University of South Alabama

Education in the United States in: Universities » Alabama

University of South AlabamaUniversity of South Alabama
307 University Blvd N,

Mobile, AL 36688
Phone: (251) 460-6101
E-mail Address: - [email protected]


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 - 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, 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

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


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,
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 was admitted to membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools at the annual meeting on December 4, 1968. The total program of the institution was fully accredited by this action. The University of South Alabama is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award baccalaureate, master's and doctoral degrees.

This accreditation was reaffirmed in July, 2003. In addition to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the University of South Alabama has programs accredited by the following organizations:
Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology: BS programs in Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering are accredited by the EAC of ABET.
American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business
Committee on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
American Medical Association Council on Medical Education
American Occupational Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
The Council of Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech Pathology (CAA)
Association of American Medical Colleges
Computer Sciences Accreditation Commission
Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
National Accreditation Association for the Clinical Laboratory Sciences
National Association of Schools of Music
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education


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.

History of USA

October 1963 First meeting of the USA Board of Trustees; Dr. Frederick P. Whiddon named president.

April 1964 The University moved from 154 St. Louis Street to its present location in west Mobile.
June 1964 First classes began; initial enrollment totaled 276 students.
October 1964 Gov. George C. Wallace dedicates the University of South Alabama campus.
April 1965 The jaguar was adopted as the University's mascot.
October 1965 Ground-breaking for Alpha Dorms, the University's first residence hall complex.
June 1967 Eighty-eight baccalaureate degrees were conferred at the first commencement.
December 1968 The University was admitted membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).
May 1969 The University acquired the 327-acre Brookley Conference Center.
August 1969 A resolution of the Alabama Legislature supported establishment of a medical school under the auspices of the University of South Alabama.
November 1970 Mobile General Hospital was transferred to the University.
May 1971 Dr. Robert M. Bucher named first dean of the College of Medicine.
January 1973
The charter class of 25 students entered the College of Medicine.
April 1975 Mobile General Hospital was renamed University of South Alabama Medical Center.
October 1976 The University became a charter member of the Sun Belt Athletic Conference.
September 1978 The University's first Ph.D. program —in Basic Medical Sciences— was initiated.
January 1983 The USA Children's and Women's Hospital was established.
August 1984 The University of South Alabama Baldwin County branch was established.
August 1987 The former Providence Hospital was acquired by the University to house programs of the colleges of Allied Health Professions, Medicine, and Nursing.
June 1990 The University acquired Doctors Hospital and Knollwood Park Hospital.
October 1997 Dedication of the Frederick Palmer Whiddon Administration Building.
July 1998 Dr. Frederick Whiddon retires as USA's only president in its 35-year history.
July 1998 V. Gordon Moulton named University President.
November 1998 Dedication of the John W. Laidlaw Performing Arts Center.
May 1999 Naming of the Mitchell College of Business, recognizing endowments of faculty chairs and scholarships by the Mitchell family of Mobile.
October 1999 Dedication of the 208,300-square-foot Mitchell Center.
October 2001 Dedication of the USA Children's Park, a 16-acre park at USA Children's and Women's Hospital displaying bronze sculptures celebrating children and families.
December 2001 Refurbishment of Alumni Hall completed following more than $40,000 in contributions from the Toulmin family and the USA Alumni Association.
May 2002 Establishment of the USA Cancer Research Institute, later re-named the Mitchell Cancer Institute.
June 2002 Creation of the University Research and Technology Park Corporation.
December 2002 The University awarded it 50,000th degree at Fall Commencement.
March 2003 Dedication of the 53,000-square-foot addition to the University Library.
October 2003 Dedication of the new 16-acre Intramural Athletics Complex and Field House.
December 2003 Dedication of the Mentor Graphics Corporation Building, the first building in the USA Technology and Research Park.
September 2004 Dedication of the Larry D. Striplin III Basketball Practice Facility
December 2005 Completion of a second building in the USA Technology and Research Park.
February 2005 Implementation of a new $6.2 million campus transportation system, Jag Tran.
April 2005 Groundbreaking ceremony held for USA's cancer institute, which was later named the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.
April 2005 Dedication of Stanky Field, following a $3.8 million renovation.
July 2005 USA and Infirmary Health System announce a strategic health care alliance to enhance health care in the region and provide innovative cancer treatment and research through the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute.
March 2006 Launching of the University's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign.
March 2006 The USA Cancer Research Institute is renamed the Mitchell Cancer Institute following a $22 million gift in support of the Institute from the Mitchell family of Mobile.
April 2006 Infirmary Health System assumes operation of former USA Knollwood Hospital as Infirmary West at Knollwood.
September 2006 Dedication of Meisler Hall, an $8 million student services building named in honor of the Meisler family of Mobile, who donated $2 million to endow the facility.
October 2006
Dedication of the $2.2 million Alfred and Lucile Delchamps Archaeology Building, which serves as a public museum of ancient artifacts and a teaching and research center as home of the USA Center for Archaeological Studies. The building was created in part through the generosity of the Delchamps family of Mobile.
November 2006
A joint pharmacy program between USA and Auburn University was established, with plans to admit the first class of students in fall 2007. Graduates of the pharmacy program in Mobile receive a degree from the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy at the University of South Alabama.
March 2007
Dedication of the Joseph and Rebecca Mitchell Learning Resource Center at the Mitchell College of Business, a $2.5 million facility that significantly improves the learning environment for USA business students.
April 2007
The natural connections among Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health Professions were acknowledged through a new cooperative administrative structure under the guidance of the first Vice President for Health Sciences, Dr. Ron Franks.
April 2007
The University names its first vice president for health systems, Stan Hammack, who will oversee the clinical operations of USA’s health system, including its hospitals and physician practice.
April 2007
Began construction of the new $45 million Health Sciences Building, which will bring the colleges of Allied Health Professions and Nursing back to USA’s main campus.
May 2007
Hired first Vice President for Research, Dr. Russ Lea, symbolizing USA’s ever-expanding programs in research, outreach and scholarly activity.
August 2007
Opening of a privately funded student apartment complex, The Grove, which by fall 2008 housed 1,000 students.
September 2007
Celebrated the grand opening of the Auburn University Harrison School of Pharmacy at the University of South Alabama and welcomed its inaugural class of students.
November 2007
USA students presented a petition to President Moulton in support of football and marching band programs during half-time at a Jaguar Men’s Basketball game.
December 2007
USA Trustees approve NCAA-sanctioned football and marching band programs.
December 2007
The historic number of degrees awarded by the University topped 60,000.
February 2008 USA hired its first football coach, Joey Jones.
February 2008
Public groundbreaking held during Homecoming for USA Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza.
March 2008
Plans for USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital expansion approved by USA Board of Trustees.
April 2008
Public groundbreaking ceremony held for new state-of-the-art, 116,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center.
July 2008
USA officially begins new marching band program with announcement of band’s first director, Ward Miller.
August 2008 USA unveils new athletic and marching band logo.
November 2008
Dedication of the new USA Mitchell Cancer Institute building, which represents a total investment of more than $135 million, including $75 million in construction and equipment.
April 2009
Conclusion of the University's first comprehensive fund-raising campaign, which resulted in more than $93.5 million for USA programs, faculty, students and construction.
September 2009
Launched inaugural season of USA’s football and marching band programs.
September 2009
Dedication of the Health Sciences Building, new home of the colleges of Allied Health Professions and Nursing.
September 2009
Groundbreaking ceremony for Shelby Hall Engineering and Computing Sciences Building.
November 2009
Dedication of the Football Field House and practice fields.
January 2010
Dedication of Veterans Memorial Plaza, which is dedicated to the students, alumni, faculty and staff who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces.
July 2010
Completion of the new USA Jaguar Marching Band drill tower and pavilion.
September 2010
First classes held in the new glass arts building, a 5,000-square-foot facility in the Visual Arts complex.
September 2010
Dedication of the new state-of-the-art, 116,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center.
October 2010
Dedication of Moulton Tower and Alumni Plaza.
November 2010
Groundbreaking on USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital expansion.
November 2010
Opening of a new 20,000-square-foot dining hall near residence halls.

Admission Requirements


First Time Freshmen

Freshman regular admission status will be granted to students who:

1. have earned a high school diploma and have completed a college preparatory curriculum consisting of the Core Courses listed below.
2. have earned a minimum 2.00 overall high school GPA and a minimum; and
3. have achieved a score of 19 on the composite ACT (or equivalent score on SAT).

Core High School Course Requirements

Curriculum Area Units Courses

English 4
Mathematics 3 To include Algebra I and Geometry.
Algebra II is highly recommended.
Science 3 At least 2 of the sciences must include labs.
Social Science 3
Advanced Electives 3 Courses chosen from any of the four core areas above and foreign language.
Total Core Units 16

Regular Admission with Special Requirements
Have earned a minimum 2.50 overall high school GPA, a score of 16 to 18 on the composite ACT (or equivalent scores on SAT), and meet required core courses listed above.

Students admitted in this category with identified academic deficiencies will be required to take course(s) in his/her first term of attendance at the University of South Alabama to address these problems. In most cases students will complete the specified course(s) during their first term at the university. However, each of the specified course(s) must be satisfactorily completed with a grade of C or better within the first three terms of enrollment.

Freshmen with Previous College Credits
Minimum ACT Composite of 19 or 900 SAT, high school grade-point average (as computed by USA Admissions) of at least 2.0 and college GPA must be at least 2.0 ("C") as computed by USA Admissions.

Early Admission
Minimum ACT Composite of 28 (1240 SAT), high school grade-point average as computed by USA Admissions of at least 3.5 ("B") and favorable letter of recommendation from school counselor.

GED First Time Freshman
Minimum average GED score of 500 (or 50 if taken prior to January 2002).

Special Freshman Admission
Students who graduated high school longer than 5 years ago or are over the age of 23. Usually a 2.0 average is required (as computed by USA Admissions) but if satisfactory evidence is supplied to indicate the student's ability to pursue courses at USA, admission may be granted. Contact the Director of Admissions for details.

Minimum grade-point average for unconditional admission is 2.0 (GPA used is that computed by USA Admissions.) Students with less than a 2.0 cumulative GPA should contact the Director of Admissions to discuss the possibility of probationary admission. Students must be eligible to re-enroll at the last institution attended.

Verification of good standing and eligibility to re enroll at the home institution.

Evidence of earned bachelor's degree (master's or doctorate degree can be used.)

No academic requirements.

Students who do not meet minimum requirements should contact the Director of Admissions to discuss academic options.

Graduate School Admission Types

Important: In all cases, documents (e.g. transcripts, test scores, letters of recommendation, etc.) must be mailed from the home institution or testing agency directly to the Office of Admissions to be considered official. The application is not reviewed for admission until all credentials are received. The student is responsible for requesting the documents. A separate transcript is required from each institution attended (even though the work may be shown on another transcript), whether credit was received or desired. For students who are currently enrolled, provisional admission may be granted pending receipt of transcripts for the current work only.

All required documents should be mailed to:
Office of Admissions
University of South Alabama
Meisler Hall, Suite 2500
Mobile, AL 36688

Previous University of South Alabama students: If you are a former University of South Alabama student, the Office of Admissions will automatically request documents from your permanent USA file. If all required documents are not available in your permanent file, you will be notified to request the missing information.

Test Score Requirements

Official test scores submitted to meet admission requirements must not be more than five years old. Refer to the University of South Alabama Bulletin for test score requirements for specific program. Test scores must be mailed directly from the testing agency to be considered official. For test dates and registration procedures, contact the Office of Counseling and Testing Services at (251) 460-7051. Links are available to the following test agencies:

GRE - Graduate Record Exam

GMAT - Graduate Management Admissions Test

MAT - Miller Analogies Test

Letters of Recommendation/Narrative Statements

Some departments require letters of recommendation

Contact Us

University - Keith Ayers - (251) 460-6211
FAX (251) 460-7827
University of South Alabama
Office of Public Relations
307 University Blvd
AD 250
Mobile, AL 36688

USA Hospitals - Bob Lowry - (251) 415-1358
FAX (251) 415-1284
USA Children's & Women's Hosptial
Office of Public Relations
1700 Center Street
Mobile, AL 36604

USA College of Medicine - Paul Taylor- (251) 470-1682
FAX (251) 471-7843
University of South Alabama
College of Medicine
Office of Public Relations
2451 Fillingim Street
619 Mastin Professional Building
Mobile, Alabama 36617-2293

(251) 460-6211 [email protected]

Office of Public Relations
307 University Blvd AD 250
Mobile, AL 36688

Education USA - For Students: University of South Alabama