Alabama’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

Graduate school may be a critical step in your higher education, whether you are interested in expanding your knowledge, learning a specialization, or earning advanced credentials required by your profession. The best graduate schools in Alabama offer advanced degrees, such as master’s and doctoral degrees, as well as opportunities for independent research, mentorships, and professional networking.

Alabama’s Best Graduate Schools of 2021

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.

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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.

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What are Alabama’s Colleges & Universities?


Alabama’s Best Overall


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The following list is composed of graduate schools, both private and public. We’ve identified 15 graduate schools in Alabama that satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. It must be a non-profit institution.
  2. It must be fully accredited.
  3. It must offer doctoral degrees and a broad array of graduate degrees.

How do we determine Alabama's best graduate schools?

The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why influence gets at the heart of what is truly best in education. At the undergraduate level, the best colleges and universities are those with the highest concentration of influence. Our Concentrated Influence metric adjusts overall influence by size of undergraduate student body, thus allowing smaller schools to compete with larger schools so long as they have proportionately as strong influential faculty and alums.

But at the graduate level, the combined influence score of a college or university’s top academic influencers is the best indicator of academic excellence. Overall influence, and not influence controlled by other variables, thus becomes the best gauge of academic excellence at the graduate level. Where smaller size is an advantage at the undergraduate level (hence Concentrated Influence), graduate studies benefit from a large and vibrant community of graduate students, who promise to become the new generation of academic influencers.

If you are serious about finding the best graduate schools, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and arbitrary performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is free from bias, insulated from manipulation, and reflective of real-world educational outcomes.

Find out more about our methodology here.

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10 Best Grad Schools in Alabama

  1. #1

    University of Alabama

    #184 institution's historical influence
    #94 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    36K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/27

    Tuscaloosa, AL

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    What is University of Alabama known for?

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

    • Law
    • Biology
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Education
    • History
    • Literature
    • Engineering
    • Political Science
    • Mathematics

    Most Influential Alumni

  2. #2

    Auburn University

    #298 institution's historical influence
    #1155 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    85%

    Graduation

    79%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1235/28

    Auburn, AL

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    What is Auburn University known for?

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

    • Engineering
    • Business
    • Biology
    • Education
    • History
    • Economics
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Mathematics
    • Medical

    Most Influential Alumni

  3. #3

    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    #428 institution's historical influence
    #1232 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    81%

    Graduation

    61%

    Student body

    19K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1227/25

    Birmingham, AL

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    What is University of Alabama at Birmingham known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Biology
    • Philosophy
    • Literature
    • Education
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • History
    • Computer Science
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  4. #4

    Tuskegee University

    #452 institution's historical influence
    #338 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $23K

    Acceptance

    61%

    Graduation

    52%

    Student body

    3K

    Median SAT/ACT

    989/20

    Tuskegee, AL

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    What is Tuskegee University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Literature
    • Business
    • Political Science
    • Engineering
    • Medical
    • Biology
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Chemistry

    Most Influential Alumni

  5. #5

    University of Alabama in Huntsville

    #1005 institution's historical influence
    #1326 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    57%

    Student body

    8K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1363/28

    Huntsville, AL

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    What is University of Alabama in Huntsville known for?

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

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

    Most Influential Alumni

  6. #6

    Samford University

    #754 institution's historical influence
    #912 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $33K

    Acceptance

    84%

    Graduation

    77%

    Student body

    5K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1160/26

    Birmingham, AL

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    What is Samford University known for?

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

    • Law
    • Education
    • Business
    • Medical
    • Religious Studies
    • History
    • Literature
    • Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Nursing

    Most Influential Alumni

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  7. #7

    University of South Alabama

    #1064 institution's historical influence
    #1190 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $8K

    Acceptance

    73%

    Graduation

    45%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1125/23

    Mobile, AL

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    What is University of South Alabama known for?

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

    • Medical
    • Communications
    • Biology
    • Education
    • Sociology
    • Engineering
    • Business
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

  8. #8

    Jacksonville State University

    #1831 institution's historical influence
    #686 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    64%

    Graduation

    46%

    Student body

    7K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1045/21

    Jacksonville, AL

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    What is Jacksonville State University known for?

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

    • Business
    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Computer Science
    • History
    • Nursing
    • Medical
    • Literature
    • Communications
    • Biology

    Most Influential Alumni

  9. #9

    Troy University

    #1536 institution's historical influence
    #720 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    92%

    Graduation

    50%

    Student body

    13K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1010/21

    Troy, AL

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    What is Troy University known for?

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

    • Education
    • History
    • Political Science
    • Business
    • Communications
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Criminal Justice
    • Literature
    • Economics

    Most Influential Alumni

  10. #10

    Alabama A&M University

    #2559 institution's historical influence
    #546 overall school desirability

    Tuition + fees

    $10K

    Acceptance

    90%

    Graduation

    29%

    Student body

    6K

    Median SAT/ACT

    925/17

    Normal, AL

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    What is Alabama A&M University known for?

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

    • Education
    • Political Science
    • Medical
    • Mathematics
    • Engineering
    • Literature
    • Computer Science
    • Biology
    • Sociology
    • Physics

    Most Influential Alumni

Alabama’s Best Grad School for Your Interest!

Resources for Prospective Grad Students

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