Spotlight on Mobile County: Higher Education

Six institutions of higher learning provide certificate and degree options for area residents

University of South Alabama’s Moulton Tower.


Founded May 3, 1963, by act of the Alabama State Legislature, the University of South Alabama offers more than 125 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through its 10 colleges and schools. Nearly 14,000 students pursue degrees in business, liberal arts, engineering, computing, education, the sciences and health care.

The new Angelia and Steven Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences offers two undergraduate and four graduate programs, taking advantage of South’s location near the Gulf of Mexico and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta as “backyard classrooms.”

The university also recently announced plans for a new building for its College of Medicine. The new facility will allow the college to graduate 25% more doctors annually.

In addition to educating physicians and nurses, the Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions provides programs in related biomedical sciences, emergency medical services, occupational therapy, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, radiologic sciences and speech pathology and audiology.

A charter member of the Sun Belt Conference, South fields 17 Division I sports teams, and is routinely recognized for excellence in both athletics and academics.

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University of Mobile.


The University of Mobile offers on-campus and online associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in more than 75 academic programs. Founded in 1961, UM is affiliated with the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The secluded 880-acre campus is located 10 miles north of Mobile.

New on campus is the College Woods Center, a venue for campus and community events.

The university recently enrolled the first class in its new associate degree program in nursing. UM partnered with Infirmary Health and Springhill Medical Center to ease the shortage of nursing professionals in the Mobile area with new scholarships for students in the School of Nursing.

Academic programs continue to expand in the College of Health Professions, which includes nursing, nurse anesthesia, health and sports sciences, and in its Alabama School of the Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, Grace Pilot School of Business, School of Christian Studies and School of Education.

The university has been recognized in nationwide college rankings by and U.S. News & World Report.

Spring Hill College.


Spring Hill College is the oldest college in Alabama, the oldest Catholic college in the Southeast and among the oldest Jesuit institutions in the country.

With a 13:1 student to faculty ratio, the college describes itself saying that “Spring Hill students experience an exceptional, well-rounded education, while forming their values and moral character, based on the Jesuit tradition of ‘cura personalis’ — care for the whole person, mind, body and spirit.”

Spring Hill offers some 52 areas of study including liberal arts and professional programs in business, IT, nursing and more, plus master’s programs in nursing, public health and business administration. The college also offers a variety of online program options.

Recently, the college has earned high marks from a variety of ranking organizations including U.S. News & World Report and


The Mobile campus of Faulkner University has been in operation for more than 30 years, offering associate degrees in liberal arts, computer and information science and legal studies, plus 12 bachelor’s degree programs.

Online options, including master’s degrees, are also available through the private Montgomery-based Christian university.

Overall options include 60 on-campus majors and 23 online majors, including biblical studies and justice administration.


Bishop State is an urban community college, part of the state-supported Alabama Community College System.

New to the college in 2022 is an Advanced Manufacturing Technology Center, focused on STEM education and training and including a process technology laboratory, computer labs and more.

Bishop offers 25 programs of study, preparing students for the fastest-growing middle-skills jobs in Alabama.


Coastal Alabama Community College offers programs to meet the need for workers in Mobile’s aerospace boom with the Alabama Aviation Center at Brookley Field.

Established in 2002, the center offers programs in airframe technology, powerplant technology and avionics.

Other programs at Coastal include arts, humanity and design, business, education, healthcare and vet tech, industry, manufacturing, construction, welding and marine, science, technology, engineering, math, business, social sciences, tourism and service industry.

This article appears in the June 2023 issue of Business Alabama.

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