Birmingham-Southern College

Three Birmingham-Southern College students pose for pictures after graduation

“What all of this says is that Birmingham-Southern is a high-quality, caring place where a person from any part of the country would not only be comfortable but would grow intellectually, morally, and personally.
Colleges That Change Lives

Birmingham-Southern College
900 Arkadelphia Road
Box 549008
Birmingham, Alabama 35254
205.226.4696 / 800.523.5793
⋅ More than 1,300 students from 38 states and 22 foreign countries
⋅ 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio
⋅ More than 70% of students participate in volunteer service-learning projects, including several ongoing community partnerships and national or international trips during Alternative Spring Break and January Exploration Term.
⋅ The academic program at BSC is complemented by opportunities that give students a wealth of life experiences in and out of the classroom, and is distinguished by these innovative programs: Harrison Honors Program, Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action, Hess Center for Leadership and Service, Sklenar Center for International Programs, Vail College Fellows Program, Stump Entrepreneurship Programs, and Foreign Languages Across The Curriculum.
⋅ Tuition: $34,534; First Year Residence Hall: $7,000; 5-Day Meal Plans: $5,350
⋅ Total Direct Costs: $48,140
⋅ More than 95% of students receive some form of financial aid from federal, state, and institutional programs, amounting to more than $30 million annually.

Birmingham-Southern College students chat with each other

Birmingham-Southern College students cheer for their football team

Birmingham-Southern College campus lit up at night

Birmingham-Southern College students and their professor in a science lab

Birmingham-Southern College campus on a summer day

  • Four-year, private liberal arts college founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church
  • A liberal arts education of distinctive quality; a sheltering institution for Phi Beta Kappa since 1937
  • Academic calendar of two semesters and a January Exploration Term, an intensive program of experiential learning that offers students unique opportunities to be further enriched through on- and off-campus projects, independent study or research, foreign study, and challenging and unusual internships
  • Beautifully landscaped residential campus located on 192 acres near downtown Birmingham, Alabama, featuring modern academic and student life facilities, including a new Admission Welcome Center, football complex, Urban Environmental Park with lake for leisure and academic use, apartments for student living, and two suite-style residence halls for men and women.

Worth Noting
  • Birmingham-Southern College is recognized nationally for its quality academics, its value, and its safety preparedness. Birmingham-Southern College has a 150 year track record of preparing students to become professionals and is committed to providing its students with the real-world experiences necessary for professional success. Every student has the opportunity to engage in an off-campus internship, study abroad, conduct research with a faculty member, or take part in a community service project.
  • Birmingham-Southern’s Norton Board serves to help students connect their dreams and ambitions to professional experiences. This network of leading professionals have a wide range of expertise and serve as mentors to students, helping them find internship and shadowing opportunities.
  • Forbes magazine ranks Birmingham-Southern as the best college or university in Alabama — public or private — in its annual “America’s Top Colleges” listing based on the quality of the education, the experiences of the students, and how much they achieve.
  • Birmingham-Southern is one of only 310 colleges in the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain highlighted in the 2013 Fiske Guide to Colleges as one of the “best and most interesting” schools.
  • BSC is one of only 200 colleges and universities named a 2013-14 College of Distinction by the college research service Student Horizons for “providing students with the highest level of undergraduate education and continuing to demonstrate its commitment to the four distinctions: engagement, teaching, community, and outcomes.” Read more at
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine, which ranks “the top schools that provide a high-quality education at an affordable price, included Birmingham-Southern on its list of the “Best Values in Private Colleges.”
  • Birmingham-Southern was the highest ranked liberal arts college in the nation for “safety preparedness” in a recent Reader’s Digest survey.
  • Birmingham-Southern College is one of the nation’s “Best 376 Colleges” for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review.
  • The Princeton Review also ranks Birmingham-Southern as one of America’s “286 Greenest Colleges” for its eco-friendly campus.
  • For the sixth straight year, Birmingham-Southern is on the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
  • Each year, more than 50 percent of the college’s graduates go on to graduate school at some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities. The college annually ranks No. 1 in Alabama and among the nation’s best in percentage of all graduates accepted to medical, dental, or health career programs. The college also ranks high nationally in graduates accepted to law school. And for those who choose to move directly into their professional careers, BSC graduates have a distinguished record of job placement.

Faculty & Academics
  • More than 96% of full-time faculty hold the most advanced degree in their field.
  • Six bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 areas of study, and interdisciplinary and individualized majors.
  • Birmingham-Southern’s new Explorations curriculum moves general education away from a more traditional, “check-box” approach — which emphasizes disciplinary requirements — to one that stresses the importance of what students learn to do. This new pedagogy of doing is illustrated by requirements that guide students in learning how to communicate effectively, solve complex problems in creative ways, connect their coursework to the wider world, engage with their social and political world, and engage in self-directed teaching and learning. These are precisely the skills and perspectives that professional schools, graduate schools, and employers are seeking in today’s increasingly complex and inter-connected world.
  • In addition to Phi Beta Kappa, more than 20 other honorary and professional societies in various academic fields.

Areas of Study
For the most current listings, please check the college website.

Disciplinary Majors
Art History
Asian Studies
Business Administration
Global and Comparative Studies
Media and Film Studies
Musical Arts
Musical Theatre
Political Science
Studio Arts
Theatre Arts
Urban Environmental Studies

Dual Degree Programs
: Students who participate in the pre-engineering dual-degree program attend Birmingham-Southern for approximately three years and then continue their education at an ABET accredited institution. After completing the academic requirements at both schools, the student is awarded a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern and an engineering degree from the cooperating institution. The College maintains partnering arrangements with five schools for which admittance into those engineering programs is guaranteed after completing the Birmingham-Southern College pre-engineering requirements and upon a favorable recommendation by the College’s faculty liaison. The partnering institutions include Auburn University, Columbia University, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vanderbilt University, and Washington University.

Environmental Studies: Students who participate in this dual degree program attend Birmingham-Southern for approximately three years and Duke University for two years. After completing the first year of study at Duke University, students are awarded a bachelor’s degree from Birmingham-Southern. Upon successful completion of the Duke University program, students are awarded either a Master of Forestry (M.F.) or Master of Environmental Management (M.E.M.) degree. While at Birmingham-Southern, students in the dual degree program major in either biology/environmental studies or chemistry/environmental studies.

Nursing: Students who participate in this dual degree program attend Birmingham-Southern College for three years, completing general education requirements for the baccalaureate degree, prerequisite courses for admission to the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University, and course requirements for either the biology/pre-nursing or the biology-psychology/pre-nursing major. Students apply for admission to the School of Nursing in the fall term of their junior year. If accepted, the student enrolls at Vanderbilt in the fall term of the following year. After successfully completing the fall and spring semesters of generalist nursing courses at Vanderbilt University, the student is awarded the baccalaureate degree from Birmingham-Southern College. The student then continues for an additional four semesters (summer, fall, spring, and summer) to earn a Master of Science in Nursing from Vanderbilt University.

Individualized Majors
You may work with a faculty committee to design your own major in any specific academic interest you might have. Allowing students to participate in designing their own academic programs encourages enthusiasm and responsibility while adding to the intellectual vitality of the College. You may also pursue independent study of a topic of special interest in close cooperation with a faculty member.

Special Programs
Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action
Donald C. Harrison Honors Program
Exploration Term/Contract Learning
Foreign Languages Across the Curriculum
Hess Center for Leadership and Service
Pre-Health Pre-Health
Pre-Law Pre-Law
Stump Entrepreneurship Scholars Program

Campus Life
  • 85% of students live on campus; 45% are members of one of the 13 national fraternity and sorority chapters
  • Long-established Honor Code
  • Active Student Government Association and more than 80 other student interest groups and organizations, including intramural sports, marching band, fine arts performances and exhibits, residence hall staff, and several student publications
  • Five weekly denominational and non-denominational worship services

Varsity Sports

22 varsity sports in NCAA Division III, Southern Athletic Association:

Baseball (Men)
Cross Country
Football (Men)
Softball (Women)
Swimming and Diving
Track and Field (Indoor and Outdoor)
Volleyball (Women)

Life After College
  • Birmingham-Southern College prepares its students for professional success by offering every student the opportunity to engage in an off-campus internship, study abroad, conduct research with a faculty member, or take part in a community service project. Each BSC student has the opportunity to be mentored by a professional in a corresponding field of interest who will help the student to find internships and shadowing opportunities, building the student’s resume. This provides Birmingham-Southern graduates with hands-on experiences that place them ahead of their peers.
  • An education at Birmingham-Southern College prepares students for careers and for success in graduate and professional schools. The new Explorations general education curriculum—implemented in fall 2011—was built around five learning outcomes deemed necessary for college graduates to be successful in today’s global society. The skills our students develop—the ability to communicate well in writing and orally, the ability to solve complex problems, the ability to work independently and as a member of a team—are precisely the skills that employers and graduate school admissions committees tell us that they want.
  • Birmingham-Southern annually ranks No. 1 in Alabama and among the nation’s best in percentage of all graduates accepted to medical, dental, or health career programs, often receiving prestigious scholarships. BSC also ranks high nationally in graduates accepted to law school. Graduates who choose to move directly into their professional careers have a distinguished record of job placement. More than 95 percent of Education program graduates who seek teaching positions are placed.
  • In recent years, five BSC students have received the prestigious Harry S. Truman Scholarship for graduate study in public service, as well as numerous Fulbright Scholarships, Rotary Scholarships, and performance awards and honors. Other students put off their career or graduate school for a year to serve others through the Peace Corps and Teach for America.

Academic Profile of Entering Class
  • 441 freshmen from 33 states and 20 foreign countries
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average ACT score: 26