Alabama K-12 Online Schools

Alabama is currently testing the waters with online K-12 schools, including two pilot high schools launched in 2013, and two additional schools – Pine County Virtual High School and Mobile County Public School System Envision Virtual School – scheduled to open in 2015. Alabama currently offers supplemental learning online for students in grades 6-12, but none for K-5 as of yet. In 2008, Alabama established an online learning requirement for K-12 students, only the second state in the nation to do so. Almost all K-12 online courses in Alabama are completed through the ACCESS Distance Learning system, and students can also take online courses for community college credit.

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ACCESS Distance Learning 9 - 12 Montgomery Both Live/On-Demand Public (334) 242-9594

Alabama Online Colleges and Universities

Web-based courses and degree programs are available at many of Alabama’s four-year public universities, private universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Because these schools are accountable to the Alabama Commission of Higher Education, they are fully accredited. Some of the online schools in Alabama include The University of Alabama, Alabama State University, Auburn University at Montgomery and Lawson State Community College at Birmingham. There are also several for-profit, private institutions that offer online courses, certificates and degrees. However, these institutions are not governed by the Alabama Commission of Higher Education.

Community Colleges in Alabama

There are 25 comprehensive community colleges in the Alabama Community College System (ACCS), which is governed by the State Board of Education. The ACCS includes the Marion Military Institute, one of just five junior military colleges in the nation, as well as a workforce development initiative called the Alabama Technology Network (ATN). The ACCS serves roughly 300,000 students every year, including 100,000 credit course enrollees.

The ACCS has demonstrated a committed to accessibility. Campuses are spread across the state, conveniently accessible from virtually anywhere in Alabama. The ACCS also offers open enrollment, low tuition and a range of programs and services that remove barriers to entering college and the workplace.

Northwest-Shoals Community College 800 George Wallace Blvd Muscle Shoals +
Snead State Community College 102 Elder Street Boaz +
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Technical Colleges in Alabama

Alabama also has three public technical colleges: Ingram State Technical College (ING), Reid State Technical College (REI) and Trenholm State Technical College (TRE).

Aside from Alabama’s extensive public, state-run education network, there are also 15 private colleges, universities and academies in the state. These institutions have their own governing bodies and are not accountable to the State Department of Education. From small religious schools to athletic academies, private colleges in Alabama offer prospective students even greater educational diversity.

Best Online Schools in Alabama for 2015-2016

Score Student/teacher ratio Financial aid Cost more
1 Heritage Christian University 99.87 5:1 100%

Known for producing effective communicators, preachers, teachers and missionaries, Heritage Christian University offers parallel degree programs to their on-campus option through their Distance Learning Program. Degrees offered include: Associate Arts in Biblical Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, Master of Arts, Master of Ministry, and Master of Divinity. All students, no matter what program they anticipate finishing, will complete coursework in biblical studies. Most courses are digitally recorded and delivered through a web-based course management system. While online classes are accessible and don't require day-to-day attendance on campus, students are required to take all final exams on campus.

2 Alabama State University 99.57 16:1 93%

With a long-standing tradition as a "Teacher's College," Alabama State University offers five graduate programs and one undergraduate program online. True to form, online teaching degrees offered include: Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Library Education. Other degrees include a Master's Degree in Applied Technology, a Transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy and an undergraduate Psychology degree. Class content and assignments are the same as on-campus classes and all online classes are delivered through the learning management tool, Blackboard. Courses are available any time of day and online students are given the same support services as students on-campus.

3 Troy University 99.01 17:1 78%

Troy University's eTroy program offers a diverse and plentiful choice of associate, undergraduate, graduate, and certifications through their online learning program. With more than 70 programs to choose from, degree options are vast at Troy University. Using the Blackboard Learning Management System, students complete all of their coursework online through assignments, discussions and online assessments. The program is designed for self-motivated learners and some programs can be completed in as quickly as one year. In addition to college coursework, the University's unique ACCELERATE dual enrollment online program allows high school students to earn college credit while still in high school. Scholarships are available for both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

4 Amridge University 98.85 10:1 100%

Unlike many higher-ed institutions, Amridge University focuses almost entirely on online education. Distance learning is the primary instructional delivery system for all of their programs including: liberal studies, bachelor's programs ranging from biblical studies to management and masters programs including marriage and family therapy and divinity. Amridge uses Blackboard Learning Management System to deliver all course content and offers 15 week, 10 week and 8 week courses. Because the school focuses on online learning, several programs are available in addition to Blackboard including Smarthinking, which gives students access to live online tutors. There are several library resource tools that connect students with necessary materials despite their location.

5 Faulkner University 98.63 15:1 99%

Affiliated with the Churches of Christ, Faulkner University aims to combine online degree programs with a Christian environment. Online programs include a variety of degrees including associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate programs. The programs are designed for busy professionals looking for a career or advancement in their current field through continued education. The school features both affordable tuition and accelerated programs for a fast-track to graduation. With 117 full time faculty, students can expect quality online classes in degree programs like Criminal Justice, Executive MBA, or Master of Education. The school offers special benefits for active military and veterans and is fully accredited.

6 Oakwood University 98.42 14:1 94%

The Organizational Management degree offered through Oakwood University's LEAP Adult Degree Completion Program aims to help students develop the management skills that will help them become effective managers, supervisors, leaders and entrepreneurs. The LEAP program aims to help adults who are 25 and older who may be employed full time to complete their degrees while continuing to work. While a hybrid on-campus/online program is an option, the school also offers a fully online format for the Organizational Management degree. 128 total credit hours are required for completion of the degree. Classes offered include Foundations of Management, Personnel Management, and Group and Organizational Dynamics.

7 University of West Alabama 98.16 16:1 95%

The University of West Alabama (UWA) offers multiple online degrees in the College of Business and also a Bachelor of Science in the College of Education. UWA arranges online classes in five 8-week terms per year. A full-load is two classes (or six credit hours) per term. Thus, students can complete 30 credit hours in one year. This calendar system is set up to give UWA students the flexibility to learn and succeed at their individual paces. In addition to the undergraduate courses offered, UWA has multiple graduate online programs available in the Colleges of Business, Education, and Liberal Arts.

8 Alabama A & M University 97.87 15:1 97%

While Alabama A&M University (AAMU) was founded in 1875, its online program is fairly new. The university recently launched its first completely online program in Business Management. AAMU Online is geared for all its students, whether they are freshmen, returners, or non-traditional students also working. The online classroom setting gives students the ability to have more one-on-one interactions with professors and still get to know other students in order to experience a diverse community-just as one would on a college campus. AAMU offers a Distance Learning Help Desk specifically created to help students with any technical issues related to online classes.

9 Jacksonville State University 97.58 18:1 93%

At Jacksonville State University (JSU), there is a surplus of master programs offered completely online. With the help of a few undergraduate degrees also available online, JSU offers over 30 online programs. There are also hundreds of online classes offered for programs not completely online. The university's online system is setup predominantly with Blackboard Learn LMS. This system offers an advanced online classroom setting by facilitating communication between professors and students, coordinating activities, and presenting course content. All while having the user-friendly tools available to students in order to lessen technical difficulties that are associated with online courses.

10 University of Alabama at Birmingham 97.32 18:1 90%

As a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accredited university, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) offers multiple online programs recognized professionally. UAB eLearning was created with the intent to cater to working students. The university offers three different modes of online programs: online, distance accessible, and blended. The majority of eLearning classes are completely online. However, distance accessible classes involve online content with periodic on-campus intensives and blended classes offer half the content online with the remainder being taught on-campus. UAB has a wide variety of minors, bachelor degrees, and master programs offered 100 percent online.

11 Auburn University at Montgomery 97.06 16:1 90%

Auburn University at Montgomery gears its online programs to students as a supplement to other degrees in respect to its bachelor programs. It offers an online program for a certificate in American Society and Culture for foreign students. This program is designed to add students' current degrees. Another undergraduate degree offered completely online is the RN to BSN (EARN) program. EARN is a three-semester program for RNs with a diploma or associate degree looking to further their education and receive a B.S.N. The courses offered online at AUM are taught by the same professors that teach on-campus courses.

12 University of South Alabama 96.99 19:1 91%

At the University of South Alabama (USA), there are multiple online programs and courses available to its students. Not only are four-year programs offered online, but also two-year upper division courses for transfer students or those that choose to finish their degrees online. USA has over 250 online courses available every year in order to give students with busy schedules the accessibility to a quality education. Currently, USAonline offers both a B.A. and B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and an associate degree within the nursing program, along with numerous graduate programs 100 percent online.

13 University of Alabama in Huntsville 96.92 16:1 87%

A fully-online RN to BSN program is available from the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), which incorporates such virtual learning tools as Canvas, Panopto, Blackboard and videoconferencing. Achievable in two full-time semesters (with a part-time option available), students are encouraged to attend one full-day, on-campus orientation at the program's start. UAH offers two paths to a BSN degree: a traditional one for first-time nursing students, and a program for those who already hold a diploma or associate degree in the subject.

14 Auburn University 95.13 18:1 76%

Auburn University offers numerous online courses in a range of undergraduate programs. However, the only program completely offered online is the College of Business' BS in Accountancy. The online accounting program is identical to the one on-campus. So much so, the on-campus classes are recorded and then streamed for online students to watch either live or at a later convenient time. The online program therefore follows the same academic calendar as that on-campus. Auburn Online's goal is to provide convenient access of the university's provided education for students in any location, whether it is at home or work.

15 The University of Alabama 88.34 21:1 75%

Bama By Distance, the University of Alabama's distance learning program, has degree options that include online, video conferencing, evening and weekend formats. More than 30 online degrees are available, including bachelor's degrees in commerce and business administration, human environmental sciences and nursing. An early college program allows high-achieving high school students to get a head start on college, before earning their high school diploma. And a GoArmyEd partnership helps active service members meet their educational goals, even if they're overseas. UA's New College LifeTrack lets student earn credits toward a bachelor's degree for past life and work experience.

16 Athens State University 87.53 17:1 N/A

Athens State University offers 13 online degree programs and several certificate options to students, including some unique programs. Aspiring teachers can earn non-licensure degrees in technical education with specializations in instructional design, military instructor, post-secondary education and early instructor. Other degrees include management of technology, logistics and supply chain management, information assurance and others. ASU's traditional degree programs also have some online options. Its goals include graduating lifelong learners who are effective communicators and have a global understanding of human cultures and the global society.

17 United States Sports Academy 86.94 8:1 N/A

Aspiring sports science professionals can earn an online bachelor's, master's or doctorate from the United States Sports Academy. Classes are asynchronous through the Canvas learning system, so students can log in and complete assignments when it's convenient for them. And classes begin whenever the student is ready, at any time during the year. A 16-week time limit is assigned to each class and active duty military personnel have 18 weeks for each class. Students have access to the Academy library and writing tutorials. The USSA is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.

Four-Year Universities in Alabama

There are 14 public four-year universities in Alabama, all of which offer reduced tuition for in-state residents. Known for excellence in academics and athletics, Alabama’s large four-year institutions are highly coveted destination schools for students across the country. These schools include Alabama A&M University, Alabama State University, Athens State University, Auburn University, Auburn University at Montgomery, Jacksonville State University, The University of Alabama, Troy University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Montevallo, University of North Alabama, University of South Alabama and University of West Alabama.

Alabama’s private universities are dedicated to preparing students for a career after graduation. The private institutions in the state are Ambridge University, Birmingham Southern College, Concordia College, Faulkner University, Huntingdon College, Judson College, Miles College, Oakwood University, Samford University, Spring Hill College, Stillman College, Talladega College, Tuskegee University, United States Sports Academy and University of Mobile.

Whether students enroll in a public or private university, they get the tools they need to be successful in their chosen careers. Online schools in Alabama, as well as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, prepare students to work in a number of fields. Alabama’s diverse economy includes top business sectors such as aerospace, automotive, biotech, chemical and steel.

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Alabama A & M University Public 4900 Meridian Street Normal +
University of Alabama at Birmingham Public Administration Bldg Suite 1070 Birmingham +
University of Alabama in Huntsville Public 301 Sparkman Dr Huntsville +
Heritage Christian University Private not-for-profit 3625 Helton Dr Florence +
Auburn University at Montgomery Public 7440 East Drive Montgomery +
Faulkner University Private not-for-profit 5345 Atlanta Hwy Montgomery +
The University of Alabama Public 739 University Blvd Tuscaloosa +
Oakwood University Private not-for-profit 7000 Adventist Blvd NW Huntsville +
Troy University Public University Avenue Troy +
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Spotlights of Online Colleges in Alabama

University of Alabama (Bama by Distance)

The University of Alabama is the largest university in the state and the flagship school in the public university system. Its groundbreaking distance learning program, Bama by Distance, allows students to earn bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral-level degrees online.

Bama by Distance is specifically designed for adult learners who have been out of high school for a few years. The students in these programs earn the same degrees as their on-campus counterparts. Students pay a flat, hourly tuition rate and are not subject to in-state or out-of-state tuition fees, no matter where they live. Federal financial aid is available, as are scholarships through the College of Continuing Studies.

Bama by Distance offers individual courses, as well as full degree programs, with special divisions for active military and veterans. For those pursuing full degrees, Bama by Distance has nearly a dozen options, including arts and sciences, commerce and business administration, communication and information sciences, education, engineering, high school programs, human environmental sciences, law, nursing and social work.

For more information, visit Bama by Distance’s online program page at

Auburn University (Auburn Online)

With more than 20,000 enrollees, Auburn University is one of the largest public online schools in Alabama. Auburn Online caters to a wide range of educational needs and student goals by offering not only undergrad and graduate programs, but also professional credit programs, such as training and certification courses. For those who want to learn a new skill or hobby, Auburn Online also offers personal enrichment programs, ranging from crafts to financial planning. Unique and comprehensive degree programs are available through their seven different colleges: agriculture, business, education, engineering, human sciences, liberal arts, and science and mathematics. Offerings for graduates have many of the same focuses, but also include architecture, design and construction.

Auburn University’s Biggio Center for Advanced Education works full-time to promote and enhance Auburn’s distance learning program. A unique and separate entity, the Biggio Center is a resource for students and one of the nation’s top academic development centers.

For more information about Auburn Online, visit For the Biggio Center’s Distance Learning program, visit

Calhoun Community College

John C. Calhoun Community College is the largest online school in Alabama’s vast community college network, offering more than 80 Web-based courses as well as a number of degrees and certificates, including associate degrees in general studies and business administration and certificates in software applications. In addition to offering full certificate and degree programs, Calhoun’s distance learning program allows students to accumulate credits that can be transferred to a four-year college or university.

Students have the option to take both Web-based courses and hybrid courses, in which the student receives a majority of education online, supplemented by some courses at a physical campus. Both hybrid and web-only courses cost the same as traditional, on-campus courses at Calhoun. Financial aid, loans, grants, scholarships and veterans’ aid may all be applied to tuition. Available courses include business, computer systems, technologies, nursing, health, fine arts, language and literature, social sciences, math and natural sciences.

Visit Calhoun’s distance learning website at

Alabama State University

Alabama State University is a historically African-American school that offers online classes through the learning management system Blackboard. This allows students to complete assignments and attend classes without ever entering a classroom.

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus

Lawson State Community College-Birmingham Campus is among several online schools in Alabama that participate in the Electronic Campus program. Electronic Campus is a network established by the Southern Regional Education Board, which promotes distance learning at colleges and universities throughout the Southern United States.

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Best Alabama Online Colleges

Best for Future Service Members

Alabama may be the heart of Dixie, but it’s also home to many colleges and degree tracks with ROTC programs. Students who prioritize service to their country will find many four-year degree granting, nonprofit institutions, including two ROTC programs. Whether the students chooses ROTC for the Army, Navy or Air Force, service opportunities are available while completing an undergraduate or graduate degree. Below are some online schools in Alabama that offer economical education opportunities to service-minded students.

Tuition City ROTC - Army ROTC - Navy ROTC - Air Force
Auburn University$7,872 Auburn University Yes Yes Yes
Tuskegee University$18,100 Tuskegee Yes Yes Yes
Troy University$5,976 Troy Yes No Yes
University of South Alabama$6,360 Mobile Yes No Yes
University of Alabama at Birmingham$6,798 Birmingham Yes No Yes
Auburn University at Montgomery$7,500 Montgomery Yes No Yes
University of Montevallo$8,790 Montevallo Yes No Yes
The University of Alabama$9,200 Tuscaloosa Yes No Yes
Miles College$10,224 Fairfield Yes No Yes
Stillman College$13,548 Tuscaloosa Yes No Yes
Faulkner University$15,730 Montgomery Yes No Yes
University of Mobile$17,110 Mobile Yes No Yes
Huntingdon College$19,988 Montgomery Yes No Yes

Best for Personal Attention

If you’re looking for high-quality colleges and universities in the South, look no further than Alabama. Some online schools in Alabama feature a number of degree programs, while others focus on a specific field. No matter what their scholarly interest, students are typically seeking a strong, personalized education without overcrowding. The following Alabama colleges enroll more than 4,000 students, but have average classroom sizes of fewer than 20 students per instructor. These nonprofit, four-year schools boast the best student-teacher ratios in the state.

University of North Alabama 20 to 1 7,260$5,328 Public Florence
Jacksonville State University 20 to 1 9,671$7,950 Public Jacksonville
Alabama A & M University 19 to 1 4,582$5,592 Public Normal
Troy University 19 to 1 25,182$5,976 Public Troy
The University of Alabama 19 to 1 28,718$9,200 Public Tuscaloosa
Stillman College 18 to 1 1,201$13,548 Private not-for-profit Tuscaloosa
University of Alabama at Birmingham 18 to 1 12,962$6,798 Public Birmingham
Auburn University 18 to 1 21,429$7,872 Public Auburn University
University of West Alabama 17 to 1 2,454$6,170 Public Livingston
University of Montevallo 17 to 1 2,785$8,790 Public Montevallo
Athens State University 17 to 1 4,690$4,590 Public Athens
Alabama State University 17 to 1 5,541$6,312 Public Montgomery
Auburn University at Montgomery 16 to 1 5,424$7,500 Public Montgomery
Selma University 15 to 1 610$5,640 Private not-for-profit Selma
Faulkner University 15 to 1 3,637$15,730 Private not-for-profit Montgomery
University of Alabama in Huntsville 15 to 1 6,983$8,794 Public Huntsville
Southeastern Bible College 14 to 1 211$11,700 Private not-for-profit Birmingham
United States Sports Academy 14 to 1 233$11,880 Private not-for-profit Daphne
Huntingdon College 14 to 1 1,339$19,988 Private not-for-profit Montgomery
Miles College 14 to 1 1,967$10,224 Private not-for-profit Fairfield
Oakwood University 14 to 1 2,130$14,530 Private not-for-profit Huntsville
Birmingham Southern College 13 to 1 1,354$29,600 Private not-for-profit Birmingham
Spring Hill College 13 to 1 1,488$27,670 Private not-for-profit Mobile
University of Mobile 13 to 1 1,781$17,110 Private not-for-profit Mobile
Talladega College 12 to 1 939$10,175 Private not-for-profit Talladega
Tuskegee University 12 to 1 2,721$18,100 Private not-for-profit Tuskegee
Amridge University 11 to 1 522$7,380 Private not-for-profit Montgomery
Samford University 11 to 1 3,096$24,570 Private not-for-profit Birmingham
Huntsville Bible College 10 to 1 131$3,120 Private not-for-profit Huntsville
Judson College 9 to 1 388$14,200 Private not-for-profit Marion
Heritage Christian University 4 to 1 82$8,952 Private not-for-profit Florence

Best for Women in Technology

Many online schools in Alabama work hard at creating an educational environment where women in the technology and engineering fields can flourish. We’ve compiled the very best of these programs and listed them below. These are colleges where women earning technology degrees can learn in classrooms with the same gender ratio as the rest of the campus body. Some of these Alabama colleges further ensure female students’ success by offering mentorships, all-women residence halls and centers dedicated to women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) fields. Below, we’ve highlighted some of the best Alabama colleges for women to earn their technology and engineering degrees.

Auburn University$9,446 Auburn University 203 21,286 Public
University of Alabama at Birmingham$6,798 Birmingham 126 11,664 Public
University of Alabama in Huntsville$8,794 Huntsville 87 4,997 Public
The University of Alabama$9,200 Tuscaloosa 87 27,295 Public
University of West Alabama$7,320 Livingston 82 4,637 Public
University of South Alabama$6,660 Mobile 51 11,372 Public
Alabama A & M University$7,182 Normal 30 4,235 Public
Tuskegee University$18,900 Tuskegee 22 3,060 Private Not for Profit
Jacksonville State University$6,360 Jacksonville 15 6,423 Public
Samford University$25,150 Birmingham 11 4,280 Private Not for Profit
Alabama State University$7,932 Montgomery 7 4,600 Public
Oakwood University$15,414 Huntsville 6 1,846 Private Not for Profit
Athens State UniversityN/A Athens 6 1,518 Public

Best Fighting for Families

Alabama values the health of families, and this can be seen in the state’s exceptional college programs dedicated to this branch of social work. Online schools in Alabama prepare graduates to assist in mental health facilities, schools, hospitals and anywhere children and families receive professional care. This training involves the very best in fieldwork, classes, clinical settings and experiential learning. Scholarship and fellowship assistance make these comprehensive programs affordable pursuits. In comparing Alabama colleges, we’ve looked at rankings, reputation, academic opportunities and other advantages and posted the results in the list below. These highlighted programs are the leading social work programs in Alabama for those interested in helping families.

The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa 262 237 25 $9,200 27,295
Jacksonville State University Jacksonville 139 87 52 $6,360 6,423
University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham 95 71 24 $6,798 11,664
Troy University Troy 92 81 11 $6,844 12,411
Alabama A & M University Normal 72 67 5 $7,182 4,235
Auburn University Auburn University 65 45 20 $9,446 21,286
Alabama State University Montgomery 62 50 12 $7,932 4,600
University of North Alabama Florence 47 37 10 $6,528 5,313
University of Montevallo Montevallo 35 24 11 $9,280 2,445
University of South Alabama Mobile 35 29 6 $6,660 11,372
Miles College Fairfield 18 16 2 $11,014 1,523
Tuskegee University Tuskegee 18 13 5 $18,900 3,060
University of West Alabama Livingston 12 9 3 $7,320 4,637
Oakwood University Huntsville 10 9 1 $15,414 1,846
Talladega College Talladega 9 7 2 $11,492 647
University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville 9 9 0 $8,794 4,997
Athens State University Athens 8 7 1 N/A 1,518
University of Mobile Mobile 7 5 2 $18,080 1,357
Samford University Birmingham 5 3 2 $25,150 4,280
Auburn University at Montgomery Montgomery 5 5 0 $8,150 3,264