The mission of the University of Alabama at Birmingham is to be a research university and academic health center that discovers, teaches and applies knowledge for the intellectual, cultural, social and economic benefit of Birmingham, the state and beyond. Through the strategic planning process, five institutional goals have been identified related to education, research, patient care, service, and economic development. The objective of Goal I is to provide education that prepares diverse students to lead, teach, provide professional services and become the prominent scholars and societal leaders of the future.

This mission and its associated strategic goals commit the institution to success for all students, both traditional and online. In the process of measuring student achievement, the institution takes into consideration a variety of information, including retention and graduate rates as well as degree completions.

Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates

Two of the most visible and significant indicators of undergraduate student achievement are retention and graduation rates.

Since 2004, UAB has demonstrated significant improvement in both freshmen retention and graduation rates, as demonstrated in the below graph. During this time frame, the fall-to-spring retention rate has increased by more than four percentage points. Similarly, the fall-to-fall retention rate has increased by almost five percentage points. Graduation rates have also increased impressively during the same period. The four-year graduation rate has increased by 12 percentage points, and the six-year graduation rate has increased by almost 15 percentage points.

retention-graduation-rates chart

Degree Completions

UAB closely tracks degree completions at various levels: bachelor's, master's, doctoral (professional practice/other), doctoral (research/scholarship), educational specialist, and certificates. Increases in the total number of degrees awarded demonstrate improvements in student achievement, as reflected in the University goals to support undergraduate and graduate/professional education.

Since 2004, the number of degrees that UAB awards annually has increased by over 1,000 to 4,322 degrees. Specifically, bachelor's and master's completions have increased by over 400 annually, and both types of doctoral degrees have also increased. These totals include degrees awarded both to traditional and online students.

2013-14-degrees-awarded chart