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There are 69 colleges and universities in Alabama enrolling 293,051 students. Explore the list of top colleges in Alabama below to begin your college search. The CollegeSimply rankings are objective and data-driven in order to help you find good matches for you.

The Best Colleges & Universities in Alabama category is limited to schools in Alabama. Schools that did not qualify for a Consensus Score were ranked by their Student Review score.

Wondering how to pay for your Alabama college degree? Check out our list of the Top Alabama Scholarships. If you’re interested in online learning in Alabama, our ranking of the Top Online Colleges in Alabama is a good place to start.


A United Methodist Church-affiliated institution in Birmingham, AL, Birmingham-Southern College began as two separate institutions – Southern University, founded in 1856, and Birmingham College, founded in 1898. The two merged in 1918, taking on the combined name, and BSC dates its founding from the earlier date, making it one of the state’s oldest colleges. Birmingham-Southern remains a steadfast, small liberal arts college, frequently ranked among the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, as well as achieving national attention from the Princeton Review, and being named one of the Colleges That Change Lives. BSC has also long been recognized for having the highest success rate in Alabama for sending graduates on to medical school, law school, and other elite professional and graduate programs.


Auburn University offers approximately 140-degree options through more than a dozen colleges and schools. Accredited through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1922, Auburn awards degrees at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. The several colleges and schools that make up the university include the College of Agriculture; College of Architecture, Design, and Construction; Raymond J. Harbert College of Business; College of Education; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering; School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; College of Human Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; School of Nursing; College of Sciences and Mathematics; and the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Samford University is in Homewood, AL just 5 miles away from Birmingham. The 200-acre private 4-year college was founded in 1841 as Howard College. Upon adding schools to become a university, it was renamed Samford University in the 1960s in honor of a long-time Trustee of the college. The campus architecture is based on that of colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, and has a classic, college atmosphere feel. The town of Homewood, sister city to Homewood, IL, refused annexation attempts by Birmingham in 1959 and 1966. The town benefits from close proximity to the industrial economy of Birmingham (aka the Pittsburgh of the South) while remaining its own small college town. Samford is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention and notable alumni include several government officials and three “Miss Alabama” winners.


There are nearly 32,000 undergraduate students enrolled in the University of Alabama, most of whom live on campus among the over 15 residence halls and living communities. The University sponsors more than 450 clubs and student organizations, including club sports and intramurals. For the varsity athlete, the red and white Crimson Tide, led by Big Al, field teams in 12 sports and participate in NCAA Division I competition. Students understand and accept the stated Core Values of the University – “The University of Alabama is committed to: Undergraduate education that produces socially-conscious, ethical and well-rounded leaders who are grounded in their subject matter and capable of controlling their own destinies.


The University of Alabama is a 4-year, public school located in Tuscaloosa, AL. The school was founded in 1820 and is the flagship of the University of Alabama System which includes campuses in Birmingham and Huntsville. The spacious campus, spanning almost 2,000 acres, features a large central quad in front of the library, as well as several other open areas and green spaces. Denny Chimes on the main quad rings the Westminster Chimes throughout the day. The school started admitting women in 1892 and became racially integrated starting in 1956. Notable alumni include actors Jim Nabors and Sela Ward, former NFL players Joe Namath and Bart Starr and Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales.

These are the areas where Alabama is working to transform its state and its people. With one of the hubs of the space program in Huntsville, Alabama has begun the process of developing a technological economic base that can represent a new way forward for the state. The growth of Birmingham into a major metropolitan city has also given the state a direction beyond the past, with a stable, growing job market for professionals.

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