Birmingham was one of the fastest growing cities in Alabama during the late 1920s and early 1930s. The University of Alabama decided to establish an extension campus there that would allow students to take some UA courses. That campus opened as the Birmingham Extension Center in 1936. Just over 100 students enrolled and took classes in a former private home. When the UA medical center moved to the city, the university saw the need to establish a new standalone campus. In the 1960s, the medical school and the extension center merged to form the new University of Alabama in Birmingham. UAB then grew at such a fast rate that it made the list of the top growing schools in the nation.
UAB receives a high level of funding from public and private agencies, which increased the reputation of its medical programs. Some of its health sciences and natural sciences programs now rank among the country's best. The university itself ranks as one of the best in the nation according to organizations like ARWU and publications like U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Washington Monthly. ARWU also found that UAB ranks on a global scale. With a total enrollment of more than 11,000 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, UAB is now one of the largest public colleges in the state and one of the largest research colleges in Alabama.
University of Alabama – Birmingham Accreditation Details
One thing that students should look at when comparing colleges is whether it has accreditation at both the regional level and program level. The regional level means that the university has institutional accreditation and can give degrees to students who finish their studies. Program level means that specific programs have accreditation from professional organizations and agencies. The University of Alabama at Birmingham has both. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) gave the school its regional accreditation and is responsible for ensuring the school maintains its accreditation. Program accreditation comes from groups like the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET), which accredits its programs in computer and information sciences and all its engineering programs. Some of the other groups that granted the university program accreditation include:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education
- Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs
- American Dental Association
- Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
- Council on Education for Public Health
- American Occupational Therapy Association
- Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs
- Liaison Committee on Medical Education
- American Optometric Association
- Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education
- National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
- American Physical Therapy Association
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
- American Psychological Association
- Commission on English Language Program Accreditation
- National Association of Schools of Theatre
- American Academy of Forensic Sciences
University of Alabama – Birmingham Application Requirements
Those applying to UAB must ensure that they meet the basic requirements ahead of time. Those requirements include the successfully completion of a college prep program in high school. While the university does not require that students take AP or honors classes, it does require that students take 17 core courses that include English, math, science, foreign language, social sciences and electives. Students must take math courses above introductory algebra as well. The average GPA for students accepted is 2.25, and accepted students have an average score of 20 on the ACT or 950 on the math and critical reading sections of the SAT.
UAB applicants must complete the online application and pay a $30 fee, but there are waivers available for those who cannot afford to pay. They must also submit an official ACT or SAT score and a high school transcript. This transcript must come directly from the high school the student attended. Students can log back into the system to see if they received a response from the university or if they need to submit any additional materials.
Tuition and Fees
UAB gives students the option of living on or off campus. All students pay $528 for the first credit hour they take and $305 for each additional credit hour of classes they take each semester as an Alabama resident. Non-residents pay $940 for the first credit hour and $717 for each additional credit hour. Students who take more than 12 hours of courses will also pay a campus dining fee of $225, which lets them pick up snacks and get meals from the dining halls on campus. Students who live on campus must also pay for a room in one of the campus residence halls. Rates for all programs in nursing, public health and health professions is slightly higher. Residents pay $586 for the first hour and $363 for all remaining hours, while non-residents pay $1,075 for the first hour and $852 for all additional hours.
After submitting the FAFSA, UAB will notify students in writing of the financial packages available to them. These packages usually include a combination of scholarships, grants and loans. UAB also has some jobs on campus available for those who qualify for the work study program.
UAB Center for AIDS Research
The UAB Center for AIDS Research is one of the top research institutes in the country. The institute consists of several different departments that remain devoted to helping those suffering from AIDS and HIV around the world. Doctors and scientists working for the institute perform research into treatment methods, slowing the progression of the diseases and identifying those most at risk of contracting the diseases. Students enrolled in some of the research and health care programs through UAB will have the chance to work with those researchers and scientists. The institute also offers programs that pay graduate students for the work they do.
This center also provides opportunities for psychology and social work students. Its community outreach program runs special events, forums and classes for those living in Birmingham and other parts of Alabama. Those programs help patients diagnosed with HIV or AIDS get help paying for their medications, making arrangements for support at home, getting food and seeking treatment. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is one of the only colleges in the country that gives students first hand experience working with AIDS/HIV patients and helping those at risk for contracting the diseases in the future.