The University of Alabama is the largest public school system in the state. Founded during the 19th century to help students living in the south gain access to more opportunities, the school system later found that it could not keep up with the expansion of its student body. It opened a series of extension schools that offered fewer courses and gave students the option of studying closer to home before moving to one of the larger campuses in the UA system. The Birmingham Extension Center opened in 1936, but as the school grew, it later became a full service campus that offered all the same programs and many of the same classes as the main campus.
Though the population of the university is now more than 18,000 students, which includes more than 7,000 graduate students. More than 40 percent of its student body come from the surrounding county, and less than 7 percent of its population come to the University of Alabama at Birmingham from outside the state. UAB appeared on several lists of the nation's top schools, including lists created by Forbes and Washington Monthly. U.S. News and World Report, the top reporting and ranking organization, named UAB one of the top 150 colleges in the United States.
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University of Alabama at Birmingham Accreditation Details
Accreditation is a term that students often hear, but don't understand. It essentially means that the college in question does a good job of helping its students while they are enrolled and after they leave. Online schools may offer technical support for students in their classes, assistance in finding jobs after they leave and with balancing their education and personal lives. The best online colleges often have accreditation from both national organizations and regional agencies registered with the United States Department of Education.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. This level of accreditation means that UAB has the right to award students bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees after successfully completing all the requirements for graduation. The organization returns to the campus every 10 years and performs a routine inspection to determine if the school should keep its accreditation. UAB also has accreditation from this same organization to award degrees through its online system. Students interested in the school counseling program or one of the other counseling programs will find that the school also has accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs for the programs it offers on campus and online.
University of Alabama at Birmingham Application Requirements
The University of Alabama at Birmingham allows students to enter the program during the fall, spring or summer semester. Students must send a completed application packet to the Counselor Education Department several months before the next semester starts. Though the deadline changes every year, students can contact the department directly to ask about those deadlines. The application requires a personal statement written by the student that explains his or her reasons for enrolling, any past experience a detailed description of his or her career goals.
Competition for open spaces is fierce, which is why UAB has some minimum requirements in place for those applying. Students must earn a minimum score of 850 on the GRE or 388 on the MAT. Transcripts sent from the school the student earned a bachelor's degree at must show that the student received a total grade point average of 2.75 or higher. Those with a lower GPA may receive acceptance provided the student agrees to take lower level courses on campus or online to increase his or her GPA. Those enrolling in UAB who want to transfer graduate courses from another school will need to submit their transcripts and request that the school give them credit for those classes.
Tuition and Financial Aid
UAB charges the same tuition rates for online students as it does for those taking classes on campus. As a large number of traditional students enroll in online classes during the summer sessions, this lets students know exactly how much they will pay. All tuition fees follow the guidelines imposed by The graduate school on campus. Students living in Alabama pay $585 for the first semester hour and $370 for each additional semester hour. When students take multiple classes, they pay the higher amount just once and the smaller amount for each remaining semester hour. Students living outside of the state and taking courses through the UAB online system pay $1,084 for the first semester hour and $869 for each additional semester hour. Students must also pay a fee for registering in the graduate program.
Many students cannot afford to pay for the cost of graduate school on their own, but UAB accepts different loans and grants available from the government. After receiving acceptance or after applying, students can fill out the FAFSA online and list UAB as their chosen school. UAB will inform students prior to classes starting if they qualified for financial aid, the amount they received and when those funds will arrive.
Master of Arts in Counseling: School Counseling Concentration
The Master of Arts in Counseling with a School Counseling Concentration is a program available from UAB for students who want to work as school counselors. This program consists of several distinct sections that students must complete. All students must first go through a background check that ensures they can safely work with students of different ages and that they do not pose a risk to those students.
The program consists of an internship that sends students to work in local schools. The internship will last for a minimum of 600 hours that includes more than 200 hours working with clients under the supervision of a licensed counselor. Supervisors are responsible for grading students and determining if they passed or failed this practical experience. If the student fails, the school has the right to remove the student from the program. Those living in other cities and states can complete the internship component in a local school.
Many of the courses that students take serve to help them assist their students later. Those courses cover subjects and topics like substance abuse, bullying, physical abuse and suicide prevention. The University of Alabama at Birmingham wants its students to understand the importance of helping others in the future.