Best Colleges in Alabama 2022

Here are the best colleges and universities in Alabama, categorized into two lists – research universities and liberal arts colleges – to help you find the right kind of school for you.

Best Colleges in Alabama 2022

Colleges and Universities in Alabama

The 54 colleges and universities in Alabama allow students to pursue associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in many fields all over the state. Some of the most notable degree areas include law, nursing, biology, history, engineering, and religious studies. If flexibility is what you need, Alabama has over 20 colleges and universities offering online degree programs.

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Students hoping to obtain a four-year degree at a larger university can attend one of the two largest — as well as rivalry — schools, the University of Alabama and Auburn University. Both schools’ tuition is about $11,000, though the University of Alabama’s student population, at nearly 36,000 students, is larger than Auburn’s. Students also have the option of attending one of Alabama’s 18 private higher education institutes, many of which have religious affiliations. Tuition costs and student populations range greatly among these schools, from $36,000 to $4,000 and nearly 15,000 students to less than 100, letting students factor in their budget with their class size demands.

Additionally, students who need more flexibility can take advantage of the satellite campuses, like at the University of North Alabama, or the 70 online degree programs offered at the University of Alabama, to easily obtain their degrees. For more information on higher education in Alabama, check out some of the state’s top programs and their corresponding career paths.

For die-hard football fans and lovers of sweet tea, obtaining a higher education degree in Alabama can seem like an obvious choice. The Yellowhammer State, however, is also home to a unique mixture of coastal, mountainous, and swamp environments, making it a great choice for students who love soaking up the outdoors.


What are Alabama’s Colleges & Universities?


Alabama’s Best Overall

Related: Differences between research universities and teaching colleges

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How do we determine Alabama's best colleges and universities?

Methodology

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great! If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities for a bachelor’s degree, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching and whether their graduates are themselves advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence in their fields of study.

Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Concentrated Influence provides a ranking that is freer from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

To rank the influence of schools, we first determine the influence of scholars and professionals based on the number of citations and publications they have had over the past 10 years. In addition to publications and citations, we consider the web links to and from these sources, and the page views of those sources. We then match the influential people to their alma maters and institutions of employment, so that their influence is attributed to those schools. Our machine-learning Influence Ranking algorithm produces a numerical score of academic achievements, merits, and citations across Wikipedia, wikidata, Crossref, Semantic Scholar and an ever-growing body of data. If you are interested in exploring how and why we rank by influence, explore our methodology in more depth.

We’ve identified 28 colleges and universities in Alabama that meet our criteria. This list of the top colleges in Alabama below focuses on schools that offer bachelor’s degrees. The ranking features fully accredited public and private colleges and universities in Alabama.

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Best Colleges in Alabama 2022

  1. #2

    Auburn University

    Auburn , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/28

    What is Auburn University known for?

    Auburn University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Economics
    • Business
    • History
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1227/25

    What is University of Alabama at Birmingham known for?

    University of Alabama at Birmingham’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Nursing
    • Philosophy
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Anthropology
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Computer Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1363/28

    What is University of Alabama in Huntsville known for?

    University of Alabama in Huntsville’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Engineering
    • Physics
    • Nursing
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    What is University of South Alabama known for?

    University of South Alabama’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Anthropology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
    • Earth Sciences
    • Engineering
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #8

    Jacksonville State University

    Jacksonville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    What is Jacksonville State University known for?

    Jacksonville State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Literature

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #9

    Troy University

    Troy , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    What is Troy University known for?

    Troy University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Mathematics
    • Computer Science
    • Physics
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  7. #10

    Alabama State University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    99%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    950/17

    What is Alabama State University known for?

    Alabama State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Political Science
    • Social Work
    • Engineering
    • Education
    • Medical
    • Computer Science
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #11

    Faulkner University

    Montgomery , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    76%

    Graduation

    27%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1080/20

    What is Faulkner University known for?

    Faulkner University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Law
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Medical
    • Education
    • Mathematics
    • Psychology
    • Computer Science
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #12

    Auburn University at Montgomery

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    96%

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    4K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1035/21

    What is Auburn University at Montgomery known for?

    Auburn University at Montgomery’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Political Science
    • Economics
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Education
    • Biology
    • Computer Science
    • Psychology
    • History

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #13

    University of North Alabama

    Florence , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    83%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1097/23

    What is University of North Alabama known for?

    University of North Alabama’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • History
    • Communications
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Business
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  11. #14

    Birmingham–Southern College

    Birmingham , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    60%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/25

    What is Birmingham–Southern College known for?

    Birmingham–Southern College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Psychology
    • Mathematics
    • Philosophy

    Most Influential Alumni

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  12. #15

    Spring Hill College

    Mobile , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $21K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1112/22

    What is Spring Hill College known for?

    Spring Hill College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Religious Studies
    • Philosophy
    • Education
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  13. #16

    Miles College

    Fairfield , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Graduation

    24%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Miles College known for?

    Miles College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Social Work
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Criminal Justice

    Most Influential Alumni

  14. #17

    Alabama A&M University

    Normal , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    925/17

    What is Alabama A&M University known for?

    Alabama A&M University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Physics
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Social Work
    • Political Science
    • Sociology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Literature
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  15. #18

    Oakwood University

    Huntsville , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $20K

    Acceptance

    89%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    980/19

    What is Oakwood University known for?

    Oakwood University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Social Work
    • Education
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  16. #19

    Columbia Southern University

    Orange Beach , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    15K

    What is Columbia Southern University known for?

    Columbia Southern University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Criminal Justice
    • Computer Science
    • Business
    • Social Work
    • Medical
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  17. #20

    Huntingdon College

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $28K

    Acceptance

    54%

    Graduation

    42%

    Student body

    <1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1107/20

    What is Huntingdon College known for?

    Huntingdon College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Literature
    • Sociology
    • Biology
    • Communications
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Religious Studies
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  18. #21

    University of Montevallo

    Montevallo , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    54%

    Student body

    2K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1135/22

    What is University of Montevallo known for?

    University of Montevallo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Biology
    • Literature
    • Social Work
    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • History
    • Communications
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  19. #22

    Stillman College

    Tuscaloosa , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    22%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Stillman College known for?

    Stillman College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Education
    • Religious Studies
    • Literature
    • Psychology
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  20. #23

    Talladega College

    Talladega , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $14K

    Graduation

    30%

    Student body

    1K

    What is Talladega College known for?

    Talladega College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Mathematics
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • History
    • Social Work
    • Psychology
    • Education
    • Chemistry
    • Biology
    • Political Science

    Most Influential Alumni

  21. #24

    University of West Alabama

    Livingston , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    93%

    Graduation

    40%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    940/20

    What is University of West Alabama known for?

    University of West Alabama’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Earth Sciences
    • History
    • Mathematics
    • Nursing
    • Psychology
    • Literature
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Economics
    • Communications

    Most Influential Alumni

  22. #25

    University of Mobile

    Mobile , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $25K

    Acceptance

    67%

    Graduation

    49%

    Student body

    1K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1085/23

    What is University of Mobile known for?

    University of Mobile’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Political Science
    • Psychology
    • Communications
    • Sociology
    • Mathematics
    • Religious Studies
    • Biology
    • Business

    Most Influential Alumni

  23. #26

    Athens State University

    Athens , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Student body

    2K

    What is Athens State University known for?

    Athens State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Medical
    • Chemistry
    • Education
    • History
    • Business
    • Religious Studies
    • Sociology
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  24. #27

    Amridge University

    Montgomery , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Graduation

    25%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Amridge University known for?

    Amridge University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Religious Studies
    • Business
    • Criminal Justice
    • Medical
  25. #28

    Judson College

    Marion , AL

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    37%

    Graduation

    32%

    Student body

    <1K

    What is Judson College known for?

    Judson College ’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    • Nursing
    • Literature
    • Religious Studies
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • History
    • Psychology
    • Social Work

    Most Influential Alumni

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Alabama’s Best Colleges in Your Area of Interest

Resources for College-Bound Students

2021 Ranking Archive

Many of our 2022 undergraduate focused rankings look considerably different than 2021. That’s because we took a fundamentally different apporach. For 2021 we utiulized our Concentrated Influence algorithm, designed to take away the size advantage larger schools have when we rank their faculty and alumni’s academic influence. Concentrated influence highlights smaller schools that are proportionally as successful as larger universities at cultivating influential alumni and faculty.

Alabama’s Research Universities

  1. Auburn University
  2. University of Alabama
  3. University of Alabama at Birmingham
  4. University of Alabama in Huntsville
  5. Samford University

Alabama’s Liberal Arts Colleges

  1. Tuskegee University
  2. Birmingham–Southern College
  3. Spring Hill College
  4. Huntingdon College
  5. Oakwood University
  6. University of Montevallo
  7. University of North Alabama
  8. University of Mobile
  9. Troy University
  10. Judson College