Over four decades, UAB has evolved from an academic extension center into an autonomous, comprehensive urban university and academic health center within the University of Alabama System. UAB has established wide-ranging programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and the schools of Business, Dentistry, Education, Engineering, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing, Optometry and Public Health, with graduate programs serving all major units. Fall 2015 enrollment is more than 18,300, and the freshman class is the most academically prepared ever at UAB, with an average high school GPA of 3.66 and average ACT of 25 (putting the class in the top 21 percent nationally).
UAB is situated near downtown Birmingham and the historic Five Points South district. The campus stretches across 100 square blocks and occupies more than 100 primary buildings. UAB is Alabama's largest single-site employer, with more than 23,000 employees and an economic impact exceeding $5 billion annually on the state.