires the following:

    1. A bachelor's degree from an accredited institution of higher education.

    2. A minimal grade-point average of 3.00 on all undergraduate work ("A"=4.00). The grade-point average used is that computed by the Office of Admissions.

    3. Sufficient courses in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline. A student who has a deficiency in courses in the discipline but who otherwise qualifies for Regular Admission will be required to complete appropriate prerequisite course work.

    4. Recommendation of the appropriate Coordinator/Chair, Director of Graduate Studies and approval by the Graduate Dean.

    5. International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL test scores of 525 or above (197 on computer based test) or 71 on internet based test, or a minimum score of 6 on the IELTS test, or minimum iTEP score of 3.7 or minimum PTE academic score of 48 or a bachelor's or graduate degree earned at an accredited United States institution of higher education.  Please note some programs may require higher scores to prove English proficiency.  

    6. Most graduate programs require standardized test scores for admission. See the individual program descriptions elsewhere in this Bulletin for details.

      For those students who have had previous graduate work, performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements (see description of specific program).

  2. Provisional Admission - Students who do not meet the requirements for Regular Admission may be admitted to the Provisional Admission category. A student in provisional status will not be allowed to enroll in courses other than those specified by their program of study. Provisional Admission requires:

    1. A bachelor's degree from an institution of higher education. In the event that the degree is from a non-accredited institution, the individual graduate program will determine if the quality and content of the degree meets the admission standards of the program.

    2. A minimal grade-point average of 2.5 on all undergraduate work ("A"=4.00) or 2.75 on the last 64 hours of college work. The grade-point average used is computed by the Office of Admissions. Graduate Directors or Coordinators of each graduate program may recommend consideration of other factors in the review of an application, as indicated in the paragraph following item F below.

    3. Recommendation of the appropriate Coordinator/Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the College/School, and the Graduate Dean.

    4. International students must submit documentary evidence showing TOEFL Test Scores of 525 or above (197 on computer based test or 71 on internet based test), or a bachelor's or graduate degree earned at an accredited United States institution of higher education.

    5. Most graduate programs require standardized test scores for admission. See the individual program descriptions elsewhere in this Bulletin for details.

    6. An applicant may also be considered for provisional admission if he or she meets EITHER the GPA requirement for regular admission (GPA 3.0) OR the entrance examination score requirement for regular admission as defined by the individual graduate programs.

      For those students who have had previous graduate work, performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements (see description of specific program).

    7. For a Provisional student to be changed to Regular status, the following are required:
      1. Provisional students will be eligible for Regular status after accruing a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of course work taken at the University of South Alabama for graduate credit toward degree requirements, provided at least a "B" average is maintained in all such work attempted. No more than 15 semester hours of graduate credit earned as a Provisional Admission student may be approved for change of status to Regular Admission. The Provisional student who does not have the required "B" average upon completing 15 semester hours of graduate credit that is part of the student's graduate program, will be dismissed from the graduate program and the Graduate School. See appropriate college or school and/or department section of this publication for any additional requirements. At all times, students are subject to the policy stated in the Academic Standards Section entitled "Academic Dismissal."
      2. Approval by the appropriate Director/ Coordinator of Graduate Studies, and Dean of the College/School.

  3. Non-Degree Admission - Students holding baccalaureate degrees from accredited institutions of higher education who are not interested in earning 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 TOEFL test scores of 525 or above (197 on computer based test or 71 on internet based test), or bachelor's or graduate degrees earned at 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 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.

Transient Enrollment

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 Admissions Office) 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 90 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. 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.  

Admission to Candidacy Required by College of Education and Professional Studies

Admission to Graduate School does not imply admission of a student to Candidacy for a graduate degree in the College of Education and Professional Studies. The student is referred to the "Admission to Candidacy' section in the College of Education and Professional Studies for further information.

Assistantships and Fellowships

Information concerning assistantships and fellowships may be obtained from the college or department concerned or online at http://www.southalabama.edu/graduatemajors/graduateschool/information.html.  A completed graduate assistantship/fellowship application which includes three (3) letters of recommendation and transcripts must be submitted. Provisionally admitted students may be considered for a graduate assistantship/fellowship as long as they maintain a 3.0 GPA. Tuition granted for a graduate assistantship/ fellowship may not be applied to courses outside of the degree program.

Computer Access Requirement

All students enrolled at the University of South Alabama are required to have access to a personal computer. This may be achieved by individual ownership, access to a family machine when residing at home, sharing with a roommate or other suitable arrangements. University public PC laboratories are not sufficient. This access must include a current version of the Microsoft® Office® software suite including Word® and Excel®, access to the University's e-mail system and access to the Internet for research purposes. Individual programs may have additional requirements specific to their curriculum.

GRADUATE SCHOOL ACADEMIC STANDARDS

Applicability

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. 

Withdrawals

A student who withdraws from the University or from a course will have WD recorded on his permanent record, provided the withdrawal occurs within the time limits listed in the official Calendar. Withdrawal after the time limits can only be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School upon the recommendation of the appropriate director of graduate studies. (See Withdrawals.)

Grade Standards

Courses for which the grade of "D" is 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.

Examinations

Final examinations are held at the end of each semester.

Grades and Grade-Points (Undergraduate and Graduate)

Final examinations are held at the end of each semester. Students are graded on the basis of the following guidelines:

Grade  Guideline
A Excellent, 4 grade-points per semester hour
B Good, 3 grade-points per semester hour 
C Satisfactory, 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)
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)
MS Mid-term satisfactory

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. 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.  P grades remain in effect until they are changed to a letter grade, or until the time limits for a graduate degree have expired.  

A student whose work is unsatisfactory for any reason shall receive a final grade of "F" for the course.

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.

Dismissals

  1. Academic Dismissal
    • The Dean of the Graduate School has authority to dismiss graduate students from the Graduate School.
    • Any term 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 terms 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 in the status of Provisional Admissions who does not have a "B" (3.0) average upon completing 15 semester hours of graduate credit, that is part of the student's graduate program, will be dismissed from the graduate program and the Graduate School.
    • 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.
  2. Non-Academic Dismissal
    • A student dismissed from a graduate program as the result of an academic misconduct penalty 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 Graduate School Final Course Grade Grievance Policy. A copy of this policy is available in the dean's office of each college and in the Graduate Dean's Office.

Appeal Procedure

A graduate student having a grievance against another individual or group in the university community is referred to the General Grievance Policy published in the Lowdown. Also available is the Sexual Offence Policy for students. Other USA policies affecting students are also published in the Lowdown.

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 (Provisional Admission or Regular Admission), may be specified and requested by the director of the graduate program in which the student is enrolled.

Graduate Certificate Programs

Students enrolled in graduate certificate programs are subject to the same academic standard policy as degree seeking students.

Academic Procedures

Registration

Registration (making course selections and enrolling in classes) occurs prior to the beginning of each semester. Students must register via the web utilizing USA's PAWS (Personal Access Web System). (See the University Schedule of Classes for additional information.)

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

  1. 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, when a student has at least 9 hours of USA graduate work and in regular status. 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. Only courses that have not been applied to another degree may be transferred. Transfer credits will only be processed after a student has at least nine hours of USA graduate credit in a program and has attained regular status. 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 University of South Alabama does not award graduate credit for prior portfolio-based experiential learning.
  2. 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.
    Transfer credits will only be processed after a student has at least nine hours of USA graduate credit in a program and has attained regular status. 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.

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, 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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 GS Form 4.
  3. 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 normally 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.
  4. 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.
  5. "A Guide for Preparing Theses and Dissertations", accessed at http://www.southalabama.edu/graduateprograms/ThesisDissertationGuide.pdf, is the guide for preparation of the prospectus and the thesis or dissertation.
  6. Once a thesis or dissertation committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate School, the student may then enroll for 599 Thesis or 799 Dissertation credit with permission of the thesis/ dissertation committee chair (advisor or major professor).
  7. 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

  1. A thesis/dissertation should 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 appropriate data and draw logical conclusions therefrom, and integrate in a meaningful way 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.
  2. The thesis or dissertation must be an original research and/or creative project. This document will demonstrate the student's ability to:
    1. 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.
    2. Search the literature for relevant studies on the topic of choice.
    3. Organize and analyze the information that is available, using logical and/or statistical analysis appropriate for the project.
    4. Present the results orally and in a written form to the satisfaction of the thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate Faculty.
    5. 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.
  3. 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. 

1.      Admissions follows the same graduate schools 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.

2.      The curriculum is defined by the individual graduate certificate program per university standards and procedures.  See: http://www.southalabama.edu/departments/academicaffairs/resources/policies/guidelinesforcertificateprogramsjuly11_11.pdf

3.      Upon approval by the department and Graduate School, a student may transfer from another institution to a USA graduate certificate program the lower amount of: 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.

4.      Graduate School academic standards policy applies to certificate programs.

5.      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.

6.      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

  1. A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in a program approved by the major department and the Dean of the Graduate School is required. The following limitations apply:
    1. 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.
    2. 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. The credit is approved only after completion of a minimum of nine (9) semester hours of graduate credit at the University of South Alabama and the student must be in regular status. Transfer credit must have the recommendation of the major department 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.
    3. A course applied toward credit for a degree at this institution, or elsewhere, will not be acceptable as credit toward a second degree, except in approved dual-master's programs where a maximum of nine (9) hours may be counted in both programs.
  2. 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" is 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).
  3. A minimum of 21 semester hours of degree program credit in residence at the University of South Alabama is required.
  4. 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. Some degree programs may set shorter time limits.
  5. 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. For details see specific programs.
  6. Submission of a standardized test score may be required. For details, see specific programs.
  7. 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:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  8. Thesis
    1. 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.
    2. A letter grade is assigned for each semester a student is enrolled in a thesis or dissertation credit hour course.
    3. A student on a thesis option program will be required to prepare a thesis prospectus.
    4. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
    5. 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.
    6. See Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations and Standards for Theses and Dissertations.

Requirements for the Educational Specialist Degree

See appropriate section under College of Education and Professional Studies.

Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

  1. The specific requirements for the doctoral degree in the Basic Medical Sciences, in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, in Communication Sciences and Disorders, in Education, in Instructional Design and Development, in Business, in Engineering, and in Marine Sciences 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.Ac., M.B.A., M.D., M.S.N., M.Ed., MFA, M.P.A., M.H.S., M.S., M.S.S.H., M.S.C.E., M.S.CHE., M.S.E.E., M.S.M.E., M.S.C.I.S., Ed.S., Ed.D., D.Sc., D.BA., Ph.D., DNP and thirty-eight programs, within numerous areas of concentration. For specific admission and degree requirements, in addition to those of the Graduate School, see the department or college section of your interest.

The following graduate degree programs are offered through the Graduate School of the University. More details are available under Colleges and Schools listings elsewhere in this Bulletin. Navigate to Degrees and Programs for a complete listing of graduate programs and certificates.

The Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions

  • Master of Science in Speech - Language Pathology
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Doctor of Audiology
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Master of Arts in Communication, English, History, and Sociology
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Master of Public Administration
  • Master of Music
  • Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Marine Conservation and Resource Management, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Psychology
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Sciences.

Mitchell College of Business

  • Master of Accounting
  • Master of 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.

The School of Computing

  • Master of Science in Computer Science and Information Sciences
  • Ph.D. in Computing

The College of Education and Professional Studies

  • Master of Education
  • Master of Science
  • The Educational Specialist
  • Education Doctorate
  • Doctor of Philosophy

The College of Engineering

  • Master of Science in Chemical Engineering
  • Master of Science in Civil Engineering
  • Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
  • Doctor of Science in Systems Engineering

The College of Medicine

  • 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.

The College of Nursing

  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Interdisciplinary graduate program

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.

 

Education

  • See appropriate sections under College of Education and Professional Studies

Gerontology

  • See appropriate sections under Program in Gerontology.