University of South Alabama

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This school appears in our ranking Top 30 Online Master’s in Special Education Degrees 2017.


The University of South Alabama is a public research university, established by legislation in 1963. With almost 17,000 students enrolled, the school has seen more students in recent years than ever before. Students can choose from one of over 50 bachelor’s degree options, or one of over 40 programs offered at the graduate level. One of the biggest benefits of attending the school is the relatively low student to teacher ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes.

Students who have a keen desire to make a difference in the world thrive at the University of South Alabama. It has one of the largest medical schools in the region, consisting of five different components, each of which catering to a different health need. The school operates as a teaching hospital, helping to heal those in the community while training the healthcare professionals of tomorrow. It is also home to numerous Master level education programs, geared toward improving the education field.

In addition, the school is known the world over for its research and innovation. Faculty members encourage students across all levels to experiment and indulge their curiosity. Thanks to this dedication to expanding knowledge, the school recently received a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

University of South Alabama Accreditation Details

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited the University of South Alabama, granting it the ability to award its students with degrees across various levels, including the doctoral level, master’s degrees, specialist certifications, and bachelor’s degrees. In order to receive this accreditation, the school had to meet several strict criteria, including the provision of quality academic programs.

In addition to this honor, the University has also been accredited by a number of agencies for its online and on-campus courses. These agencies include:

  • Council for Accreditation of Educator Preparation
  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs

University of South Alabama Application Requirements

There are a few admission requirements that freshmen must comply with to have their application viewed. They include:

  • Submission of an official high school transcript
  • Official SAT or ACT scores, with a minimum ACT score of 19 and a minimum SAT score of 980
  • 16 hours of core courses
  • Proof that your GPA is 2.5 or higher

Students who are not able to meet the requirements set out above can still apply to the school for conditional admission. Those who apply through this method typically submit a letter of recommendation by a counselor or teacher, a personal essay, and a resume along with their application for special consideration.

International students must submit the documents mentioned above along with fulfilling the English proficiency requirement, submitting an affidavit attesting to the ability to pay tuition, a copy of their passport, and a transfer eligibility form. In addition, applicants who are freshmen must pass the SAT or have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited US school.

These requirements change when students are applying to graduate school, with each program having its own specific requirements:

  • All Master of Education programs require official high transcripts from all attended institutions, a passing score for Class B certification or on the MAT or GRE, a valid Alabama Class B Certificate in Professional Elementary Education, three letters of reference, and a two-page essay talking about career goals.
  • All applications for Educational Technology programs require an official graduate and undergraduate transcript, three letters of reference, the GRE results or MAT results, a resume, and a statement of academic purpose.
  • Nursing students must have a minimum GPA of 2.5, submit all required medical information along with evidence of health insurance, provide CPR certification, successfully pass a background check including drug screening
  • Provision of proof of a current registered nursing license without any restrictions or prior disciplinary hearings

A successful application for admission to graduate studies must be received for all graduate programs. International students must submit all of the information noted above, along with a financial statement, proof of proficiency in English, and a transfer eligibility form.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Currently, in-state undergraduates attending classes on campus can expect to pay between $313 and $360 per credit hour (between $626 and $720 for out of state students). Graduate students in the same circumstance should expect anywhere from $421 to $485 per credit hour (between $842 and $970 for out of state students). Online courses are offered at a slightly different rate. Undergrad courses range from $412 to $459 and between $500 and $566 at the graduate level.

To help make quality education affordable, the University of South Alabama has numerous scholarship and financial aid opportunities available. In order to qualify for these programs, students must attend classes on a part-time or full-time level, have a high school diploma or GED, be enrolled in classes that are degree requirements or recommended electives, have a financial need, and perform well academically.

Online Degrees Available

There are numerous online degree options available at the University of South Alabama in both an undergraduate and graduate setting. Each of these programs gives students access to the same instructors and resources as those who attend classes on campus. The following options are available for undergrads:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Instructional Design and Performance Improvement
  • Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies
  • Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing

For those who are interested in online or distance learning at the graduate level, the following options are available:

  • Master of Education focusing on Early Childhood Education
  • Master of Education in Elementary Education
  • Master of Education specializing in Secondary Education
  • Master of Education in Special Education
  • Master of Education with respect to Educational Media
  • Master of Education in Sports Education
  • Master of Science in Sports Management
  • Master of Science – Educational Media and Technology
  • Master of Science in Instructional Design and Development
  • Instructional Educational Specialist
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice

Students looking for an intellectually stimulating and interesting education experience should check out the online degree programs at the University of South Alabama.

University of South Alabama Website