College of Arts & Sciences

Dean: Kecia M. Thomas
Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: Catherine Daniélou
Associate Dean of Graduate and Continuing Education: Rajesh K. Kana
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs: John K. Moore
Associate Dean for Research and Innovation: Yogesh K. Vohra
Assistant Dean for Student Engagement: Angela K. Lewis-Maddox

The College of Arts and Sciences includes departments in the arts, humanities, mathematics, social, behavioral, natural and physical sciences.

The College offers 33 degree programs leading to a Bachelor’s degree, 50 minors, and 23 programs leading to a masters or doctoral degree. Situated at the center of an internationally renowned research university and academic medical center, students and faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences have unparalleled opportunity to be part of the innovative and ground-breaking research and creative work that is the signature of UAB.

We offer a student-centered, experiential curriculum designed to prepare students not only for the careers and challenges of the 21st century but also to be the leaders in the global marketplace of ideas. Every undergraduate program in the arts and sciences is designed to insure that students cultivate strong oral and written communication skills, proficiency in mathematical and analytical reasoning, and sophisticated appreciation of ethics and civic engagement. Graduates with an arts and sciences major develop the ability to understand diverse perspectives making them better prepared to work creatively and productively with others to solve the most important problems of our times.

Honors programs and honors level study are offered in almost every department, along with mentored research and study abroad for interested students. Our metropolitan location provides an endless number of internship placements coordinated with an academic program of study. Each year many of our students pursue at least one of these opportunities.

Interdisciplinary programs of study are increasingly interesting as we realize the benefits of multiple perspectives and methods to advance understanding and improve solutions. We work with the UAB Heersink School of Medicine to offer undergraduate degree paths in Bioinformatics, Cancer Biology, Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Immunology, Neuroscience. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences can pursue formal interdisciplinary programs such as African-American Studies, Human Rights, or International Studies. The Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree is another interdisciplinary option that prepares students for careers in various professional fields where fundamental critical thinking and inquiry skills as well as rigorous writing and communication skills are of key importance. We also welcome very motivated students to work with their academic adviser and faculty to design an individualized, interdisciplinary major in a focused area. Among the fields that some of our students have chosen to focus on are: Asian Studies, Children Studies, Chinese Studies, Community Development and Social Change, Health Studies, International Development, International Health, Legal Studies, Motor Development and Health, New Media, Quantitative Economics, Sports and Health in Society, Translational Research.

The UAB Blazer Core Curriculum requirements and the specific major and minor requirements for graduation are listed below for each Bachelor’s degree option.

The UAB Blazer Core Curriculum

Core CurriculumHours
On Ramp 0 Credits

The on-ramp is not a course and does not offer course credit, but is rather a series of exciting events that are designed to immerse students in the values and principles of UAB and kick-start their engagement in the UAB and Birmingham community.

Local Beginnings 3 Credits

Students begin locally in a community of learners that is developed through our innovative First Year Experience courses. These courses provide students with a meaningful introduction to academic study at UAB that engages them in the process of designing pathways for both their future careers and future engagements as citizens.

Local Beginnings3
Introduction to Business
Business Foundations
Biology's Guide to Surviving Stress
Success in College
Touch the Future
Introduction to Engineering
Experience the University Transition
Student Success in Nursing
Transitioning to College, Exploring Public Health
Psychology of Adjustment
Exploring UAB
Success and the City
Keys to Academic Success
Lost in Translation: Navigating College and Beyond
Academic Foundations 15 Credits

Intellectual foundations provide students with opportunities to develop and apply processes of print and digital communication, quantitative literacy, and critical and ethical thinking to real-world issues. Courses such as our innovative place-based Freshman English courses foster students’ awareness of how foundational knowledge directly impacts the lives of those in our community and world.

Writing 6
Freshman Writing I and Freshman Writing II provide students with strong writing processes that enable students to become adaptable writers who can communicate in a variety of different media for different audiences.
English Composition I
Introduction to Freshman Writing I
English Composition I for Second Language Writers
English Composition II
Introduction to Freshman Writing II
English Composition II for Second Language Writers
Quantitative Literacy 3
Courses in quantitative literacy provide students with central conceptual knowledge of numbers, formulas, data, and probabilities, and encourage students to apply this knowledge to address real-world problems.
Pre-Calculus Algebra
Pre-Calculus Trigonometry
Pre-Calculus Algebra and Trigonometry
Mathematics of Social Choice
Finite Mathematics
Calculus I
Calculus II
Mathematics of Biological Systems I
Introduction to Statistics
Calculus I - Honors
Calculus II - Honors
Introduction to Differential Equations
Introduction to Linear Algebra
Understanding the World Through Data
Reasoning through Modeling and Simulation of Data
Data, Politics and Policy
Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences
Courses in reasoning teach logic and reasoning processes, including ethical thinking processes that enable students to understand the critical dialogues and discourses that shape our world.
Introduction to Peace Studies
Principles of Ethics
Artificial Intelligence and Society
Biology of Sex
Honors Seminar in Health Professions
Honors Seminar
Honors Seminar in Reasoning
Contemporary Moral Issues
Practical Reasoning
Introduction to Symbolic Logic
Foundations of Comparative Politics
Foundations of Political Theory
Introduction to Public Health
Cross-Cultural Perspective on Child Development
Communicating in the Modern World 3
Courses in communicating the modern world expand students’ understanding of verbal and visual forms of communication and empower them to become effective and adaptive communicators.
Introductory Arabic I
and Introductory Arabic I Lab
Introductory Arabic II
and Introductory Arabic II Lab
Foundations of Business Communications
Contemporary Issues in Science Policy
Introductory Chinese I
and Introductory Chinese I Lab
Introductory Chinese II
and Introductory Chinese II Lab
Intermediate Chinese I
Public Speaking
Introduction to Human Communication
Computer Aided Graphics and Design
Engineering Design & Innovation I: Design Thinking
Introductory French I
and Introductory French I Lab Practice
Introductory French II
and Introductory French II Lab Practice
Intermediate French I
Introductory German I
and Introductory German I Lab Practice
Introductory German II
and Introductory German II Lab Practice
Intermediate German I
Honors Seminar in Engineering
Honors Seminar in Business
Leadership Skills
Introductory Italian I
and Introductory Italian I Lab
Introductory Italian II
and Introductory Italian II Lab
Introductory Japanese I
and Introductory Japanese I Lab
Introductory Japanese II
and Introductory Japanese Lab II
Intermediate Japanese I
Introductory Portuguese I
and Introductory Portuguese I Lab Practice
Introductory Portuguese II
and Introductory Portuguese II Lab Practice
Public Service
American State and Local Government
Introductory Spanish I
and Introductory Spanish I Lab Practice
Introductory Spanish II
and Introductory Spanish II Lab Practice
Intermediate Spanish I
Introductory World Language I
Introductory World Language II
Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies
Total Hours15
Thinking Broadly 20 Credits

To respond to the opportunities of tomorrow, students need the ability to think from a range of different disciplinary and cultural perspectives, recognize and value the diversity of human culture and identity, perceive the vital importance of intellectual and public knowledge of scientific inquiry in our society, understand the historical development of the cultures, communities, and networks that shape our world, and critically understand how narrative, visual art, and design shape our contemporary experience of the world.

History & Meaning3
Courses in this section will explore the ways that human beings have sought to understand, organize, and interpret the human experience and to give it meaning.
Introduction to African-American Studies
Introducing Archaeology
Explorers, Mummies, Hieroglyphs
Peoples of the World:Mediterranean
Art and Medicine: A History
Interpreting Film
Forms of Literature
Ideas in Literature
Honors Seminar in History & Meaning
Honors Seminar in Natural Sciences and Mathematics
Honors Seminar in Social and Behavioral Sciences
Honors Seminar
Honors Seminar History & Meaning
Western Civilization I
Western Civilization II
World History to 1600
World History 1600 to the Present
World History and Technology I
World History and Technology II
The United States To 1877
The United States Since 1877
Reacting to the Past
Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Ethics
Philosophy of Religion
Meaning of Life: Perspectives
Urban Politics
Afrodocs: Afro-Iberian and Caribbean History through Film
The International Biopic
The Creative Arts 3
Courses in this section will explore the imaginative and creative arts.
The Art Experience
Modern Visual Culture
Ancient and Medieval Art
Early Modern-Contemporary Art
Survey of African Art
Survey of Asian Art
Creativity and Imagination
Introduction to Creative Writing
Honors Seminar in Public Health
Honors Seminar in Creative Arts
Honor Seminar in Arts and Humanities
Music Appreciation
Jazz Styles: History and Appreciation
African-American Music 1619-Present
Introduction to the Theatre
Introduction to Cinema
Introduction to Dance
Plays on Film
Worlds of Anime and Manga
World Literatures in English Translation
Scientific Inquiry 8
Courses in this section will teach students the processes of scientific inquiry and the uses of scientific evidence and challenge them to think about the importance of scientific inquiry for understanding and addressing our world’s key challenges. These courses will be accompanied by labs.
Introduction to Biological Anthropology
and Laboratory in Biological Anthropology
Astronomy of the Universe
and Astronomy of the Universe Laboratory
Stars and Galaxies
and Stars and Galaxies Laboratory
Astronomy of the Solar System
and Astronomy of the Solar Systems Laboratory
Extraterrestrial Life
and Extraterrestrial Life Laboratory
Topics in Contemporary Biology
and Topics Contemporary Biology Laboratory
Oceans and You
and Oceans and You - Laboratory
Human Population and the Earth's Environment
and Laboratory in Environmental Science
Introductory Biology I
Introductory Biology II
Introductory Chemistry I
and Introductory Chemistry I Laboratory
Introductory Chemistry II
and Introductory Chemistry II Laboratory
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
General Chemistry I HONORS
and General Chemistry I HONORS Laboratory
General Chemistry II HONORS
and General Chemistry II HONORS Laboratory
Data Science for All
Physical Geology
Physical Geology Laboratory
Honors Seminar: Scientific Inquiry
College Physics I
College Physics II
General Physics I
General Physics II
Physical Science
Physical Science II
Humans and their Societies3
Courses in this section look at the ways that human beings behave in the social world and how they have organized their societies.
Introducing Cultural Anthropology
Language and Culture
Crime and Everyday Life
Media, Culture and Society
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Macroeconomics
Honors Seminar: Special Topics
Honors Seminar in Education
Honors Seminar Humans & their Societies
Honors Seminar in Business
Extreme Teaming in Healthcare
History and Society
Art and Science of Language
Well Being and You
Healthy People, Healthy Planet
Nutrition and Health
Social and Political Philosophy
Science, Knowledge, and Reality
Foundations of American Government
Foundations of International Relations
Introduction to Global Health
Social and Behavioral Determinants of Health
Introduction to Psychology
Honors Introduction to Psychology
Developmental Psychology
Honors Developmental Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Change
Sociology of Sex and Gender
Contemporary Social Problems
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Our Interconnected World: International Sociology
Introduction to Medical Sociology
World Cultures
Songs of Social Change through World Cultures
Additional Selection3
Select one additional course from History & Meaning, The Creative Arts, or Humans & Their Societies
Total Hours20
City as Classroom 3 Credits

A signature initiative of Blazer Core, City as Classroom courses will be taught by faculty across the many disciplines at UAB and will immerse students in undergraduate research, experiential learning, or other high-impact practices that enable them to see the role of knowledge in addressing the challenges and opportunities of our city. Here are just a few possible examples:

City As a Classroom3
Taxation and the Working Poor
Financial Oversight for Not-for-Profit Organizations
City as Culture
Protecting Starry Skies in Birmingham and Beyond
Urban Neighborhood Revitalization and Community Development/CAC
CAC: Climate Change and the Environment
CAC: Aging: From Cells to Society
Sustainable Cities
Lifelong Health & Wellness
Economic Impacts, Equity and History of Birmingham
Disability in Society
Writing in Birmingham
Reading in Birmingham
Urban Geology
Investigations into Financial Inclusion
Intro to Geography
Honor Seminar - City as a Classroom
City as Classroom
Dialect and Language Diversity in the South
Data Dive Into Birmingham
Health in the City
Community Data Research
Philosophy Service Learning
Political Science City as Classroom
Health Equity, Disparities, and Social Justice in Alabama
Introduction to Sustainability: Shaping Our Shared Future
Community Service Practicum
Sociology in the City
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Experiencing Japanese Culture in Birmingham
Eating in Birmingham: From Food Banks to Fine Dining
My Global Birmingham
Multicultural City: Heritage through Festivals

Flags (5 minimum):

As students progress through Blazer Core, they will develop key skills and capabilities that sometimes are not reflected on their transcripts. Our innovative flagging program allows students to earn flags for course work and co-curricular activities that cultivate specific skills, perspectives, and habits of mind that reflect the goals of the core and ideals of UAB. Here are just a few of our important flags.

  • Justice
  • Wellness/Wellbeing
  • Sustainability
  • Civic Engagement
  • High-Impact Practices
    • First Year Experiences
    • Common Intellectual Experiences
    • Collaborative Assignments and Projects
    • Service Learning/Community Based Learning
    • Undergraduate Research
    • Post-Freshman Writing
    • Global/Multicultural Perspectives
Total Semester Hours:41

Additional Requirements

Departments within the College have policies on the grade level of acceptable work that may be applied towards the major or minor. All College of Arts and Sciences majors must take general electives to reach the 120 semester hour requirement. At least 9 semester hours of the major must be at the 400 level or above. All students must have a capstone experience. In addition to the number of hours there is a requirement of at least a C average in courses counted toward the major and also in courses counted toward the minor for all students majoring in Biology and Chemistry. At least one-third of the hours in both the major and minor must be completed at UAB, and at least a C average must be maintained in these courses.

Requirements for students majoring or minoring in Political Science, International Studies, Psychology, Social Work, Sociology: courses counted toward one major or minor may not be applied to meet the requirements of another major or minor; credit will be allowed for job-training instructional programs that have been evaluated and approved by an agency of the American Council on Education, or comparable evaluating agency, and when the work in question is germane to the student’s program.

Requirements for students majoring in African American Studies, Anthropology, Art/Art History, Communication Studies, Criminal Justice, English, Film (minor), World Languages, History, Music, Philosophy, Theatre: relevant courses counted toward one major or minor in one of these seven fields may be applied to meet the requirements of a major or minor in another of these specific fields. After doing so, if a student has not achieved the minimum required credit hours for graduation, the remaining hours may be fulfilled through courses of the student’s choosing, consistent with all other degree requirements.

Teacher Certification

UAB offers baccalaureate level (Class B) secondary (grades 6-12) teacher certification in Chemistry, Biology, General Science, History, General Social Science, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Music-Instrumental, Music-Choral, and middle school (grades 4-8) teacher certification (Class B) in Mathematics. To obtain certification in fields outside science and mathematics, students must major in their teaching field and education. Requirements for the major in the College of Arts and Sciences may be found in the appropriate department listing. To obtain certification in Chemistry, Biology, Physics, General Science, and Mathematics, students major in their teaching field and participate in the UABTeach program, which leads to a minor in STEM Education and Class B teacher certification. Requirements for the major in the College of Arts and Sciences may be found in the appropriate department listing. Because of specific Alabama Teacher Certification requirements, students seeking certification should consult with the School of Education Student Success Center early in their academic careers, or consult directly with UABTeach if in science or mathematics. UAB also offers non-traditional fifth year masters’ level (Class A) certification in the above disciplines. Students majoring in one of the above fields should contact the School of Education Student Success Center for more information about program admission requirements.