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University of Alabama

Program Overview 

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Culture: Student and sports-centric, all-American
Neighborhood: College town, suburban/rural
Housing: On-campus dormitory
English level: Intermediate - advanced 

The University of Alabama (UA) is a student-centric institution and is committed to facilitating collaboration, public engagement, and creating well-rounded future leaders. Scholarly work is always present for students and this atmosphere has helped numerous students win prestigious awards in the sciences and the liberal arts fields.

Located in the town of Tuscaloosa, UA focuses on supporting students and helping them to achieve academic excellence over the years. In addition, sports play a key role in campus life, as the students become ardent supporters of the players, particularly in football. Their famous call of “Roll Tide!” can be heard at games and any time the team is mentioned.

Tuscaloosa is a town of approximately 100,000 in the deep south. The town and the university are intertwined, as UA is one of the largest economic forces in the area. College football is just as popular on campus as it is off campus. The phrase that originated in football at UA, “Roll Tide,” can be heard in Tuscaloosa and around the state itself.

Student Profile

Students who are interested in attending a large public university with a strong sports atmosphere would enjoy attending UA. The institution is also located in the southern part of the country, meaning that SAF Scholars who prefer a warmer climate and a more rural environment would be the right-fit for this university.

Other Programs at University

University of Alabama - Language

Other Comparable Programs

Program Details

Program Dates by Term Availability

Fall (September – December)
Spring (January – May)

Progression or Concurrent Notes

SAF Scholars will be able to progress if they receive the qualifying English language score prior to the academic term. In order to achieve the required score in time to progress, students must enter their first semester with a 71 iBT.

Program Strengths

A significant strength at UA is the spectrum of amenities provided for students. The large public institution provides a wide range of courses, extracurricular activities and opportunities for meeting individuals of many backgrounds.

# of Credits (per term)

In order to be a full-time student at the University of Alabama, SAF Scholars will need to take between 12–18 credit hours per semester.

Course Registration Policies & Procedures

SAF Scholars register for courses during their on-campus orientation.

Course/Departmental Restrictions

Some courses and departments have limited access. Therefore, SAF Scholars cannot enroll in the following courses prior to their arrival. However, if they choose, they can attend the course on their first day and check if there are any open seats and then obtain permission from the professor.
  • Anatomy/Physiology
  • Botany/Plant Studies
  • Genetics
  • Hotel/Tourism Management
  • Urban Studies
The following programs will allow SAF Scholars to take courses with a GPA of 2.5/4.0 on case-by-case basis:
  • American/Canadian Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Art History
  • Asian Studies
  • Biological Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Criminal Justice/Criminology
  • Engineering
  • Environmental Studies
  • Film/Art Studies
  • Fine/Studio Arts
  • Human Environment & Design
  • International Relations/Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Media/Media Studies
  • Music Education
  • Music Performance
  • Philosophy
  • Political Science
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
The following subjects have strict pre-requisites:
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Journalism
  • Public Relations/Affairs
Graduate Courses
No graduate courses are available at Alabama.

Housing Type

On-campus dormitory 


SAF Scholars do not receive a meal plan, but may purchase one at their own expense. University residence halls contain kitchen facilities, so scholars may cook for themselves. However, the university does place $325 dining dollars on each scholar’s account each semester to be used at university dining halls. Any money that is not spent through the semester is returned. Additionally, scholars may simply add money to this account to continue purchasing meals instead of subscribing to a meal plan.

Type of Room

Guaranteed, varies
Student Life

Co-/Extra-Curricular Opportunities or Programs

SAF Scholars have the opportunity to join numerous student clubs and organizations at UA, from the Crew Club to the Academic Quizbowl Team to the Table Tennis Association. The Center for Service and Leadership (CSL) provides students with experiences to engage in service opportunities across a variety of interested areas. It is a popular focus for students, as students participated in over one million hours of service in the 2016-2017 academic year.

Life on Campus

Football is an important feature of life at UA. The university has many sports teams and events throughout the year, but the football season is famous. If the state is considered football-crazy, then the campus is the epicenter of the madness. The rally cry of “Roll Tide” can be heard throughout campus and is a common chant. 
Last Updated: 1/9/19