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Top Alabama Colleges

9 of the Top Colleges in Alabama

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Top Ranked U.S. Colleges: Universities | Public Universities | Liberal Arts Colleges | Engineering | Business | Women's | Most Selective

Alabama has a wide range of options for both public and private institutions.  From a large public university like the University of Alabama to small Huntingdon College, Alabama has schools to match a wide range of student personalities and interests. The 9 top Alabama colleges listed below represent such diverse school types and missions that I have simply listed them alphabetically rather than force them into any sort of artificial ranking -- it makes little sense to try and compare a large public university to a small private Christian college.  The schools were chosen based on factors such as academic reputation, curricular innovations, first-year retention rates, six-year graduation rates, selectivity, financial aid and student engagement.

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Auburn University

Auburn University
just camilla / Flickr
  • Location: Auburn, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 24,602 (19,926 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: over 140 degree programs; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strengths in the liberal arts and sciences; over 300 student clubs and organizations; strong Division I athletic programs within the  Southeastern Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Auburn University profile

Birmingham-Southern College

Birmingham Southern College
goforchris / Flickr
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 1,549 (1,508 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Methodist liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: good financial aid; strong student-faculty interaction; featured in Loren Pope's Colleges That Change Lives; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; good financial aid
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Birmingham-Southern College profile

Huntingdon College

Huntingdon College
Spyder Monkey / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Montgomery, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 1,075 (all undergraduate)
  • Type of Institution: private Methodist college
  • Distinctions: 15 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 20; popular programs in business; most students receive grant aid; level tuition payments for four years
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Huntingdon College profile

Samford University

Samford University
Sweetmoose6 / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 4,658 (2,908 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Christian university
  • Distinctions: largest private university in Alabama; 138 undergraduate majors; 12 to 1 student / faculty ratio; no classes are taught by graduate students; good value; member of the NCAA Division I Southern Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Samford University profile

Spring Hill College

Spring Hill College
Altairisfar / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Mobile, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 1,521 (1,310 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Catholic college
  • Distinctions: 13 to 1 student / faculty ratio; average class size of 18; attractive 381-acre campus; good value; most students receive grant aid; popular programs in business and nursing; founded in 1830 (oldest Catholic college in the Southeast)
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the Spring Hill College profile

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Alabama in Huntsville Shelby Center for Science and Technology
Anivron / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Huntsville, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 7,681 (6,119 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio; popular programs in business, nursing and engineering; strong research initiatives including partnerships with NASA, the U.S. Army, Pratt & Whitney, and others; NCAA Division II Athletics (Division I Hockey)
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Alabama in Huntsville profile

University of Alabama Main Campus

University of Alabama
maggiejp / Flickr
  • Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 28,699 (23,700 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public university
  • Distinctions: Alabama's flagship institution of higher learning; highly ranked public university; good value; chapter of  Phi Beta Kappa for strong liberal arts and sciences; strong athletic programs in the NCAA Division I Southeastern Conference
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Alabama profile

University of Mobile

University of Mobile
MattTheCat / Wikimedia Commons
  • Location: Mobile, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 1,570 (1,425 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: private Christian university
  • Distinctions: 14 to 1 student / faculty ratio; 800-acre campus; good value; broad academic offerings for a small college; popular programs in nursing, business and education
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Mobile profile

University of Montevallo

University of Montevallo Reynolds Hall
Courtesy of Matt Orton
  • Location: Montevallo, Alabama
  • Enrollment: 3,044 (2,567 undergraduates)
  • Type of Institution: public liberal arts college
  • Distinctions: good value; attractive 160-acre campus; center of campus is a National Historic District; 75 majors to choose from; 16 to 1 student / faculty ratio
  • For acceptance rate, test scores, costs and other information, visit the University of Montevallo profile
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