University of Alabama Facts and Figures

About The University of Alabama

photograph of three students wearing backpacks and walking across the Quad on a clear, sunny day

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service.  

A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inquisitive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus.  

As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond. 

About Tuscaloosa

The Black Warrior River at sunset

Tuscaloosa was founded on December 3, 1819, and was named for Chief Tuskaloosa (which means “Black Warrior”). A pillar of the educational infrastructure for the state, Tuscaloosa is home to The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College and Stillman College. Several multi-national corporations, including Michelin Tires and Mercedes-Benz, have selected Tuscaloosa as a site for their manufacturing plants, establishing Tuscaloosa as a mainstay of the global economic community. 

Points of Pride

  • The Carnegie Foundation lists The University of Alabama among the top doctoral research universities in the United States. UA is included among R1: Doctoral Universities – Very High Research Activity status in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. 
  • UA set a new enrollment record of 39,623 students in fall 2023. With students from all 67 of Alabama’s counties, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 92 countries, UA is educating and graduating more students than any university in the state. 
  • UA currently enrolls a record number of 1,142 National Merit Scholars, making UA one of the nation’s largest enrolling institutions of National Merit Scholars. 
  • In February, UA was named a Top Producing Institution for Fulbright U.S. Student Awards for the sixth time in eight years. 
  • UA has produced a total of 16 Rhodes Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 62 Goldwater Scholars, 41 Hollings Scholars and 17 Boren Scholars. 
  • Thirty-five current UA faculty have received NSF CAREER Awards, one of the nation’s most prestigious recognitions of top-performing young scientists, in disciplines ranging from nanoscience and engineering to biological sciences. 
  • UA made Forbes’ lists of America’s Top Colleges 2023 and Best Employers for New Graduates 2023. 
  • UA made Wall Street Journal’s list of the 2024 Best Colleges in the U.S. 
  • UA was listed among the Best Value Colleges by The Princeton Review. 
  • UA was listed as a top five Military Friendly School for 2023-2024. 
  • The UA School of Law’s incoming fall 2022 class had the highest median undergraduate GPA in the nation. 
  • The Culverhouse College of Business is ranked No. 29 among public universities on U.S. News and World Report’s list of Best Undergraduate Business Programs. Undergraduate programs within Culverhouse that were ranked include the accounting program ranking No. 17 among public accounting programs, and marketing ranking No. 22 among public offerings. 
  • UA appeared on 13 U.S. News and World Report lists ranking the Best Online Programs. 
  • The Capstone College of Nursing boasts a 99.2% National Council Licensure Examination pass rate among its 2022 graduates, far exceeding the national average of 63.39%.
Class, outdoors, quad, spring, students studying, learning

General Campus Facts  

  • Dr. Stuart R. Bell is the 29th president of The University of Alabama.  
  • UA offers 70 undergraduate programs through 12 colleges and schools. 
  • The University of Alabama is one of three campuses in The University of Alabama System, all of which are governed by The University of Alabama Board of Trustees. 
  • UA Adapted Athletics sponsors competitive men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball and wheelchair tennis. Parker-Haun Tennis Facility is the nation’s first collegiate tennis facility for adapted student-athletes. 
  • UA’s 1,400-acre campus is regularly cited as one of the most beautiful in the nation.  
  • UA has been named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation for eight consecutive years.  
photograph of the flower beds and fountain in front of the President's Mansion


  • The University of Alabama opened on April 18, 1831. It is the oldest public university in the state and the state’s flagship university.  
  • On April 4, 1865, all but a handful of buildings on campus were burned by Union troops known as Croxton’s Raiders. 
  • In 1892 William G. Little, a student transfer from Phillips-Andover, introduced fellow students to a new game called football. 
  • Anna B. Adams and Bessie Parker were the first women to enroll at UA. That was in 1893. In 2023 women made up 57.2% of the student body.  
  • The University of Alabama alma mater was written in 1908 by undergraduate Helen Vickers.  
  • In 1929 Denny Chimes, funded by student donations, was dedicated in honor of beloved UA President George Denny, better known as “Mike” by the students. 
  • On Feb. 3, 1956, Autherine Lucy began classes in the library science program, becoming the first Black person to attend classes at the University. Three days later she was removed from campus due to mob violence and later expelled. That expulsion was later lifted and she graduated from the University. In 2022 the building that houses the College of Education, the building in which she took refuge during the riots of 1956, was renamed Autherine Lucy Hall.  
  • On June 11, 1963, The University of Alabama was officially integrated with the enrollment of two Black students, Vivian Malone and James Hood. In 2023 African American students made up 13.3% of the student body. 
A scene from the Tapping on the Mound. Two students face each other, smiling.


  • “The Capstone” is a nickname for The University of Alabama coined by former UA President George Denny when he referred to the University as the “capstone of the public school system of the state” in 1913. Capstone means “the top stone or high point.” 
  • The Capstone Creed is a statement of values, written by the Student Leadership Council, and is the pledge made at convocation by each incoming freshman class at the start of the academic year: “As a member of The University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge, act with fairness, integrity and respect; promote equity and inclusion; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence in all I do.” 
  • The University of Alabama is the only major university with an elephant as a mascot.  
  • UA has an official tartan, We Are Crimson, which was designed by a student in 2010. 

Where Legends Are Made

The University of Alabama is steeped in tradition and success. Legends have been made in its academic halls, on its athletic fields and courts, and in its endeavors to shape a better world. 

Where Legends Are Made is about the past, present and future of The University of Alabama. 

It speaks to the aspirations of its students and their parents, to the pride of its alumni and donors, and to the devotion of its legions of fans in our state, across the nation and around the globe. 

Select Legends  

William B. Bankhead 
Generational American Politician 

  • The 42nd Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives — the sole Alabamian ever elected to the office (1936-1940). 
  • Played on UA’s first football team (1892). 
  • Portions of US Highway 78 and Alabama’s William B. Bankhead National Forest are named in his honor. 
  • Father of acclaimed theatrical, radio and motion picture actress Tallulah Bankhead. 

Winton “Red” Blount Jr. 
Prolific American Philanthropist and Politician 

  • U.S. Postmaster General appointed by President Richard Nixon (1969-1972). 
  • Led the privatization of the USPS and served as its first Director. 
  • Founded a building contractor company which built Cape Canaveral’s Complex 39A and launched Apollo 11. 
  • Established a new home for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival through the largest private donation to American theater at the time. 

Nanette “Nan” Boden 
Proven Tech Executive and Business Leader 

  • Google’s Chief of Staff and Head of Strategy and Operations. 
  • Everyday Robots’ former Chief Operating Officer. 
  • Google’s former Senior Director, Strategic Customer Programs – leading the organization that develops and operates strategic programs for Google Cloud customers. 
  • Former Chief Operating Officer of Myricom, a successful Caltech spinoff. 

Carl Elliott 
Transformative Advocate 

  • First recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award (1990). 
  • Represented Alabama in the US House of Representatives from 1949 to 1965. 
  • A champion for equal rights for minorities and the underprivileged, collaborating with Sen. J. Lister Hill to author the National Defense Education Act. 
  • Authored the Library Services Act, bringing mobile libraries (bookmobiles) to millions of rural Americans (1956). 
  • The Elliot Society, a community service-based university-wide honorary dedicated to social justice, is named in his honor. 
  • Rumored to have entered UA with only $2.30 in his pocket, he worked several jobs, was elected President of the student body and was the first person in his family to graduate with a undergraduate and law degrees. 

Millard Fuller 
Compassionate Founder and Executive 

  • Habitat for Humanity International Founder and former President. 
  • Widely known as the leader of the modern-day movement for affordable housing. 
  • Rose from humble beginnings to a young, self-made millionaire by age 29. 
  • Received more than 50 honorary degrees and numerous awards during his lifetime, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest honor. 

Marillyn Hewson 
Commanding Businesswoman 

  • Former Lockheed Martin Corporation Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. 
  • One of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” (2019). 
  • No. 1 on Fortune magazine’s list of “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” (2019). 
  • Named “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive magazine (2018). 
  • Classified as one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes (2018). 

Vicki Hollub  
Trailblazing Businesswoman and Engineer 

  • President and CEO of Occidental Petroleum Corporation and the first female CEO of a major U.S. oil and gas company. 
  • Previous Senior Executive Vice President, Occidental, and President, Oxy Oil and Gas – Americas (2014 – 2015); Executive Vice President, Occidental, and Executive Vice President, U.S. Operations and Oxy Oil and Gas (2013-2014). 
  • Teamed up with Warren Buffett to back Occidental’s $57 billion bid for Anadarko Petroleum, and closed the deal. 
  • No. 22 on Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women” list (2019). 
  • Serves on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin, the American Petroleum Institute and Khalifa University for Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. 

James M. Kelly 
Honored Airman and NASA Astronaut 

  • Former NASA astronaut and pilot for the eighth shuttle mission to the International Space Station and the return to flight activities following the space shuttle Columbia accident. 
  • Logged more than 641 hours in space during his NASA career. 
  • Received two Defense Superior Service Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, two Air Force Commendation Medals, three Outstanding Unit Awards and two Combat Readiness Medals, among other awards. 
  • Retired from the Air Force in 2007 after logging over 3,800 flight hours in more than 35 aircrafts. 

Harper Lee 
Pulitzer Prize-Winning Literary Icon 

  • Author of the highly acclaimed Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960), which became a classic of modern American literature. 
  • Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature. 
  • Published a second novel, “Go Set a Watchman (2015),” a sequel to “To Kill a Mockingbird.” 
  • Known for assisting her friend Truman Capote in research for his book “In Cold Blood” and was the inspiration for the character Idabel in Capote’s book “Other Voices, Other Rooms.” 

Jodi Singer 
Spearheading NASA Director 

  • Retired former Director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama — the first female center director. 
  • Led the Marshall team through the 2022 successful launch of the historic Artemis I mission which restored America’s capability to send humans to the Moon — a feat not undertaken since 1972. 
  • In leadership roles of increasing responsibility in human spaceflight, technology and science flight mission projects, including return to flight activities after the space shuttle Challenger accident, served as the first female project manager for the Reusable Solid Rocket Booster Project. 
  • In 38 years of service, received numerous awards, including NASA Outstanding Leadership Medals, two Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive Awards, the Space Flight Awareness Leadership Award and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. 

E.O. Wilson 
Legendary Biologist 

  • Considered a pioneer and true visionary for his scientific study of sociobiology and ecosystems; known as the “the father of biodiversity.” 
  • Biologist, researcher, theorist, naturalist and author; the world’s leading expert in myrmecology – the study of ants. 
  • Developed the theory of island biogeography which is considered the foundation of the development of conservation area design, as well as the unified neutral theory of biodiversity of Stephen Hubbell. 
  • Two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction for “On Human Nature” and a New York Times bestseller for “The Social Conquest of Earth,” “Letters to a Young Scientist,” and “The Meaning of Human Existence.”