Skip to main content
Birmingham-Southern College prepares men and women for lives of significance. The College fosters intellectual and personal development through excellence in teaching and scholarship and by challenging students to engage their community and the greater world, to examine diverse perspectives, and to live with integrity. A residential, baccalaureate liberal arts institution, Birmingham-Southern honors its Methodist heritage of informed inquiry and meaningful service. Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Location: 3 miles from downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Enrollment: 1283 students from 34 states and 9 countries Academic profile, class of 2020: High school core GPA of 3.7, average ACT score of 26 Faculty: 103 full-time and 48 part-time, 93 percent with a Ph.D. or highest degree in their field Student/faculty ratio: 13:1 Average class size: 16 Academic calendar: 4-1-4; two semesters of four units each plus one Exploration Term course Majors: 29 undergraduate majors, 26 minors, 3 distinctions, plus special programs History: Birmingham-Southern College is the result of a merger of Southern University, founded in Greensboro, Alabama, in 1856, with Birmingham College, opened in 1898 in Birmingham, Alabama. These two institutions were consolidated on May 30, 1918 under the name of Birmingham-Southern College. Campus: 192 acres, including lake and urban environmental park Clubs and organizations: 80+ Athletics: 22 NCAA Division III varsity sports competing in the Southern Athletic Association Academic consortia: Associated Colleges of the South (ACS); Birmingham Area Consortium of Higher Education (BACHE); National Council on Undergraduate Research, Council of Independent Colleges National Honor Societies: Sheltering institution for a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, home to business honor society Beta Gamma Sigma; plus many more Accreditation: Birmingham-Southern College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia, 30033-4097 or call (404)679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Birmingham-Southern College. Also accredited by: Alabama State Department of Education; American Chemical Society; National Association of Schools of Music; National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education; University Senate of the United Methodist Church In the waning days of 1917, two Alabama Methodist colleges were struggling. In the southern town of Greensboro, Southern University—still working to rebuild to its antebellum glory—was depleted as young men departed for the trenches of World War I. In the fast-growing city of Birmingham, Birmingham College, which opened in 1898 with four teachers and 77 students, faced the same problem. The Methodist conferences overseeing the schools had one solution: to merge the two schools. And thus, in the spring of 1918, Birmingham-Southern College was born.