Admission as a Degree-Seeking Student

UAB welcomes applications from all individuals whose preparation and abilities give them a reasonable chance of success in its programs. All applicants must offer acceptable evidence of ability and intent to meet the academic standards of the university. Degree-seeking graduate students are those accepted into a specific graduate program to work toward a specific advanced degree. In addition to the completed online application, the Graduate School requires an application fee and official transcripts. To be considered official, academic transcripts must be mailed to UAB directly from the college/university attended, sent electronically to the UAB Graduate School by the school’s Registrar’s Office, or submitted in a sealed envelope bearing a university signature or stamp across the seal.

Admission to the UAB Graduate School requires a recognized baccalaureate, graduate, or professional degree from a regionally accredited (e.g. SACSCOC) college or university, or an international equivalent of a four-year degree. By the start of your first semester, your bachelor's degree must be awarded and appear on your transcript.

Unofficial transcripts may be utilized for the application review process and must be submitted for all post-secondary institutions, including community colleges, high school dual-enrollment, and military credit. During the application process, applicants will have the option to upload an unofficial PDF copy of their transcript(s).

If admitted, the Graduate School must receive an official transcript:

a)    from each post-secondary institution where the student earned a degree.


b)    for any coursework taken after the awarding of a student’s bachelor’s degree (e.g. as a post-bacc or graduate student)

Standardized academic test scores are not required by the Graduate School; however, they may be required by the academic program so applicants should check with the program to which they are applying. The Graduate School requires English proficiency for international applicants. This requirement is automatically waived for international applicants who earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree in the US with a minimum GPA of 3.00. All other international applicants are required to submit TOEFL/IELTS/IELA/PTEA/Duolingo/TOEFL Essentials test scores that meet these requirements: 80 on the TOEFL, 6.5 on the IELTS, 176 on the IELA, 120 on Duolingo, 53 on the PTEA, 8.5 on TOEFL Essentials. Official test scores must be sent directly to UAB from the testing agencies. Academic programs may choose to waive academic test scores at their discretion based on the qualifications of the applicant. However, the English proficiency requirement may not be waived. 

Individual graduate programs often require additional items such as letters of recommendation, a personal essay, or a resume so it is important that applicants are aware of program-specific admissions requirements. Complete graduate applications are reviewed by graduate program faculty who make an admissions recommendation to the Graduate School. All credentials submitted as part of the application for admission become and remain property of the university and will not be returned to the student, duplicated, or transferred to another institution.

Any change in a student’s record prior to enrollment will necessitate a new review of the application. Any omissions or misrepresentations on a student’s application for admission will automatically invalidate consideration by and acceptance to UAB. If, after a student is admitted to the university, information comes to light that indicates an applicant did not meet all admission requirements, the applicant's offer of admission will be rescinded.

The application for admission, application instructions, and application deadlines can be accessed at

Admission as a Non-Degree Student

Students who do not wish to pursue a graduate degree at UAB but would like to enroll in graduate courses or those who wish to begin graduate study before being admitted to a degree program can apply as a graduate non-degree seeking student. Registration in non-degree courses requires departmental approval as not all graduate courses are open to non-degree seeking graduate students. There is no limit to the number of graduate non-degree (GN) credit hours a non-degree seeking student can accumulate. However, should a student later wish to enroll as a degree-seeking student at UAB, no more than 12 semester hours earned as a non-degree graduate student may be applied toward an advanced degree at UAB. Students wishing to apply more than 12 semester hours are required to appeal to the Graduate School Dean for permission. Should a student be admitted to a degree program, the credit earned while in non-degree seeking status is not automatically acceptable toward the degree.  

Because of U.S. immigration requirements, international applicants (i.e., those who are neither U.S. citizens nor permanent residents) typically cannot be considered for the non-degree category unless already residing in the United States. International students should consult immigration laws to determine eligibility.

International Admissions

The University of Alabama at Birmingham welcomes international applicants. An international applicant is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident of the United States. International applicants should consult the Graduate School website at for information regarding additional admissions requirements.

Change from Non-Degree to Degree-Seeking Status

A student with a non-degree classification who wishes to change to a degree-seeking classification must apply via the degree-seeking application and submit the required documents (transcripts, applicable test scores, and program-specific supporting documents). Degree-seeking admission of non-degree students is neither automatic nor guaranteed.

Readmission as a Degree-Seeking Student

Students who have not registered for three (3) consecutive semesters will be changed to inactive student status and must apply for readmission before they will be able to register for courses at UAB. Degree-seeking students who meet the following criteria are able to apply for readmission by submitting an application for readmission by visiting the Graduate School homepage ( and clicking the “Apply Now” button. 

  1. Were admitted to a UAB Graduate Degree-Seeking Program within the last five years, and
  2. Have registered for and successfully passed at least one graduate course at UAB after being admitted to a UAB Graduate Degree-Seeking Program BUT have not registered for courses for one academic year (3 semesters) or more, and 
  3. Have not attended any other university or college in the interim, and
  4. Wish to return to the graduate program to which they were previously admitted

Readmitted students must meet the degree requirements operative at the time of readmission.

Admission with Contingencies

Students lacking one or more admission requirements may be admitted to a graduate program contingent upon submission or completion of those requirements. Graduate students admitted with contingencies have until the end of their first semester of enrollment to resolve all contingencies. Examples of contingencies that must be resolved are the submission of official transcripts, official test scores, official degree statements, required course completion, etc. Students are informed of specific requirements for continued enrollment and the time allowed for completion at the time of admission. Failure to meet the requirements during the stipulated time will result in a registration hold until the contingency is resolved and may result in dismissal from the Graduate School.

Admission of Students Previously Dismissed

When an individual applies to a graduate program, a significant part of the admissions decision involves an estimate, based on the applicant’s academic history, of whether the applicant can perform satisfactorily at the graduate level. Applicants who have previously been academically dismissed from the Graduate School must present convincing evidence to program faculty and the Graduate School Dean that substantial improvement has occurred so that it is probable that the applicant can now perform at the required level in graduate work. In general, students are not admitted to a graduate program from which they have been previously dismissed.

Dual Degree Programs

UAB offers many opportunities for students to pursue two advanced degrees concurrently.

Students wishing to be enrolled in an approved dual degree program must submit a degree-seeking application and be admitted to each program individually. The minimum number of credit hours required for each degree must be met. Courses may not be double-counted and are only allowed to fulfill requirements for one degree.

Accelerated Learning Opportunities

UAB offers several options for high-achieving undergraduates to accelerate the time and cost necessary to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include Accelerated Bachelors/Masters Programs (ABM), Fast-Track programs, and Early Acceptance. For more information visit:

Accelerated Bachelors/Masters Program

The accelerated bachelors/masters (ABM) program allows undergraduate students to share credits toward both an undergraduate and graduate degree. Through ABM, an undergraduate student can take courses that count simultaneously toward their undergraduate and graduate programs. Once admitted, an ABM student can take up to 12 hours of approved 500/600-level graduate courses that will count towards both the undergraduate and graduate degree. This can significantly shorten the time it takes to earn a master’s degree. 


UAB undergraduate, degree seeking students may start the ABM program once they have earned 60 or more undergraduate hours, at least 36 of which must be earned at UAB. ABM differs from traditional Fast-Track programs in that, at the time of application, eligible students must have a UAB undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.5 (or higher if required by their program). Programs may require a higher GPA for admission and/or not permit the full 12 hours to be shared between programs. Post-baccalaureate students are not eligible to apply to an ABM or Fast-Track program.

Permission to take graduate courses will be granted by the Graduate School if the student has met the criteria above as well as other minimum requirements for graduate admission. Upon admission to the Graduate School, an ABM student will begin a program of study leading to the master’s degree, as approved by his or her department and by the Graduate School. Students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all graduate and undergraduate coursework. Programs may set higher requirements or require specific grades in individual courses.

In addition to any graduate-level coursework taken in a given term, undergraduate students enrolled in an Accelerated Bachelor’s/Master’s program must enroll in a minimum of 6 undergraduate hours. ABM hours approved as shared credit count toward this minimum. Students enrolled in a summer term OR in the final semester of their undergraduate program who have less than 6 hours remaining are exempted from this requirement. ABM students must submit an application for degree and graduate in the term in which undergraduate degree requirements are met, at which point they will transition to graduate student status. Other exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate School.

How to Apply

Students who meet the above requirements are eligible to apply to an ABM program after completing the following steps:

  • Meet with Accelerated Learning Opportunities Advisor to confirm eligibility and review application requirements.
  • Meet with Undergraduate Advisor and the relevant Graduate Program Director(s) to discuss program requirements.
  • Complete the ABM program Application Form (including all approvals) and return it to the Graduate School.
  • Submit departmental application materials (as required by program).

Program Completion

Upon completing an undergraduate degree, students will be recertified as graduate-level degree-seeking students and charged the graduate tuition rate.

Fast Track Programs

Fast Track programs allow students to apply to master’s degree program before finishing their undergraduate degree. Beginning graduate coursework while enrolled as an undergraduate allows students to pay undergraduate tuition rates and accelerate the time needed to complete their master’s degree. While hours cannot be shared between the two programs, certain masters programs allow students to waive equivalent course content covered while enrolled in their undergraduate degree.


Requirements vary by program, but typically require at least 60 undergraduate hours, at least 36 of which must be earned at UAB, and a 3.0 GPA to enroll in master’s courses.

Additionally, individual programs may specify required prerequisite courses, only be available to certain undergraduate majors, or require the completion of the bachelor’s degree prior to admission.

In addition to any graduate-level coursework taken in a given term, undergraduate students enrolled in a Fast-Track program must enroll in a minimum of 6 undergraduate hours. Students enrolled in a summer term OR in the final semester of their undergraduate program who have less than 6 hours remaining are exempted from this requirement. Fast Track students must submit an application for degree and graduate in the term in which undergraduate degree requirements are met, at which point they will transition to graduate student status. Other exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Graduate School.

Program Completion

Upon completing an undergraduate degree, students will be recertified as graduate-level degree-seeking students and charged the graduate tuition rate.

Early Acceptance to Graduate School

Early Acceptance Programs are designed for academically superior high-school students. Early Acceptance Programs allow high achieving students to be conditionally admitted into a graduate program at the same time they are admitted to an undergraduate program.


Eligible students will be notified at the time of matriculation. In order to maintain eligibility for the Early Acceptance program, students must maintain a 3.5 UAB undergraduate GPA, meet all relevant pre-requisites of the program they wish to pursue, and maintain continuous enrollment while at UAB. 

Undergraduate Enrollment in Graduate Certificates

Some certificates may open enrollment to undergraduate students on a case by case basis, allowing students to potentially complete a graduate certificate at the same time they earn their undergraduate degree. Enrollment in a graduate certificate is not permitted until the student has earned at least 60 undergraduate hours, 36 of which must have been completed at UAB, with a 3.0 institutional GPA. In addition to academic standing requirements administered at the undergraduate level, once admitted, students must maintain a 3.0 in all graduate coursework.

Awarding of a graduate certificate is contingent upon a student completing all requirements of their undergraduate degree, and cannot be awarded until these requirements are met.

Concurrent Degrees

Students who do not qualify for a combined degree program but wish to begin work toward a second graduate degree may enroll in and earn up to 12 semester hours in the secondary program without special permission while simultaneously earning credit toward their original degree. However, no more than 12 semester hours earned while pursuing the first degree program may be applied toward the second degree without prior approval by both the graduate program and the Dean of the Graduate School.

UAB Employee Admission

To maintain university accountability, UAB faculty and staff who wish to take occasional graduate courses may only register for these courses after admission to the Graduate School as either a non-degree seeking student or a degree-seeking student. Admission of a UAB employee as a degree-seeking graduate student requires the concurrence of the applicant’s department chair and dean(s), as well as the approvals required for other applicants to the same program. For more information regarding Educational Assistance, visit the UAB Human Resources Web page at

UAB employees who wish to become full-time graduate students and continue to work part-time cannot work more than 10 hours per week outside their commitment to meet the requirements of their pre-doctoral program.

UAB employees who enroll in a Ph.D. program and continue to work full time must meet the following requirements:

  1. Are not eligible to be supported by a training grant
  2. Cannot be simultaneously supported by a UAB Graduate Assistantship/Traineeship
  3. Thesis or dissertation work may not be initiated until the student enrolls in a program (i.e. data generated by the employee/student prior to enrollment that has been submitted for publication or published cannot be included in a thesis or dissertation)
  4. Must meet the same set of program requirements as all other students
  5. The dissertation committee is responsible for assuring that these stipulations are met
  6. The Program Director and dissertation committee must agree in writing to a protracted course of study

Equal Opportunity Policy

UAB administers its educational programs and activities, including admission, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability unrelated to job performance or Vietnam-era or disabled veteran status. The full text of this policy can be found here.

Office of Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address for Documents and Credentials:

G03 Lister Hill Library
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35294-0013

Physical Address:

1700 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-0013
(205) 934-8227