The University of Alabama was established in 1820 following Thomas Jefferson's plans for UVA just one year after Alabama Territory's entry into the Union. During the Antebellum period, UA was an academy-style institute focused on the classics and humanities. Today, Alabama has expanded into the Yellowhammer State's flagship public, sea-grant and space-grant RU/V research university. As part of the SEC Academic Consortium, UA educates more than 31,900 undergraduates and 5,100 post-graduates. Endowed for $667, the University of Alabama has 13 divisions offering 200+ majors. Sprawling over 1,970 urban acres, UA is headquartered in Tuscaloosa near Huntsville with a well-developed Bama By Distance program.
According to the U.S. News, Alabama is the 96th best national university, 43rd top public school, and 78th best college for former military. In particular, UA is lauded for America's 16th best online graduate business and 57th top online graduate engineering degrees. Forbes magazine ranked the University of Alabama as the 115th best research university nationwide. UA has been included within Lumosity's list for the "Smartest Colleges." Washington Monthly deemed Alabama the 198th best master's-level institution for social mobility, research, and service. The University of Alabama's famed School of Law even placed higher than Harvard on the National Jurist's ranking. UA is also among Victory Media's top 15 percent of "Military Friendly" schools.
The University of Alabama Accreditation Details
At Level VI, the University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) through 2025. This agency is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for evaluating colleges in 11 states across the Southeast. Online master's programs also feature specific accreditations from:
- Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)
- National Council for Accreditation of Teacher (NCATE)
- Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET)
- Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (ACEND)
- Council on Rehabilitation Education (CORE)
- American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
- Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC)
The University of Alabama Application Requirements
Getting into the University of Alabama is a tough task with the highly selective acceptance rate of 51 percent. Entering UA's online master's programs will require completing a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. college or foreign equivalent. General admission criteria mandates holding a minimum 3.0 GPA in the last 60 undergraduate credits. Any previous graduate credits must be graded "C" or higher for transfer. Acceptable entrance exam scores are important, such as a 300 on the GRE or 500 on the GMAT. Those taking the Miller Analogies Test must score in the 50th percentile. Non-native English speakers need to prove fluency with a 550 on the TOEFL or better.
Interested graduate students applying to Bama By Distance programs must speak with an enrollment counselor and create an account with a PIN number. Deadlines vary from April 1st to October 15th, so check your program. The University of Alabama's Graduate School requires completed online application forms with:
- Non-refundable $60 application fee ($75 for international)
- Official transcripts from each higher education institution
- Graduate entrance exam scores (GRE, GMAT, or MAT)
- At least two faculty/supervisor letters of recommendation
- Typed, double-spaced personal statement of purpose
- Test of English as a Foreign Language results (if applicable)
- Professional resume or curriculum vitae
Tuition and Financial Aid
Full-time graduate students from Alabama are charged $5,235 per semester. Non-resident graduates enrolling full-time pay $13,475 each term. Part-time rates are currently $820 (in-state) or $1,640 (out-of-state) per graduate credit. However, UA students studying online through Bama By Distance receive tuition discounts. Alabama residents taking online master's courses can expect paying $367 per credit. Out-of-state graduate students are charged $1,038 per credit online. The only exception is the online Master in Law (LLM) program, which bills $1,499 per credit to all students. Health center services can be purchased for $149 each semester.
The NCES estimates that 80 percent of full-time, beginning Alabama students earn aid. The average financial assistance package is valued at $14,237. Online learners qualify for several institutional awards, including the Osher Reentry Scholarship, Campbell-Ellis Endowed Scholarship, William E. Bright Scholarship Endowment, and James C. Caldwell Scholarship. The Back to Bama Grant serves students returning to UA with at least 15 credits. Degree-seeking online students are eligible for federal financial aid, such as Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans. Educators pursuing an online master's program for teaching could obtain the Federal TEACH Grant for $4,000 each year. Veterans benefits are available via the Yellow Ribbon Program. Graduate assistantships, employer assistance, and fellowships are other options.
Online Master's Degrees Available
The University of Alabama created Bama By Distance to provide flexible, online classes that uniquely accommodate adult students. Currently, graduate students can choose from 27 primarily online master's programs. Others are offered in blended formats with evening courses at the Gadsen Education Center. Joining the "Roll Tide" online offers the same high-quality, SACS-accredited education taught by world-class professors. Online master's courses typically have fewer than 20 students for individualized attention. Available degrees include:
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics
The College of Engineering grants its ABET-accredited M.S. in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics online for UA graduates to further skills for designing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. With thesis or non-thesis tracks, the 30-credit curriculum features live online lectures and engaging team projects. Coursework ranges from orbital mechanics and flight dynamics to wing theory and continuum mechanics. Past alumni have excelled with NASA and Lockheed Martin.
M.S. in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader
Conveniently online, the M.S. in Nursing Clinical Nurse Leader program at Alabama prepares RNs with decision-making skills for managing health care delivery systems. The 38-credit curriculum meets CCNE guidelines with courses like epidemiology, human relations, fiscal management, and pharmacology. During the final summer, nurses complete a clinical immersion experience. Graduates qualify for the AACN's Clinical Nurse Leader certification.
M.A. in Elementary Education
Busy teachers seeking advanced-level state certification can pursue UA's online M.A. in Elementary Education conveniently from home. The NCATE-accredited curriculum spans 30 credit hours with coursework from educational research to pupil learning. Educators choose from one specialty for Grades 1-6, such as language arts, mathematics, or social studies. Their gained teaching methods are applied with one school practicum.
Related Resource: 20 Most Affordable Top Ranked Schools for an Online Master's in Educational Psychology Degree
Other unique online programs at the University of Alabama are the M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling, M.S. in Human Nutrition, M.S. in Marketing, and M.A. in Journalism.