University of Alabama

University of Alabama - Birmingham

The University of Alabama - Birmingham is the newest school in the University of Alabama system. UAB offers both bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as PhDs. Learn about its ranking, financial aid, and student life, and get the pros and cons of studying at the University of Alabama - Birmingham.

Is the University of Alabama - Birmingham the School for You?

The University of Alabama - Birmingham (UAB) was founded in 1969 and is a public 4-year university offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, where UAB occupies 88 city blocks and more than 300 acres, students can pursue more than 130 degrees in the state's largest city. Read more to weigh the pros and cons of attending UAB.


  • No graduate assistants teaching classes
  • Large number of program offerings
  • Dual credit, credit for life experience, and AP credit accepted
  • Average indebtedness of 2011 graduates was $5,097 lower than the national average
  • Total cost was $1,348 less than the national average for 4-year public colleges


  • Graduation rate was 17 percentage points lower than the national average
  • Student-faculty ratio is three higher than the national average

Rankings and School Analysis

The University of Alabama - Birmingham is a large, 4-year public research institution offering a comprehensive range of 137 degrees to more than 17,000 students per year. U.S. News and World Report ranked UAB in its Best National Universities and Top Public Schools lists in 2013. Additionally, the Carnegie Foundation classifies UAB as a school with high research activity.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), there are no instructional graduate teaching assistants at UAB, which means that all classes are taught by professors. The total cost, which includes tuition and fees plus room and board, was $16,512 for the 2012-13 academic year. This was more than $1,000 less than the national average. According to the Project on Student Debt, UAB graduates leave school with an average of $21,503 in debt - roughly $5,000 less than the national average of $26,600.

However, the 4-year graduation rate at UAB was 23% for bachelor's-level students who started in 2005, per the NCES. This is considerably lower than the national average graduation rate of 40%. In addition, the student-faculty ratio at UAB is 18:1 - three higher than the national average of 15:1 reported by the NCES - so classes may be slightly larger compared to similar schools.

Getting In and Financial Aid at the University of Alabama - Birmingham

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis at UAB, but the priority deadline is June 1, according to the school's website. You'll need to submit your high school transcript, your SAT or ACT scores, an application, and a $30 application fee. Most incoming undergraduates in 2011 took the ACT, and the middle range of students earned a composite score between 21 and 27. The NCES reports that the acceptance rate for 2011 was 72%, which was 8.2 percentage points higher than the national average for that year.

If you want to be considered for the most possible financial aid, you should submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid by March 1. According to the NCES, 88% of all full-time beginning undergraduates received some sort of financial aid during the 2011-2012 academic year.

Admissions and Financial Aid
Regular Application Deadline (2013) June 1 (priority)*
Financial Aid Priority Deadline (2014-2015) March 1***
Application Fee (2012-2013) $30**
Acceptance Rate (2011) 72%**
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $6,798 in-state, $15,462 out-of-state**
Average Financial Aid Package (2011) $9,420 (full-time undergraduates)****
Percent of Students With Need Met (2011)10.5%****
Student Loan Default Rate (2009) 5.9%**

Student Life at the University of Alabama - Birmingham

While less than a quarter of all students live on campus, coed, apartment-style and themed housing is available. There are a variety of activities available to students, including NCAA division I teams, Greek life and a radio station. Various student clubs and organizations are offered as well.

Since UAB is a large research university, undergraduates are encouraged to embark on their own research projects under the guidance of faculty mentors. There are also a number of summer research programs, including a trip to Fiji to study ethno-archaeology. UAB's location in Alabama's largest city provides proximity to dining, shopping, cultural events, and the possibility of internship opportunities.

Student Life
Campus Setting Mid-size city**
Student Population (2013) 17,575 (11,128 undergraduates)**
Male-to-Female Student Ratio (2011) 42% male, 58% female**
% of Full-Time Students (2011) 73%**
% of In-State Students (2010) 90%**
% of International Students (2010) 1%**
Retention Rate (2011) 79% (full-time)**
Campus Housing Available Yes**
% of Students Living On Campus (No date given) 21%***
Number of Libraries 3*
Extracurricular Activities NCAA Division I athletics and various student organizations*

Sources: *University of Alabama - Birmingham, **NCES College Navigator, ***College Board, ****U.S. News and World Report

Contact Information

  • Address: Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Box 99, 1720 2nd Ave. S., Birmingham, AL, 35294-4600
  • Phone: 800-421-8743