University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama (USA), officially nicknamed "South" is a public, national research university in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in May, 1963, and replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. Currently, USA is divided into ten colleges and schools and includes one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools. As of the fall semester of 2018, South Alabama has an enrollment of 15,093 students.[2] To date, the university has awarded over 90,000 degrees.[4]

University of South Alabama
Research university
Sea Grant
Space Grant
Endowment$497 million[1]
PresidentTony Waldrop
Administrative staff
Location, ,
CampusMain Campus, 1,224 acres
ColorsBlue, Red, and White[3]
AffiliationsNCAA Division ISun Belt Conference
MascotSouth Paw

USA has an annual payroll of more than $400 million (US), with over 6,000 employees, and is the second largest employer in Mobile.[5] The University of South Alabama has an annual economic impact of US$3 billion.[6]


University rankings
Forbes[7] 616
U.S. News & World Report[8] 230–301
Washington Monthly[9] 234

The university offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in ten colleges and schools. Several programs offer masters level degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees. Doctoral level degrees are offered in several areas, including Business Administration, Nursing, Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Instructional Design, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Audiology, Marine Science, Psychology, Physical Therapy, and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with Auburn University.

The psychology doctoral program was initiated in 2009 and offers a Combined degree, emphasizing both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology.

USA offers classes in nearby Baldwin County at its Fairhope campus, and recently opened its new Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores.[10] In all, undergraduate students at South Alabama can choose from more than 50 bachelor's degree and certificate programs while there are more than 40 master's degree programs. As of 2011, USA ranks as the 22nd best public university in the southern United States, and 52nd overall (in the South). It has an acceptance rate of 86.5%.[11]

The student-faculty ratio at USA is 18:1,[12] and the school has 44.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. USA students are 57% female and 43% male.[11] As of 2014 the university maintains a 43% six year average graduation rate for four-year courses.[13] As of 2018, the university maintains an 18% four year graduation rate.[14]


The University of South Alabama has ten colleges:

  • Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • Mitchell College of Business
  • College of Education and Professional Studies
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Medicine
  • Doctor of Pharmacy Program (Collaborative program with Auburn University)
  • College of Nursing
  • School of Computing
  • Honors College
  • Graduate School


The University is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by and including the governor of Alabama. The Board appoints a president of the University. Since the founding of the University, there have been three presidents: Frederick Palmer Whiddon (served 1963–1998) and V. Gordon Moulton (served 1998–2013). John W. Smith, the current executive vice president, served as an interim president until the arrival of Tony G. Waldrop in 2014.

Athletics and traditions

The Jaguars participate in 17 NCAA sanctioned sports (8 men 9 women), and are founding members of the Sun Belt Conference. Men's sports include Football, Basketball, Baseball, Tennis, Cross Country, Golf, Indoor Track and Field, and Outdoor Track and Field. Women's sports include Basketball, Softball, Soccer, Tennis, Cross Country, Volleyball, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, and Golf. All sports participate in the Sun Belt Conference, a Division I/FBS conference. The school is often referred to as simply "South", "USA", or the "Jags", but the more formal South Alabama is often used as well.

The university announced the creation of a NCAA sanctioned football team on December 6, 2007, with the goal of fast tracking the program to full FBS status by the 2013 season. The school's first ever game was played on September 5, 2009 in front of 26,000+ fans. The Jaguars football team is led by head coach Steve Campbell. The Jaguars lost at NC State 35-13 during the 2011 football season, the program's first game against a FBS opponent and its first loss after going a combined 19-0 during its first 2+ seasons.[15] While the games for the football team are currently played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, South is in the middle of constructing an on campus stadium, Hancock Whitney Stadium. It is scheduled to open in September 2020.

The Jaguars have future football contests scheduled with Mississippi St, NC State, Hawaii, Navy, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma St, Tulane, South Carolina, Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, and Southern Miss, including home contests with Mississippi State, NC State, Oklahoma State, Louisiana Tech, Tulane, and Navy.[16]

The Jaguars include current players David Freese, who was both the 2011 National League Championship Series MVP and 2011 World Series MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals, and Juan Pierre, a World Series winner with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Coach Steve Kittrell retired at the end of the 2011 season and handed over the position to the coach in waiting, Mark Calvi, who had been on staff for that final year. Calvi was the pitching coach at the University of South Carolina when the Gamecocks won the College World Series in 2010.

The basketball program has reached the NCAA tournament eight times, with its only win coming against the University of Alabama in 1989. The Jaguars have been beaten by the eventual national champion 3 of those 8 times (Michigan, Arizona, & Florida), with the Michigan loss occurring in the second round.

Campus life


  • Beta/Gamma Community consists of fifteen small buildings containing one-person, two-person, and four-person apartments.
  • Epsilon Community contains both traditional and non-traditional residence halls. Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2 are traditional halls housing first-time freshmen Learning Communities (LCs). The non-traditional residence hall of Delta 6 has a kitchenette in every room for freshmen and upperclassmen. A total of 471 residents live in this community with 156 in Delta 6 and the remaining 315 residents in Epsilon 1 & 2.
  • Delta Community is made up of four non-traditional residence halls that house 535 residents: Delta 3–5. Both freshmen and upperclassmen live in this community. Laundry rooms are located at one end of Delta 3, Delta 4, and inside the Delta Commons.
  • Stokes Hall Community opened Fall of 2011 and features 330 suite-style rooms. Stokes Hall also has one classroom, eight study lounges, two multipurpose rooms, interior hallways, and a large laundry room.
  • Azalea Hall Community (previously New Hall Community) opened fall 2013. This four-story traditional residence hall is home to 350 first-time freshmen, with two students per room. The new building includes one classroom that seats 25, two large study lounges, two community lounges, a large laundry room, two Community Director offices, and one faculty member office.
  • Fraternity & Sorority Housing Community consists of five sororities and four fraternities for a total of nine Greek chapter houses on-campus.
  • Camellia Hall Community is a four-story traditional residence that houses 370 first-time freshmen, with two students per room.

The Grove: is a privately owned apartment complex on campus that offers individual leases of 2br/3br apartments to only USA undergraduate and graduate students. (Not affiliated with USA Housing & Residence Life.)

Greek life


Panhellenic Council

Interfraternity Council

National Panhellenic Council

Professional Fraternities

Independent Social Fraternities

The following are Greek organizations that existed at the University of South Alabama that are no longer active sorted by the date they received their national charter

  • Delta Lambda Phi, (Beta Beta Chapter) founded in 2000 till 2005 was the first Gay, Bisexual, and progressive male fraternity at the University of South Alabama that did not discriminate on the bases of sexual orientation.
  • Sigma Nu, (IFC Fraternity), Theta Mu chapter founded in 1970.
  • Sigma Alpha Epsilon, (IFC Fraternity), Alabama Chi chapter founded May 8, 1971. Disbanded in 2005. Colony set to be reestablished in 2018.
  • Lambda Chi Alpha, (IFC Fraternity), Phi Gamma chapter founded in 1972.
  • Theta Xi, (IFC Fraternity), Gamma Gamma chapter founded February 16, 1974
  • Sigma Phi Epsilon, (IFC Fraternity), Alabama Eta Chapter founded 1987
  • Zeta Tau Alpha, (Panhellenic Sorority), Zeta Phi chapter, founded in 1969 (inactive since 1994)
  • Chi Sigma Omega, a fraternity that existed in 1975 for veterans. This was not a national fraternity.

Notable faculty and alumni

Notable faculty of the University of South Alabama include:

  • Alec Yasinsac, Dean of the School of Computing

Notable alumni of the University of South Alabama include:


  • USA Vanguard [19]
  • The Lowdown
  • The Oracle
  • Due South
  • College Student Journal (founded 1966).[20]


  1. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY2013 to FY 2014" (PDF). Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  2. University of South Alabama, Historical Enrollment Numbers
  3. USA Brand Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-28.
  4. University of South Alabama, 2019 Spring Commencement (PDF)
  5. University of South Alabama, Office of Public Relations, "Quick Facts.". (2011-01-25). Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  6. "University of South Alabama Engagement". University of South Alabama.
  7. "America's Top Colleges 2019". Forbes. Retrieved August 15, 2019.
  8. "Best Colleges 2020: National University Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 8, 2019.
  9. "2019 National University Rankings". Washington Monthly. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  10. "USA Opens Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores". Archived from the original on 2015-07-16. Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  11. South Alabama | University of South Alabama | Best College | US News. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  12. "About USA Page". University of South Alabama.
  13. "University of South Alabama Institutional Research" (PDF).
  14. "University of South Alabama - 4 Year Graduation Rates, Gender, Race -".
  15. University of South Alabama – 2011 Football Schedule. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  16. South Alabama Jaguars Football Schedules and Future Schedules. Retrieved on 2012-05-25.
  17. "Texas boy, 12, preps for life at Cornell". Ithaca Journal. Retrieved 3 April 2019. Michael Kearney, a child prodigy, graduated from the University of South Alabama at the age of 10
  18. Hevesi, Dennis. "Rodger McFarlane, Who Led AIDS-Related Groups, Dies at 54", The New York Times, May 18, 2009. Accessed May 19, 2009.
  19. "The Vanguard | South Alabama Student Newspaper". Retrieved 2015-07-15.
  20. "A Journal Pertaining to College Students: College Student Journal". Project Innovation, University of South Alabama.

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