Chartered in 1856, Auburn University opened in 1859 and has had four official names. The university started out as the East Alabama Male College, a Methodist institution. Classes were first held for 80 students with a faculty of six in 1859 at the East Alabama Male College, a Methodist institution.
In 1872, the college became a state-owned, land-grant institution and was renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, changing from a private liberal arts school to a state-supported college with emphasis on new scientific and agricultural programs. As expansion continued, the Alabama Legislature decided in 1899 that a new name was needed to reflect the institution’s growth, and the college became the Alabama Polytechnic Institute.
As Charles Thach, the university’s sixth president, stated, “The Alabama Polytechnic Institute, a high sounding phrase, is fit for legal documents and grave legislation, but not to conjure with and not to yell and not to dream with as is fair.” The Legislature agreed, and in 1960 the Alabama Polytechnic Institute became Auburn University.
Auburn University will emerge as one of the nation's preeminent comprehensive land-grant universities in the 21st century. Central to all its functions will be the University's historic commitment of service to all Alabamians as the State becomes a part of a global society with all of its challenges and opportunities. The University will be widely recognized for the quality of its undergraduate, graduate and professional educational programs, the effectiveness of its research and outreach programs and the broad access to the University provided through the innovative use of information technology. The University will ensure the quality of its programs through the careful focusing of its resources in areas of institutional strengths. One constant will remain unchanged at the University--that intangible quality Auburn men and women call the "Auburn Spirit."
This school offers programs in: