2021 Best Colleges in Alabama by Salary Score
Our list features the best colleges in Alabama, ranked by Salary Score. To determine this score, we compared alumni earnings in the first year after graduation for each major at one college to alumni earnings for the same major across all schools. The scores from all majors were then combined to create a bachelor's degree Salary Score for the college. A high Salary Score indicates that alumni from that college tend to have higher salaries when compared to alumni with the same majors at other schools. Alumni from Alabama colleges may expect lower salaries because of the state's lower cost of living compared to the U.S. average. Even so, the first two schools on this list scored above the U.S. Salary Score median: Auburn University and the University of Alabama.
To be considered for our state rankings, schools must offer and provide data for at least 8 bachelor's programs. This list includes all eligible schools in Alabama. You can click on a school's name to view individual program scores. Read our methodology to learn more about how schools were ranked.
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2021 Best Colleges in Alabama Highlights
The program with the top Salary Score at Auburn University is animal sciences, which scores a 100. The program's median annual salary of $43,960 compares very favorably to salaries earned by animal sciences graduates at other schools. Other high-scoring programs include architectural engineering (91), forestry (94), and music (97). The program with the highest median alumni salary is chemical engineering, at $74,750. Graduates of the architectural engineering program report a median salary of $71,730, while those in the forestry program have a median salary of $49,330.
Auburn University is a large public university located in Auburn, Alabama, a small city about an hour northeast of the capital city, Montgomery. The university offers a number of opportunities for undergraduates to take part in research, including through its Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program. Students in the animal sciences program can take advantage of Auburn’s seven different research facilities for agricultural students.
The University of Alabama's (UA) highest ranking degree program is management information systems, which has a Salary Score of 95. Other top programs include geography and cartography (83), geological and earth sciences (89), and marketing (85). Graduates of the management information systems program also report the highest median salary at $73,250. The program with the second-highest median salary is the electrical, electronics, and communications engineering program, with $69,710.
UA is a large public university located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Students who want to engage like-minded individuals can consider the university’s Living-Learning Communities (LLCs). Students can choose between academic LLCs or shared-interest LLCs. Students will live with, learn from, and participate in additional activities and programs with other LLC members. Four programs at UA (aerospace engineering, music, dance, and metallurgical engineering) participate in the Academic Common Market program, meaning that students from certain member states in the South can pay the in-state tuition rate for these programs.
The program with the highest Salary Score at Troy University is in business, management, and marketing, with a score of 90. Graduates of this program report a median annual salary of $61,520, which is the highest of all the programs. The second-highest median salary is reported by graduates of the registered nursing program, at $54,120.
Troy University is a large public university located in Troy, Alabama, a small city less than an hour south of the capital of Montgomery. Troy has more than 150 clubs and organizations that students can join, as well as 22 fraternities and sororities. The university offers a wide variety of scholarships, including first-year student scholarships based on merit, funding for online learners, and opportunities for enrollees studying specific subjects. Students in the biology program have the opportunity to take part in undergraduate research.