UNIVERSITY SCHOLARS PROGRAM
The University Scholars Program is intended for gifted and highly motivated candidates for BA and BS degrees at The University of Alabama whose objectives include degrees at the master’s or doctoral level. In participating University Scholars departments, with a closely integrated undergraduate and graduate program, qualified students begin graduate study in their senior year; such a program may lead to simultaneous completion of requirements for both master’s and bachelor’s degrees, each within its specified framework.
Students in the University Scholars Program are classified as undergraduates until they complete requirements for their undergraduate degrees and therefore may not hold graduate assistantships until their classifications are changed to graduate status. At that time, University Scholars will also become eligible for graduate fellowships and scholarships.
Any department that offers a graduate program may, with the approval of the dean of the Graduate School, participate in the University Scholars Program. The following programs currently are approved to participate in the University Scholars Program: aerospace engineering and mechanics, banking and finance, biological sciences, chemical engineering, chemistry, civil and environmental engineering, communication studies, computer science, consumer sciences, economics (College of Commerce and Business Administration), economics (College of Arts and Sciences), English, electrical and computer engineering, French, geography, German, health studies (sports medicine concentration), human nutrition and hospitality management (food and nutrition concentration) mathematics, mechanical engineering, metallurgical and materials engineering, and operations management.
The following are minimum requirements; divisions or departments may set higher standards:
Phase I: Admission to Phase I is by invitation of the department and the dean of the Graduate School. Admission is chiefly determined by the faculty’s estimate of a student’s talents, motivation, and potential for graduate study. Students may also apply for admission to Phase I through their major department during the second semester of the sophomore year. Contingent upon completion of 61 semester hours of study and with a grade point average in all courses taken of not less than 3.3, students are admitted to Phase I at the beginning of their junior year on recommendation of the departments to which they have applied. During the junior year, students will take between four and six courses in their major field, as advised by their departments, to prepare them for the work of Phase II. Students seeking admission to Phase I will be informed by their departments if their admission requirements differ from those specified here.
Phase II: Admission to graduate study is also by invitation and is facilitated by, but not dependent upon, participation in Phase I. On completion of no fewer than 91 hours (ordinarily at the end of the junior year), students may apply for and be accepted for admission to the Graduate School. They must have grade point averages of not less than 3.3 in all courses. Transfer students are subject to the published residence regulations and must have completed the last 30 hours in residence. Admission to the Graduate School will be granted if the student has (a) met all the criteria above as well as other minimum requirements for graduate admission, (b) completed three-fourths of the hours required for the major and the minor, (c) met all requirements for the core curriculum, and (d) been recommended by the department to which he or she is seeking admission. (In special circumstances, departments may elect to invite an applicant and recommend acceptance of an applicant with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.)
Upon admission to the Graduate School, the student will begin a program of study leading to the master’s or doctoral degree as approved by his or her department and by the dean of the Graduate School. The program of study must be submitted to the Graduate School prior to the student’s enrollment in graduate classes.
The bachelor’s degree normally will be awarded at the commencement immediately following satisfactory completion of the first year of graduate study and attainment of a total of 128 semester hours of credit or the minimum required by the college. Those courses taken in the senior year/first year of graduate study may count toward both the bachelor’s and graduate degrees. No more than 15 hours may be dual counted towards both the bachelor’s and graduate degree. Interested students should check with their departments for specific coursework requirements. Participants in the University Scholars Program are exempt from the degree limit of 36 hours in a single department. The master’s or doctoral degree will be awarded upon satisfactory completion of the requirements for these degrees. In some cases, the bachelor’s and master’s degrees may be awarded simultaneously; the completion of the master’s degree, however, may require an additional time period.
For more information about the University Scholars Program, please contact the Graduate School, Box 870118, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118; (205) 348-5921.