Application and Bulletin Choice

Application for Graduation

Students planning to graduate must submit an application according to the dates specified in the University Calendar. Failure to apply will result in a delay in scheduled graduation dates.

A student must file an application for graduation with the Registrar's Office at least one semester before expected degree completion (see University Calendar for deadlines). The degree audit/official check sheet must be approved by the graduation check out personnel in each college with the approval of 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 an academic advisor. 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 student will 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 application for graduation which includes the payment of the $65.00 application fee. Students who apply for graduation after the dates posted in the University Calendar will be assessed a $25.00 late fee. Students may verify degree progress at any time using the Degree Works audit available through PAWS.

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 GPA hours in residence at USA, including 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. No 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. 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 College

Students who have completed all requirements for the University of South Alabama Honors College with an institutional grade-point average of 3.50 or higher will receive special recognition at graduation. For details of the USA Honors College see USA Honors College.


USA has commencement ceremonies in Spring and Fall Semesters. Summer candidates participate in the Spring commencement ceremony with the exception of doctoral candidates. Summer doctoral candidates will have their degrees presented at the Fall commencement ceremony. Participation in commencement does not mean that degree requirements have been completed or that academic honors have been awarded.


Diplomas are issued each term. 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 Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs or Vice President for Medical Affairs 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.