The University of North Alabama (UNA) is a coeducational university located in Florence, Alabama, and the state's oldest four-year public university. Occupying a 130-acre (0.5 km2) campus in a residential section of Florence, UNA is located within a four-city area that also includes Tuscumbia, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. The four cities comprise a metropolitan area with a combined population of 140,000 people.
The University of North Alabama, which celebrated its 175th anniversary in 2005, has undergone numerous sweeping changes in the course of its long history. Originally founded as LaGrange College in 1830, it was reestablished in 1872 as the first state-supported teachers college south of the Ohio River. A year later, it became one of the nation's first coeducational colleges.
Within the last half century, the University of North Alabama has developed into a comprehensive regional university exerting a major influence over the cultural, social and economic life of Northwest Alabama and providing educational opportunities for students pursuing undergraduate and graduate majors offered through the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Nursing and Health.
UNA has strong commitment to improving academic quality, an effort perhaps reflected in the 2008 edition of U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges, which ranked the university as a top tier public university.
UNA also underwent continued growth in 2009, with 7,243 undergraduate and graduate students enrolled for the fall semester.