Alabama A&M University online, or Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, is a teaching, research, and public service institution. Founded in 1875 by William Hooper Council, a former slave, AAMU is considered a Historically Black College and University. The school’s 2,300 scenic-acre campus lives on “The Hill” just a short distance from downtown Huntsville, Alabama.
Four colleges comprise the University: the College of Agriculture, Life and Natural Sciences; the College of Business and Public Affairs; the College of Education, Humanities and Behavioral Sciences; and the College of Engineering, Technology and Physical Sciences. Students can pick from 41 baccalaureate degrees, 23 masters degrees, four doctoral degrees, and one EdS. Alabama A&M University has 93 student clubs and organizations and 75 percent student participation in community service.i
Alabama A&M University Online Mission
Alabama A&M University’s tagline, Service Is Sovereignty, perhaps points to a portion of its mission, which is to provide “an education environment for the emergence of scholars, scientists, leaders, critical thinkers, and other contributors to a global society.”iii To help fulfill its mission, AAMU commits to:iii
- Excellence in education and a scholarly environment in which inquiring and discriminating minds are nourished.
- The education of students for effective participation in local, state, regional, national, and international societies.
- The search for new knowledge through research and its applications.
- The provision of a comprehensive outreach program designed to meet the changing needs of the larger community.
- Programs necessary to adequately address the major needs and problems of capable students who have experienced limited access to education.
- Integration of state-of-the-art technology into all aspects of university functions.
Alabama A&M works with businesses, industrial and government agencies, and other institutions to establish a “laboratory” in which theory is put to practice. As such, students not only develop their critical thinking capacities, but also their hands-on skills.iii
Alabama A&M’s History
Alabama A&M University was first called the Hunstville Normal School in 1875, but in 1919 it became The State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes. Eventually, over the course of nearly 100 years, it evolved to become the Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University.ii As a land-grant school, it is presently designed to reflect a traditional land-grant institution by combining teaching, research, service, the liberal arts, and vocational fields. It strives to support qualified and capable individuals in further developing their technical, scientific, professional, and scholastics skills and competencies.iii
Alabama A&M University got its start thanks in part to Senator Justin Smith Morrill, an abolitionist who envisioned an educational system for all social classes and with an emphasis on applied studies rather than just classical ones. His work in the political arena, where he helped birth the First and Second Morrill Acts, eventually advanced the nation by providing an opportunity for all people to seek advanced education.iii
The First Morrill Act of 1862 helped establish an endowment fund for land-grant colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts. It established at least one college in every state, each meant to be especially accessible to “sons of toil.” In 1865, when approximately four million hard-working, but primarily illiterate Blacks were set free from slavery, Morrill fought for them to get the education they deserved.iii Resistance from a still segregated public prompted him to create the Second Morrill Act which stipulated that African-Americans must be included in the U.S. Land-Grant University Higher System Education without discrimination. His work is what allowed Alabama A&M to become what it is today.iii
Alabama A&M Online Tuition and Fees
In-state, beginning undergraduate students paid an estimated $9,366 for tuition in the 2016-2017 school year. Out-of-state students of the same standing paid an estimated $17,496 that same year. Both sets of students paid an additional estimated $1,600 that year for books and supplies. While tuition for out-of-state students went up by 2.1% within one year, tuition for in-state students remained the same.iv
For undergraduate students, the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that in-state students will pay a total of $50,680 in tuition over the course of four years. Out-of-state undergraduate students, meanwhile, will pay an estimated total of $96,416 over the course of four years. This estimated total cost does not include books and fees and uses an estimated tuition inflation rate.iv
In-state graduate students paid an estimated $8,130 for tuition in the 2016-2017 school year. Out-of-state graduate students paid an estimated $16,260 for tuition that same year. Both types of graduate students paid an additional estimated $1,236 that year for fees.iv
Alabama A&M Financial Aid
Of all undergraduate students at Alabama A&M, 81 percent, or 3,651 students, received grant or scholarship aid during the 2015-2016 school year. Seventy percent of those 3,651 students, or 3,171 students, received federal Pell grants. On average, students who received grant or scholarship aid that year received $7,686.iv
Seventy-seven percent of all undergraduate students, or 3,454 students, received federal student loans during the 2015-2016 school year. On average, each of those students received $10,095 dollars that year in federal student loans.iv
Alabama A&M Admissions
7,043 prospective undergraduate students applied to Alabama A&M for fall 2016 admissions. Of those applicants, Alabama A&M accepted 87 percent. Twenty-five percent of accepted students enrolled in classes that fall.iv With an acceptance rate of 88 percent, Alabama A&M ranks as “less selective,” according to U.S. News.v
For admission to Alabama A&M, the school considered applicants’:iv
- High school GPA (required to apply)
- High school record (required to apply)
- Admission test scores (the ACT and SAT) (required to apply)
- TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores (required to apply for international, non-native English-speaking applicants)
Alabama A&M also recommends that applicants include their high school student rank, demonstrated completion of a college-preparatory program, and formal demonstration of competencies in their applications. Ultimately, Alabama A&M admits students who have a Composite Predictive Index (CPI) of 18 or higher. The CPI score is a combination of the high school GPA and ACT/SAT scores. To have a high enough CPI, applicants must have a high school GPA of at least 2.0.
Alabama A&M Application Process
Applicants to undergraduate programs must submit a completed application form, transcripts, and test scores, and pay a $30 application fee. Applicants to graduate programs must submit an application and follow specific instructions for their program. Depending on their program, other documents graduate students might have to submit include official transcripts, test scores (GRE, for example), a resume, letters of recommendation, or a statement of purpose.
Alabama A&M Enrollment
In fall 2016, Alabama A&M had 5,859 total students. 4,851 of those students were undergraduate students, and 1,008 were graduate students. Just 210 undergraduate students had transferred in from other schools.iv
Of Alabama A&M’s undergraduate students that year, 91 percent attended school full-time. Nine percent did so part-time. The majority of undergraduate students, 91 percent, were African-American or black. That same percentage of students were aged 24 or younger (during fall 2015).iv
Alabama A&M Majors
Based on the number of degrees conferred in the 2015-2016 school year, the following majors were most common for students pursuing a bachelors degree:iv
- Biology and the biological sciences
- Business administration and management
- Logistics, materials, and supply chain management
- Physical education teaching and coaching
- General studies in the liberal arts and sciences
- Criminal justice
That same year, students most commonly earned masters degrees in:iv
- Social work
- Counseling psychology
- City/Urban , community, and regional planning
- Biology and the biological sciences
- Business administration and management
- Computer and information sciences
- Family and consumer sciences
- Speech-language pathology
For students earning doctorate degrees in the 2015-2016 school year, agricultural operations and sciences and physics were the two most common majors.iv
Alabama A&M Faculty and Classrooms
As of fall 2016, Alabama A&M employed 260 full-time faculty members, the marge majority of which focused on teaching (with just four focusing on research). That same year and semester, the school employed 95 part-time faculty members, all of whom focused on teaching. Alabama A&M utilized the efforts of 195 graduate assistants, all in the classroom.iv
The student-to-faculty ratio at Alabama A&M was 18 to 1 in 2016. Just over 370percent of the school’s classes had fewer than 20 students. Nearly 60 percent of classes had between 20 and 49 students.vi
Alabama A&M Ranking
U.S. News & World Report ranks Alabama A&M #21 in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and #134 (tie) in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs.vii
Alabama A&M Accreditation
Alabama A&M has regional institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges. The school has been accredited by that agency since 1963. Alabama A&M also has specialized accreditation from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Accreditation Counsel for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics; and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Council on Academic Accreditation in Speech-Language Pathology.iv
i aamu.edu/aboutaamu/pages/aamu-at-a-glance.aspx | ii aamu.edu/aboutaamu/pages/aamu-at-a-glance.aspx | iii aamu.edu/aboutaamu/pages/default.aspx | iv nces.ed.gov/collegenavigator/?id=100654 | v usnews.com/best-colleges/alabama-am-1002/applying | vi usnews.com/best-colleges/alabama-am-1002/academics | vii usnews.com/best-colleges/alabama-am-1002/overall-rankings