The University of North Alabama traces its roots to 1830 and LaGrange College, the first state-chartered college in Alabama. The school relocated to its current location in Florence from its original site in Franklin County in 1854. The institution would later become the first state-supported teachers college in the South and one of the first coeducational institutions in the nation.
UNA is home to about 7,000 students, of whom about 55 percent are women and 45 percent are men. Most UNA students – about 70 percent – are enrolled full-time, and most – also about 70 percent – are Alabama residents.
All classes at UNA are taught by University faculty members, not graduate assistants. More than 70 percent of the instructional faculty holds doctoral degrees in their fields of study. UNA has a student-teacher ratio of 17:1 and an average class size of 25.
UNA has more than 50,000 alumni throughout Alabama, the Southeast region and the world. Alumni have an array of opportunities to stay connected with UNA, including a variety of events, networks, alumni clubs and more.
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See a list of notable alumni from the University of North Alabama
Degrees and Majors
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Tuition, Scholarships and Financial Aid
Tuition at UNA is among the lowest in the state and in the nation. About 66 percent of our students receive financial aid, with a typical package being about $5,000 per year. All UNA students who complete the application process receive an offer of financial assistance. More than $4 million in scholarships were awarded in 2013-14.
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The University of North Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s, master’s and education specialist degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of the University of North Alabama
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UNA offers its Honors Program for exceptional students who value a close-knit community of other student scholars and faculty. Honors students enjoy a variety of educational benefits, including cultural travel opportunities, distinguished guest speakers and smaller classes with professors specially chosen for their teaching and passion in their fields. Honors students also have special access to the Honors Center, which includes study rooms, computer labs, meeting areas, lounge and kitchen. Every Honors student receives scholarships directly from the Honors Program.
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A UNA education can be a global experience both on campus and off. On campus, the University offers a diverse population, including international students from more than 40 countries. Off campus, student and faculty study-abroad groups tour the world, visiting destinations such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Scotland and Spain, to name a few.
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Throughout the year, UNA offers a variety of cultural events, such as the Summer Theatre Program, the Distinguished Events Series and the George Lindsey UNA Film Festival, named for UNA alumnus George Lindsey, of “The Andy Griffith Show” fame. Special guests to these and other University events often include Oscar-winning filmmakers, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers and other nationally acclaimed personalities. UNA is also home to many cultural and artistic organizations, such as the Shoals Symphony at UNA and the Entertainment Industry Center, where many students have taken their first steps toward significant careers in music and entertainment.
The UNA Lions compete in the Gulf South Conference of the NCAA Division II. Men’s varsity sports include football, baseball, basketball, tennis, golf and cross country, while women’s sports include volleyball, basketball, softball, soccer, tennis and cross country. UNA teams have collected more than 40 conference championships, dozens of No. 1 national rankings and six national titles. UNA’s athletic history is marked by names such as Harlon Hill, namesake of the NCAA D-II’s Harlon Hill Trophy, and benchmarks such as the first football team in any division to win 40 or more games in three seasons.
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UNA is located just blocks from the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama, one of four cities collectively known as the Shoals. The Shoals area is steeped in arts, culture and entertainment such as the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, FAME Studios, the birthplaces of Helen Keller and W.C. Handy, the Wilson Dam, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and much more. The Shoals, with a population of about 137,000, is centrally located between Birmingham, Alabama, and Nashville and Memphis, Tennessee.
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UNA and its students, faculty and staff impact the Shoals area economy annually with more than $161 million in direct and indirect spending, according to a 2008 study conducted by the University’s Center for Public Policy and Economic Research (COPPER). The study analyzed indirect employment and earnings effects of employee and student spending; total spending, employment and earning impact; local tax revenue generated by UNA students and employees; impact on local financial institutions; and how international students impact the local economy.
UNA occupies one of the most picturesque college campuses in Alabama. Its more than 130 acres offer a pedestrian-friendly environment in Florence’s historic district. Many of UNA’s beautifully restored historic buildings include mid and late 19th century and early 20th century mansions and classroom facilities. One of the University’s oldest buildings, Wesleyan Hall, is where the infamous Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman coined the phrase “War is hell.” The building was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops during the Civil War.
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Leo III and Una
Two 9-year-old African lions, Leo III and Una, are among the permanent residents of the UNA campus. The siblings are housed in a state-of-the-art secure habitat near the main entrance of campus, next door to the president’s home. Leo III and Una are often seen at public events, such as the Homecoming parade and home football games. They welcome guests from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week.