With a population of just under five million, Alabama is home to several well-known colleges that have excelled both academically as well as in the sports world. This southern state, bordered by Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida, is ranked 23rd out of the 50 states for population. Often referred to as “the Heart of Dixie” because of its location, Alabama is home to such economic resources as mineral mining, automobile manufacturing, and timber. Additionally, there is a strong agriculture basis in the northern parts of the state, and the aeronautics program of Huntsville has become well-known throughout the country.

Major Colleges in Alabama

There are a total of 61 different accredited major colleges and universities located in Alabama with the University of Alabama being the largest. The public college system for the state includes:

College Enrollment Location
Alabama State University 5,700 Montgomery
Jacksonville State University 9,500 Jacksonville
Troy University 28,000 Troy
University of Alabama 30,000 Tuscaloosa
University of South Alabama 14,700 Mobile
University of North Alabama 7,200 Florence
University of Alabama in Huntsville 7,600 Huntsville
Auburn University 25,000 Auburn


Several of these colleges in Alabama offer a combination of undergraduate degree programs as well as masters and doctoratesin specialty education options. The medical schools available in the state are the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama. Those interested in law degrees can find options such as the University of Alabama School of Law, the Cumberland School of Law, and Faulkner University. Both the Birmingham School of Law and the Miles Law School offer degrees, but they are not accredited.

Community Colleges in Alabama

The community colleges in Alabama have high enrollments and are located throughout the state, offering both two-year degrees and work-ready programs. These colleges include:

  • Alabama Southern Community College in Monroeville
  • Bevill State Community College in Sumiton
  • Bishop State Community College in Mobile
  • Calhoun Community College in Decatur
  • Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City
  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City
  • Enterprise State Community College in Enterprise
  • Faulkner State Community College in Bay Minette
  • Gadsden State Community College in Gadsden
  • Jefferson Davis Community College in Brewton
  • Jefferson State Community College in Brewton
  • Lawson State Community College in Birmingham
  • Lurleen B. Wallace Community College in Andalusia
  • Northeast Alabama Community College in Rainsville
  • Northwest Shoals Community College in Muscle Shoals
  • Shelton State Community College in Tuscaloosa
  • Snead State Community College in Boaz
  • Wallace Community College in Dothan and Selma
  • Wallace State Community College in Hanceville

All of the community colleges are a part of the Alabama Community College Association. Additionally, the tech schools, which provide specific work-ready programs,  located in the state are affiliated with the association.

Private Schools in Alabama

The vast majority of the private schools in Alabama are connected with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Association of Biblical Higher Education. Some of the more notable private or for-profit schools include:

  • Birmingham Southern College – the United Methodist Church
  • Amridge University – the Churches of Christ
  • Concordia College – the Lutheran Church
  • Judson College – the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Miles College – the Episcopal Church
  • Samford University – the Southern Baptist Convention
  • Southeastern Bible College – an interdenominational school
  • Spring Hill College – Roman Catholic Church
  • Virginia College – a for-profit school

Online Schools in Alabama

As more people choose the option to go to college online, several of the local universities and larger schools in Alabama have chosen to offer online curriculum. The largest school in the state, the University of Alabama, does offer a full online program that provides degree options such as mechanical engineering, accounting, psychology, information technology, and more. The colleges in Alabama that are a part of the online program are all associated with the Southern Regional Education Board Electronic Campus. These schools include:

  • Amridge University
  • Auburn University
  • Calhoun Community College
  • Jacksonville State University
  • Northwest Shoals Community College
  • Troy University, eTroy Program
  • United States Sports Academy
  • University of Alabama, Birmingham
  • University of North Alabama
  • University of South Alabama

Types of Career Opportunities in Alabama

Anyone living in the state of Alabama and pursuing a higher education degree will have a diverse set of career opportunities. Farming and livestock do still hold the higher seats for large business throughout the state, especially in northern areas, but there are also major employers in a variety of business types available. Some of the top employers for career opportunities in Alabama include:

  • Redstone Arsenal (US Army)
  • The Alabama Public School System (Education)
  • Maxwell Air Force base
  • ThyssenKrupp (Steel Manufacturing)
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital (Health and Medical)
  • AT&T (Telecommunications)
  • Mercedes Benz US International (Auto Manufacturing)
  • Hyundai Motor Manufacturing (Auto Manufacturing)
  • Regions Financial Corporation (Banking and Finance)
  • Hunt Refinery (Oil and Coal)
  • JVC America (Optical Disc Replication)

Additionally, the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville offers a variety of career options for those with higher education degrees.

The state of Alabama, in the heart of the south, is home to a variety of different colleges and universities. With more than sixty different accredited institutions, the state can provide a selection of different degrees both online and off, including those in the medical, education, and technology fields.


Alabama Community College Association, www.alabamacca.org

Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_Alabama

Alabama Quick Facts, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/01000.html

Southern Regional Education Board’s Electronic Campus, https://secure.electroniccampus.org/student/scripts/institutions/institutions.asp