University of North Alabama

University of North Alabama appears in these rankings:

50 Best Value Engineering Schools

15 Best Value Colleges and Universities in Alabama

Founded in 1830, the University of North Alabama is the oldest public university in Alabama. Originally called LeGrange College, the campus became known for its science programs during its early years. The college also established its own primary school that offered classes for elementary school students and allowed students in its teaching programs to work directly with those kids. When the college moved to Florence in the 1850s, it changed its name to Florence Wesleyan University. This campus later became a normal school or a state teaching school. Though it went through at least three more name changes over the years, it officially adopted the name of University of North Alabama in the 1970s.

Also known as UNA, the campus now offers undergraduate and graduate programs as well as programs designed for students who enter college without declaring a major. The university offers nine graduate programs that include programs in business administration, secondary education and criminal justice. The university also introduced a graduate program in art history in more recent years. Undergraduate students can choose a major in one of 60 fields and select a minor from dozens of options as well. On the U.S. News & World Report's list of the top southern schools in America, UNA ranked at number five. It also ranks as one of the top schools for education majors and as one of the best schools in Alabama.

University of North Alabama Accreditation Details

Those who look at the UNA accreditation list will find that the university actually has two different types of accreditation. The first is regional accreditation, which is the most important type, and comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Regional accreditation gives students the chance to seek financial aid through loans and grants offered by the federal government. Financial aid from the state is only available to students enrolled in accredited programs as well. Students will also find that the university has specialty accreditation for some of its undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs awarded UNA accreditation for all its business programs. Other specialty accreditation that the university has comes from:

Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology, Inc. (ABET)
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.
National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education
National Association of Schools of Art and Design
Commission on English Language Program Accreditation

UNA also has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs for its school and community counseling programs.

University of North Alabama Application Requirements

UNA uses an online system that lets students log in, sign up for classes, drop classes and do other tasks online. Before applying to the university, you will need to apply for one of these accounts. You'll need to go online, click on the registration button, verify you have a valid email address and create a password that you can easily remember. Once you verify your email address, you can log in, click on the application button and start filling out that application. You can also print out that application, fill it out on your own and mail it back to the university. UNA charges an application fee of $35 for all new applicants. You must also send a copy of your most recent high school transcript, which should show the classes you currently take and the classes you took earlier.

UNA also requires that all incoming freshmen take either the SAT or ACT and request official scores sent to the campus. The university grants unconditional approval to students who have a 2.0 or higher grade point average and an ACT score of 18 or higher or an SAT score of 870 or higher on the math and reading sections. UNA grants conditional approval to students who scored 16 or higher on the ACT or 770 or higher on the math and reading sections of the SAT and have a minimum GPA of 1.75. If you receive conditional acceptance, you'll need to maintain a higher GPA in your first classes and may need to meet with a school counselor too.

Tuition and Financial Aid

The University of North Alabama charges separate tuition rates based on where you lived before attending classes. In-state tuition is available to Alabama residents who lived there for at least one year before enrolling. Alabama residents pay $254 per credit hour. If you lived outside of Alabama, your tuition rates will rise to around $500 per credit hour. Students must also pay student activity, athletic, recreation facility and technology fees. Anyone who takes 12 credit hours or more of classes will also need to pay a dining dollars fee, which lets them eat meals on campus.

Getting financial aid is as easy as filling out the FAFSA and listing UNA as the school you will attend. This form generally looks at the amount of money your parents or guardians make to determine how much they can help you and how much additional help you will need. Most undergraduate students qualify for both federal grants and student loans. Some of these loans freeze the interest rate and do not charge you any interest until after you graduate. You may want to look at UNA work-study programs too, which will let you earn money while living on campus.

University Degree Programs

UNA offers an extremely popular elementary education program that prepares students for working in elementary schools and training students between the ages of kindergarten and sixth grade. Students who successfully graduate will meet all the requirements for obtaining a teaching license in Alabama. Enrolled students can also earn an education specialist certificate that prepares them for leading students and other faculty members both in and out of the classroom.

One of the more unique degree programs that the university offers is its program in earth systems sustainability. This program looks at how humans interact with the environment and at what changes can help protect and preserve the earth. Some of the required courses that you might take include sustainable resources, economic geography, aquatic ecology, occupational health and safety and geographic information systems. Students in this program can also work for major companies and environmental organizations for additional credit. The University of North Alabama recommends that applicants look at all its degree programs before applying.