Bold. Ambitious. A bit audacious.

This is how such a vision might have seemed in UAB’s formative years, when a fledgling university and medical center in Birmingham set its sights on international prominence

In 1936, when the University of Alabama established a modest extension center in a two-story clapboard house, with an enrollment of 116 students... (more)

In 1945, when The Medical College of Alabama was established in Birmingham, and sought to recruit some of the brightest scientific and medical minds from around the globe... (more)

Or in 1969, when these and other programs merged into the autonomous campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, whose first president laid out a vision so lofty that it struck some of his own faculty as “crazy”... (more)

In the four decades since, this young, dynamic university has thrived on that same boldness and innovation to continue pushing the frontiers in science, medicine, business, education, the arts and the humanities – and has garnered national and international respect.

  • Ranked in Forbes among the top 20% of all U.S. undergraduate institutions, and 5th nationally for diversity in The Princeton Review
  • 32nd nationally in federal research funding and 20th in funding from the National Institutes of Health (10th among public universities)
  • Among 51 public and private universities (and the only Alabama university) classified by the Carnegie Foundation for both “very high research activity” and "community engagement."
  • Named for three consecutive years to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can achieve for commitment to civic engagement and service-learning
  • The only medical center in Alabama listed in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals”issue for 22 straight years (every year from the issue’s inception)
  • Among the top 200 universities internationally, and top 100 in life sciences, according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities

At the same time, UAB has reached out and partnered with its community and state, spurring phenomenal progress over a half century. UAB’s growth as a world-renowned research university and medical center has driven the social, cultural, and economic revival of Birmingham. The University continues to strengthen this historic partnership, refining its own Strategic Plan and collaborating with the Birmingham Business Alliance on "Blueprint Birmingham," working towards a shared a vision for a healthier and more prosperous city and state that thrive in the global, knowledge economy. 



From the beginning, UAB’s character and culture have been about breaking through and transcending...

  • Traditional boundaries among disciplines, to conduct intensely collaborative research and scholarship.
  • Long-accepted notions of the metropolitan versus the traditional campus, to form a university that is neither and both—the ideal convergence of the two.
  • Social and cultural barriers, to create a campus dubbed a “mecca of multiculturalism” in The Princeton Review.
  • And conventional strictures of the likely and unlikely in any given arena—the classroom, the lab, the studio or the stage—and in the lives and careers of students

Learn more about UAB and what it has to offer at