Founded Auburn University was established in 1856 as the East Alabama Male College, 20 years after the city of Auburn's founding. In 1872, under the Morrill Act, the school became the first land-grant college in the South and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama. In 1899 the name again was changed, to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. Finally, in 1960 the name of the school was changed to Auburn University, a title more in keeping with its location, and expressing the varied academic programs and larger curriculum of a major university. Auburn University is committed to preparing their students for today's global economy. The Office of International Programs site provides information on the international presence of Auburn University such as the Office of International Education, which provides International Student/Scholar immigration advising, study abroad options and more, information on initiatives sponsored by the academic units, and international admissions for undergraduate and graduate students. With over 800 international students, more than 500 AU students studying abroad and a truly global faculty, AU provides its students and community with access to a world of opportunity.
Auburn University today is a comprehensive land, sea and space grant institution – among the few that hold that distinction – occupying more than 1,840 acres and helping fulfill the dreams of nearly 25,000 students.
The university began, though, as the small, more humble East Alabama Male College, which was chartered in 1856 and opened its doors in 1859 as a private liberal arts institution.
From 1861 to 1866 the college was closed because of the Civil War. The college had begun an affiliation with the Methodist Church before the war. Due to dire financial straits, the church transferred legal control of the institution to the state in 1872, making it the first land-grant college in the South to be established separate from the state university. It thus became the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama.
A land-grant college or university is an institution that has been designated by its state legislature or Congress to receive the benefits of the Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890. The original mission of these institutions, as set forth in the first Morrill Act, was to teach agriculture, military tactics, and the mechanical arts as well as classical studies so that members of the working classes could obtain a liberal, practical education.
Women were admitted in 1892, making Auburn the oldest four-year, coeducational school in the state and the second-oldest in the Southeast. In 1899, the name was again changed to the Alabama Polytechnic Institute. In 1960, the school officially acquired the name it has long been called and one more in keeping with its location, size, and mission — Auburn University. The institution has experienced its greatest growth since World War II, and now has more than 250,000 graduates.
Auburn University at Montgomery was established as a separately accredited campus in 1967. The institution has developed rapidly, especially since moving to a 500-acre campus east of Montgomery in 1971. Current enrollment at AUM is about 5,200.
Chartered in 1856, Auburn University opened in 1859 and became affiliated with the Methodist Church.
Throughout the years, the institution has had four official names:
In 1986, the colleges of Liberal Arts and Sciences & Mathematics were created from the former schools of Arts & Sciences, Agriculture and Biological Sciences, and Architecture and Fine Arts.