An ocean is a body of water that composes much of a planet's hydrosphere. On Earth, an ocean is one of the major conventional divisions of the World Ocean; these are, in descending order by area, the Pacific, Indian and Arctic Oceans. The word "ocean" is used interchangeably with "sea" in American English. Speaking, a sea is a body of water or enclosed by land, though "the sea" refers to the oceans. Saline water covers 361,000,000 km2 and is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas, with the ocean covering 71% of Earth's surface and 90% of the Earth's biosphere; the ocean contains 97% of Earth's water, oceanographers have stated that less than 5% of the World Ocean has been explored. The total volume is 1.35 billion cubic kilometers with an average depth of nearly 3,700 meters. As the world ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, it is integral to life, forms part of the carbon cycle, influences climate and weather patterns; the World Ocean is the habitat of 230,000 known species, but because much of it is unexplored, the number of species that exist in the ocean is much larger over two million.
The origin of Earth's oceans is unknown. Extraterrestrial oceans may be composed of water or other compounds; the only confirmed large stable bodies of extraterrestrial surface liquids are the lakes of Titan, although there is evidence for the existence of oceans elsewhere in the Solar System. Early in their geologic histories and Venus are theorized to have had large water oceans; the Mars ocean hypothesis suggests that nearly a third of the surface of Mars was once covered by water, a runaway greenhouse effect may have boiled away the global ocean of Venus. Compounds such as salts and ammonia dissolved in water lower its freezing point so that water might exist in large quantities in extraterrestrial environments as brine or convecting ice. Unconfirmed oceans are speculated beneath the surface of natural satellites; the Solar System's giant planets are thought to have liquid atmospheric layers of yet to be confirmed compositions. Oceans may exist on exoplanets and exomoons, including surface oceans of liquid water within a circumstellar habitable zone.
Ocean planets are a hypothetical type of planet with a surface covered with liquid. The word ocean comes from the figure in classical antiquity, the elder of the Titans in classical Greek mythology, believed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to be the divine personification of the sea, an enormous river encircling the world; the concept of Ōkeanós has an Indo-European connection. Greek Ōkeanós has been compared to the Vedic epithet ā-śáyāna-, predicated of the dragon Vṛtra-, who captured the cows/rivers. Related to this notion, the Okeanos is represented with a dragon-tail on some early Greek vases. Though described as several separate oceans, the global, interconnected body of salt water is sometimes referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean; the concept of a continuous body of water with free interchange among its parts is of fundamental importance to oceanography. The major oceanic divisions – listed below in descending order of area and volume – are defined in part by the continents, various archipelagos, other criteria.
Oceans are fringed by smaller, adjoining bodies of water such as seas, bays and straits. The mid-ocean ridges of the world are connected and form a single global mid-oceanic ridge system, part of every ocean and the longest mountain range in the world; the continuous mountain range is 65,000 km long. The total mass of the hydrosphere is about 1.4 quintillion metric tons, about 0.023% of Earth's total mass. Less than 3% is freshwater; the area of the World Ocean is about 361.9 million square kilometers, which covers about 70.9% of Earth's surface, its volume is 1.335 billion cubic kilometers. This can be thought of as a cube of water with an edge length of 1,101 kilometers, its average depth is about 3,688 meters, its maximum depth is 10,994 meters at the Mariana Trench. Nearly half of the world's marine waters are over 3,000 meters deep; the vast expanses of deep ocean cover about 66% of Earth's surface. This does not include seas not connected to the World Ocean, such as the Caspian Sea; the bluish ocean color is a composite of several contributing agents.
Prominent contributors include dissolved organic chlorophyll. Mariners and other seafarers have reported that the ocean emits a visible glow which extends for miles at night. In 2005, scientists announced that for the first time, they had obtained photographic evidence of this glow, it is most caused by bioluminescence. Oceanographers divide the ocean into different vertical zones defined by physical and biological conditions; the pelagic zone includes all open ocean regions, can be divided into further regions categorized by depth and light abundance. The photic zone includes the oceans from the surface to a depth of
University of South Alabama
The University of South Alabama nicknamed "South" is a public, national research university in Mobile, United States. It was created by the Alabama Legislature in May, 1963, replaced existing extension programs operated in Mobile by the University of Alabama. USA is divided into ten colleges and schools and includes one of Alabama's two state-supported medical schools; as of the fall semester of 2018, South Alabama has an enrollment of 14,834 students. To date, the university has awarded over 90,000 degrees. USA has an annual payroll of more than $400 million, with over 6,000 employees, is the second largest employer in Mobile; the University of South Alabama has an annual economic impact of US$3 billion. The university offers a range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in schools. Several programs offer masters level degrees in addition to undergraduate degrees. Doctoral level degrees are offered in several areas, including Business Administration, Medicine, Basic Medical Sciences, Instructional Design, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Marine Science, Physical Therapy, a Doctor of Pharmacy degree offered in collaboration with Auburn University.
The psychology doctoral program was initiated in 2009 and offers a Combined degree, emphasizing both Clinical Psychology and Counseling Psychology. USA offers classes in nearby Baldwin County at its Fairhope campus, opened its new Gulf Coast Campus in Gulf Shores. In all, undergraduate students at South Alabama can choose from more than 50 bachelor's degree and certificate programs while there are more than 40 master's degree programs; as of 2011, USA ranks as the 22nd best public university in the southern United States, 52nd overall. It has an acceptance rate of 86.5%. The student-faculty ratio at USA is 18:1, the school has 44.1 percent of its classes with fewer than 20 students. USA students are 43 % male; as of 2014 the university maintains a 43% six year average graduation rate for four-year courses. As of 2018, the university maintains an 18% four year graduation rate; the University of South Alabama has ten colleges: Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions College of Arts and Sciences Mitchell College of Business College of Education and Professional Studies College of Engineering College of Medicine Doctor of Pharmacy Program College of Nursing School of Computing Honors College Graduate School The University is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by and including the governor of Alabama.
The Board appoints a president of the University. Since the founding of the University, there have been three presidents: Frederick Palmer Whiddon and V. Gordon Moulton. John W. Smith, the current executive vice president, served as an interim president until the arrival of Tony G. Waldrop in 2014; the Jaguars participate in 17 NCAA sanctioned sports, are founding members of the Sun Belt Conference. Men's sports include Football, Baseball, Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field. Women's sports include Basketball, Soccer, Cross Country, Indoor Track and Field, Outdoor Track and Field, Golf. All sports participate in a Division I/FBS conference; the school is referred to as "South", "USA", or the "Jags", but the more formal South Alabama is used as well. The university announced the creation of a NCAA sanctioned football team on December 6, 2007, with the goal of fast tracking the program to full FBS status by the 2013 season; the school's first game was played on September 5, 2009 in front of 26,000+ fans.
The Jaguars football team is led by head coach Steve Campbell. The Jaguars lost at NC State 35-13 during the 2011 football season, the program's first game against a FBS opponent and its first loss after going a combined 19-0 during its first 2+ seasons. While the games for the football team are played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium, South is in the middle of constructing an on campus stadium, Hancock Whitney Stadium, it is scheduled to open in September of 2020. The Jaguars have future football contests scheduled with Mississippi St, NC State, Navy, Tennessee, LSU, Oklahoma St, South Carolina, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, including home contests with Mississippi State, NC State, Oklahoma State, Louisiana Tech and Navy; the Jaguars include current players David Freese, both the 2011 National League Championship Series MVP and 2011 World Series MVP for the St. Louis Cardinals, Juan Pierre, a World Series winner with the Florida Marlins in 2003. Coach Steve Kittrell retired at the end of the 2011 season and handed over the position to the coach in waiting, Mark Calvi, on staff for that final year.
Calvi was the pitching coach at the University of South Carolina when the Gamecocks won the College World Series in 2010. The basketball program has reached the NCAA tournament eight times, with its only win coming against the University of Alabama in 1989; the Jaguars have been beaten by the eventual national champion 3 of those 8 times, with the Michigan loss occurring in the second round. Beta/Gamma Community consists of fifteen small buildings containing one-person, two-person, four-person apartments. Epsilon Community contains both non-traditional residence halls. Epsilon 1 and Epsilon 2 are traditional halls housing first-time freshmen Learning Communities; the non-traditional residence hall of Delta 6 has a kitchenette in every room for freshmen and upperclassmen. A total of 471 residents live in this com
University of California, San Diego
The University of California, San Diego is a public research university located in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego, California, in the United States. The university occupies 2,141 acres near the coast of the Pacific Ocean, with the main campus resting on 1,152 acres. Established in 1960 near the pre-existing Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego is the seventh-oldest of the 10 University of California campuses and offers over 200 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, enrolling 30,000 undergraduate and 8,500 graduate students. UC San Diego is organized into six undergraduate residential colleges, five academic divisions, five graduate and professional schools. A proposed School of Public Health is in the planning stages. UC San Diego Health, the region's only academic health system, provides patient care, conducts medical research and educates future health care professionals at the UC San Diego Medical Center and Jacobs Medical Center; the university operates 19 organized research units, including the Center for Energy Research, Qualcomm Institute, San Diego Supercomputer Center and the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind, as well as eight School of Medicine research units, six research centers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography and two multi-campus initiatives, including the Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation.
UC San Diego is closely affiliated with several regional research centers, such as the Salk Institute, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine and the Scripps Research Institute. According to the National Science Foundation, UC San Diego spent $1.133 billion on research and development in fiscal year 2017, ranking it 7th in the nation. As of August 2018, UC San Diego faculty and alumni have won 27 Nobel Prizes and 3 Fields Medals, eight National Medals of Science, eight MacArthur Fellowships, two Pulitzer Prizes. Additionally, of the current faculty, 29 have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, 70 to the National Academy of Sciences, 45 to the Institute of Medicine and 110 to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; when the Regents of the University of California authorized the San Diego campus in 1956, it was planned to be a graduate and research institution, providing instruction in the sciences and engineering.
Local citizens supported the idea, voting the same year to transfer to the university 59 acres of mesa land on the coast near the preexisting Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The Regents requested an additional gift of 550 acres of undeveloped mesa land northeast of Scripps, as well as 500 acres on the former site of Camp Matthews from the federal government, but Roger Revelle director of Scripps Institution and main advocate for establishing the new campus, jeopardized the site selection by exposing the La Jolla community's exclusive real estate business practices, which were antagonistic to minority racial and religious groups; this outraged local conservatives, as well as Regent Edwin W. Pauley. UC President Clark Kerr satisfied San Diego city donors by changing the proposed name from University of California, La Jolla, to University of California, San Diego; the city voted in agreement to its part in 1958, the UC approved construction of the new campus in 1960. Because of the clash with Pauley, Revelle was not made chancellor.
Herbert York, first director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, was designated instead. York planned the main campus according to the "Oxbridge" model. UC San Diego was the first general campus of the University of California to be designed "from the top down" in terms of research emphasis. Local leaders disagreed on whether the new school should be a technical research institute or a more broadly based school that included undergraduates as well. John Jay Hopkins of General Dynamics Corporation pledged one million dollars for the former while the City Council offered free land for the latter; the original authorization for the San Diego campus given by the UC Regents in 1956 approved a "graduate program in science and technology" that included undergraduate programs, a compromise that won both the support of General Dynamics and the city voters' approval. Nobel laureate Harold Urey, a physicist from the University of Chicago, Hans Suess, who had published the first paper on the greenhouse effect with Revelle in the previous year, were early recruits to the faculty in 1958.
Maria Goeppert-Mayer the second female Nobel laureate in physics, was appointed professor of physics in 1960. The graduate division of the school opened in 1960 with 20 faculty in residence, with instruction offered in the fields of physics, biology and earth science. Before the main campus completed construction, classes were held in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. By 1963, new facilities on the mesa had been finished for the School of Science and Engineering, new buildings were under construction for Social Sciences and Humanities. Ten additional faculty in those disciplines were hired, the whole site was designated the First College renamed after Roger Revelle, of the new campus. York resigned as chancellor that year a
University of Florida
The University of Florida is an American public land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant research university in Gainesville, United States. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida; the university traces its origins to 1853 and has operated continuously on its Gainesville campus since September 1906. The University of Florida is one of sixty-two elected member institutions of the Association of American Universities, the association of preeminent North American research universities, the only AAU member university in Florida; the university is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. After the Florida state legislature's creation of performance standards in 2013, the Florida Board of Governors designated the University of Florida as one of the three "preeminent universities" among the twelve universities of the State University System of Florida. For 2019, U. S. News & World Report ranked Florida as the eighth best public university in the United States.
The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools. It is the third largest Florida university by student population, is the eighth largest single-campus university in the United States with 54,906 students enrolled for the fall 2018 semester; the University of Florida is home to sixteen academic colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes. It offers multiple graduate professional programs—including business administration, law, medicine and veterinary medicine—on one contiguous campus, administers 123 master's degree programs and seventy-six doctoral degree programs in eighty-seven schools and departments; the university's seal is the seal of the state of Florida, on the state flag. The University of Florida's intercollegiate sports teams known by their "Florida Gators" nickname, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and the Southeastern Conference. In their 111-year history, the university's varsity sports teams have won 41 national team championships, 36 of which are NCAA titles, Florida athletes have won 275 individual national championships.
In addition, University of Florida students and alumni have won 126 Olympic medals including 60 gold medals. The University of Florida traces its origins to 1853, when the East Florida Seminary, the oldest of the University of Florida's four predecessor institutions, was founded in Ocala, Florida. On January 6, 1853, Governor Thomas Brown signed a bill that provided public support for higher education in Florida. Gilbert Kingsbury was the first person to take advantage of the legislation, established the East Florida Seminary, which operated until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861; the East Florida Seminary was Florida's first state-supported institution of higher learning. James Henry Roper, an educator from North Carolina and a state senator from Alachua County, had opened a school in Gainesville, the Gainesville Academy, in 1858. In 1866, Roper offered his land and school to the State of Florida in exchange for the East Florida Seminary's relocation to Gainesville; the second major precursor to the University of Florida was the Florida Agricultural College, established at Lake City by Jordan Probst in 1884.
Florida Agricultural College became the state's first land-grant college under the Morrill Act. In 1903, the Florida Legislature, desiring to expand the school's outlook and curriculum beyond its agricultural and engineering origins, changed the name of Florida Agricultural College to the "University of Florida," a name the school would hold for only two years. In 1905, the Florida Legislature passed the Buckman Act, which consolidated the state's publicly supported higher education institutions; the member of the legislature who wrote the act, Henry Holland Buckman became the namesake of Buckman Hall, one of the first buildings constructed on the new university's campus. The Buckman Act organized the State University System of Florida and created the Florida Board of Control to govern the system, it abolished the six pre-existing state-supported institutions of higher education, consolidated the assets and academic programs of four of them to form the new "University of the State of Florida."
The four predecessor institutions consolidated to form the new university included the University of Florida at Lake City in Lake City, the East Florida Seminary in Gainesville, the St. Petersburg Normal and Industrial School in St. Petersburg, the South Florida Military College in Bartow; the Buckman Act consolidated the colleges and schools into three institutions segregated by race and gender—the University of the State of Florida for white men, the Florida Female College for white women, the State Normal School for Colored Students for African-American men and women. The City of Gainesville, led by its Mayor William Reuben Thomas, campaigned to be home to the new university. On July 6, 1905, the Board of Control selected Gainesville for the new university campus. Andrew Sledd, president of the pre-existing University of Florida at Lake City, was selected to be the first president of the new University of the State of Florida; the 1905-1906 academic year was a year of transition. Architect William A. Edwards designed the first official campus buildings in the Collegiate Gothic style.
Classes began on the new Gainesville campus with 102 students enrolled. In 1909, the school's name
Louisiana State University
Louisiana State University is a public research university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The university was founded in 1853 in what is now known as Pineville, under the name Louisiana State Seminary of Learning & Military Academy; the current LSU main campus was dedicated in 1926, consists of more than 250 buildings constructed in the style of Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, occupies a 650-acre plateau on the banks of the Mississippi River. LSU is the flagship school of the state of Louisiana, as well the flagship institution of the Louisiana State University System, is the most comprehensive university in Louisiana. In 2017, the university enrolled over 25,000 undergraduate and over 5,000 graduate students in 14 schools and colleges. Several of LSU's graduate schools, such as the E. J. Ourso College of Business and the Paul M. Hebert Law Center, have received national recognition in their respective fields of study. Designated as a land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant institution, LSU is noted for its extensive research facilities, operating some 800 sponsored research projects funded by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
LSU's athletics department fields teams in 21 varsity sports, is a member of the NCAA and the SEC. The university is represented by Mike the Tiger. Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College had its origin in several land grants made by the United States government in 1806, 1811, 1827 for use as a seminary of learning, it was founded as a military academy and is still today steeped in military tradition, giving rise to the school's nickname "The Ole War Skule." In 1853, the Louisiana General Assembly established the Seminary of Learning of the State of Louisiana near Pineville in Rapides Parish in Central Louisiana. Modeled after Virginia Military Institute, the institution opened with five professors and nineteen cadets on January 2, 1860, with Colonel William Tecumseh Sherman as superintendent; the original location of the Old LSU Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. On January 26, 1861, after only a year at the helm, Sherman resigned his position because Louisiana became the sixth state to secede from the Union.
The school closed on June 1861, with the start of the American Civil War. During the course of the war, the university reopened in April 1863, but was closed once again with the invasion of the Red River Valley by the Union Army; the losses sustained by the institution during the Union occupation were heavy, after 1863 the seminary remained closed for the remainder of the Civil War. Following the surrender of the Confederates at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, General Sherman donated two cannons to the institution; these cannons had been captured from Confederate forces after the close of the war and had been used during the initial firing upon Fort Sumter in April 1861. The cannons are still displayed in front of LSU's Military Science/Aerospace Studies Building; the seminary reopened its doors on October 2, 1865, only to be burned October 15, 1869. On November 1, 1869, the institution resumed its exercises in Baton Rouge, where it has since remained. In 1870, the name of the institution was changed to Louisiana State University.
Louisiana State University Agricultural & Mechanical College was established by an act of the legislature, approved April 7, 1874, to carry out the United States Morrill Act of 1862, granting lands for this purpose. It temporarily opened in New Orleans, June 1, 1874, where it remained until it merged with Louisiana State University in 1877; this prompted the final name change for the university to the Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College. In 1905, LSU admitted Miss R. O. Davis, she was admitted into a program to pursue a master's degree. The following year, 1906, LSU admitted sixteen female students to its freshman class as part of an experimental program. Prior to this, LSU's student body was all-male. In 1907, LSU's first female graduate, Miss Martha McC. Read, was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree. After this two year experimental program, the university opened its doors to female applicants in 1908, thus coeducation was born at LSU. On April 30, 1926, the present LSU campus was formally dedicated, following the school's history at the federal garrison grounds where it had been located since 1886.
Prior to this, LSU utilized the quarters of the Institute for the Deaf and Blind. Land for the present campus was purchased in 1918, construction started in 1922, the move began in 1925; the campus was designed for 3000 students, but was cut back due to budget problems. After some years of enrollment fluctuation, student numbers began a steady increase, new programs were added and faculty expanded, a true state university emerged. In 1928, LSU was a small-time country school that generated little interest or attention in the state. Labeled a "third-rate" institution by the Association of State Universities, the school had only 1800 students, 168 faculty members, an annual operating budget of $800,000. In 1930, Huey Pierce Long, Jr. the governor, initiated a massive building program to expand the physical plant and add departments. By 1936, LSU had the finest facilities in the South, a top-notch faculty of 394 professors, a new
The coast known as the coastline or seashore, is the area where land meets the sea or ocean, or a line that forms the boundary between the land and the ocean or a lake. A precise line that can be called a coastline cannot be determined due to the Coastline paradox; the term coastal zone is a region where interaction of the land processes occurs. Both the terms coast and coastal are used to describe a geographic location or region. Edinburgh for example is a city on the coast of Great Britain. A pelagic coast refers to a coast which fronts the open ocean, as opposed to a more sheltered coast in a gulf or bay. A shore, on the other hand, can refer to parts of land adjoining any large body of water, including oceans and lakes; the somewhat related term "" refers to the land alongside or sloping down to a river or body of water smaller than a lake. "Bank" is used in some parts of the world to refer to an artificial ridge of earth intended to retain the water of a river or pond. While many scientific experts might agree on a common definition of the term "coast", the delineation of the extents of a coast differ according to jurisdiction, with many scientific and government authorities in various countries differing for economic and social policy reasons.
According to the UN atlas, 44% of people live within 150 kilometres of the sea. Tides determine the range over which sediment is deposited or eroded. Areas with high tidal ranges allow waves to reach farther up the shore, areas with lower tidal ranges produce deposition at a smaller elevation interval; the tidal range is influenced by the shape of the coastline. Tides do not cause erosion by themselves. Waves erode coastline. Coastlines with longer shores have more room for the waves to disperse their energy, while coasts with cliffs and short shore faces give little room for the wave energy to be dispersed. In these areas the wave energy breaking against the cliffs is higher, air and water are compressed into cracks in the rock, forcing the rock apart, breaking it down. Sediment deposited by waves comes from eroded cliff faces and is moved along the coastline by the waves; this forms an cliffed coast. Sediment deposited by rivers is the dominant influence on the amount of sediment located on a coastline.
Today riverine deposition at the coast is blocked by dams and other human regulatory devices, which remove the sediment from the stream by causing it to be deposited inland. Like the ocean which shapes them, coasts are a dynamic environment with constant change; the Earth's natural processes sea level rises and various weather phenomena, have resulted in the erosion and reshaping of coasts as well as flooding and creation of continental shelves and drowned river valleys. The coast and its adjacent areas on and off shore are an important part of a local ecosystem: the mixture of fresh water and salt water in estuaries provides many nutrients for marine life. Salt marshes and beaches support a diversity of plants and insects crucial to the food chain; the high level of biodiversity creates a high level of biological activity, which has attracted human activity for thousands of years. More and more of the world's people live in coastal regions. Many major cities have port facilities; some landlocked places have achieved port status by building canals.
The coast is a frontier that nations have defended against military invaders and illegal migrants. Fixed coastal defenses have long been erected in many nations and coastal countries have a navy and some form of coast guard. Coasts those with beaches and warm water, attract tourists. In many island nations such as those of the Mediterranean, South Pacific and Caribbean, tourism is central to the economy. Coasts offer recreational activities such as swimming, surfing and sunbathing. Growth management can be a challenge for coastal local authorities who struggle to provide the infrastructure required by new residents. Coasts face many human-induced environmental impacts; the human influence on climate change is thought to contribute to an accelerated trend in sea level rise which threatens coastal habitats. Pollution can occur from a number of sources: industrial debris. Fishing has declined due to habitat degradation, trawling and climate change. Since the growth of global fishing enterprises after the 1950s, intensive fishing has spread from a few concentrated areas to encompass nearly all fisheries.
The scraping of the ocean floor in bottom dragging is devastating to coral and other long-lived species that do not recover quickly. This destruction alters the functioning of the ecosystem and can permanently alter species composition and biodiversity. Bycatch, the capture of unintended species in the course of fishing, is returned to the ocean only to die from injuries or exposure. Bycatch represents about a quarter of all marine catch. In the case of shrimp capture, the bycatch is five times larger, it is believed that melting Arctic ice will cause sea levels to rise and flood coas
University of Alabama
The University of Alabama is a public research university in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is the flagship of the University of Alabama System. Established in 1820, the University of Alabama is the oldest and largest of the public universities in Alabama; the university offers programs of study in 13 academic divisions leading to bachelor's, master's, Education Specialist, doctoral degrees. The only publicly supported law school in the state is at UA. Other academic programs unavailable elsewhere in Alabama include doctoral programs in anthropology and information sciences, metallurgical engineering, Romance languages, social work; as one of the first public universities established in the early 19th century southwestern frontier of the United States, the University of Alabama has left a cultural imprint on the state and nation over the past two centuries. The school was a center of activity during the Civil Rights Movement; the University of Alabama varsity football program, inaugurated in 1892, ranks as one of 10 winningest programs in US history.
In a 1913 speech then-president George H. Denny extolled the university as the "capstone of the public school system in the state," lending the university its current nickname, The Capstone; the University of Alabama has been ranked as one of the top 50 public universities in the nation by the U. S. News & World Report. In addition, The University of Alabama has produced a total of 51 Goldwater Scholars, 15 Rhodes Scholars, 16 Truman Scholars, 32 Hollings Scholars and 11 Boren Scholars. In 1818, U. S. Congress authorized the newly created Alabama Territory to set aside a township for the establishment of a "seminary of learning"; when Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819, a second township was added to the land grant, bringing it to a total of 46,000 acres. The General Assembly of Alabama established the seminary on December 18, 1820, named it "The University of the State of Alabama", created a Board of Trustees to manage the construction and operation of the university; the board chose as the site of the campus a place, just outside the city limits of Tuscaloosa, the state capital at the time.
The new campus was designed by William Nichols the architect of the newly completed Alabama State Capitol building and Christ Episcopal Church. Influenced by Thomas Jefferson's plan at the University of Virginia, the Nichols-designed campus featured a 70-foot wide, 70-foot high domed Rotunda that served as the library and nucleus of the campus; the university's charter was presented to the first university president in the nave of Christ Episcopal Church. UA opened its doors to students on April 1831, with the Reverend Alva Woods as President. An academy-style institution during the Antebellum period, the university emphasized the classics and the social and natural sciences. There were around 100 students per year at UA in the 1830s. However, as Alabama was a frontier state and a sizable amount of its territory was still in the hands of various Native American tribes until the 1840s, it lacked the infrastructure to adequately prepare students for the rigors of university education. Only a fraction of students who enrolled in the early years remained enrolled for long and fewer graduated.
Those who did graduate, however had distinguished careers in Alabama and national politics. Early graduates included Alexander Meek; as the state and university matured, an active literary culture evolved in Tuscaloosa. UA had one of the largest libraries in the country on the eve of the Civil War with more than 7,000 volumes. There were several thriving literary societies, including the Erosophic and the Phi Beta Kappa societies, which had lectures by such distinguished politicians and literary figures as United States Supreme Court Justice John A. Campbell, novelist William Gilmore Simms, Professor Frederick Barnard; the addresses to those societies reveal a vibrant intellectual culture in Tuscaloosa. Discipline and student behavior was a major issue at the university from the day it opened. Early presidents attempted to enforce strict rules regarding conduct. Students were prohibited from drinking, making unauthorized visits off-campus, or playing musical instruments outside a one-hour time frame.
Yet riots and gunfights were not an uncommon occurrence. To combat the severe discipline problem, president Landon Garland lobbied and received approval from the legislature in 1860 to transform the university into a military school. Many of the cadets who graduated from the school went on to serve as officers in the Confederate Army during the Civil War; as a consequence of that role, Union troops burned down the campus on April 4, 1865, unrelated to Sherman's March to the Sea several months earlier and farther east, in Georgia. Despite a call to arms and defense by the student cadet corps, only four buildings survived the burning: the President's Mansion, Gorgas House, Little Round House, Old Observatory; the university reopened in 1871 and in 1880, Congress granted the university 40,000 acres of coal land in partial compensation for $250,000 in war damages. The University of Alabama allowed female students beginning in 1892; the Board of Trustees allowed female students due to Julia S. Tutwiler, with the condition that they be over eighteen, would be allowed to enter the sophomore class after comple