Overview of Alabama Colleges & Schools
The state of Alabama is host to many colleges and universities both public and private. The state is located in the southeastern United States and is bordered by Mississippi to the west, Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, and Florida to the south. Major cities in the state include Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery, with Birmingham being the largest in terms of population. The state operates many public institutions, with the largest being the University of Alabama System.
The University of Alabama System consists of three schools located in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham and Huntsville. Total student enrollment is approximately 55,000 per year, with more than half of the students enrolled at Tuscaloosa. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of two institutions to have a medical school in the state. The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa was founded in 1831 and is one of the oldest institutions in the state.
- University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa)
- University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham)
- University of Alabama at Huntsville (Huntsville)
In addition to the University of Alabama System, the state supports other public four year institutions, classified as either master or research universities. These schools support regional education, providing educational opportunities throughout the state. Most of these schools tend to have smaller enrollment numbers than the UAS campuses. Public colleges and universities are typically less expensive than private schools, and usually have more program offerings as a whole.
Public non-UAS schools include:
- Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville)
- University of North Alabama (Florence)
- University of South Alabama (Mobile)
- Auburn University (Auburn)
- Athens State University (Athens)
Private institutions in the state of Alabama can be found throughout the state. These schools are often small, liberal arts colleges and universities founded by a Christian denomination. Some of the schools are dedicated to theological studies, while others carry the tradition of faith but offer more secular educational programs. Some of the schools are historically black institutions, with a tradition of excellence in the education of young black men and women. Overall, private institutions are more expensive than public institutions but offer smaller class sizes and better student to teacher ratios. Additionally, private schools tend to offer more educational opportunities, such as internships and study abroad programs for their students.
Private schools in Alabama include:
- Birmingham Southern College (Birmingham)
- Huntingdon College (Montgomery)
- Samford University (Birmingham)
- Spring Hill College (Mobile)
- University of Mobile (Mobile)
In addition to colleges and universities, the state of Alabama is home to a large number of publicly funded community colleges and private for profit career schools. Career schools offer short-term educational opportunities that prepare individuals for specific, high demand careers such as health care or cosmetology through their various program offerings. Community colleges also offer technical and vocational training, either through certificate or degree programs. Degree programs at community colleges combine the courses in the area of study with general education courses. Students interested in transferring to a four year institution may complete their freshman and sophomore years at a community college.
The most populous city in Alabama is Birmingham, followed by Montgomery and Mobile. While the most populous county in Alabama is Jefferson County with Mobile County and Madison County near one another. If you are interested in visiting the state of Alabama, consider visiting their state page or the state chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.
College Degree Breakdown for the State of AlabamaSource: Bureau of Labor Statistics, NCES, O*NET Online
|Doctoral or professional degree||40,840||2.1|
|Postsecondary nondegree award||129,970||6.8|
|Some college, no degree||38,000||2.0|
|High school diploma or equivalent||757,140||39.6|
|No formal educational credential||536,600||28.1|
Public Universities & Colleges
There are thirteen public 4-year state universities and colleges in Alabama. These four-year institutions predominantly offer bachelor's or higher level programs and some may even include research facilities. See a state-wide list of the state universities and colleges in Alabama.
Private Universities & Colleges
In Alabama there are twenty-two accredited private four-year colleges. Similar to public schools, private colleges and universities offer bachelor's or higher level programs and research opportunities, although they usually have smaller classes and higher tuition. Compare admission requirements and tuition details for private colleges in Alabama.
Community colleges are public institutions that offer low cost, high quality education for residents throughout the state. These schools offer 2-year programs that grant associate degrees or offer training courses in specialized trades. Alabama" Community colleges also are the number one transfer-out programs available for four-year colleges and universities. Learn more and compare community colleges in Alabama.
Liberal Arts Colleges
Alabama has four accredited liberal arts colleges. These schools primarily focus on undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences through comprehensive and flexible curriculums. Compare all the liberal arts colleges in Alabama.
Bible & Christian Colleges
Bible and Christian colleges generally provide specialized undergraduate education with a focus on religious or biblical study. There are approximately fifteen such colleges in Alabama located throughout the state. See a full list of Christian colleges in Alabama along with program and tuition information.
Browse Schools by Career in Alabama
Follow the links below to get information on accredited schools in our database that offer programs or degrees.
Medicine & Healthcare
- Medical Schools in Alabama (M.D.) (2 Schools)
- Pharmacy Schools in Alabama (Pharm. D.) (2 Schools)
- Veterinary Schools in Alabama (D.V.M.) (2 Schools)
- Nursing Schools in Alabama (BSN, RN, LPN, ...) (77 Schools)
Law & Criminal Justice
- Law Schools in Alabama (J.D.) (3 Schools)