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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.

Mailing Address:
University of South Alabama
307 University Boulevard
Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002
(251) 460-6101

Tholos of Delphi Replica
Tholos of Delphi Replica - Main Campus


Exploration in the Mobile River area began in 1519 when the Spanish Admiral Alone Alvarez de Pinned 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. More than forty-two million tons of shipping are handled annually throughout 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 intercoastal 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 Convention Center
Mobile Convention Center


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 County 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 in teacher education in south Alabama until its closing in 1940.

Barton Academy Est. 1836
Barton Academy Est. 1836

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.


USA Long-Range Planning Goals and Objectives (2008-2013) (downloadable PDF)


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. 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 that will create a basis for pride among the varied constituencies of the University.

USA Baseball
USA Baseball


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.


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,

Administration Building
Frederick P. Whiddon Administration Building

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, Administrator of University Hospitals, Vice President for Business Affairs, Vice President for University Services and Planning, Vice President for Student Services; and Vice President for Finance.

Under the present organization, the University comprises the College of Allied Health Professions, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business and Management Studies, 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 Graduate School, each headed by an academic officer. In addition, there are two specialized units: University Libraries and Department of Cooperative Education, operating in cooperation with the faculty and reporting 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 (USA) is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master's, educational specialist, and doctoral degrees. On December 9, 2013, this accreditation was reaffirmed by SACSCOC. The next SACSCOC accreditation reaffirmation process is scheduled to take place in 2023.

Contact the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of South Alabama or visit the SACSCOC website at, http://www.sacscoc.org/index.asp, to learn more.

Other accrediting agencies for specific University of South Alabama degree programs are available at the following link: USA Degrees with accrediting agency (downloadable PDF)


The University of South Alabama and its colleges and subdivisions follow a policy of non-discrimination 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 office of the Vice President for Business Affairs, AD 328, (251) 460-6121, or Manager, Special Student Services, University Center, Room 270, (251) 460-7212.


The University Libraries consist of the University Library and the Biomedical Library. The University Library's collections are housed in a four story building on the main campus.

The Biomedical Library has facilities in the Biomedical Library Building next to the College of Medicine on the main campus and at the USA Medical Center. The Biomedical Library also has a facility at the Children's and Women's Hospital in the CWEB Building. The purpose of the University Libraries is to provide information and access to materials needed to fulfill the teaching, scholarship, and service goals of the University community.

University Library
University Library

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University of South Alabama - Mobile, Alabama 36688-0002 (251) 460-6101
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Date last changed: Thursday, October 30, 2014 12:51 PM
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