THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
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 senior 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. The Graduate School provides the student with opportunities for creative achievement and the advancement of knowledge. Graduate study fosters the spirit of independent investigation while creating an environment for free inquiry and intellectual challenge in advanced and specialized areas. Emphasis upon scholarship, original thinking, and the practical application of knowledge to the solution of complex problems will enable the student to make a valuable contribution to society.
All graduate work is administered by the Graduate School under the direction of the Graduate Dean who is advised by the Graduate Council. The voting members of the council are eight Full Members of the Graduate Faculty, eight Graduate Directors, one from each college, and one graduate student. Non-voting ex officio members are the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Graduate Dean, the Dean of the University Libraries, a representative of the Office of Admissions, and a representative of the Registrar’s Office.
The Graduate School offers sixteen different graduate degrees (M.A., M.Ac., M.B.A., M.S.N., M.Ed., 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., Ph.D., and thirty-four 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.
See appropriate sections under College of Education
See appropriate sections under Program in Gerontology
The following graduate degree programs are offered through the Graduate School of the University. More details are available under school/college listings elsewhere in this Bulletin
The Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Speech - Language Pathology
, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Master of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies
, and the Doctor of Philosophy in Communication Sciences and Disorders.
The College of Arts and Sciences
offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts in Communication, English, History, and Sociology; Master of Public Administration; Master of Science in Biological Sciences, Marine Sciences, Mathematics, Psychology, and Doctor of Philosophy in Marine Sciences.
The Mitchell College of Business
offers graduate work in business leading to the degree of Master of Business Administration and graduate work in accounting leading to the degree of Master of Accounting. 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.
The School of Computing
offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences.
The College of Education
offers graduate programs leading to the degrees of Master of Education, Master of Science, the Educational Specialist, and the Doctor of Philosophy.
The College of Engineering
offers graduate programs leading to the degree of Master of Science in Chemical Engineering, Master of Science in Civil Engineering
, Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
The College of Medicine
offers a program leading to the 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
offers a graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Nursing.
The Graduate School offers an Interdisciplinary graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Science in Environmental Toxicology
and 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 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 should be requested from the Director of Admissions, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 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 one semester or more must file for readmission in the Registrar's Office by the published deadlines found on the Registrar's office website ( http://www.southalabama.edu/registrar/). If a student has been absent from first enrollment in a Master's program for more than 7 years or from a Ph.D. program for more than 10 years, the student must apply through the Office of Admissions.
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:
A. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education.
B. 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.
C. 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.
D. Recommendation of the appropriate Coordinator/Chair, Director of Graduate Studies and approval by the Graduate Dean.
E. 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.
F. 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:
A. 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.
B. 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.
C. Recommendation of the appropriate Coordinator/Chair, Director of Graduate Studies, the Dean of the College/School, and the Graduate Dean.
D. 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.
E. Most graduate programs require standardized test scores for admission. See the individual program descriptions elsewhere in this Bulletin for details.
For a Provisional student to be changed to Regular status, the following are required:
A. 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
B. 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.
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 96 semester hours with a “B” (3.0) average may register for graduate courses provided the total load does not exceed 12 hours. This policy is extended to provide an opportunity for well-prepared undergraduates who meet two Regular admission criteria: minimum GPA and sufficient undergraduate course work in the major subject to qualify for graduate study in the involved discipline.
The same course may not be counted both as undergraduate and graduate credit. The graduate course may count toward a degree in graduate school, if and when the student is admitted to graduate school, provided such course was not used to satisfy requirements for the undergraduate degree and it has been less than 7
years since the course was taken.
ADMISSION TO CANDIDACY REQUIRED BY COLLEGE OF EDUCATION
Admission to Graduate School does not imply admission of a student to Candidacy for a graduate degree
in the College of Education. The student is referred to the “Admission to Candidacy’ section in the College of Education for further information.
ASSISTANTSHIPS AND FELLOWSHIPS
Information concerning assistantships and fellowships may be obtained from the college or department concerned or online at
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 Exel®, 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
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
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.
A - Excellent 4 grade-points per sem. hour
B - Good 3 grade-points per sem. hour
S - Satisfactory (certain designated courses only)
C - Marginal 2 grade-points per sem. hour
D - Unsatisfactory 1 grade-point per sem. hour
U - Unsatisfactory (certain designated courses only)
F - Failure no grade points
The following symbols are substitutes for grades. They are not grades
I - Incomplete
X - Absent for final exam
WD - Withdrawal in good standing
P - Course in progress. P grades remain in effect until they are changed to a letter grade, or until the time limits for a graduate degree have expired.
AU - Audit
UA - Unsatisfactory audit (did not meet attendance requirement)
N - No grade or invalid grade
See academic policies and procedures
for further explanation of the above grades and symbols.
CHANGE OF GRADE
Grades reported for graduate students by instructors to the Registrar may not be changed except in case of error in records or in evaluation. Grade changes require the approval of the instructor of record, with information regarding the change provided to the department chair, the director of graduate studies of the college in which the course is taught, and the Dean of the Graduate School. Grades on record for one-calendar year may not be changed for any reason.
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 or three (depending on program) unsuccessful attempts to pass the comprehensive examination or the Qualifying Exam. Some programs allow only two attempts.
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.
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.
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.
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. A
pproval 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, unless the new program is in the College of Education or the Mitchell College of Business. If the new program is in the College of Education or Mitchell College of Business, the student should consult the Director of Graduate Studies of the appropriate college.
APPLICATION FOR DEGREE
Each candidate for the Master’s, Educational Specialist’s, or Doctor of Philosophy 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.
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.
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:
A. 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.
B. 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" or "B" 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.
C. 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 up to two times. 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:
A. 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.
B. 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.
A. 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.
B. The grade of "P" (In Progress) is assigned to thesis credit; upon completion and approval of the thesis by the Dean of the Graduate School, a quality-point grade (A, B, C, D, F) and accumulated credit are assigned.
C. A student on a thesis option program will be required to prepare a thesis prospectus.
D. An oral defense of the thesis is required.
E. 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.
F. 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
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE
1. The specific requirements for the Doctor of Philosophy degree in the Basic Medical Sciences, in Clinical and Counseling Psychology
, in Communication Sciences and Disorders, in Instructional Design and Development, and in Marine Sciences vary among the specialties. Each of the five
programs leading to the completion of a Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. degree.
2. Students who are candidates for the Ph.D. 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.
3. All requirements for a Ph.D. degree must be completed within ten
calendar years from admission to a Ph.D. 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.
THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
GUIDELINE 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 (8/04).
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:
A. 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.
B. Search the literature for relevant studies on the topic of choice.
C. Organize and analyze the information that is available, using logical and/or statistical analysis appropriate for the project.
D. Present the results orally and in a written form to the satisfaction of the thesis/dissertation committee and the Graduate Faculty.
E. 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.
INTERDISCIPLINARY GRADUATE PROGRAMS
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
The University of South Alabama offers an interdisciplinary curriculum to teach graduate students the biochemical and physiological processes resulting from the interactions between toxic compounds and the biosphere.
Students in this program will learn to:
- evaluate the impact of specific pollutants in the environment
- perform laboratory and field-tests to monitor environmental pollutants
- control and manage toxic substances
- identify water and air pollutants
- current and new legislation and protocols in this area.
Graduates from this program will be able to work in industrial settings in the areas of Industrial Hygiene, Environmental Health, Environmental Engineering and Toxicology or to continue their education by pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Toxicology or related areas. In addition, these graduates will be qualified for jobs requiring M.S. degrees in their original areas of concentration. For example, a chemist or a chemical engineer will be better qualified to work in a chemical or pharmaceutical company if, in addition to his/her background in chemistry or engineering, the applicant has training in toxicology to address the environmental impact of specific
Students applying to this program must fulfill all the requirements for regular or provisional admission specified by the Graduate School. Additional requirements include:
B.S./B.A. degree from an accredited four-year institution: the program is designed for graduates holding degrees in Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Engineering or related fields.
The GRE will be required and will be considered among the admission criteria.
In addition, students applying to this program must have completed the following undergraduate courses:
- Biology (1 semester)
- Statistics (1 semester)
- Calculus (1 semester)
- Organic Chemistry (6 credit hours)
- Any other prerequisites needed for specific courses within each concentration
It is recommended (but not required) that students applying to the program also complete 6 credit hours of undergraduate Biochemistry. Those students who did not take undergraduate Biochemistry will have to include 6 hours of graduate Biochemistry among the required courses to complete the program. This will not change the total number of hours required to complete the program.
PROGRAM COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS
A total of 35 credit hours are required for the M.S. degree in Environmental Toxicology, including:
20 credit hours of core courses, including:
Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering (3 credits)
Environmental Statistics (3 credits)
Research Integrity (1 credit)
Chemical Ecology (3 credits)
Environmental Chemistry (4 credits)
Environmental Sociology (3 credits)
Molecular and Cellular Toxicology (3 credits)
A Research Thesis (6 credit hours) or a Library Research Project (3 credits hours) on a subject identified jointly by the student and the Advisory Committee.
9 credit hours ("Research Thesis" track) or 12 credit hours ("Library Research Project" track) of courses in specific areas of concentration. Students in the "Library Research Project" track must take an extra 3 credit hours to complete the 35 credit hours in the program.
The "Research Thesis" must be completed either at the University of South Alabama or, upon approval by the Advisory Committee, at a government or industrial laboratory in the area.
Students may choose one of the following areas of concentration:
- Biology (TXBY)
- Basic Medical Sciences (TXMS)
- Chemistry (TXCH)
- Environmental Engineering (TXEE)
- Civil Engineering (TXCE)
- Exposure Route/Chemical Transport (TXEC)
Each student will be assigned to an advisory committee responsible for designing the curriculum that best fits the student's professional goals. If, in the opinion of the student's committee, the student lacks
adequate undergraduate preparation, the student will be required to make up such deficiencies.
Upon approval by the Advisory Committee, students will be allowed to take some of the on-line courses offered at other institutions. For example
, Troy University offers several graduate online courses pertaining to environmental policy.
DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION FOR ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY
Applications are accepted twice a year, in the Fall and Spring semesters by the deadlines indicated in the University of South Alabama Bulletin.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY IN CLINICAL AND COUNSELING PSYCHOLOGY
The University of South Alabama offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical and Counseling Psychology (CCP). This program is a collaborative effort between the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Professional Studies in the College of Education. The Clinical and Counseling Psychology program prepares professionals to provide the most effective types of psychological care for individuals and communities. Graduates of the program will have a set of competencies which
will also enable them to work successfully with a variety of other professionals for the purposes of health promotion and to treat mental disorders. Graduates might be employed in a variety of settings, including counseling centers in colleges and universities, medical centers, Veterans Administration hospitals, schools, private practices, health and wellness facilities, state and federal agencies, family counseling services, academic departments in higher education institutions, and professional associations. The program combines an asset-strength model from Counseling Psychology with a health psychology/wellness model from Clinical Psychology. Graduates will be comfortable providing care in a variety of settings including medical, traditional mental health or counseling, school, university, and community. Such care would include direct service to individuals and the management of psychological services for individuals and groups using evidence-based interventions.
PROGRAM ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
Students are admitted to start the program in the fall semester. No spring or summer admission will be accepted. Participation in the program is full-time and, with the exception of an assistantship, students are discouraged from engaging in any outside employment. Applications to the Clinical and Counseling Psychology (CCP) program should be completed by December
15th for admission for the following fall semester. In addition to the Graduate School application form and required supporting documentation, the Clinical and Counseling Psychology program requires submission of a program application form, a statement of purpose, and three letters of academic recommendation. The following criteria supplement the Graduate School criteria for admission:
In addition to meeting graduate school requirements for regular admission, applicants to the Clinical and Counseling Psychology program must meet the following criteria:
a. Summed score of 300
or greater on the verbal and quantitative sub tests of the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination will be expected.
b. Completion of an undergraduate or graduate degree in psychology, counseling or a similar program from an accredited institution.
REQUIRED PSYCHOLOGICAL FOUNDATIONS
Students must complete graduate course work and demonstrate competency in the following foundation areas. These courses will typically be completed in the student's Master's degree program of study, but in exceptional circumstances, deficiencies may be approved to be addressed in the doctoral program of study. Each deficiency will reduce the likelihood of admission, however, or may extend time to complete the program.
Individual Intelligence/Cognitive Assessment
Individual and Group Counseling Techniques
Evidence Based Practice
Biological Aspects of Behavior
Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Behavior
Learning and Cognition
Social Aspects of Behavior
Research Methodology and Data Analysis
Inferential Statistics/Research Methodology
Applied Research Methods
History and Systems of Psychology
Applicants should submit the following materials by December 15th to:
University of South Alabama
Office of Admissions
Meisler Hall, Suite 2500
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
- Official GRE scores
- Official copies of all undergraduate and graduate academic transcripts
- Statement of purpose
- Three letters of academic recommendation
- Clinical and Counseling Psychology program application form
- Graduate School application form
- Those interested in applying for a graduate assistantship should also submit a graduate assistantship application form
- One or two representative work samples of current skills (e.g., test reports, counseling summaries, research reports, publications, etc.)
PROGRAM COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS
A minimum of 60 credit hours of doctoral level courses taken at the University of South Alabama is
required for the doctoral degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology.
- 36 credit hours of core courses including
- Ethics and Practice in Professional Psychology (3 credits)
- Applied Multivariate Statistics in Psychology (3 credits)
- Clinical Health Psychology (3 credits)
- Psychology of Resilience to Trauma/Crisis (3 credits)
- History and Systems ( 3 credits)
- Group and Systems Theory and Intervention (3 credits)
- Multicultural/Diversity Issues (3 credits)
- Supervision of Clinical Interventions Internship (3 credits)
- Practicum I (3 credits)
- Practicum II (3 credits)
- Practicum III (3 credits)
- 9 credit hours of dissertation research on a subject identified jointly by the student and his or her Advisory Committee
9 credit hours of elective courses are to be selected from the following list of courses.
- Teaching of Psychology (3 credits)
- Introduction to Neuropsychology (3 credits)
- Advanced Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (3 credits)
- Child and Family Psychopathology and Intervention (3 credits)
- Special Topics (3 credits)
- Supervision of Clinical Interventions (3 credits)
- Practicum III (3 credits)
- Directed Studies (1-3 credits)
This list above represents the minimum requirements for completion of the doctoral program of studies. A student may be required or elect to take additional course work in a specific area if needed to enhance skills or to support an area of specialization. Each candidate for the Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology takes practicum courses in the psychological clinic and must also complete a one-year internship in an accredited facility. The internship is taken after completion of coursework and passing of the doctoral preliminary exam, and is a degree requirement.
Graduate assistantships are available annually on a competitive basis. Applicants interested in receiving an assistantship should complete the graduate assistantship application form.
Students must pass a comprehensive examination following successful completion of their academic work to be admitted to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The content of the comprehensive examination will be determined by the comprehensive examination committee and may consist of a written as well as an oral component.
Admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree requires completion of the following:
- successful completion of required academic work
- successful completion of the comprehensive examination
- approval of a dissertation research project
The doctoral candidate is, therefore, a student who has fulfilled all requirements for the Ph.D. degree with the exception of completing the dissertation research and the required internship.
DISSERTATION HOURS AND DEFENSE
Nine credit hours of dissertation research may be applied to and are required for completion of the doctoral program of studies in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. However, a student must be continually enrolled in CCP 799 (Dissertation Research) until the final defense of the dissertation is completed and the dissertation document has been approved by the Graduate School. The final defense is scheduled following the completion of and preparation of the final written report of the dissertation research. Revisions of the dissertation may be required for final approval by the student's advisory committee or as a condition of the Graduate School's evaluation of the written report.
After being admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, the student has a maximum of three years to complete the dissertation.