The University of Alabama in Huntsville (also known as UAHuntsville or UAH) is a state-supported, public, coeducational research university in Huntsville, Alabama, United States. The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral degrees, and is organized in eight colleges: business administration, education, engineering, honors college, arts, humanities & social sciences, nursing, professional & continuing studies, science and graduate studies.
UAH is one of three members of the University of Alabama System, which includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. All three institutions operate independently, with only the president of each university reporting to the Board of Trustees of the system. The university enrollment is approximately 8,500.
The genesis for a publicly funded institution of higher education in Huntsville was years in the making. Beginning in January 1950 as an extension of the University of Alabama and known as the University of Alabama Huntsville Center, classes were first taught at West Huntsville High School.
However, the university’s direction changed in 1961, when Wernher von Braun, a German rocket scientist brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip after working for the Nazi regime, helped create a research institute to provide advanced engineering and science curricula to NASA scientists and engineers. Even though Huntsville had been home to Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College since 1875, and Oakwood University since 1896, this was still the era of segregation.