UAB is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review 2009 edition of its annual book "The Best 368 Colleges." Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and two Canadian colleges are included the book, which uses 120,000 student surveys to rank the top 20 colleges in more than 60 categories.

UAB was ranked No. 4 in the nation in the Diverse Student Population Category, which rates campus social and ethnic diversity as well as interaction between students of different background. UAB was the only Alabama university to score in this category.

"Students work together for the common goal of getting an education and understanding and appreciating the diversity of others,” one student commented.” The Review summed up student comments calling UAB’s student body “truly a great American melting pot of different cultures, religions, and races.”

UAB’s academics experience and location also received strong praise by students for “integrating culture, education and ‘real world’ experience into a college degree.” Students commended the faculty and administration for dedication to encouraging students to pursue research, internships or other opportunities by “working in the field they aspire to have a career in, whether it be art history, biomedical engineering, or medicine.” Another student added, “I’ve eaten dinner with the family of several of my professors and the dean as well. Need I say more?”

Robert Franek, Princeton Review's vice president for publishing, said, "We chose schools for this book primarily for their outstanding academics. We evaluated them based on institutional data we collect about the schools, feedback from students attending them, and our visits to schools over the years. We also consider the opinions of independent college counselors, students, and parents we hear from year-long.  Finally, we work to have a wide representation of colleges in the book by region, size, selectivity and character."