School of Health Professions

Dean: Harold P. Jones, Ph.D.
Associate Dean: Donna J. Slovensky, Ph.D.

The School of Health Professions delivers educational programs to prepare health personnel who will improve the services in health care and the systems through which these services are provided. In keeping with the mission of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, the resources and programs of the school are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, and scholarly activity and to service to the institution, the community, and the professions represented by programs of the school.

Degree options in the School of Health Professions include undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs sponsored by five academic departments – Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences, Health Services Administration, Nutrition, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy. In addition, certificate options are available in some specialized areas.

The School of Health Professions provides the professional phase (upper division coursework) for the following programs leading to a Bachelor of Science degree: biomedical sciences, health care management, medical technology, and nuclear medicine technology . The pre-professional phase of these programs may be completed by taking the prescribed coursework at UAB or any other accredited university or college. All eligible undergraduate programs have been continuously accredited since their inception by the appropriate professional accrediting bodies.

At the graduate level, the School of Health Professions offers Doctor of Philosophy degree programs in administration/health services (offered jointly with the UAB School of Business), nutrition sciences, and rehabilitation sciences; Doctor of Science in administration/health services; and a Doctor of Physical Therapy; Master of Science degree programs in biotechnology, clinical laboratory sciences, nutrition sciences, genetic counseling, health administration, health informatics, occupational therapy, and  physician assistant studies. Graduate certificates are also offered in  dietetic internship, healthcare quality and safety, health focused patient/client management for physical and occupational therapists, and low vision rehabilitation.

The School of Health Professions is committed to the practice of ethical standards of conduct. School policies, procedures, and regulations reflect this commitment and are in compliance with those of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. To ensure continued practice of ethical standards, the administration and the standing committees of the school (Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs) regularly review school policies and procedures. All research endeavors are in compliance with policies of the UAB Institutional Review Board. 

SHP Admissions

Entrance requirements for the individual educational programs of SHP vary. Persons desiring admission to a particular program should consult the appropriate section of the University Catalogs for specific entrance requirements, application process, and program information. Students who attend an institution other than UAB are encouraged to seek academic advisement from the SHP Office of Student Success as early as possible to plan for completion of program prerequisites.

Application for admission to UAB to complete program entrance or pre-professional requirements at UAB may be made to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1720 2nd Avenue South, Birmingham, Alabama 35294, telephone: (205) 934-8221. Admission to UAB does not guarantee admission to the professional phase of any SHP program.

The School of Health Professions welcomes applications from all individuals who are prepared for the programs offered. All applicants must offer acceptable evidence of ability and intent to meet the academic standards specified by the particular program into which admission is desired. In addition, certain immunizations are required prior to enrollment; see UAB Student Health and Insurance Programs and UAB Immunization Policy. Applicants are considered regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, disability unrelated to program performance, disabled veteran status, or Vietnam era veteran status (see UAB Equal Opportunity Policy). Persons who have not yet decided upon a specific health career may obtain information from the SHP Office of Student Success, School of Health Professions Building, Room 230, 1705 University Boulevard; telephone: (205) 934-4195. 

SHP Mission, Vision, Values

The mission of the School of Health Professions is “To improve health care through teaching, research, and translation of discoveries into practice in partnership with the UAB community.” The School vision is, “To be recognized as the leading school of health professions – shaping the future of healthcare.” Fulfilling the mission requires faculty and staff to embrace the following organizational values:

  • Accountability
  • Collaboration/Cooperation
  • Diversity
  • Excellence
  • Innovation/Creativity
  • Integrity/Ethical behavior
  • Open communication
  • Professional behavior 

SHP First Year Experience

All freshmen admitted to the university are required to complete a first year experience (FYE) course. The FYE sponsored by SHP, HRP 101 Experience the Univ Transition,is designed to ease the transition between high school and university experiences and to prepare students for success in health professions majors. The course is two semester hours credit, and is designed to be delivered in a seminar format. Students interact with faculty, advisors, and other students to learn academic skills and personal lifestyle management tactics to make their freshman experience positive and academically rewarding. Social interaction and engagement in the UAB community are key goals as well. 

Core Curriculum

All SHP majors are required to comply with the UAB core curriculum for a baccalaureate degree. However, most professional curricula in the school include specific prerequisite coursework that should be considered in making choices about options within the core curriculum. Students are strongly encouraged to make early contact with academic advisors in the School of Health Professions to plan their course schedules to meet the dual requirements of the core curriculum and the requirements of their chosen major. The courses identified in Area V of the core curriculum (Elective and Pre-professional Credits) differ  by major, and are subject to change as programs respond to changes in workforce requirements. Students should work closely with their academic advisors to plan their programs of study during the freshman and sophomore years.

School-Wide Core / Capstone

The School of Health Professions does not specify a common core for all programs. Students must comply with the UAB core curriculum and the degree requirements for their chosen major. All SHP programs include capstone experiences, either a supervised practicum, a didactic course, or a combination of both. 

University Requirements

In order to receive a degree at UAB, a student must have a minimum 120 semester hours of acceptable credit. 

Interdisciplinary Majors / Minors

Interdisciplinary majors are not offered by the School of Health Professions. Students may elect to pursue any minor available at UAB in addition to their major, but minor study is not required. Four minors are available in the School of Health Professions.

New Minor in Nutrition

Approved August 3, 2012

NTR 222Nutrition and Health3
NTR 232Lifecycle Nutrition3
NTR 320Nutrition and the Consumer3
NTR 330Nutrition and Metabolism3
NTR 420Nutritional Genetics3
Select one of the following suggested courses: *3
Concepts of Health and Fitness
Nutrition and Physical Activity
Food and Culture
Total Hours18



Please see the Nutrition Sciences Department for approval of alternate electives.


School of Health Professions Honors Program

The School of Health Professions Honors Program provides opportunities for students in professional degree programs to develop leadership and research skills to prepare for careers in health care. Students participate in two semester credits of interdisciplinary seminars and four semester credits in honors projects under the direction of a faculty mentor. Projects may involve research, service learning, or leadership activities. The student’s project, whether scholarly, service, or leadership, is presented publicly in an appropriate professional forum. A limited number of students are accepted into the Honors Program each year following a June 1 application deadline. Admission criteria include a 3.25 GPA, recommendation by the program director of the student’s major, and a letter of support from their faculty mentor. Students who successfully complete the program graduate with School Honors.


HRP 101. Experience the Univ Transition. 2 Hours.

Structured introduction to the college experience for entering freshmen with health professions majors.

HRP 105. Business Principles for Health and Life Sciences. 3 Hours.

Basic leadership concepts will be covered with special emphasis on oral and written communication, planning and goal setting, team building, decision-making and problem solving.

HRP 401. Honors Seminar I. 1 Hour.

An overview of health care systems with current system-wide issues such as health care financing, reimbursement issues, security and privacy of health related information, and bioethics.

HRP 402. Honors Seminar II. 1 Hour.

A continuation of HPR 401 with an emphasis on health care leadership issues such as managing group dynamics, negotiating, conflict management, and decision making models.

HRP 410. Honors Project. 1-3 Hour.

Development and completion of a researchable project for presentation and publication under the direction of a faculty mentor. Two to four terms required for a minimum accumulation of 4 semester hours. Written research paper submitted and grades assigned upon completion of the 4 semester hours.