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Initially founded in 1820 as one of the first universities in the early 19th century southwestern frontier of the United States, the University of Alabama is a large comprehensive flagship public research institution with both sea-grant and space-grant status. From its sprawling 1,970-acre main campus headquarters in the heart of downtown Tuscaloosa along the Black Warrior River, UA serves the academic and professional needs of over 36,100 students. In 13 distinct academic divisions, UA offers academic programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees, including many of which are now available online.

With a reputation for being the “Capstone” of higher education, UA is currently ranked as the 88th best national university, 38th top public school, and 15th best college for veterans in the country by the U.S. News and World Report. In particular, UA is recognized for hosting the 13th best online graduate business programs in America. The University of Alabama remains the single leader among public universities nationwide in the enrollment of National Merit Scholars with over 600 presently attending. UA is also acclaimed for being the 194th top university for social mobility and community service according to Washington Monthly magazine.

University of Alabama Accreditation Details

As a leader of academic excellence, UA has been formally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Many of the university’s selected degree programs have also been given the stamp of approval by discipline-specific associations. Other notable accreditations include the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), American Bar Association (ABA), American Psychological Association (APA), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).

University of Alabama Application Requirements

With an acceptance rate of just 51%, UA employs a highly competitive admission process that involves reviewing applications based on their potential for success. Incoming freshmen must already possess or plan to earn a high school diploma with four units of English, four units of social science, three units of mathematics, three units of natural science, and one unit of foreign language. UA prefers to admit freshmen who have earned a minimum ACT score of 21 or SAT score of 1000 while maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Students wishing to transfer to the University of Alabama must have earned an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale for all college coursework attempted. Transfer credits will not be accepted from students who have taken technical, remedial, or vocational classes as well as courses at unaccredited colleges. Incoming transfers with less than 24 college credit hours will also need to meet the current freshman admission requirements.

At the graduate level, aspiring UA students must have already earned a bachelor’s degree or non-U.S. equivalent from an accredited educational institution. Graduate applicants must have maintained a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 in the last 60 semester hours of their undergraduate degree. Earning an acceptable score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) may also be required for certain degree programs.

For consideration, online applicants to the University of Alabama must include:

• A non-refundable application fee of $40 (undergraduate) or $50 (graduate).
• Standardized testing scores for the SAT, ACT, GRE, GMAT, or TOEFL.
• Official academic transcripts for every educational institution attended.
• At least two letters of recommendation.
• A one to two-page statement of purpose describing their background and goals.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Online students attending the Bama By Distance program at UA will follow a different tuition bracket than on-campus students. In-state online undergraduate students will pay $333 per credit hour and online graduate students pay $354 per credit hour. Online students residing out-of-state must pay $916 per credit hour for undergraduate credit hour and $1,000 per credit hour per graduate credit hour. In addition, online students can expect to pay around $400 in course fees and $600 for textbooks each semester. Distance learners can add on activity, recreation, health service, and athletic privileges for an additional $349 per semester.

In order to help cover these academic costs, the University of Alabama offers numerous financial aid options for all students filling out a FAFSA form. UA accepts Federal Perkins, Direct Subsidized Stafford, Direct Unsubsidized Stafford, Direct Parent PLUS, and Grad PLUS loans, but these must be repaid with interest. Those with financial need may also qualify for the Federal Pell Grant, FSEOG Grant, or the Alabama Student Assistance Program. Incoming students are automatically considered for various scholarships, including the Back to Bama Scholarship, Academic Elite Scholarship, and Crimson Alumni Scholarships.

Online Degrees Available

Within the College of Continuing Studies, UA provides numerous online degree options that can be completed 100% through the Bama By Distance program. Online students benefit from taking accredited courses from home, attending class at convenient times, balancing work/family obligations, and earning credit for prior learning experience. University of Alabama students can complete bachelor’s, master’s, specialist, and doctoral degrees online in various subject areas. Some of the high-ranking online graduate education programs include:

M.A. in Educational Psychology

Delivered in an innovative online format to complement busy schedules, the M.A. in Educational Psychology program is focused on educating certified school teachers about performance assessment to expand their career options in school psychology. Within the 30-credit curriculum, students will receive specializing training from a generalist approach in psychological research, practice, and assessment for application in diverse school settings.

M.A. in Elementary Education

Ideal for educators working full-time in the classroom, the M.A. in Elementary Education is offered fully online to build essential knowledge and skill sets for obtaining master’s-level teacher certification within Alabama. Along with frequent practicum experiences, the 30-credit program provides training on instructional methods and allows for research participation to study school-related issues impacted students in grades K-6.

M.A. in Special Education

Depending on each teacher’s individual career interests, the M.A. in Special Education program is delivered wholly online with concentrations in Collaborative K-6 Teaching, Collaborative 6-12 Teaching, or Gifted & Talented Education. Online students in this program will graduate from the University of Alabama with Class A endorsement in special education and the skills needed to meet the unique educational needs of students with exceptionalities.

For more information, see Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Education.