The University of Alabama at Birmingham is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award degrees at the baccalaureate, master's, specialist, and doctoral levels.
Its history is singular in higher education. Established as an extension center of the University of Alabama in the mid-1930s, with an inaugural class of 116 students, UAB became an autonomous campus in 1969. In the four decades since, this young, dynamic university has driven the social, cultural, and economic revival of Birmingham and has evolved into a world-renowned research university and medical center.
The rebirth of Birmingham required a Renaissance institution, and UAB was and remains just that. UAB faculty are pushing the frontiers of science, engineering, and medicine, as well the social sciences, arts, and humanities. Consequently, the students they teach and mentor are among the top students in the nation and true citizens of the world.
To learn more about becoming a UAB student, visit the Prospective Students section of the UAB Web site. To learn more about employment opportunities with UAB, visit the Human Resources section of site. For a chronology and detailed history of UAB, please visit the UAB archives .
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1150
Main Switchboard: (205)934-4011
Hearing Impaired/TDD: (205)934-4642
- Student Profile & Accomplishments
- Innovative Programs & Research Opportunities
- Campus Green & Cultural District
- Research & Scholarship
- UAB Firsts in Research & Clinical Care
- UAB Health System
- Economic Impact
UAB continues to attract the best and brightest students from around Alabama, the nation, and some 105 countries around the globe. The student body is nearly 75% full-time, with the average age of entering freshmen 18.8 years. More than half of freshmen live on campus. And, the average ACT score of entering students is trending upward, currently at 23.7 (up from 21.9 in 2002), consistently besting state and national averages.
Fall 2006 Enrollment: 16,561 (excluding advanced professionals)
- Undergraduate 11,284
- Graduate 4,302
- First Professional 975
- Advanced Professional 1,030
Percent Minority (includes African-American, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic)
- Overall 31%
- Undergraduate 35.9%
- Graduate/First Professional 20.1%
- Overall 25%
- Undergraduate 30.2%
- Graduate/First Professional 13.7%
- More than 60%
For more data on UAB’s student body, please visit Facts and Figures .
Scholarships & Awards
UAB students continue to garner prestigious national and international scholarships, fellowships, and other awards. Just since 2000, UAB has produced:
- 7 Fulbright Scholars
- 6 Phi Kappa Phi Fellows
- 5 Goldwater Scholars
- 3 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellows
- 2 Truman Scholars
- 1 Marshall Scholar
- 1 Rhodes Scholar
Other highlights include:
- Valerie Gribben was named to the 2007 USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team , (the fourth UAB student named in eight years), making her one of the Top 20 college students in the United States – and the only student from Alabama to be named.
- Anand Iyer won the top scholarship of $7,500 awarded by Alpha Lambda Delta national honor society. In 2006, UAB won three of 21 ALD scholarships, the most granted to any institution.
- At the 2007 Medical Student National Research Forum in Galveston, Texas, medical student Kevin Nash won three awards, including the top honor: The American Medical Association Award for Overall Excellence of Research .
- Sonja Brooks won a competitive Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) summer internship at the prestigious Max-Planck-Institute in Heidelburg, Germany, where she will study adaptor proteins and their effects on cells. The DAAD-RISE internship is funded by the German Academic Exchange Program , which draws applicants from around the world.
- In 2006, Roshan Patel has won a scholarship from the Fulbright Humanity in Action European Summer Program . He spent nine weeks in Europe as part of a group studying democracy and human rights.
- UAB’s Mock Trial Team is currently ranked third in the nation by the American Mock Trial Association . The team won the 2006 National Mock Trial Tournament, taking the championship title from Harvard, and won the Southeast Regional Competition in 2004 and placed second nationally in 2002.
- UAB’s accounting students achieve first-time pass rates on the CPA exam that are 30 percent higher than the national average, and regularly post the highest scores in Alabama on the CPA exam.
- UAB students participated in more than 3,500 internship, co-op, and other work and clinical experiences during 2006-2007.
UAB undergraduates and graduate students enjoy innovative curricula and unrivaled research opportunities in an interdisciplinary environment.
- The nationally acclaimed University Honors Program offers 200 highly motivated students opportunities for interdisciplinary study, travel, independent projects, and extracurricular activities. The Honors Program, which has become a model for similar programs around the nation, produced UAB’s first Rhodes Scholar in 2000.
- The Science and Technology Honors Program begun in fall 2005 was the first such program in the nation and is the only one in Alabama. It features advanced courses and symposium conducted by top UAB researchers and guest scholars, individual research experiences under faculty mentors, and in-depth advising and internships. Thirty-six students are currently enrolled, with an average ACT of 30 and average high school GPA of 4.1.
- UAB offers the only undergraduate biomedical engineering degree and the only nursing Ph.D . in the state.
- The Early Medical School Acceptance Program (EMSAP) guarantees acceptance of qualified candidates into UAB medical school before their first day of college. EMSAP provides participating undergraduates with mentoring and clinical and research experience, and a reserved slot in the medical school upon completion of a bachelor’s degree.
- The newly renovated $2.7 million Hulsey Center for the Arts is home to the UAB Department of Music , which boasts 17 performing ensembles. Students in these ensembles perform throughout the nation and the world, at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, England’s Canterbury Cathedral, and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.
- The Initiative for Life Science Entrepreneurship (ILSE) is collaboration among the schools of business , medical and engineering , as well as the UAB Research Foundation (UABRF) and Southern Research Institute . This graduate program offers advanced courses and seminars on venture creation and financing in the biotech industry.
Community Documentary Filmmaking is a popular, interdisciplinary course bringing together faculty from art , history , film , and anthropology , as well as partnerships with McWane Science Center and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute . In five short years, this course has produced more than 50 acclaimed short films, one of which was a winner in Birmingham’s celebrated Sidewalk Film Festival . For further reading on this course, please see “The Fine Art of Filmmaking” in Arts and Humanities Magazine .
Five medical specialties within the UAB School of Medicine are ranked in the Top 20 nationally by U.S. News & World Report in its graduate school rankings: AIDS, fifth; women's health, 13th; internal medicine, 13th; geriatrics, 16th; and pediatrics, 20th. The master's degree program in health care management in the School of Health Professions is ranked seventh. The School of Public Health is ranked 16th, and the School of Nursing is ranked 26th with two specialties ranked, family nurse practitioner 11th and nursing-anesthesia 32nd. The School of Medicine is ranked 27th in the research category, tied with Mount Sinai School of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin-Madison., and 34th in the primary care category, ahead of Mayo Medical School and Emory University.
Beyond the academics and unparalleled research environment, students and faculty enjoy a vibrant campus life at UAB. The university has built the best of both worlds, coupling the benefits of its metropolitan surroundings with an increasingly greener, more traditional campus.
- As envisioned in the UAB campus master plan, the university is creating a major Campus Green by closing four city blocks along 15th Street from University Boulevard southward to 10th Avenue South.
- In spring of 2005, UAB opened a cornerstone of the new Campus Green, the $24 million, nearly 150,000-square-foot Campus Recreation Center , which features an indoor recreational pool with a lap pool, indoor basketball courts, a multi-purpose court, a climbing wall, cardiovascular fitness areas and well-equipped weight-lifting areas. The center was one of nine facilities nationwide to receive the 2006 Outstanding Sports Facilities Award presented by the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) . The predominant feature of the building is an oval running track that exits and re-enters the building on the west side and protrudes from the building on the north side, providing an interesting view for walkers and joggers.
- In the fall of 2006, both Blazer Hall and the Commons on the Green were officially opened. Blazer Hall is a state-of-the-art residence facility that houses 720 freshmen with suite-style rooms, 14 study lounges, a Residence Life Center and other amenities. The Commons on the Green is UAB’s first full-service dining facility, which is open seven days a week and features 450 seats and a variety of dining options.
- Now under construction on the Campus Green is a new five-story Academic Building and an exciting new entertainment venue – an amphitheater that will seat thousands and accommodate a full orchestra.
To further enhance campus life, UAB also is developing a thriving cultural district, anchored by the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts . The Stephens Center is Birmingham’s home for the performing arts, hosting top-quality student productions, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra , and legendary acts from Itzhak Perlman to Joan Baez to Willie Nelson. Annual attendance at the Stephens Center exceeds 265,000 and ticket sales have increased by 25% in the past five years. Adjacent to the Stephens Center is recently dedicated Wyatt and Susan Haskell Courtyard, a smaller, more intimate venue for jazz and acoustic concerts, plays, receptions, and dinners. Building upon the UAB Visual Arts Gallery , which hosts roughly 4,100 visitors annually, the university is planning a $9 million, 25,000-square-foot Visual Arts Center.
UAB’s internationally respected faculty continue to break new ground in science and medicine, engineering, and the arts and humanities.
In funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) , UAB ranks 20th overall with five schools in the Top 20: Health Professions (2), Optometry (3), Public Health (12), Dentistry (12), and Medicine (18).
The Carnegie Foundation classifies UAB as an institution of “very high research activity,” the only school in Alabama to meet that definition. This puts UAB among the nation's top 95 research universities, public or private.
And UAB’s research enterprise has been greatly enhanced by the Richard C. and Annette N. Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building , dedicated in April 2006. The facility brings together investigators from a wide variety of fields to study important health issues such as diabetes and autoimmune diseases, and conduct bone, bioengineering, and brain research. The Shelby Building increases research space on campus by 25 percent and is an integral part of UAB's efforts to continue to grow its research infrastructure. The 12-story facility, with 323,000 square feet of research and office space, was built at a cost of $100 million. Funding for the facility came from the federal government, the State of Alabama, Jefferson County, the City of Birmingham, and the Birmingham-based Community Foundation.
- Scientists at UAB discovered the origin of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1) , the virus that causes AIDS in humans, solving a 20-year puzzle regarding the beginnings of an epidemic that now afflicts some 40 million people worldwide.
- Researchers from UAB are part of a consortium of investigators from six regional universities chosen to be part of the Southeastern Regional Center of Excellence for Emerging Infections and Biodefense (SERCEB) , where they will work to develop the next generation of vaccines, drugs, and diagnostic tests against emerging infections and organisms that might be used in bio-terrorism.
- The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of 10 medical centers across the country selected to participate in a three-year study of women at high risk for developing breast cancer. It also has been named as one of only four federal Centers for Nutrient and Gene Interaction in Cancer Prevention (CNGI).
- UAB has a four-year grant from NIH’s National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to establish a Regional Deep South Project Export Center of Excellence for Minority Health.
- The School of Nursing was ranked first in the nation by Chronicle of Higher Education for faculty scholarly productivity
- Physics professor Yogesh Vohra has patented a new apparatus and method to create large gem-quality diamonds in a matter of days.
- French professor Bill Carter is an international authority on the life and works of writer Marcel Proust, having published two landmark biographical works, Marcel Proust: A Life (2006) and Proust in Love (2006). Thanks largely to Dr. Carter’s efforts, UAB’s Mervyn H. Sterne Library houses one of the biggest Proust collections on the planet.
- Music and Art faculty, such as artist Gary Chapman (art and art history) and pianist and Van Cliburn Medal winner Yakov Kasman (Music), exhibit and perform around the nation and the world, from New York to Florence to Moscow to Tokyo.
- Drs. Jim McClintock and Charles Amsler, along with a select team of graduate and post-doctoral students, continue their research in Antarctica, investigating chemical defenses of marine life and the role these could play in prevention of diseases such as heart disease, cystic fibrosis, cancer and AIDS. To join the adventure, please visit UAB in Antarctica .
The success and accomplishments UAB produces on a regular basis do not go unnoticed: UAB has been the forerunner of many major medical advances.
- In May 2006, an international team of scientists led by UAB researchers discovered a crucial missing link in the search for the origin of HIV-1 , the virus responsible for human AIDS. That missing link is the natural reservoir of the virus, which the team has found in wild-living chimpanzees in southern Cameroon. UAB Professor of Medicine Beatrice H. Hahn, M.D., and her team conducted the first-ever molecular epidemiological survey of SIVcpz infection in wild-living chimpanzees in west-central Africa.
- The UAB Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) was the first to perform clinical trails of the protease inhibitor Indinavir (Crixivan), one of the first protease inhibitors used in the “triple drug cocktail” to fight HIV.
- In 1960, Dr. Basil Hirschowitz, former director of the UAB division of gastroenterology, was the first to explore the stomach with his new invention, the fiber optic endoscope , which is now in the Smithsonian Institution.
- In 1977, Dr. Richard Whitley administered a systemic antiviral for the treatment of the deadly HSV (herpes simplex virus) encephalitis, leading to the world’s first effective treatment for a viral disease .
- UAB heart surgeon the late John W. Kirklin developed a computerized intensive care unit that became a model for modern ICUs around the world. They help improve care and reduce complications. Kirklin initially gained fame by improving the safety and usefulness of the heart-lung bypass pump.
- UAB researchers were the first to discover the protein that led to the development of the now well-known drug Viagra , causing what some have called the second sexual revolution.
- UAB dentists were the first to develop the four-handed method of dentistry , where both a dentist and a hygienist treat a patient. Four-handed dentistry is now standard practice.
- Dr. Eric Sorscher was the first researcher in the United States to implant a corrected gene into the lungs of patients with cystic fibrosis using a lipid molecule delivery system .
- UAB was in the first handful of institutions to be designated by the National Institutes of Health as a Comprehensive Cancer Center . It is the only federally designated cancer center in Alabama and among the nation’s oldest. This means a wide range of research, education and clinical activities are available, and facilities and laboratories meet certain high standards.
- Several UAB researchers have been the first to develop animal models for the study of a variety of diseases, including lupus, inflammatory bowel disease and sickle cell disease.
- UAB researcher Dr. Max D. Cooper was the first to characterize B-cells as part of the human immune system . He also was first to successfully treat SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency disease) with the transplant of fetal liver cells.
- In August 1969, Dr. Henry B. Peters became the first dean of the School of Optometry , the nation’s first optometry school to be integrated into a medical center complex. The school is now one of the top optometry schools in the nation and still one of only three integrated into a medical center.
- In 1984, UAB Hospital became the first hospital in the United States to use color Doppler echocardiography for visualizing internal cardiac structures.
- In 1987, the world’s first genetically engineered mouse-human monoclonal antibody was used at UAB Hospital in the treatment of cancer.
The UAB Health System, consistently rated among the best medical centers in the nation, is committed to providing the highest quality of health care.
- UAB Hospital consistently ranks in U.S. News & World Report’s annual “America’s Best Hospitals” and currently has 7 programs in the Top 50 and 4 in the Top 25).
- The UAB Hospital North Pavilion, opened in 2004, is nine stories tall, 850,000 square feet and features an emergency department the size of a football field. It also features operating suites with the latest technology from minimally invasive and robot-assisted surgery. A new $33 million Heart and Vascular Center opened in June 2006 and is of the most advanced such facilities in the world.
- UAB Hospital is home to the state’s only adult Level 1 Trauma Center. Its Birmingham Regional Emergency Medical Services System (BREMSS) is a model for emergency care systems around nation, and won a prestigious homeland security award presented by Harvard University and Mitretek Systems in fall 2006. To learn more about BREMSS, click here .
- UAB Hospital is one of fewer than 200 of the nation's 5,000 health care provider organizations to be recognized as a “center for excellence in nursing.” It is the first and only hospital in Alabama to earn Magnet Recognition , a designation awarded by the American Nurses Credential Center.
- The UAB Health System was named by Hospitals and Health Networks , the journal of the American Hospital Association , as one of the 100 “Most Wired Hospitals and Health Networks” in its 2006 issue. UABHS has been included on the list seven of the eight years HHN has been conducting the annual survey – a tenure longer than other top medical centers, including Duke University Health System (two years), Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (two years) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (two years).
- UAB broke ground in summer 2006 for the new Hazelrig-Salter Radiation-Oncology Facility, which will provide over 50,000 square feet for patient care and research, housing the newest generation of technology and offering the most promising cancer therapies.
UAB’s overall economic impact in the Birmingham metro area exceeds $3 billion.
UAB is Alabama’s largest employer, with more than 18,000 faculty and staff at the university and in the health system, and is responsible for 52,900 full-time equivalent jobs within the university and the community. Eight in every 100 jobs in the Birmingham area, and 2.8 jobs in every 100 jobs in Alabama, are related to UAB.
An Urban Land Institute study named UAB “the city center’s single most important growth and job generator,” And Southern Business and Development magazine ranked UAB among the Top 10 universities in the South that drive economic development because of the university’s research and development community. The magazine also noted that UAB's international reputation for research, along with its clinical capabilities, provide a basis for successful growth and recruitment in the bio-tech industry.
Much of UAB’s economic impact comes from incubating business and technology transfer, in which research discoveries are taken from the lab to the marketplace by way of patents, licenses and commercialization.
- The UAB Research Foundation (UABRF) plays a strong role in commercializing research, to the benefit of local and state economic development. The Foundation’s commercialization of faculty discoveries has since 1986 created more than $ 30 million in royalty and license fees, 1,600 invention disclosures, more than 400 patents, and more than 400 license and other agreements. RF holds stock in 30 spin-off companies.
- UAB’s Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI) helped start 92 tenant companies since it began operation in 1986. In the most recent four-year period, tenants and graduates of OADI generated an economic impact of $391.4 million. In 2005, OADI client companies were responsible for 901 new jobs, an earnings impact of $33.6 million and a sales impact of $82.9 million.
Now OADI and Birmingham’s non-profit economic development business incubator, The Entrepreneurial Center, have joined together to become the Innovation Depot , a business incubation facility and program that focuses on the development of emerging biotechnology/life science, information technology and service businesses., A public-private economic development effort, Innovation Depot is funded by the Birmingham regional business community, including many leading private foundations, and UAB, the City of Birmingham and Jefferson County.
The Innovation Depot will streamline Birmingham’s tech transfer process and further the economic impact OADI and Entrepreneurial Center have on Birmingham. Combined, the two incubators had a $1.3 billion impact on the area’s economy over the last five years. Much of that impact is attributable to companies that have been created through the licensing of technology through the UAB Research Foundation.
In addition to the UAB Research Foundation and Innovation Depot, UAB and the business community continue to form many partnerships to improve the workforce, launch new technology, service the many UAB units as vendors, and provide quality, cost-effective health care for employees. In particular, the university’s Office of Supplier Diversity ensures that all vendors have better access to and knowledge of the university’s procurement system. This follows UAB’s commitment to equal opportunity being applied to all purchasing decisions, with the objective of achieving and fostering greater minority-, women-owned, veteran- and service disabled veteran-owned and Hub-Zone business participation in UAB’s procurement and construction programs.