For those pursuing higher education, a number of reputable colleges and universities provide lifelong learning opportunities for Birmingham residents. The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is a 35-year-old comprehensive, urban university and medical center that encompasses 82 city blocks and has a student enrollment of 16,000. UAB offers numerous undergraduate and graduate degrees, and the 2004 “Best Graduate Schools” edition of U.S. News & World Report ranked its School of Medicine among the nation’s top 25. More than 70 research centers are also available, focusing on such diverse issues as AIDS vaccines and aging, to the environment, urban affairs, and telecommunications. UAB takes pride in its academic excellence and diverse student body, and offers numerous programs and services that enhance student education, including the honors program, co-op program, study abroad, career center and academic support services.
Birmingham-Southern College, located on 192 wooded acres three miles west of downtown Birmingham, is a four-year, private liberal arts institution founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. For 10 straight years, Birmingham-Southern has been ranked among the top National Liberal Arts Colleges in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Birmingham-Southern College offers about five bachelor’s degrees in more than 56 programs of study, including interdisciplinary and individualized majors and two master’s degree programs. The college boasts an intimate campus of 1,388 students from 29 states and 21 foreign countries and an impressive 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio.
Jefferson State Community College has the second largest enrollment of any college in the Birmingham area, with 6,723 students. The college makes post-secondary education affordable to traditional and non-traditional students. In addition to academic subjects, Jeff State offers vocational programs in nursing, secretarial science, mortuary science, computer science, and hospitality and the culinary arts.
Miles College, a four-year liberal arts institution, offers bachelor’s degrees in 16 majors, as well as a law program. Law students may also attend Birmingham School of Law, an evening law school that offers a high-quality, affordable legal education to individuals who chose not to attend a traditional law school for financial, family or occupational reasons.
Virginia College, a private institution of higher education, provides educational opportunities through curricula in business, business-related, administrative, management, technical and professional programs that are designed to prepare the student for direct entry into the job market. Associate degrees, diploma courses, and baccalaureate degrees are available. Those who plan to enter the ministry may attend Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham.
Other nearby colleges include Samford University in Homewood (a school with a 150-year history and 23 degree programs), The University of Montevallo, Bessemer State Technical College and Lawson State Community College in Birmingham, among others.