Program Objectives

Today’s professional must constantly change, adapt, focus and navigate among disciplines to keep up with rapid market shifts and technological advances.  Because of these market trends, industries are particularly interested in interdisciplinary graduate education that emphasizes both breadth of knowledge and depth in a particular field.  The foundation of interdisciplinary programs is that students must are educated in multiple related subject areas to remain competitive and have successful careers whether they choose to work in industry or stay in academia.  For more than a decade, research-focused centers at UAB have brought together expertise from many disciplines to solve problems. This problem-solving approach is now finding its way into academic programs through the implementation of interdisciplinary graduate education.

The Ph.D. program in Interdisciplinary Engineering takes advantage of unique resources and strengths at UAB. The Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. is a research-intensive engineering program with a rigorous academic curriculum including course work in two or more disciplines and unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research.  The IE Ph.D. fosters interdisciplinary interactions between the School of Engineering, the School of Medicine, the Collat School of Business, The School of Public Health, the School of Health Professions and the College of Arts and Sciences.  Students in Interdisciplinary Engineering will, with their mentor and dissertation Committee, develop a plan of study and research topic which incorporates coursework and faculty expertise from two or more of these disciplines.

The IE PhD Program is not an online degree program. Students in the program can be part time for the first 30 credit hours and some or all of these coursework hours can be online.  After 30 hours, the student is expected to be full-time and spend at least one year in residency at UAB working on their dissertation.  Students enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Engineering Ph.D. program will gain the skills necessary to succeed as independent and productive investigators in multidisciplinary analysis and design, with applications over a wide spectrum of science, engineering, health, and medical fields.

The interdisciplinary program will:

  • Provide a rigorous academic curriculum including coursework in two or more disciplines
  • Provide collaborative interactions with students and faculty from a variety of disciplines
  • Provide unique opportunities for interdisciplinary research
  • Facilitate continued development of high quality research programs supported by external funding.

Important Program Information

  • Applicants are expected to have a degree in engineering or closely related science or quantitative degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on the most recent degree and GRE scores in 50thpercentile or higher. 
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, a TOEFL score of 80 (minimum of 20 on each sub-score) or higher OR IETLS score of 6.5 or higher is required.
  • Students who do not have an engineering degree (BS or thesis-based MS) will be required to complete a series of foundation courses to ensure the necessary background to succeed in doctoral-level engineering courses.
  • The Interdisciplinary Engineering Program is not fully online.
  • Students in the program can be part time for the first 30 credit hours and some or all of these coursework hours can be online.
  • After 30 hours, the student is expected to be full-time and spend at least one year in residency at UAB working on their dissertation, preferably in 3 consecutive terms.
  • Students will take a minimum of 6 hours of cross-disciplinary training, which is defined as courses taken outside of the School of Engineering. These courses must be approved by the student’s dissertation committee and the IE PhD Committee prior to registration.
  • Students are expected to complete at last three publications and present research at one major technical meeting during their PhD program.
  • Click here to view a blank Plan of Study for Post Bachelor Students and here to view a blank Plan of Study for Post Masters Students

 Application Deadlines

  • Fall: August 1
  • Spring: December 1
  • Summer: May 1

Application Fee

  • Domestic applicants and green card holders: $50
  • International applicants: $60

 Application/Admissions Requirements

  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in Engineering or a closely-related field
  • Minimum 3.0 on a 4.0 scale on most recent degree
  • GRE score in 50th percentile or higher
    (Institution code – 1856. Applicable for the GRE and TOEFL only)
  • For applicants whose first language is not English, TOEFL score of 80 (minimum of 20 on each sub-score) or higher OR IETLS score of 6.5 or higher
    (Institution code – 1856. Applicable for the GRE and TOEFL only)
  • Personal statement identifying research interest
  • CV/Resume
  • 3 recommendations from academic or professional contacts
  • Official transcripts from each institution where college credit was received to be mailed to: 
    UAB Graduate School
    LHL G03; 1720 2nd Avenue South
    Birmingham AL 35294-0013

    Transcripts may also be submitted electronically by choosing University of Alabama at Birmingham – Graduate Admissions or using the email gradschool@uab.edu.

 International Requirements

  • For applicants whose first language is not English, TOEFL score of 80 (minimum of 20 on each sub-score) or higher OR IETLS score of 6.5 or higher
    (Institution code – 1856. Applicable for the GRE and TOEFL only)
  • Financial Affidavit of Support
  • Immigration documentation if currently residing in the US

Application Review Process

Once an application is complete, the IE Ph.D. Admissions Committee will review the materials and make an admission decision. This decision will be communicated to the applicant through TargetX within two weeks of when the application is complete. An application is not considered complete until all of the materials listed above have been submitted through TargetX.

Contact Information

Timothy Wick, Ph.D.
Senior Associate Dean
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
tmwick@uab.edu


Kristy Barlow, M.P.A.
Director of Academic Programs
kbarlow@uab.edu