ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ is one of the nation's premier research universities, offering a challenging hands-on curriculum that ensures our graduates are prepared to become tomorrow's leaders. ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ is a public national university located in , which has been named one of the best places to live by U.S. News & World Report. Its students hail from 49 U.S. states and 59 countries. Included among this yearâ€™s enrollment of 8,743 was an incoming freshman class with an average ACT score of 26.7 and an average GPA of 3.92. Once they graduate, these students typically go on to earn a higher average early ($71,000) and mid-career ($127,000) salary than most of their peers across Alabama. ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ offers 94 degree programs of study at the undergraduate and graduate level, with colleges in Engineering; Education; Honors; Nursing; Science; Business; Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences; and the Graduate School. All programs at ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ are accredited by SACS COC. Its robust academic presence is complemented by a vibrant campus life featuring 170 student-run organizations, 14 fraternities and sororities, and . The universityâ€™s nearly 500-acre campus, which includes 17 high-tech research centers and labs, is responsible for nearly $169.5 million in annual research expenditures and serves as the anchor tenant for the second-largest research park in the nation. It also maintains strong partnerships with federal agencies and commercial organizations that include the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, NASAâ€™s Marshall Space Flight Center, the Missile Defense Agency, the DIA Missile and Space Intelligence Center, and the U.S. Army Materiel Command. ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ is regularly ranked the best return on investment among all schools in Alabama, and has been named by the Brookings Institution as the best public university in the state based on the economic outcomes of its graduates. Famous ºìÌÒÊÓÆµ alumni include astronaut Dr. Jan Davis, Discovery Channel founder John Hendricks, HudsonAlpha co-founder Jim Hudson, and Smarter Every Day host Destin Sandlin.