Mission, Vision and Strategic Goals of the University

UA Mission Statement

Our Mission

To advance the intellectual and social condition of the people of the state, the nation, and the world through the creation, translation, and dissemination of knowledge with an emphasis on quality programs of teaching, research, and service.

Our Vision

The University of Alabama will be the university of choice for the best and brightest students in Alabama and a university of choice for all students who seek exceptional educational opportunities. The University of Alabama will be a student-centered research university and an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life, not only for all Alabamians, but for citizens of the nation and world.

Our Strategic Goals

  • Advance the University's academic, research, scholarship, and service priorities, consistent with a top tier university, and continue to promote growth and national prominence in these areas.
  • Enhance the teaching, research, and service mission of the University by retaining and recruiting outstanding faculty and staff.
  • Enhance the University's learning environment to attract and retain excellent students.
  • Develop a universitywide emphasis on leadership as a primary role of the flagship university of the state of Alabama.

Mission of Graduate School

The Graduate School, through graduate offerings of the various colleges and schools, prepares students for careers in a wide range of teaching, research, creative, and service activities. The Graduate School assists the graduate faculty in offering programs of study leading to more than 120 master’s, Educational Specialist, and doctoral degrees. It works with the office of the Executive Vice President and Provost to coordinate the ongoing program review of all academic departments and programs of the University.

Personnel of the Graduate School work with departments to identify prospective graduate students and enroll a graduate student population consistent with the enrollment objectives of the University. The objectives include not only overall enrollment, but also the enrollment of a diverse student body. The Graduate School operates in cooperation with the other colleges and schools of the University to foster the development of teaching by graduate teaching assistants.

History and Organization

In 1819, the Congress of the United States donated 46,000 acres of land within the state of Alabama for the endowment of a seminary of learning. The board of trustees of the University was created by the General Assembly of Alabama in 1821, and on April 18, 1831, the University was opened for the admission of students. From the outset, the University offered graduate degrees, the first being a Master of Arts degree conferred in 1832. On April 4,1865, most University buildings were burned to the ground by a body of federal cavalry. Construction of new buildings began in January 1867, and classes were resumed in April 1869. On February 25, 1884, the federal government donated 72 sections of public lands within the state to The University of Alabama in restitution for its loss in buildings and equipment when the campus was destroyed in 1865.

The Graduate School was organized as a specialized division of the University in 1924. In the fall of 1950, the University began to offer the PhD degree. Today, The University of Alabama provides a comprehensive program of graduate study in more than 120 master’s, Educational Specialist, and doctoral degree programs. The comprehensive program of graduate study embraces the humanities, the sciences, education, and several professional areas.

Graduate study is designed for college graduates who desire a deeper and more thorough involvement in scholarship and research and more thorough professional preparation in their chosen fields. Graduate study, especially at the doctoral level, is designed to develop independent scholarship, originality, and competence in research or competence in the various professional areas in which doctoral programs are offered.

The Graduate School is composed of the divisions that offer graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees. The faculty of the Graduate School consists of those faculty members of the divisions who are deemed qualified by their peers and deans to teach and do research of graduate caliber and who participate actively in these graduate activities. The Graduate School has supervision over all graduate work in the University except law and medicine.

The Graduate Council is composed of 6 appointed and 32 elected faculty members, plus two student members. The Council formulates graduate academic policies and reviews proposals for new graduate programs, certificates, and concentrations. The dean of the Graduate School is ex officio chairperson of the Council and is responsible for the administration of the regulations and requirements for advanced degrees.


The University of Alabama is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master's, Educational Specialist, and doctoral 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 Alabama.

Selected graduate programs have been accredited by the American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business, American Bar Association, American Library Association, American Psychological Association, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Association of Research Libraries, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Council on Social Work Education, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Dance, National Association of Schools of Music, National Association of Schools of Theatre, Council on Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, Council on Rehabilitation Education, and National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.