Colleges & Universities

Higher education employs nearly 20,000 in the metropolitan area and generates an economic impact of more than $1 billion annually. Seven universities and colleges, seven community/junior colleges, five degree-granting technical schools, three law schools, and the UAB medical, dental, and other specialized schools offer multiple educational opportunities to the area’s work force.

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Alabama at Birmingham

As the area’s largest employer, the University of Alabama at Birmingham contributes to the economic impact of higher education with its 19,000+ employees, total annual budget of $957.5 million and 16,252 students. It offers 142 undergraduate and graduate degrees.

University of Alabama at Birmingham
An urban university with about 16,000 students, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (205-934-4011) offers numerous undergraduate and graduate degrees, and a medical school judged to be among the finest in the nation. U.S. News & World Report ranked UAB’s Dental School among the top 10 dental schools in the country, and the UAB School of Nursing among the best in the nation. The school moved into the top rank of Carnegie Foundation’s classification of schools.

Samford University

Samford University

Samford University
Alabama’s largest and only private doctoral granting university, Samford (205-726-2011) enrolls more than 4,700 students from almost all 50 states. The 170-year-old institution offers more than 130 fields of study leading to graduate and undergraduate degrees within eight separate schools including the Brock School of Business, Cumberland School of Law, McWhorter School of Pharmacy, and the Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing. Almost 25% of Samford students are preparing for health-care related careers. In a U.S. News and World Report study, Samford is ranked in the top tier of prestigious national doctoral research universities; Princeton Review and USA Today selected Samford as one of 50 “best values” among private universities.

Birmingham-Southern College
With 1,562 students Birmingham-Southern College is one of the finest liberal arts institutions in the South and the nation as a whole. The school offers degrees in 34 majors in the arts and sciences, as well as a master’s degree in public and private management. It is particularly strong in premed. In 1995 Birmingham-Southern (205-226-4600) was ranked as one of the nation’s top liberal arts colleges in America’s Best Colleges Issue of U.S. News & World Report. Money Magazine named BSC one of America’s 100 best college buys in its 1996 Money Guide. It appeared in Peterson’s Competitive Colleges and made the Templeton Honor Roll for Character Building Colleges. The Fiske Guide to Colleges ranked it among 300 of the best, most interesting colleges. Money Magazine named BSC one of America’s 100 best college buys in its 1996 Money Guide. Success magazine singled out the school’s Master of Arts in Public and Private Management in its listing of up and coming schools.


The University of Montevallo
The University of Montevallo (205-665-6000) is one of only a handful of state-supported liberal arts colleges. It is located in the picturesque Shelby County town of Montevallo. With an enrollment of 3,175, the school has an excellent reputation for preparing students for careers in the arts, education, and business.

Miles College
Miles College (205-923-2771) has been an indispensable educational institution for Fairfield and the Metro Birmingham area for over 100 years and continues to anchor the western neighborhoods providing community growth and impacting the local economy. Miles is a fully accredited, four-year liberal arts College located in Fairfield. Miles College currently offers 26 Bachelor Degree courses. More than 1,800 students are currently enrolled giving Miles the highest growth rate of any of the 39 member Institutions of the United Negro College Fund. Miles is also ranked 4th in the country (Black and White) as having the highest graduation of Black college students. Miles is the only historically Black four-year institution in Jefferson County. Miles has a liberal admissions policy and remains open to all qualified persons regardless of race, religion, or national origin.

Students in downtown Birmingham

Virginia College
With over 2,000 full-time students, Virginia College prepares students for direct entry into the workforce, specializing in career areas in which job growth is expected to be the greatest. The college offers programs in health and medical, medical office, business, cosmetology, culinary arts, interior design, and information technology. Many programs are available partially or completely online, and Virginia College has more than 16,000 online students worldwide.

Jefferson State Community College
Jefferson State Community College (205-853-1200) has the second largest enrollment of any college in the Birmingham area with 6,723 students. The college makes affordable post-secondary education 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.

Lawson State Community College
Approximately 2,100 students get their training at Lawson State Community College (205-925-2515), a two-year, state supported institution. Lawson State offers a full range of academic and vocational programs of study.

Other area two-year schools in the metropolitan area include Bevill State Community College (enrollment: 1,000) in Jasper and Bevill State Community College (enrollment: 1,400) in Sumiton.

Southeastern Bible College
Southeastern Bible College (800-749-8878 or 205-970-9200) equips students for Christian living and service worldwide, producing graduates that are biblically grounded, spiritually mature, and culturally relevant. Approximately 250 students prepare for positions in vocational and non-vocational ministry.

Birmingham School of Law
Founded in 1915, Birmingham School of Law (205-322-6122) is an alternative to those whose financial, family or work won’t allow them to attend a traditional law school. It’s located in downtown Birmingham on 20th Street North.

New Horizons Birmingham
With more than 300 centers in 60 countries, New Horizons (205-945-2108) is the world’s largest independent IT training company. Through an integrated learning approach that ensures that new knowledge can be applied to real life situations, New Horizons delivers a full range of technology and business skills training from basic application and desktop productivity tools to complex and integrated business systems.