University of South Alabama

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USA Undergraduate/Graduate Bulletin 2006-2007



The University of South Alabama, the only major public institution of higher learning on the upper Gulf Coast, was created by act of the Alabama State Legislature in May, 1963. With Alabama’s two older universities more than 200 miles distant, the University is strategically located in the greater Mobile area, which has a population of more than a million within a 100-mile radius.   

Exploration in the Mobile River area began in 1519 when the Spanish Admiral Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda entered and charted the area now known as Mobile Bay. The old fort, now known as Fort Morgan, guarding Mobile Bay, was first fortified by the Spanish in 1559. Settled in 1711 by the French, the bay area has had a tradition rich in culture and vital in the affairs of the nation from its formative years to the present.

Trade and shipping are vital to the economy of the area. Millions of tons of shipping are handled annually through the Port of Mobile, which is rated among the top ports in the country. More than fifteen million tons of shipping are carried yearly on the Tombigbee-Black Warrior waterway system with its modern locks and dams. The intracoastal waterway, crossing the southern end of the state, is connected at Mobile Bay with both inland and ocean shipping. Railroads and airlines serve the Bay area. Diversified farming, woodland crops, and seafood and fisheries are major factors in the area’s economy.


Mobile, the oldest city in Alabama, is the birthplace of public education in the State. The Barton Academy, constructed in 1836, was organized as a public school by Alexander B. Meek, a pioneer in Alabama public education. The Academy is still in use by the Mobile Board of School Commissioners. In 1853-54 the Alabama State Legislature under the guidance of an education committee, including Alexander B. Meek, drafted Alabama’s first public-school law, modeled in part upon the organization and curriculum of Barton Academy. Today the Mobile Public School System is the largest in the State. Medical education in Alabama began in Mobile with the founding of the Medical College of Alabama in 1859. After an interruption during the war years it continued until 1897 when a reorganization was effected. The College was discontinued in 1920. The Daphne Normal School, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay, was founded on July 4, 1907. It pioneered teacher education in south Alabama until its closing in 1940. The University of South Alabama was opened in June, 1964. Its establishment continues an early progressive tradition of education in south Alabama. A number of private schools, elementary and secondary, supplement the public schools in the area. Two church-related colleges are located in Mobile; the first, Spring Hill College, was founded in 1830; the other, Mobile College, (now University of Mobile) opened in 1963. The growth of these four-year institutions and the addition of several junior colleges in south Alabama increase the opportunities for higher education in the upper Gulf region. The establishment of the University of South Alabama was highly significant in meeting the needs of the increasing numbers of high school graduates of the region. The University is confident that the growth can keep pace with the needs of the expanding population in the area and, at the same time, serve students from other states and other countries.


The University of South Alabama was chartered in 1963 by the State of Alabama as a comprehensive, coeducational institution of higher education. The University serves as a major center of high quality and accessible undergraduate, graduate and professional education for metropolitan Mobile, the State of Alabama, the Gulf Coast region, and the southeastern United States. The University mission actively embraces the functions of teaching, research, public service, and health care through which it vigorously pursues the preservation, discovery, communication and the application of knowledge. As it grows and develops, the University will focus its strengths to produce programs of interdisciplinary excellence that address the special needs of the people it serves. Undergraduate education is designed to promote the growth of the individual to think critically and analytically, to communicate effectively, to acquire information and apply it to problem-solving, and to understand the context of global complexity and diversity in which knowledge is applied. The University is committed to the education of the whole person-the creative person. To accomplish this, a wide range of curricular and co-curricular opportunities for students to expand their cultural, physical and emotional awareness are provided. The University’s environment must encourage and foster the qualities expected of leaders, such as integrity, service, stewardship, involvement and respect for individuals, as well as an appreciation for diversity. Graduate education provides students with increasing levels of challenge and opportunities for independent investigation, creative achievement, the advancement of knowledge, and participation in traditional and new forms of scholarly activity in a broad range of discipline-based and interdisciplinary programs. These programs will prepare students for new, as well as traditional, professional and academic careers. Scholarship is an important aspect of the mission of the University and the responsibility of every faculty member. The University of South Alabama will provide quality research and scholarly activity in all areas of its academic programs and community service activities, as illustrated by the work of its faculty in business, education, engineering, mathematics, science, fine arts, humanities, and health sciences. To advance scholarship the University will provide appropriate instructional and investigative facilities within an atmosphere of academic freedom and shared governance. Because of its location and commitment to the community, the University’s academic health center is an important resource for accomplishing its mission. The University is dedicated to the education of physicians, health scientists, allied health professionals, and professional nurses who will provide the community and the region with the highest quality health care. To promote improved health care in its service region through research, teaching, and outreach programs, its hospitals and clinics will offer the latest scientific and medical technology possible. The University is further dedicated to the promotion of lifelong learning and to the enhancement of access to education for a variety of individuals and communities. Thus, it will continue to develop programs that meet the needs of its evening, weekend, off-campus, and special program clients who seek both credit and non-credit learning experiences on campus and at the USA Brookley campus site. The USA Baldwin County campus will provide degree programs and other learning opportunities required by the rapidly growing population in Baldwin County. The University of South Alabama’s programs of education, research, public service, and health care are all founded upon the basis of a reciprocal relationship between the institution and the community it serves. Instruction, research, scholarship, public service, and health care that enhance the economic development of the State and improve the quality of life and health of its citizens are integral and essential parts of its mission as a comprehensive, metropolitan university.


The mission of the Department of Athletics at the University of South Alabama is to complement and supplement the total educational program of the institution and to provide equality to both student-athletes and all staff members regardless of race, gender, creed, nationality or economic status. The athletic department must provide learning experiences for all student-athletes and give each individual the opportunity to share in personal and group success. The University of South Alabama Department of Athletics provides student involvement in activities that help develop unity by encouraging a common quest for all students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University. The athletic program is committed to enriching the mental and physical capabilities of its student-athletes while developing and building a respected program that is competitive on a national level in selected sports, at the same time operating a quality program in the other sports, which will create a basis for pride among the varied constituencies of the University.

The Department of Athletics’ philosophy includes the following ideals:

Recognition of the dignity, worth, and respect of every individual who comes in contact with the Department of Athletics.    
Belief in the provision of opportunity equally given every student-athlete to develop his or her maximum ability, both in the classroom and on the playing field, regardless of race, gender, creed, nationality, or economic status.   
Belief in the provision of opportunity equally given to each and every Athletic department staff member to develop his or her maximum ability in the workforce.   
Provision of the best available coaching and training staff in order to bring out the athletic potential of all its student-athletes.   
Commitment to the ongoing development of all student-athletes so that each can become a contributing member of society and live a rewarding and fulfilling life.   
Commitment to the provision of academic support services necessary to maximize the opportunity for academic success and graduation for student-athletes through a system of advising, monitoring academic progress and identification of potential problems.   
Demonstration of sportsmanship through the ideals of fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility in a competitive arena of intercollegiate athletics.   

The University of South Alabama is dedicated in purpose to the creation of an environment of intellectual excitement and an educational climate that will stimulate both faculty and students. A forum of free thought and discussion is provided which is intended to help develop an independent spirit undergirded by the moral and ethical values essential for effective participation in a free society. The University strives for fresh approaches to courses and programs. Emphasis is placed on the traditional dedication to the advancement and dissemination of knowledge, as a center of learning concerned with the arts and humanities, study of human nature, phenomena of the physical world, processes of human relationships, and the knowledge and skills necessary for participation in professional vocational endeavors. The University actively encourages the students to take responsibility for their own welfare and that of the community, thus stimulating them to become vitally involved in the pursuit of knowledge and the continuing use of their intellectual capabilities as responsible and effective individuals. Students are encouraged to participate in University decisions involving their own welfare, impressing upon them the responsibility inherent in this participation. The University is conscious of its obligation to the local, state, and national communities to assist students to attain the fullest possible knowledge of themselves in relation to society, and to become enlightened participants in civic affairs. An ever-present concern with the problems of a changing society causes recognition of the University’s responsibility to cooperate with local, civic, professional, and governmental organizations. It inculcates an awareness of the necessity for effective leadership in the social, political, and economic affairs of our society. The University intends to extend its academic and professional programs to the highest level by introducing graduate programs and forming new schools and colleges when appropriate. New programs will be instituted only after necessary facilities, library resources, and faculty are acquired. The University reaches outward to the international community and encourages a wide exchange of knowledge and cultural relationships with other peoples. Relations are maintained with other colleges and universities, for the purpose of sharing resources and responsibilities in teaching, research, and service, in this country and abroad, as well as with the secondary schools and junior colleges in this vicinity. The need for continuing adult education accounts for the public being offered an opportunity to profit from these intellectual and technical resources. By contributing to the advancement of knowledge, by involving faculty and students in teaching, learning and research, and by offering its services to society commensurate with its resources, the University will achieve its maximum effectiveness.   
To insure continued excellence as an educational institution, the University of South Alabama is committed to evaluating its effectiveness. The institution has carefully developed goals and objectives which are used as the basis for planning and evaluation. A variety of assessment methods are employed to determine the extent to which each goal has been met, and the results of such assessments are used to improve both educational and support activities.    
The University of South Alabama, operating as a state institution of higher learning and financed in large part by public funds, is governed by a Board of Trustees composed of seventeen members; twelve members are appointed from south Alabama, three members are appointed from the State at large; the Governor of Alabama serves as President, ex officio, of the Board, and the State Superintendent of Education serves as a member, ex officio. Of the twelve members appointed from south Alabama, three of the members are appointed from Mobile County and one member is appointed from each of the nine southern senatorial districts as those districts were designated at the time the University was organized. All except ex officio members are appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. The administrative organization of the University has been designed to provide the greatest possible efficiency in operation for a multiplex, yet young, institution. The framework is sufficiently flexible, involving three primary areas of operation-academic, administrative, and student personnel-to provide for revision as the institution becomes more complex. The three primary areas of institutional operation are supplemented and supported by programs in development and university relations. The organization below the Board of Trustees is composed of the President, appointed by the Board of Trustees, and other chief administrative officers who report directly to him: Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Vice President for Medical Affairs, Senior Hospital Administrator, Vice President for University Services and Planning, Vice President for Student Affairs; and Vice President for Finance. Under the present organization, the University comprises the College of Allied Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences, Mitchell College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Computer and Information Sciences, School of Continuing Education and Special Programs, and the Graduate School, each headed by an academic officer. The Dean of University Libraries operates in cooperation with the faculty and reports directly to the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President for Medical Affairs. Departments within colleges operate under the direction of departmental chairs who report directly to the deans of the colleges.   
The University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Ga., 30333-4097: Telephone: (404)679-4501 to award baccalaureate, masters, doctor of philosophy and doctor of medicine degrees. In addition, the University of South Alabama has programs accredited by the following organizations: Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology: B.S. programs in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the EAC of ABET. Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business, American Chemical Society Committee on Professional Training, Committee on Accreditation for Respiratory Care, American Medical Association Council on Medical Education, Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education of the American Physical Therapy Association, American Speech- Language and Hearing Association: CAA, Association of American Medical Colleges, Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission, Computer Science and Information Systems are accredited by the CAC of ABET, Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences, National Association of Schools of Music, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design.   
The University of South Alabama and its colleges and subdivisions follow a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of sex, race, and disability in admission policies and practices, educational programs, activities, and employment practices according to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The University of South Alabama provides equal educational opportunities to and is open and accessible to all qualified students without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, or qualified handicap/ disability, with respect to all of its programs and activities. The University of South Alabama does not discriminate on the basis of disability. No otherwise qualified person with a disability, solely on the basis of such disability, will be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in the administration of any educational program or activity including admission or access thereto or in treatment or employment therein by the University of South Alabama.   
The University of South Alabama complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation ACT of 1973 and the ADA of 1990 as amended. Any questions relating to the accessibility should be directed to the Manager, Special Student Services, Student Center, Room 270, (251)460-7212.   
The need for good information is critical for student success at the University of South Alabama. The University Libraries provide the information resources and services necessary to obtain, understand, and think critically about information whether it is located physically in one of the libraries, or available electronically in a licensed database and available through the campus computing network. It not only provides bibliographic information about the collections of the University Libraries through SouthCat, but also provides access to licensed full-text article services, periodical indexes and abstracts, and electronic reference sources. The book, journal, microform, and audiovisual collections held by the University Libraries provide students with copyrighted information not yet available through the Internet.   
The Libraries of the University of South Alabama consist of the University Library and the Charles M. Baugh Biomedical Library, both on the main campus, as well as the University Archives, the Medical Center Library and the Children’s and Women’s Hospital Library in downtown Mobile. The University Library is a Federal Depository Library and has a large collection of United States government documents. The Program for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (PETAL) and the Instructional Media Center (IMC) are also located in the University Library's new addition on the first floor. The IMC houses educational materials such as videotapes, DVDs, CDs and audio tapes as well as audio-visual viewing and listening rooms. Two art galleries are located in the University Library and feature regional artists, traveling state-wide shows, and displays from USA Archives. Library services are also available through the Baldwin County campus. Faculty and staff of the University Libraries are available to assist patrons in locating and using all of these information resources, as well as circulation, interlibrary loan, reference, photocopying, and other services.    

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- Mobile Alabama 36688-0002 / 1 (251) 460-6101
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