Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs
Admission Requirements and Procedures
The Dean of the Graduate School, advised by the Graduate Council, establishes and monitors the standards by which students are admitted for study in degree programs under its jurisdiction.
Each student must be qualified for admission to the Graduate School. 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 on-line at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/graduate.html.
The Office of Admissions contact information (for students who have graduated from a U.S. accredited university/college):
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 email@example.com
The Office of Immigration and International Admissions contact information (for students who have graduated from an international university/college):
2200 Meisler Hall, University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Specific information regarding academic programs may be obtained by contacting the Director of Graduate Studies in the appropriate colleges.
Deadlines for Applications
Applications deadlines are posted at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/admissions/graduate-deadlines.html and may be program specific. Not all programs admit students each semester and some programs set earlier application deadlines. Please see appropriate section of the Bulletin for exceptions. New graduate students who do not register for coursework in the semester for which they were accepted must contact their program for permission if they wish to enroll in a future semester.
Deadlines for applications and supporting documents for new international students are posted at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/international/requirements-deadline.html.
Please note: The College of Education and Professional Studies and the College of Nursing evaluates files each semester and acceptance is only valid for the semester in which they apply.
USA graduate students who have not attended for three consecutive semesters must file for readmission with the Office of Admissions by the published deadlines found at https://www.southalabama.edu/departments/eforms/admissions. 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
Transcripts and test scores must be official, i.e., mailed or sent electronically from the home institution or testing agency directly to the address specified by the Office of Admissions, and become the property of the University of South Alabama. If a student changes programs, a new application must be submitted.
Each program has specific requirements for admission that may exceed the requirements listed as follows for admission to the Graduate School.
Applicants seeking admission must satisfy the following requirements:
- Have earned a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited United States institution of higher education or an international institution of higher education with an equivalent degree (including 3 year first level Bologna Process degrees).
- Have earned the minimum grade-point average required by the relevant graduate program. See the individual program descriptions for details.
- Possess sufficient coursework in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the relevant graduate program. Students with a deficiency in required coursework may be required by the admitting graduate program to take pre-requisite courses.
- International students who do not meet the exception listed above or below must submit an official language test (Please note some programs may require higher scores to prove English proficiency):
TOEFL minimum score of 71
IELTS minimum score of 6
iTEP minimum score of 3.7
PTE Academic minimum score of 48
Duolingo minimum score of 100
Certain graduate programs waive the English proficiency requirement for international applicants who are citizens of or who have attended school in specific countries where English is an official language and/or the medium of instruction. Approved countries are listed below. See individual program requirements elsewhere in this Bulletin.
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Canada, with the exception of Quebec
- Cayman Islands
- Irish Republic
- New Zealand
- Saint Lucia
- St. Kitts and Nevis
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa Tanzania
- Trinidad & Tobago
- United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales)
- Virgin Islands (British & US)
- Standardized test scores may be required by specific graduate programs for admission. See the individual program descriptions for details.
- Performance at the graduate level may be taken into consideration for students who have completed a prior graduate degree program, as well as undergraduate performance. An earned advanced degree may substitute for some admission requirements (see specific program requirements).
- Non-Degree Admission - Students holding baccalaureate degrees from regionally accredited institutions of higher education who are not seeking 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 acceptable language test scores (see Admission Requirements above for acceptable language test scores), or bachelor's or graduate degrees earned at a regionally accredited United States institution 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 prerequisite 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.
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 Office of Admissions) 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 (except for accelerated master’s degrees and undergraduate/graduate dual degrees). 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.
Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's Program
The USA Accelerated Bachelor's to Master's (ABM) Program provides exceptional undergraduate students the opportunity to earn a bachelor's and a master's degree at an accelerated pace in select academic programs. ABM students may count up to 12 credit hours of graduate coursework towards either the undergraduate or graduate degrees in approved programs. ABM students typically complete the master's degree within one academic year after completing the undergraduate degree.
Undergraduate students must meet the following criteria:
- 3.0 cumulative undergraduate GPA
- have completed at least 90 credit hours
- have completed at least 30 credit hours at USA
Credit Hour Requirements
Completion of the ABM program requires students complete at least 150 approved unique credit hours. To qualify for a baccalaureate degree, a student must complete at least 120 approved semester hours. To qualify for a master's degree a student must complete a minimum of 30 approved semester hours. Generally, undergraduate students are not approved to take more than 12 credit hours of graduate coursework.
Application of graduate coursework taken at the undergraduate level requires ABM students to be admitted to a graduate program. ABM students must meet all requirements for admission to the Graduate School. However, each degree program has specific requirements that may exceed Graduate School minimums. An ABM student must meet all requirements of their specific degree program. A complete Graduate School application is required.
A student who withdraws or is dismissed from the ABM program may not count graduate coursework towards both degrees. Graduate courses for which an undergraduate student did not ear an "A" or "B" grade, may not be counted towards the graduate degree.
An ABM student must be enrolled full time and must complete all degree requirements for the master's degree within three semesters after admission into the Graduate School. An exception for a fourth semester may be granted if an additional semester is required for final revisions to and submission of a defended thesis. Exceptions to the ABM policy are at the discretion of the Dean of the Graduate School.
Contact the program coordinator to discuss individual program requirements. Application deadlines vary by program.
Assistantships and Fellowships
Information concerning assistantships and fellowships may be obtained from the college or department concerned or on- line at https://www.southalabama.edu/colleges/graduateschool/information.html. A completed graduate assistantship/fellowship application must be submitted. Tuition remission granted for a graduate assistantship/ fellowship may not be applied to courses outside of the degree program.
Research Integrity and Professional Ethics
Graduate programs may require instruction in research integrity and professional ethics.
Requirements for the Master's Degree
- A minimum of 30 semester hours of credit in a program approved by the graduate program and the Dean of the Graduate School is required. The following limitations apply:
- 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.
- 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. Transfer credit must have the recommendation of the graduate program 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.
- A course applied toward credit for a degree at this institution, or elsewhere, will not be acceptable as credit toward a subsequent master's degree, except in approved dual-master's programs where a maximum of nine (9) hours may be counted in both programs (or accelerated bachelor's to master's degree).
- A minimum overall 3.0 grade-point average on all coursework 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" was 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).
- A minimum of 21 semester hours of degree program credit in residence at the University of South Alabama is required.
- 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. The appeal form may be found on the Forms and Polices web page of the Graduate School. Some degree programs may set shorter time limits.
- 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. The comprehensive exam committee must be comprised of at least 3 graduate faculty members. For details see specific programs.
- Submission of a standardized test score may be required. For details, see specific programs.
- A foreign language may be required. For details see specific programs.
- 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.
- A letter grade is assigned for each semester a student is enrolled in a thesis credit hour course.
- A student on a thesis option program will be required to prepare a thesis prospectus.
- An oral defense of the thesis is required.
- The student must be enrolled in at least one hour of thesis during the semester in which the student defends their thesis. 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.
- See Guidelines for Theses and Dissertations and Standards for Theses and Dissertations.
Requirements for the Doctoral Degree
- The specific requirements for doctoral degrees 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.
- 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. 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.
- 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.Acc., M.B.A., M.D., M.Ed., M.F.A., M.H.S., M.P.A., M.S., D.N.P., D.P.T., Ed.S., Ed.D., Ph.D. in a wide variety of programs, with numerous areas of concentration. For specific admission and degree requirements, in addition to those of the Graduate School, see individual program webpages.
The following graduate degree programs are offered through the Graduate School of the University. Further information is available under the 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 Biomedical Sciences
- Master of Science in Speech and Hearing Sciences
- Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
- Master of Science of Physical Therapy
- Master of Rehabilitation Science in Occupational Therapy
- Master of Rehabilitative Science in Speech Language Pathology
- 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 Science in Biological Sciences
- Master of Arts in Communication
- Master of Arts in English
- Master of Arts in History
- Master of Science in Mathematics
- Master of Music
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Music
- Master of Public Administration
- Master of Science in Psychology
- Master of Fine Arts in Creative Technologies and Practice
School of Marine and Environmental Sciences
- Master of Environmental Toxicology
- Master of Science in Marine Conservation and Resource Management
- Master of Science in Marine Sciences
- Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Sciences
Mitchell College of Business
- Master of Accounting
- Master of Business Administration
- Doctor of Philosophy in 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 Computer Science
- Master of Information Systems
- Ph.D. in Computing
The College of Education and Professional Studies
- Alternative Master of Education in Art Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Elementary Education
- Alternative Master of Education in English for Speakers of Other Languages
- Alternative Master of Education in Secondary Education
- Alternative Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Education in Art Education
- Master of Education in School Counseling
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education
- Master of Education in Early Childhood Education with Reading Certificate
- Master of Education in Educational Administration
- Master of Education Educational Media
- Master of Education Elementary Education
- Master of Education in Elementary Education with Reading Cert
- Master of Education Physical Education - P-12 Teacher Certification
- Master of Education in Physical Education - Health Education
- Master of Education in Secondary Education
- Master of Education in Special Education
- Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Master of Science in Educational Media and Technology
- Master of Science in Exercise Science
- Master of Science in Health Education
- Master of Science in Instructional Design and Development
- Master in Sport Management
- Educational Specialist in Early Childhood Education
- Educational Specialist in Elementary Education
- Educational Specialist Instructional Leadership
- Educational Specialist in Reading Specialist
- Educational Specialist in Secondary Education
- Educational Specialist in Special Education
- Educational Specialist in Teacher Leader
- Education Doctorate in Educational Leadership
- Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science and Performance Nutrition
- Doctor of Philosophy in Instructional Design and Development
The College of Engineering
- Master of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- Master of Science in Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering
- Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering
- Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
- Master of Science in Systems Engineering
- Doctor of Philosophy 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.
- Medical Doctorate in Medical Sciences
The College of Nursing
- Master of Science in Nursing
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
Interdisciplinary Graduate Program
- Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
- Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology
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.
- Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics
- Graduate Certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals
- Graduate Certificate in Gerontology
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Mental Health Counseling
- Graduate Certificate in Computer Science Cybersecurity
- Graduate Certificate in Human Performance Improvement
- Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity
- Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design and Development
- Graduate Certificate in Reading Specialist
- Graduate Certificate in Systems Engineering
- Graduate Certificate in Nursing Subspecialty Options
- Certification in Post-Graduate Nursing