University of Montevallo
"Centrally located in Montevallo, AL, the University of Montevallo is Alabama’s only public liberal-arts...
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University of Montevallo

Montevallo, Alabama

To say that Montevallo is unique would be an understatement. A member of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, Montevallo has emerged as a national leader in liberal arts education and has been recognized in numerous editions of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges” as the highest ranked Tier One, public master’s level university in Alabama.


The college of choice for many of the brightest young minds throughout the Southeast and beyond, Montevallo is situated near the geographic center of the state on a 160-acre central campus noted for its unparalleled beauty. Montevallo’s white columned brick buildings, famous red brick streets, verdant lawns, colorful flowerbeds and stately trees surround students with academic tradition. Four colleges—the College of Arts and Sciences, the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, the College of Education, and the College of Fine Arts—make up Montevallo’s broad fields of study. The core of the campus, designed by the world-renowned Olmsted Brothers, has been designated as a National Historic District. Twenty-eight campus structures or sites are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Student Profile

2,620 undergraduate students (34% male, 66% female); 33 states, 17 countries (data for 2013-2014 academic year)

Faculty Profile

141 full-time faculty, 100 part-time faculty, 16:1 student/faculty ratio (data for 2013-2014 academic year)

Residence Life

As of Spring Semester 2014, 47 percent of undergraduate students live on campus.

The dividends of residence-hall life at the University of Montevallo are many. UM’s eight residence halls offer students an opportunity to share a spirit of community designed to enrich many aspects of the collegiate experience. The wide variety of hall styles offered ranges from traditional style with hall baths, to halls offering rooms with private baths, to a hall with efficiency apartments. The residence halls provide a comfortable living environment conveniently located adjacent to classrooms, the library, food services, recreational facilities and administrative offices. The Housing and Residence Life staff strives to provide an exciting, enjoyable living environment that is conducive to learning. Events and activities are designed to help students make decisions about adult lifestyle through physical, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural-awareness programs.

School Location

Montevallo, Alabama


Division II. Thirteen* varsity sports, including baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s cross county, women’s cross country, men’s golf, women’s golf, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, women’s softball (set to begin spring 2015*) women’s tennis, women’s track and field, and women’s volleyball

Other Information

University of Montevallo is a four-year, public liberal-arts university, founded in 1896. It is Alabama’s only public liberal-arts university.

More Distinctions

  • UM is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The school’s accreditation was reaffirmed in December 2011 with zero recommendations and no sanctions of any kind.

  • UM is one of 28 members of the prestigious Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC).

  • UM continues to receive accolades through the rankings of "America's Best Colleges," published by U.S. News & World Report. According to rankings for the 2014 edition, UM is once again ranked as the No. 1 public master's-level university in Alabama, a distinction it has held each year since 2008. For 2014, Montevallo is listed as the 15th best public university in the South in its division and 36th overall in the South, up 23 spots from its 2007 ranking. In addition, UM was ranked 7th in the region for best undergraduate teaching, as identified by college presidents, provosts and admissions deans. Montevallo earned high marks for academic reputation, freshman retention rate, graduation rate, entering freshmen test scores, small class sizes and low student-faculty ratio.

  • The University is committed to attaining national accreditation in its programs where such recognition is available and appropriate. The University of Montevallo and its programs have been accredited or approved by the following organizations:

    • Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND)
    • American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
    • American Chemical Society (ACS)
    • American Dietetic Association
    • American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
    • The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International)
    • Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs (CACREP)
    • National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)/Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP)
    • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)
    • Department of Education of Alabama
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
    • National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD)
    • National Association of Schools of Music (NASM)


Because classes are small (average size is 21) and professors and students have a close working relationship, there are many opportunities for students to “dial in” to hands-on learning. Undergraduate research is strongly encouraged, and students are mentored by their professors in a wide range of subjects. In addition, students are active in many community service projects that cross disciplinary lines and encourage volunteerism.

Many “outside the classroom” opportunities are offered in such areas as study abroad and pre-professional programs. Internships also are a vital part of the learning experience at Montevallo. Students are encouraged to seek out these positions in the real world so that they can gain professional experience in their field prior to graduation.

The Ebenezer Swamp Ecological Preserve provides a natural laboratory for the study of biology as well as ecology, and the James Wylie Shepherd Observatory, which is capable of world-class astronomical telescopic observation and astrophotography, is accessible to people of all disabilities.

All prospective teachers spend a semester in a classroom under the supervision of a cooperating teacher (many are University of Montevallo alumni), who guides the student through the teaching process beyond the material learned in the classroom.

Students in the arts are able to participate in hands-on learning experiences through internships and by working alongside their award-winning and nationally recognized professors to create landmark artworks in the community and surrounding area.

Not only do 96 percent of the full-time faculty members at the University of Montevallo hold terminal degrees in their fields; many have also been recognized as leaders in their disciplines. UM has two Fulbright Scholars on the faculty, has hosted several Fulbright Scholars as visiting professors, and has had four faculty members named CASE Professor of the Year.

UM faculty members involve students in their own learning at every opportunity. While classroom instruction is vital to the learning process, active participation in a lesson is not only memorable, but also practical. When an art professor constructed an anagama kiln on campus, students assisted with the building project, and each time the kiln is fired, students participate in building the fire and maintaining the required temperature over the span of two weeks to produce high-quality pottery.

When a landmark sculpture was commissioned for the UM campus, students assisted the well-known and award-winning professor with the construction and placement of the installation over a period of approximately two years.

Game Studies scholars recently produced a class project, Vallo Opoly, based on the classic Monopoly™ game. The board is tailored to the university’s campus and events and includes UM history and activities as part of the game.

The Environmental Studies program offers service learning in partnership with a number of organizations, teaching students to put what they have learned into practice in support of their communities.

Art students painted a mural and hung a sculpture constructed of 1,500 recycled soda cans at the recycling center in the city of Montevallo. This project, while earning credit for the participating students and teaching valuable lessons about installation art, improved the appearance of an otherwise dismal city property. It was the first phase of a multi-phase project. The second phase, an additional mural on the connecting wall at the center, was completed during summer 2013. Additionally, during summer 2014, a group of UM students and their faculty mentor, working with young art students from the surrounding area, transformed a less-than-attractive building wall into eye-catching artwork that not only beautifies the city of Montevallo but that also teaches about nature and ecology.

In general, UM faculty members are teaching students to not only “learn their stuff” but also to use that learning in service to others.


The University of Montevallo is located in the small city of Montevallo and enjoys an active town-and-gown relationship with the community. Events are generally shared among students, faculty, staff, and citizens, thereby increasing the number and quality of these activities.

The most unique event on the UM campus is College Night, the university’s homecoming tradition, featuring sporting events and a competition between two teams to present the best original dramatic musical production. The shows, staged by the Purple and Gold teams, are original from the ground up. Scripts, music, sets and costumes are all created by students, and students direct, conduct and perform the final product. College Night leaders are elected in the spring, and recruiting of new “Purples” and “Golds” begins during the fall semester. The performances themselves take place at Homecoming in mid-February, accompanied by Purple-Gold athletic contests and other events. The climax comes late on a Saturday night when a panel of independent judges chooses a winner. College Night holds a place in the Local Legacies display in the Library of Congress.

The Department of Music presents a wide variety of recitals by faculty, students and guest artists each semester. Additionally, the work of students, faculty and guest artists is regularly exhibited in UM’s art gallery, and several theatre productions are staged each semester. The Alabama Symphony Orchestra presents concerts at the university on occasion, broadening cultural horizons, and popular music groups and other entertainers perform on campus each year, as well.

Artwalk, an art festival co-sponsored by the University and the city, is held in downtown Montevallo several times each year. Student and area artists are featured, and students help with the planning and production of the event.

A number of speakers address the student population and local residents each year, with topics ranging from sustainability to literature, from civil rights to World War II.

Intercollegiate athletics are an integral part of the total University program at Montevallo, complementing the goals of general education. Athletic competitions featuring the University of Montevallo Falcons competing in 12 sports are hosted regularly on campus throughout the academic year.


University of Montevallo alumni represent a cross-section of the nation’s professional population. From business to Broadway, from education to the chemistry lab, Montevallo graduates stand out among their peers for their ability to not only perform their duties, but to also “think on their feet,” adapt and see the “bigger picture.” The liberal-arts education these young people receive prepares them to produce new ideas, perceive new solutions to problems and serve the common good.

UM has produced such entertainment celebrities as television’s Polly Holliday, Broadway’s Rebecca Luker and baseball standout Rusty Greer. But the majority of the school’s superstars never make the front page of the newspaper. They are the teachers, speech pathologists, researchers and accountants who work daily to improve their world.

Success is not always defined by income, status or name recognition. UM success stories involve parents who have adopted six special-needs children from China, men and women who have worked in charitable organizations for their entire career, and a woman who organized a program to fly World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. (at no charge to the vet), to view the World War II Memorial.

The University of Montevallo has produced countless educators, social workers, musicians, businesspersons, attorneys, scientists and the like. All have made a contribution to their professions, but most have also taken their Montevallo education into the world to make it a better place.

Costs and Aid


Tuition: $7,992-Based on 24 in-state undergraduate credit hours at $333/hour
Room: Starting at $2,000 per semester for double occupancy (other options available)
Board: $1,200 per semester
Fees: $640
Total: $15,032-Does not include books or incidentals

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88% of full-time, first-time students receive financial aid.


Endowment (as of 6-30-2014) = $ 30,050,000