Advising FAQs

▼   How do I know which courses at my community college will transfer to South?

Students at an Alabama community college may check the STARS web site (Statewide Articulation Reporting System), which lists the courses available at the community college that may be used toward a particular degree program at a four-year school in the state. The AGSC Transfer Guide (Alabama Articulation and General Studies Committee) may be printed and used as a guideline for appropriate courses to take.

If you are attending Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Pensacola Junior College, or Okaloosa-Walton Community College, you may print a list of courses available at your school for transfer to South by visiting the USA Transfer Advising Guides page.

▼   Is there a limit to the number of hours that can transfer from a two-year school?
Yes, only half of your bachelor’s degree may be satisfied by credit earned at a two-year institution. A bachelor’s degree requires a minimum of 120 credits, so programs that require exactly 120 credits will only accept 60 credits from a two-year institution.
▼   Is there a limit to the number of hours of AP and CLEP credit that can be used toward a degree?
Yes, no more than 32 semester hours of credit from Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), International Baccalaureate (IB), credit by exam, correspondence courses, military service courses, and other approved non-collegiate-sponsored programs are allowed.
▼   Will "D" grades transfer from other schools?
As of Fall Semester 1998, South will accept “D” grades from other schools with the exception of EH 101 and EH 102, English Composition I and II. These composition courses require a minimum grade of “C.” Please note, however, that certain courses and programs may require a grade of “C” or better for some courses for prerequisite and admissions purposes.


Scheduling Classes FAQs 

▼   What is a full-time load?
Undergraduate students taking 12 or more semester hours in a given term are full-time for that term. Graduate students enrolled in 6 or more semester hours are full-time. Students will need to be full-time to receive full financial aid benefits and/or to be covered by insurance. Note: Students receiving scholarship funds must complete 30 hours each school year (August-July).
▼   How many hours should one normally take each semester?
As a part of the 15 to Finish initiative, students are encouraged to take 14-16 hours each fall and spring in order to more easily complete their bachelor’s degree in 4 years.
▼   What should I do if I want to take more than 19 semester hours?
Contact the Associate Dean to get approval and assistance in registering for the overload.
▼   Do I need to take the courses in the graduation plan for my major exactly the way they are listed?

No, it is just a suggested model. Note the prerequisites for the required courses. Many of the general core curriculum courses do not require any prerequisites and may be taken at any time.

Students also should consider other factors when scheduling their classes, such as the number of work hours each week, family responsibilities, the possible need for developmental studies classes to be better prepared for college-level work, etc. These issues can be discussed with your advisor.

▼   What is a prerequisite?

A prerequisite is a course that must be taken prior to another course in order to be prepared for it. The PAWS system will block a student from registering for a course if the prerequisite has not been completed. Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the department chair or the instructor of the course.

▼   What is the core curriculum?

These are general required courses for your degree that may vary from major to major. Check with your advisor if you have questions about course options that may be available. Five areas are included:

Area Course Hours
Area I Written Composition 6 hours
Area II Humanities & Fine Arts 12 hours
Area III Natural Sciences & Mathematics 11 hours
Area IV History, Social & Behavioral Sciences 12 hours
Area V Preprofessional, Major & Elective Courses 19-23 hours
▼   Are the first two years going to be the same for all Allied Health majors?

No, it varies according to the program, particularly the science courses required. For instance, the Radiologic Sciences program does not require any chemistry. The sooner you can narrow down your choices of a program, the better.

▼   How can I be exempt from EH 101, English Composition I?

If you have a score of 27 or higher on the English section of the ACT (Old SAT-before May 2016-Critical Reading score of 610 or higher or New SAT-after May 2016- Reading score of 33 or higher), you will be exempt from EH 101 and may register for EH 102. Students must replace the 3 semester hours for EH 101 with another course if the minimum 120 hours for a bachelor’s degree are not met. Official scores should be sent to the Office of Admissions for exemption to be granted.

Currently, Advanced Placement (AP) credit for EH 101 will be awarded with a score of "4" or higher on the Language & Composition or Language & Literature tests. Three semester hours of credit will be granted. Official AP scores must be sent from the College Entrance Examination Board to the Office of Admissions for credit to be awarded.

College Level Examination (CLEP) credit for EH 101 and 102 will be awarded if a student scores "50" or higher on the College Composition test. Six semester hours of credit will be granted. Official CLEP scores must be sent from the Educational Testing Service to the Office of Admissions for credit to be awarded.

▼   Where should I start in math?

Students are placed into appropriate math courses based on either their Math ACT score, their Math SAT score, or the Math Placement exam. Please note that students who are admitted as “Test-Optional” will need to either start in MA 110 OR take the Math Placement Test prior to registration. Also, students with math ACT scores of 18-21 may register for MA 112 along with the corequisite math, MTH 100 with the corresponding section number.

Course ACT Score OLD SAT Score
(before May 2016)
(After May 2016)
Math Placement
Exam Score
MA 110 Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed
MA 112 22 560 580 70
MA 113 24 590 610 80
MA 115 25 620 640 80
MA 120 23 575 595 80
MA 125 27 665 695 90
▼   What can I do if I am not ready for MA 115 (Precalculus Algebra and Trigonometry), which is required for my degree?

Based on the guidelines listed, you may start with MA 112, Precalculus Algebra, and then take MA 113, Precalculus Trigonometry, which together equate to MA 115. If you are ready to start with MA 113, you may take it and it alone will satisfy the requirement.

▼   Where should I start in my science classes?

Entry-level courses in subjects including Biology, Chemistry, and Physics have specific placement requirements for incoming students.

Course ACT Score SAT
Section Score
Prerequisite Course
BLY 101 & 101L Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed
BLY 121 & 121L 22 540 565 MA 112*
CH 131 & 131L 24 560 580 MA 112, 113, or 115
PH 104 and 104L Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed Not Needed
PH 114 and 114L 25 640   MA 113, 115, or 125
PH 201 and 201L       MA 125
*may be taken concurrently with course
▼   Does Allied Health offer any online courses?

Yes, online availability for specific courses will vary from semester-to-semester. Please view the University’s Schedule of Courses for the most accurate information on which classes will have online options for the term you in which you are interested.

▼   I have been accepted into South's Honors College. What courses do I need to take?

You will have an Honors advisor as a supplemental resource in addition to your academic advisor. Both advisors will assist you with making the most efficient schedule with consideration of the courses needed for your major and the requirements for the Honors College. Go to the Honors College web page for details.


Preparing for Professional Programs FAQs 

▼   What can I do to prepare for the admissions interview for the professional program in which I am interested?
  • Honors College Get a variety of observation experiences in several settings
  • Learn as much as possible about the work while you observe a professional in your field of choice
  • Learn what is happening in your chosen profession and in the healthcare field in general (check out the web sites for professional organizations in your major)
  • Read the catalog to discover what you will studying in the professional component of your program
  • Make sure you have thought through the commitment of time and money you will be making to enter the professional component of your program
  • Know yourself and what you will enjoy doing for many years to come
  • Current students may also schedule mock interviews with the Career Development department.
▼   What is the GRE?

The GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a standardized test that is required for entry into graduate programs. There are 3 sections: verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing.

The verbal score ranges from 200 to 800 in 10-point increments as does the quantitative score. The analytical writing score is reported from 0 to 6 in half-point increments. The analytical writing section consists of two tasks: a 45-minute “Present Your Perspective on an Issue” task and a 30-minute “Analyze an Argument” task. Students may choose to word process or handwrite their responses. However, score reporting may take up to six weeks if you choose to handwrite the response.

The GRE is given by computer on a regular basis at the Sylvan Learning Center, 820 South University Boulevard, Mobile, AL 36609, (251) 344-6284. Also, you may call (800) GRE-CALL or log on to the GRE website for more information.

A number of books about preparing for the GRE may be found at any bookstore; also software is available. The cost of the test is approximately $115. The highest set of scores will be used if the test is repeated.

▼   What will the job market be like when I finish my degree?
Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook web site, which is based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for employment projections for the next few years. You might also check the web site of the professional organization in your area of interest.