Graduate education and research
Graduate enrollment, up 32 percent in the past decade, is the highest among Alabama universities at 5,402. The diverse group — two-thirds female, 19 percent minority — are pursuing degrees in 45 master’s programs, 37 doctoral programs and eight education specialist programs.
A number of programs train students for emerging fields at the intersection of disciplines, such as The Leonardo Art and Engineering Certificate, which bridges engineering and art to equip students for computer 3-D modeling, and the biotechnology master's program, which teaches the entrepreneurial skills to translate scientific discoveries into commercially viable products. UAB’s Center for Information Assurance and Joint Forensics Research, the only one of its kind, enjoins the College of Arts & Sciences and schools of Business and Health Professions to conduct research, develop cyber-security methods and train forensic professionals to combat the cyber-tactics of tomorrow.
UAB is one of 15 universities nationwide to earn the NIH Research and Academic Career Development Award to increase the number of minority students entering careers in biomedical research and expand partnerships with historically black universities, based on our successes in these areas. One UAB-led program has supported more than 12,500 Alabama minority students earning undergraduate and graduate STEM degrees, and our “Bridge to the Doctorate” has supported 25 African-American doctoral students at UAB and 47 at other institutions across the state.
UAB is a member of Center for Research, Teaching and Learning, an NSF-funded consortium of 25 premier research institutions dedicated to improving the teaching skills of graduate students, postdoctoral trainees and faculty.
The Scientist ranks UAB No. 1 among universities and No. 8 among all institutions in its Best Places to Work as a postdoc list for 2013.
Undergraduate education and research
UAB’s Quality Enhancement Plan helps ensure all students develop communication and problem-solving skills, broad knowledge and the ability to make informed, ethical decisions — all key to leadership in our local and global community.
More than two dozen Freshman Learning Communities help new students integrate through shared courses on a common theme.
Highly recruited students are drawn to the specialized courses and research opportunities of the UAB Honors College, which continues to produce Fulbright, Goldwater and Rhodes Scholars, and the Early Medical Professional Schools Acceptance Program, which guarantees admission to UAB’s the schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Optometry.
According to Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, UAB is the top university nationally for awarding undergraduate degrees to African-Americans in the allied health diagnostic, intervention and treatment professions.
In addition to faculty-mentored research, students also take part in active learning through service-learning projects in the community, study abroad individually or on faculty-led study groups and abundant co-ops, internships, teaching, and clinical experiences.
UAB ranks No. 1 among public institutions in the ratio of incoming freshman to federal research dollars and is one of 11 American universities to earn the prestigious Beckman Scholars Award for demonstrating exceptional mentoring and training of undergraduate researchers.
The Research Experience for Undergraduates program, funded by NSF and NASA, enables students to pursue research projects in physics, chemistry, mechanical and biomedical engineering, materials science, physiology and dentistry linked to interdisciplinary faculty research. Participants have published first-author publications in peer-reviewed journals and attended national meetings to present their original research.
The student-published research journal Inquiro is an annual publication of UAB interdisciplinary research edited and published by undergraduates who work with UAB faculty and researchers to learn the elements of professional research publication.
The Undergraduate Research Expo showcases the academic endeavors of undergraduate students in an eclectic range of poster and oral presentations on topics from music performance to robotics.
Research rankings, centers and initiatives
- For FY 2011, UAB had federal research expenditures of $343 million and its research expenditures exceeded $500 million.
UAB ranks No. 20 in funding from the NIH and No. 30 in total federal research funding among academic institutions.
In the latest Performance Ranking of Scientific Papers for World Universities, UAB is ranked No. 31 in clinical medicine, No. 74 in life sciences and No. 126 in social sciences and No. 105 overall.
UAB’s investigative reach includes more than 60 countries and Antarctica. In addition, UAB teams with more than 40 collaborators in AAU institutions to address world issues.
Centers and major grants
UAB, home to one of the original 13 NIH-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, holds more Specialized Program of Research Excellence grants — for brain, breast and pancreatic cancers and cervical cancer — than all but three institutions. The center, which treats 5,000 new patients annually, is at the forefront of cancer prevention and diagnosis and is routinely recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s survey of "America's Best Hospitals." Researchers, ranked among the nation’s top 40 for competitive funding from the National Cancer Institute, have pioneered advances in chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and nutrition and are a world leader in developing innovative monoclonal antibody approaches to cancer therapy.
UAB is one of the seven inaugural NIH-designated Centers for AIDS Research established in 1988 and a world leader in HIV/AIDS research and patient care. UAB has been among the first to make the newest, most effective treatments available to patients, including the three-drug combination that today is the standard of care. From the field, a UAB-led team discovered the simian virus linked to all major HIV-1 variants and traced the exact route of HIV’s spread to humans. U.S. News & World Report ranks the AIDS program No. 8 among “America’s Best Graduate Schools,” and the journal Science recently highlighted Birmingham and UAB's 1917 Clinic among 10 cities nationally excelling in efforts to combat the disease.
UAB is one of 25 inaugural members of an NIH-funded neuroscience research consortium created to rapidly advance new treatments in our areas of expertise: movement disorders, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and demyelinating diseases and the growing field of epigenetics. The Comprehensive Neuroscience Center is the focal point for UAB basic and applied neuroscience research of more than 20 specialized centers of study within the university, which created one of the nation’s few undergraduate programs in neuroscience in 2009. UAB President Ray Watts, M.D., a renowned neurologist, is committed to expanding our excellence in neurology education, research and patient care.
UAB is one of six NIH Diabetes Research and Training Centers and leads in the development of new methods to treat, prevent and cure diabetes — the seventh leading cause of death in America. It is one of several components within the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center to conduct basic, clinical and translational research, develop novel therapies and train clinicians and researchers. UAB, which opened the first public, university-affiliated diabetes hospital in the country 40 years ago, provides the most advanced, comprehensive, multidisciplinary care in its clinics for adults and children, and its new partnership with the City of Birmingham is bringing a diabetes-management program to city residents.
Landmark discoveries and initiatives
A UAB Egyptologist and space archaeologist used infrared satellite imaging to discover 17 lost pyramids and thousands of houses and tombs invisible from the ground. A team of French excavators confirmed her discovery, and the work was the subject of BBC and Discovery Channel documentaries.
UAB’s nationally renowned cybersleuth and director of research in computer forensics is a five-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional who consults frequently with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and law-enforcement agencies. His team recently helped the FBI and NASA identify seven foreign nationals who were conducting a massive Internet fraud that infected more than 400 million computers in 100 countries and scammed $14 million.
In the new Materials Processing and Application Development facility, the largest academic research facility of its kind in the nation, UAB engineers are pioneering leading-edge metals and composites for a range of applications — from missile systems to lighter, more fuel-efficient city buses.
Physiology and ecology faculty and students conduct 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.
The Center for Urban Education examines the lagging performance of urban schools, devising ways to address the myriad social issues. Efforts include an NSF-funded project to teach innovative methods of middle-school math instruction.
Location, environment and atmosphere
• UAB’s 86-block campus channels all the energies and opportunities of Birmingham, a metropolitan city of some 1.2 million and a thriving nexus of medicine, banking, business and research and development nestled in the serene foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It borders the historic Five Points and Lakeshore districts, with their eclectic mix of restaurants, cafes and live music venues, and it is minutes from cultural, outdoor and leisure attractions.
• The Campus Green is at the heart of UAB’s pedestrian-friendly campus, anchored by an award-winning recreation center, dining commons and residence halls, and several mini parks create oases of green on this urban campus.
• UAB is home to an exciting Cultural Arts District, anchored by the Alys Stephens Center for the Performing Arts, which hosts top-quality student productions and performances, the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and legendary acts from all corners of the world. Soon to open across the street is the Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts.
General facts about UAB
• UAB has experienced its fifth consecutive year of record enrollment, with a student body of exceeding 18,500 who can select from 137 degree programs in arts and sciences, business, dentistry, education, engineering, health professions, medicine, nursing, optometry and public health.
• UAB has been ranked for four consecutive years among Princeton Review’s top 10 universities for diversity. More than 35 percent of students are minorities and nearly 61 percent are female; they hail from every region of the country and more than 110 nations.
• More than 150 student organizations, including 16 fraternities and sororities and Division I athletics, provide ample opportunities for student involvement.
• U.S. News & World Report ranks 11 UAB programs in the top 25 and five in the top 10 in its list of “Best Graduate Schools.”
• The Carnegie Foundation identifies UAB as one of a handful of institutions rated for “very high research activity” that also is a leader in “community engagement.” Our reach extends to more than 60 countries and Antarctica and more than 40 collaborations in AAU institutions to address world issues.
• UAB has been named four consecutive years to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can achieve for civic engagement and service-learning.
• UAB is the only medical center in Alabama listed in U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” edition for 23 straight years — since the issue’s inception.
• The state’s largest single employer — with more than 21,500 employees — UAB supports one of every 33 jobs statewide and has an annual economic impact of nearly $5 billion on Alabama.
Implementing the brand
Every post and image we publish should tell a story about the ways UAB faculty, staff and students use their knowledge to change the world. We want to help readers connect to our achievements — our brand — on a personal level because it is the best marketing money cannot buy. This list of priorities and activities that support them should help you identify and illustrate the way your school, department, unit or center reflects the UAB brand.
Promote learning that prepares diverse students to lead, teach, conduct research, provide professional services, become prominent scholars and societal leaders and contribute to our region’s prosperity through messages that emphasize UAB’s actions to
- Increase enrollment, retention and graduation rates
- Expand or create programs aligned with the region’s targeted business sectors and tomorrow’s careers
- Expand opportunities for extraordinary learning: research and honors experiences, study abroad, learning communities, internships and service-learning
- Embrace academic innovation through programs acclaimed for pioneering content, engaging pedagogies, interdisciplinary problem-solving, incorporating technology to enhance learning
- Develop interdisciplinary programs and promote discovery across disciplines.
- Increase support for graduate studies
Promote UAB’s capability to discover and share new knowledge that benefits society, spurs innovation, fosters economic development and underscores UAB’s position as an internationally renowned research university through messages that emphasize UAB’s actions to
- Expand research by recruiting and retaining outstanding researchers and scholars.
- Improve the administrative and technological infrastructure to support faculty and student productivity
- Maximize translational research and technology transfer, especially within the region's targeted business sectors.
- Support promising start-ups based on UAB research
- Provide unparalleled opportunities for students to participate in research and scholarship
Highlight partnerships within our community, state and throughout the world to improve education, health, quality of life and economic development through messages that emphasize UAB’s actions to
- Maximize UAB’s economic impact
- Foster an entrepreneurial climate and a portfolio of faculty expertise that helps attract businesses to our region
- Provide intellectual capital to help our region thrive in a global, knowledge economy
- Make UAB the preferred academic medical center of the 21st century
- Improve health in our community and state, especially for the under-served
- Foster a thriving arts and cultural district for the community
Support partnerships within the larger community to attract financial and other support to achieve our common goals through messages that emphasize UAB’s actions to
- Enhance financial support for educational, research and clinical excellence
- Increase appropriations and support from government at all levels
- Increase alumni engagement
Living/Learning/ Working Environment
Relate UAB’s work to create a consumer-friendly, positive, supportive and diverse environment in which students, faculty and staff can excel through messages that emphasize UAB’s actions to
- Deliver the highest quality service to internal and external constituencies
- Create a campus that physically connects to our larger community
- Foster an environment that supports the engagement, development, health and success of students, faculty and staff
- Maximize efficiency in operations and resources
- Create and expand initiatives to promote sustainability
UAB's strong partnership with its community has helped transform Birmingham into a nexus of medicine, business, research and development. Those ties are cemented by a shared vision for better education, health, quality of life and competitiveness that establishes Alabama as a progressive economic center that can change the world.
• Alabama's largest single-site employer with an annual economic impact exceeding $5 billion.
• For every dollar Alabama invests in UAB, more than $20 is returned through jobs and economic development.
• The business of technology-transfer — moving basic research discoveries to the marketplace — contributes tens of millions of dollars to the state economy through product licensing and spin-off companies.
In a word:
Steers. Enriches. Provides. Secures. Empowers. Builds. Enables. Earns. Employs. Frames. Furnishes. Leads. Fosters. Promotes. Raises. Revitalizes. Supplies. Surpasses. Stimulates. Yields. Vitalizes. Advances. Competes. Transforms.
UAB’s reach stretches across classes, cultures and continents into inner-city classrooms, rural clinics and far corners of the globe. Service-learning is engrained across the university curricula, and the dedication and character of our faculty and students is evidenced by their willingness to use their knowledge for the well-being of others.
• Named three consecutive years to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a university can achieve for civic engagement and service-learning.
• Among 51 public and private universities (and only Alabama university) classified by The Carnegie Foundation for both “very high research activity” and "community engagement."
In a word:
Shields. Nurtures. Cultivates. Shares. Believes. Aids. Builds. Conserves. Diversifies. Encourages. Expresses. Extends. Enlists. Inspires. Mentors. Lobbies. Preserves. Reconciles. Recruits. Restores. Speaks. Tends. Unifies. Vitalizes. Volunteers. Leads. Collaborates. Transforms.
UAB — home to prestigious centers for the study of cancer, neuroscience, AIDS, diabetes and more — excels at translating medical discoveries in the lab to revolutionary therapies in one of the nation’s largest academic medical centers. Professionals at UAB Medicine use that knowledge to provide the highest quality care to more than one million patients annually in America’s third-largest hospital and its affiliated clinics. UAB claims many distinctions:
Only hospital in Alabama to provide highest certified care for trauma, burn and neonatal patients and solid organ transplants. Only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer in a six-state region and one of two eye-trauma centers in America.
Only medical center in Alabama listed among U.S. News & World Report “Best Hospitals” 23 straight years.
The 2013 list recognizes 325 UAB physicians in 65 specialties who are among the top 5 percent of clinicians in the United States, as voted by their peers.
In a word:
Protects. Shields. Sustains. Relieves. Strengthens. Frees. Comforts. Delivers. Diagnoses. Examines. Ensures. Reassures. Fixes. Negates. Navigates. Mitigates. Pioneers. Prevents. Treats. Heals. Nurses. Renews. Repairs. Releases. Restores. Tends. Transforms. Collaborates. Promises. Spans.
UAB embodies a spirit of discovery that advances knowledge, solves ancient mysteries and real-world problems and drives economic development. Its research faculty ranks among the nation’s best funded and is noted for exceptional mentoring and training — from undergraduate researchers to post-doctoral fellows.
UAB, home to some of the nation’s most prestigious centers for the study of cancer, neuroscience, AIDS, diabetes and more, excels at translating medical discoveries in the lab to revolutionary therapies at the bedside and in clinics.
Across campus, faculty are engineering revolutionary new materials for dental implants, body armor and spacecraft and developing new technologies for virtual reality, robotic surgery, greener vehicles, disease-free food, and leading-edge research in cybercrime. Others are exploring the marine depths of Antarctica, using satellite imaging to discover ancient Egyptian settlements and partnering with NASA to explore the final frontier.
• Ranked No. 32 nationally in federal research funding and 20th in funding from the National Institutes of Health (10th among public universities).
• UAB is No. 1 nationally among public universities in terms of federal research funding per incoming freshman.
• One of 11 recipients of the prestigious Beckman Scholars Award, reserved for universities demonstrating exceptional mentoring and training of undergraduate researchers.
• Ranks No. 1 nationally among universities in The Scientist magazine’s 2013 Best Places to Work as a postdoc.