Regarded as Alabama’s oldest four-year public University, the University of North Alabama or UNA is a co-educational University strategically located in Florence, Alabama. It was originally established as LaGrange College in 1830. After a few name and status changes, the institute was finally renamed as the University of North Alabama on August 15, 1974, symbolizing its transformation into an all-inclusive and regional University. The main campus area covers 130 acres in Florence, and is nestled within a four-city area which also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals.
The University of North Alabama presents its students with a choice of more than 60 undergraduate majors. It provides graduate programs in diverse areas of study such as business administration, criminal justice, english, community counseling, special education, elementary education, secondary education, and educational administration. It offers Alabama’s only four-year degree in culinary arts. UNA also confers the Education Specialist (Ed.S.) and master’s degrees in over five fields of study. The University is composed of the following academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business; College of Education; and College of Nursing and Allied Health.
The University of North Alabama is fully accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to grant bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees to the students. The University has several other accreditations from discipline-based organizations such as Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
The University offers Honors Program for outstanding students who form a cohesive community of student scholars and faculty members. The Honors students enjoy an array of educational benefits such as cultural travel opportunities, eminent guest speakers and small-group classes with notable professors. Honors students have special access to the Honors Center which features meeting areas, computer labs, study rooms, lounge and a kitchen. Every Honors student gets scholarships straight from the Honors Program.
UNA offers online education to distance learning students who are unable to attend regular college due to various reasons. Such students can take the full online MBA program, Nursing, or Sociology Online Program that can be completed through Internet. The certificates and degrees earned online through the University of North Alabama are significant and they are valued by employers throughout the world.
Students can register for the online classes using Internet or phone. Faculty members are always available to answer the queries and solve problems. Students taking online classes have full access to UNA’s Collier Library, and they are also eligible to apply for financial aid.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Each semester, the University of North Alabama enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Freshman students seeking admission must take either SAT or ACT test, and send the scores to UNA along with completed application form. Transfer students are encouraged to apply. Transfer student applicants must send their transcripts from all previously attended institutions, no matter whether or not credit was actually earned. They also need to send their ACT or SAT test score with application.
International students have always flocked to the University of North Alabama to fulfill their education needs. They always receive a warm welcome at the University and the surrounding community. Students whose native language is not English must attend the ESL (English as a Second Language) certificate program accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation. International students at UNA form a diverse group of nations which makes for a true global experience.
Tuition fees at the University of North Alabama are considered among the lowest in the state and in the United States. UNA provides financial aid to students in different forms such as grants, scholarships, student loans and work-study programs. Grants and scholarships are offered as gifts by the state and private bodies; whereas loans are amounts that must be returned with interest. All students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Scholarships offered at UNA include Phi Theta Kappa Scholarships; Endowed and Coca Cola Dream Challenge Scholarships; Army ROTC Scholarships; Service Scholarships; Performance Scholarships; and Presidential Mentors Academy. Loans offered to the students are basically of two types: Subsidized Stafford Loans and Unsubsidized Stafford Loans.
Students can apply for grants such as Federal Pell Grant; Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant; Alabama Student Assistance Program (ASAP); National SMART Grant (National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant); and Academic Competitiveness Grant.
Under its work-study programs, the University of North Alabama offers a wide variety of opportunities for competent students to work on campus while pursuing college careers. The institute offers over 500 jobs available during the fall-spring semesters. The types of jobs may range from desk assistant to lab assistant in residence halls, from library assistant to maintenance work, and from office work to intramurals.
Student Financial Aid Details
Student life at UNA is vibrant and offers an experience that will be cherished forever. The Student Government Association (SGA) at University of North Alabama is the voice of the student body. It provides various services to protect and defend the rights and responsibilities of the University students. The Student Government Association promotes cultural, social, and educational welfare to create a spirit of unity among students. There are several on-campus clubs and organizations. Students can either join an existing club or create a new one.
The University of North Alabama has a strong Greek scene. There are several fraternities and sororities governed by the Inter-Fraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, and National Pan-Hellenic Council. They organize various events and programs. The Greek life sponsored programs include Greek Awards, Greek Retreat, Greek Week, NPHC Week, Pahellenic Auction, and Walk a Mile in Her Shoes. Homecoming is an important University sponsored event. The Greek organizations include:
- Alpha Tau Omega
- Delta Chi
- Kappa Sigma
- Alpha Delta Pi
- Alpha Gamma Delta
- Delta Sigma Theta
- Zeta Phi Beta
Flor-Ala is the student-run weekly newspaper that provides campus, local, and regional news to the University community. It was established in 1931.
The Diorama is the campus yearbook, produced throughout the academic year. Lights and Shadows is the art-literary magazine of the University that is published yearly. All students can contribute their original art work for the literary magazine.
The newspaper and yearbook are staffed by the scholarship students who work as executive and associate designers, editors, staff members, and photographers.
UNA has the most scenic campuses in Alabama. It boasts a pedestrian-friendly setting in Florence’s historic district. The marvelously restored historic buildings include the 18th century and early 19th century halls and classroom facilities that are worth beholding. Wesleyan Hall is one the University’s oldest buildings where the well-known Civil War General William Tecumseh coined the truism “War is hell.”
Some of the important landmarks in the campus include Laura Harrison Plaza, Wesleyan Hall and Bell, Rogers Hall (Courtview), Bibb Graves Hall, Coby Hall, The Guillot University Center, Collier Library, The Memorial Amphitheater, Opler Clock, Keller Hall, Willingham Hall, and the President’s Home.
Collier Library includes nearly 330,000-volumes of several notable musicians, actors and writers. The script collections include those of actors Ernest Borgnine, Lucas Black, Elinor Donahue, Tom Cherones, and Noble Willingham. The library includes extensive collection of books related to the academic curriculum. The students seeking online education can also access the references available online.
Housing and Dining:
The department of Residence Life at UNA fosters friendly, diverse residential communities which create a sense of active learning environments to augment the students’ commitment in their own personal development as well as academic success. Some of the important residence halls include Appleby East and Appleby West for women; Lafayette Hall Home for Honors students; LaGrange Hall; and Life House. Apart from providing housing facilities to the students, these residence halls also feature a recreation center, health and wellness center.
Dining on campus is a significant part of the college experience. Students, faculty, staff, and guests can enjoy affordable dining on the UNA campus. Sodexo Campus Services provides food services ranging from local dining plans to birthday cakes and the catered events. Sodexo boasts a variety of dining options including meal plans. Flex Dollars, also known as Dining Dollars, are used to purchase food and beverages at the following dining locations at UNA:
- Towers Dining Hall, an all-you-care-to-eat dining facility
- The Roar Store, a convenience store
- The GUC Food Court at the Guillot University Center
- Jazzman’s, a full-service gourmet coffee bar
Places of Interest:
The University is located just a few blocks from the Tennessee River in Florence, one of the four cities jointly known as the Shoals. The Shoals area is steeped in culture, arts, and entertainment. It presents various sightseeing options and things to do for the students and visitors. Some of the important places of interest include FAME Studios, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, the Wilson Dam, the hometown of Helen Keller and W.C. Handy, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and more.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The University of North Alabama fields men’s and women’s teams in more than ten varsity sports which participate in Division II of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) and Gulf South Conference. The sports teams are nicknamed as Lions, and they participate in a variety of sports such as basketball, baseball, football, cross-country, golf, softball, and tennis. Their mascot is Leo III & Una; and the colors are Purple and Gold.
Sports facilities available at UNA include Braly Municipal Stadium, Flowers Hall, Mike D. Lane Field, Softball Complex, Hall of Champions, Athletic Hall of Fame, Athletic Training/ Sports Medicine, Study Hall, Tennis Facility, and Soccer Complex. Some of the selected student-athletes taking part in the sports are awarded with the athletic scholarship aid.
UNA’s Recreational Sports and Fitness Program is committed to providing an excellent experience for the students, staff, and faculty members. It aims at improving the value of life on campus and beyond. Through various events and programs, the intramurals departments seeks to promote a healthy lifestyle and foster personal development through an engaging recreational experience. Members can participate in the intramural sports and club sports such as bass fishing, paintball, soccer (men’s), and triathlon.
The term “Lion Pride” is frequently used in the UNA community to express the strong level of commitment to University traditions and activities reflected among the students, alumni and friends of the institute.
UNA boasts the nation’s only live Lion mascots (Leo III and Una) living on campus. Born on November 18, 2002, Leo III and Una are African lions that reside in the George H. Carroll Lion Habitat.
The Miss UNA Scholarship Pageant is an authorized preliminary for the Miss Alabama/ Miss America beauty pageant. The Miss UNA Scholarship pageant has been a tradition in the University for more than 30 years.
Some of the notable UNA graduates are Clay Bennett, Pulitzer award-winning editorial cartoonist; Mark Thompson, radio personality in Mark & Brian Morning Show; Tom York, host of Tom York Morning Show and Emmy Winner; Emmet O’Neal, Alabama Governor; Tyrone Bell, former Green Bay Packers defensive back; Harlon Hill, former NFL player; Randy Cross, Fulbright scholar and editor of T.S. Stribling autobiography; and David Hood, a world-acclaimed bassist.
University of North Alabama. 2009.
Miller, Frederic P. Vandome, Agnes F. McBrewster, John. University of North Alabama. Alphascript Publishing, 2009. Print.