While often confused by people from out of state with its better known cousin, the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, the University of Alabama at Birmingham has made a well-deserved name for itself thanks to the strength of its academic and research programs.
Located on an urban campus in the sprawling southern city of Birmingham, Ala., UAB offers students a chance to attend a leading university while also soaking up southern culture in one of the region’s most historic cities.
Primarily known for its medical school and research programs, the university also offers a nationally ranked quality education in a number of other areas, including business and the sciences. The university is also well-regarded for its research, particularly in the area of human health and medicine.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers 140 degree programs which include bachelor’s, master’s doctoral and professional certifications. The programs are divided into 12 colleges. The most popular majors at UAB include health-related professions, such as medicine, business, education and psychology. While about 40 percent of the classes at UAB have 20 students or less in class, many classes can have 100 or more students. The overall student to faculty ratio is 17 to 1.
Rankings and Reviews
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is highly regarded by many college review publications, which give the university high marks for both its teaching efforts and its research programs. The Princeton Review in 2010 ranked the University of Alabama at Birmingham as one of the best colleges in the southeast, and said the university was one of the best 371 colleges in the nation. A 2009 ranking of universities around the world ranked UAB among the top 200 colleges and universities in the world and the top 100 in the United States. U.S. News and World Report gives the university high marks for its chemistry, mathematics and physics programs and has top rankings for its biological sciences program and school of public health. The university’s nursing program is ranked 21st in the nation and it also has a well-regarded business and engineering program.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which accredits institutions in Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas, and also accredits some overseas American schools in Latin and South America. SACS accredits more than 13,000 colleges, universities, high schools and other institutions.
In addition to its purely academic pursuits, the university is also a well-regarded research institution. In the 2007-2008 academic year alone, the university received more than $400 million in research grants and contracts, and UAB ranks among the top 20 universities in the country in terms of federally-funded research programs.
Much of the university’s research is related to medicine and biological sciences, but there are a number of other areas the university conducts research into as well. Recently a research company that spun off from UAB research into middle infrared lasers was acquired by a Massachusetts firm and will do further work in the Birmingham area.
Also, the university recently received more than $23 million for research and action to eliminate disparities in health care for minorities in Alabama. In addition to its teaching and research activities, the university also runs the UAB hospital, a well-regarded health care facility.