Office of International Affairs
Frequently Asked Questions
General Information about UNA
- What are the starting dates of UNA and datelines for admissions?
- Is UNA a well ranked university in the US?
- How many students are currently studying at UNA?
- Does UNA have international students on its campus?
- Does UNA offer any research based courses like PhD's?
- Is there any mature entry option available at UNA or in US education system?
The University of North Alabama accepts applications on a rolling admissions policy. However, in international applications due to the different processes, UNA Admissions Office recommends applications, be made at least 30 days prior to the starting date. It is also recommended that graduate and transfer students apply at least 60 days before the start of classes.
University of North Alabama is a state university and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award bachelors, masters and education specialist degrees. It has separate and additional accreditations for its Colleges of Business (i.e. ACBSP), Education (i.e. NCATE), and Nursing and Allied Health (i.e. CCNE). Additionally, UNA has accreditation or certification in a number of disciplinary areas such as art, music, industrial hygiene and social work.
There is no official ranking system in the US; however, UNA is one of the first 100 universities among over 4,000 institutions in the USA and the oldest in the State of Alabama.
Currently there are about 5,000 undergraduate and 700 graduate students studying at UNA.
International students at UNA campus always receive a warm welcome. They are drawn from 50 countries and the population of international students at the University continues to grow. These students do very well academically, socially, athletically, and otherwise providing a rich source of cultural diversity to the University.
UNA offers a number of masters programs including the MBA (with options in Marketing, Management, Economics, Finance, International Business, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality Management, and Accounting); MA and MS in Education; the MA in English; and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice. All master's level academic programs have a research base. Furthermore, UNA has a number of articulation and affiliation agreements with other institutions of higher education allowing UNA graduates to transfer seamlessly for advanced graduate and postdoctoral study.
Please click here to view a list courses offered at UNA.
Yes, undergraduate students who are over 25 years are not required to take the ACT or SAT tests for entry to the University. Consideration may be given to lifetime work experiences. Students may take special tests to allow them to receive credit for knowledge gained during their life.
Academic Programs and Admissions
- What is the duration of the bachelors program at UNA?
- What is the duration of the master program at UNA?
- What is the minimum number of credit I am required to take in order to stay enrolled as a legal student?
- Is work experience required for the MBA or any other program at UNA?
- What other Concentration apart for Accounting is available in an MBA?
- Information Systems
- International Business
- Health Care Management
- Are all the programs listed on UNA website and catalogs also available for International Students?
- Why is UNA MBA a one year program as opposed to the two years duration for other MBA programs at other universities in the US?
- Why is the duration of the MBA program 1 year, for students who have a BCom/ BBA/ BBM degree and the duration of the MBA a year and a half for students from Bachelor's degree in other disciplines?
- Can an international student apply for a fast track program?
- What is the duration of the prerequisite courses?
- Are prerequisite courses taught side-by-side with the MBA or separately before the course?
- Master level programs in the US are often spread over two academic years. How does your MBA program cover all the relevant topics in one year?
The duration of bachelor's program at UNA is four academic years.
The duration of masters program varies from one, one and a half and two academic years depending upon the course of study and the previous degree earned by the student.
For Undergraduate Students: 12 credit hours during Fall and Spring semesters.
For Graduate Students: 9 credit hours during Fall and Spring Semesters.
Having prior work experience is an advantage but it is not mandatory.
Masters of Business Administration is offered in the following concentrations at UNA:
Yes, all academic programs offered by the University of North Alabama are open to all students including international students from all countries.
Unlike many other institutions of higher education that offer the MBA, UNA is aware of and sensitive to the desire for most students to complete the MBA in the shortest possible time and to enter or re-enter the job market. Also, the MBA program may becompleted (if all prerequisites have been taken) in one calendar year (i.e., 12 months); whereas at other institutions of higher education, the program is two academic years (i.e., 16 months). Such programs typically include an internship. The internship in the MBA at UNA is optional. If it is taken, the program is extended by 4 months taking the MBA to UNA to the same 16 months (i.e., 12 months + 4 months= 16 months)
Students who hold BCom./BBA/BBM have completed all of the prerequisite or foundation courses for the MBA (e.g., fundamentals of accounting, microeconomics, macroeconomics, financial management, introduction to management, and introduction to marketing). Therefore, students from these majors may begin taking MBA courses immediately. However, students graduating from other disciplines (e.g., engineering) typically have not had the foundation or prerequisite courses for the MBA program. Accordingly, they must take these prerequisite courses before that begin taking MBA classes. Similarly, students who graduated in BCom./BBA/BBM wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering would be required to take prerequisite or foundation courses in engineering before taking advanced engineering courses. Typically prerequisite or foundation courses take 2 semesters to complete (unless one or more of these courses have been taken with satisfactory academic performance). UNA always tries to reduce the number of prerequisite or foundation courses to the minimum consistent with solid academic standards and accreditation requirements.
All highly qualified students may request permission to accelerate their academic program through their assigned faculty advisor. If permission is granted by the faculty advisors, students may take an "overload" (i.e., more credit hours than a regular full-time student) Also, students may study during both academic semesters and the summer term to accelerate their completion of formal academic studies.
This depends on the academic background of a student as it relates to the MBA. Students coming from engineering backgrounds often take two semesters of prerequisite courses; whereas, students from a business undergraduate program degree often require no prerequisites at all.
Prerequisite or pre-MBA courses tend to precede MBA courses. However, it is possible in some cases to take both types of courses simultaneously.
The one full calendar year MBA program at UNA is very rigorous and requires a substantial commitment by the student. All classes are taught by dedicated faculty members (not graduate assistants or teaching assistants as at may other universities in the US) who are experts in their field. Because of this, the quality of the education provided in the MBA program is very high. UNA recognizes the value of the time invested by students in the MBA program and tries to minimize this time so that the student rejoin the workforce as soon as possible.
Fees and Living Expenses
- Can I pay fees in installments?
- Does the Application Fee count toward the Tuition fee?
- How much funds do I need to carry with me when I arrive at UNA?
Yes, the University offers a plan for international and domestic students to pay their fees on monthly installment basis. It is called Tuition Management System or TMS in short.
No, they are separate fees and the Application Fee does not count toward your Tuition Fee.
We strongly discourage students from carrying large amounts of cash on their person. Students should try and wherever possible carry cash equivalents when traveling overseas.
Housing and Meal plans
- If I sign the form for on-campus residence, will I be bound by a contract?
- Can international students stay off-campus?
- Approximately, how much does it cost per month to stay off-campus?
- Is accommodation guaranteed for international students?
- What does "Block" mean, as in 80 block in summer?
- Am I allowed to cook my own meals, if I choose to stay on-campus? If so will I be refunded the payment made for meal plans?
- Are international students allowed to stay in the dorm when the University closes down for holidays, such as Spring Break, Winter Break or Summer Break?
Yes, signing the on-campus housing form binds students to a contractual obligations. It is an invaluable learning experience for all students to spend at least one year in student housing as it is a tremendous way to gather a unique cultural prospective into American life and to make lasting friendships.
All first year undergraduate and ESL students are required to stay on-campus for first year of their studies at UNA. On-campus housing is on a walking distance from all classes and other university buildings. Neither Office of International Affairs nor Office of Housing and Residence Life provide any assistance to find off-campus places.
Off-campus housing tends to be more expensive than living on-campus in University sponsored housing. Furthermore, it is necessary for students who reside off-campus to have an automobile because apartments are at a distance from campus. The cost of an off-campus apartment rages from $250 per month plus utilities to $700 per month plus utilities (depending on the number of rooms, quality of the rooms etc). The cost of purchasing prepared food is an individual decision typically ranging from $15 to $20 per day. If a student prepares his or her meals, it is often less expensive than purchasing meals from restaurants and there are many supermarkets from which to purchase an array of food.
Yes,the student must fill out an Application form for on-campus student housing inform Office of International Affairs at the time of applying to the UNA.
80 Block refers to one of the meal plans offered during Summer terms. In this instance, 80 block meal plan holders can dine 80 times at the University cafeteria during summer term.
Students may prepare their own meals in the Residence Hall kitchen rooms. However, all students staying on-campus are required to select and pay for a meal plan. In other words, if you are staying on-campus, meal plans are automatically added to your bill without any refunds.
All eight month residence halls close down for official University holidays and the students have to make their own living arrangements off-campus. Eight month residence halls include Rice Hall, Rivers Hall, LaGrange Hall and Lafayette Hall. All students staying in 12-month residence halls can continue to live on-campus even during University breaks.
Please click here to learn more about on-campus housing.
Scholarships and Internships
- Are there any scholarships available at UNA for international students?
- What is the Min/Max amount that a student can receive in scholarship money?
- Can I do an internship as a part of my MBA?
- Can I do an internship AFTER my MBA? How long will that be? Will I be paid?
UNA provides scholarship opportunities for full time undergraduate and graduate students in regular academic programs, which are granted after evaluating the performance of the student's work at UNA. It is recommended that students attend at least one semester at UNA before applying for any endowed scholarship. Also, special consideration is given to students who are particularly gifted and talented in one or more intercollegiate sports or in music/vocal performance. All scholarship opportunities provided by UNA are coordinated the Office of Student Financial Services.
Scholarships range in value from $250 to help pay for books to full tuition, room, and board. Nearly all scholarships are renewable depending on the student meeting performance criteria such as full-time attendance, no failures, and a CGPA above 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. Scholarship award amounts and criteria are published by the University and vary with the nature of the scholarship
Students may participate in an internship as part of their MBA program; however, this will require one additional semester of study. Some internships are paid experiences and others are not. What's important is the quality of the experience and how such an experience adds value to the learning process and the possibility of converting this experience into a paying job upon graduation.
No, internships are available only while students are enrolled and before they graduate. However, it is possible to work for one year following graduation from the program.
- Are international students allowed to work off-campus?
- How many hours can an international student work in a week?
- What is OPT?
- Does UNA offer Curriculum practical training (CPT) and Optional practical training (OPT) to international students?
- What is H-1B and how can I obtain it?
- Are services provided by the Office of Career Planning and Development free?
International students are prohibited by law to work off-campus. Furthermore international students can only work part time i.e., 20 hours a week only for on-campus jobs (depending on availability); this is referred to as work-study. Office of International Affairs is not responsible for helping students find an on-campus job.
20 hours on-campus, when the University is in session, 40 hours on-campus per week when is not (Spring Break, Summer Break and etc.,).
Optional Practical Training (OPT) allows F-1 visa students to obtain off-campus employment in areas related to their academic major. OPT is available for periods up to twelve months and students enrolled in the program can work up to 40 hrs a week after the completion of their studies. To enroll in the OPT Program, the student has to submit form I-538 to the designated student officer at the University along with their form I-20. The university designated school officer will mention on the form I-20 of the student that OPT is recommended and the date when it should commence.On this basis the University will submit the application electronically and mail the support documents to USCIS for employment authorization. This application must be received by the USCIS prior to the completion of student's course work.
Yes, students are eligible to apply for Optional Practical Training after completing their degrees. CPT opportunities are available depending on major and internship possibilities.
H-1B is a non-immigrant visa type issued to international workers in United States. It is also called a work permit. A student can apply for work permits after course completion provided they have a valid offer letter from their prospective employer.
Yes. They are absolutely free for all UNA students.
Please click here to visit the website of Career Planning and Development.
- Is it mandatory to have health insurance?
- What is the duration of the health insurance the student is required to take and what does it cover?
Yes, it is mandatory for all international students on F-1 visa to purchase Health Insurance through the University. Moreover, the University prescribes the nature of the minimum coverage which the student must obtain and keep while enrolled at UNA.
International students must have health insurance coverage at all times during their study at UNA. The current coverage can be reviewed by clicking here (Requires Adobe Reader)
- When should I plan to apply for a U.S visa?
- Is Magellan Exchange Program also available for international students?
- Does UNA provide any transportation from the airport?
- Can I travel to the US a month before my course starts at UNA?
- How long can a student stay in the US after their graduation?
Ideally during peak season (i.e., May, June, and July) a student should apply one and a half to two months before their course commences.
Yes, the Magellan Exchange Program is open to all students. All students may apply to any of the institutions participating in the Magellan Exchange. As a part of the Magellan Exchange Program, UNA partners with universities, in Belgium, Finland, Austria, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Germany.
Yes, International Student Services provides free transportation for international students from the Huntsville International Airport and Northwest Regional Airport.
Please click here to details on our airport service.
Immigration regulations do not allow students to enter United States more than 30 days prior to the starting date of school. For example, students who are admitted for Fall 2010, cannot enter the United States before July 24, 2010 because the Fall semester will start on August 24, 2010.
Students are allowed to stay 60 days after completion of their studies. The should must start their Optional Practical Training, a new academic program, or apply to change their immigration status, within these 60 days.