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Following the classical purpose of education — the production of good citizens — the University Fellows Experience (UFE) strives to prepare the most able and dedicated students at The University of Alabama for lives of leadership in and service to their community, state, nation and world. 

Chief components of the UFE include:

  • mentoring by top University of Alabama faculty members
  • a team-built atmosphere of support and stimulation
  • interaction with cutting-edge experts in all fields
  • engagement in important cultural, social and scientific enterprises
  • service to the community
  • assistance in applying and competing for prestigious scholarships, graduate and professional schools, professional internships and career positions
  • scholarship support

Stages of the University Fellows Experience

Throughout the freshman year, Fellows are encouraged and challenged to develop their interests and passions through on-campus and community involvement. Freshman Fellows develop their own skills, gifts and passions while exploring what leadership means in a variety of contexts.

Throughout the sophomore year, Fellows realize passions, hone leadership skills and put service theories into practice. Sophomore Fellows expand their interests in their academic field, on campus and in the community, through purposeful involvement.

Throughout the junior year, Fellows focus their passions and involvement on and off campus while exploring career options and post-undergraduate opportunities. Junior Fellows explore current developments in their field while acting as leaders and mentors to their younger Fellow cohorts and peers.

Throughout the senior year, Fellows continue to distinguish themselves in their fields of study, receive guidance in finalizing post-undergraduate plans and give back to the UFE community in unique teaching and leadership positions.

The University Fellows Experience constitutes an academic minor titled “Social Innovation and Leadership." The minor will be required for those students selected as University Fellows. The classes count toward the 18 total hours needed to complete the requirements of the Honors College.

Admission and Graduation Requirements

Acceptance into the UFE is extremely competitive. A student with a composite ACT score of at least 32 or a SAT score of at least 1400 (verbal and quantitative) and a high-school GPA of at least 3.8 who is accepted into UA by the UFE application deadline will be invited to apply for the University Fellows Experience. A student eligible for the Honors College (minimum 30 ACT/1360 SAT and 3.5 high-school GPA) may be nominated for the University Fellows Experience by a high-school counselor or a UA faculty or staff member. The UFE selection committee will consider a candidate's records of academic, extracurricular, service and leadership achievements more heavily than grades and test scores.

To complete the requirements of the Social Innovation and Leadership minor, students must complete 17 credit hours of UFE coursework plus an additional 3 credit hours of approved elective coursework for a total of 20 credit hours and maintain an overall GPA of 3.3. 

Social Innovation and Leadership MinorMore Information

UFE 101Understanding Poverty3
UFE 102Social Investing and the Role of Innovation3
UFE 201Systemic Change Through Social Entrepreneurship1
UFE 202Social Innovation for Collective Impact1
UFE 301Leadership and Change: A Global Perspective1
UFE 302Making an Impact in a Global Society2
UFE 350Black Belt Experience3
UFE 400Magnum Opus Experience (UFE 400 may be repeated as an elective for 3 credit hours )3
Elective Course Credit *An approved 300 or 400 level course. UFE 400 may be repeated to fulfill the elective credit requirement 3
Total Hours20


For more information, contact The University of Alabama Honors College, University Fellows Experience, Box 870169, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0169; (205) 348-5500;