GBS and each GBS Theme have requirements that are in addition to the Graduate School's minimal requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to know all requirements pertinent to her/his theme selection.


Minimum Course Credit Requirements

The Graduate School has minimum course credit requirements for students in doctoral programs. Program requirements for course work may exceed the Graduate School minimums. Graduate School minimum requirements are as follows: 
1. If entering with a baccalaureate degree:
    a. Completion of 48 credit hours of course work prior to candidacy 
    b. Up to 16 credits of the 48 can be as non-dissertation research credits 
    c. Up to 10 credits can be as lab rotation, seminar, or directed study credits 
    d. Doctoral students must satisfy one of the following: Must complete at least two semesters in candidacy and accumulate at least 24 semester credit hours in 799 dissertation research OR Must complete at least two semesters as a student in candidacy and have accumulated at least 12 semester credit hours in 799 dissertation research, AND, either during or before candidacy, 12 semester credit hours in other appropriate research-based coursework, which has been approved by the graduate student’s program. Courses which have been previously applied toward meeting the requirements of another degree are not eligible to satisfy the research credit requirement. The student’s graduate department or program should provide a course planning curriculum worksheet detailing the courses taken which are intended to be used toward meeting degree requirements along with the student’s application for degree.
 
2. If entering with a previous Masters degree appropriate to the doctoral degree field (Also applies to previously earned M.S., D.V.M., D.M.D., D.D.S., etc.): 
    a. Completion of 27 credit hours of course work prior to candidacy 
    b. Up to 6 credits of the 27 can be as non-dissertation research credits 
    c. Up to 6 credits can be as lab rotation, seminar, or directed study credits 
    d. Must complete at least two semesters in candidacy and accumulate at least 24 semester credit hours in 799 dissertation research. OR must complete at least two semesters as a student in candidacy and have accumulated at least 12 semester credit hours in other appropriate research-based coursework, which has been approved by the graduate student's program. Courses which have been previously applied toward meeting the requirements of another degree are not eligible to satisfy the research credit requirement. The student's graduate department/program should provide a course planning curriculum worksheet detailing the courses taken which are intended to be used toward meeting degree requirements along with the application for degree.
 
Up to 12 credits of course work that have not been applied toward meeting the requirements for an earned degree taken at UAB or other institutions may be used to satisfy these course credit requirements upon approval of the graduate program director and the Graduate School Dean. The Graduate School requires only 30 semester credit hours for a master's degree. Any credit hours earned at UAB beyond 30 semester credit hours may be applied toward a doctoral degree at UAB.
 
Application for Degree
The application for degree must be received in the Graduate School Records Office by the deadline date listed on our website http://www.uab.edu/graduate/deadline-dates; however, check with your theme manager, as some programs have earlier deadline dates for the application for degree. The $50 fee will be charged to your student account. This form is your official notification to the Graduate School that you intend to complete graduation requirements that semester. The process of clearing your records for graduation begins with the receipt of this application.
 
If your public defense will be held before the 3rd week of classes, you must submit your application for degree earlier. Approval forms, which must be requested 2 weeks before the public defense, cannot be completed until the Application for Degree is processed.
 
This application does not carry over into the following semester. Students who do not complete graduation requirements as expected must reapply for the following semester and must register for course hours in that semester. The new application for degree form (approved at the departmental level and submitted to the Graduate School) must be submitted by the posted deadline for that semester. Your records must be checked again, and a new diploma will be ordered. The reorder fee is $25 and will be charged to your student account.
 
Students must always consult with their theme manager concerning requirements not expected by the Graduate School. Remember, GBS and/or your theme may have additional requirements above those expected by the Graduate School.
 
Public Defense 
Some programs, like GBS, hold private and public defense meetings; however, the Graduate School is concerned only with the public defense, which must be held by the posted semester deadline. An earlier defense date is strongly recommended in order to allow time for completing the final requirements before graduation (i.e., format approval and submission of final document to the Graduate School). Set the date and time of your final defense well in advance and at a time when all committee members can attend. Determine from your committee members how far in advance of your defense date they require a completed copy of your manuscript for review. 
 
Approval Forms
No later than 2 weeks before your final defense, submit the on-line request for your approval forms. (Approval forms cannot be completed before the Graduate School has received your application for degree). Fill out this form carefully. Be certain to list the correct graduate program name (which often differs from the academic department name). If there have been changes to your committee, these changes must be entered on the Change of Committee Formbefore your approval forms can be completed. You will be notified via e-mail when your forms are ready to be picked up in the Graduate School office (LHL G03). Check your printed approval forms carefully for accuracy. Your name, the names of your committee members, your program name, and the title of your thesis/dissertation must precisely match your official UAB records.
 
As soon as possible after your defense, complete any changes or corrections to your manuscript that were requested by your committee and obtain signatures of all committee members and your program director in blue or black ink on your approval form.
 
No later than 2 weeks following your public defense, your committee approved thesis or dissertation and all applicable forms are due in the Graduate School.  Your document will be reviewed for adherence to format requirements and for consistency in format and style. (See the UAB Format Manual). If you are reprinting a published article or previously published illustrations, you must also submit permission to reprint from the copyright holder. (see Publishing Your Thesis or Dissertation and Editing).
 
Dissertation
Doctoral Dissertations are submitted online at http://dissertations.umi.com/uab/  Follow the online instructions. The UAB Publication Agreement is submitted online. All applicable forms must be received before the document will be reviewed.
 
Doctoral students are required to take the Graduate School's Exit Survey before the degree will be conferred. After the completed dissertation has been turned in, the student will be notified to complete the survey via Blackboard.
 
If you have no outstanding fees or grades, the email notification of final approval of your thesis or dissertation completes your graduation requirements. Approximately midway through your final semester, you will receive a letter that contains your Graduation Checklist. Review this letter carefully and keep it for your records to ensure that all graduation requirements are being met. If you have questions about unpaid fees, contact Student Accounting. If you have questions about grades, contact your department. Grades for the final semester are not submitted until the end of the semester.
 
After your document has been approved by the Graduate School you may... 
  • Order bound copies of your thesis or dissertation for your personal use. If you want a copy of your signed approval form to be included in your personal copies, you must make copies after they are signed and place them in the copies you send to be bound. The original form is kept in the Graduate School.
  • Request a letter of degree verification if required for employment or a post-doctoral appointment. Your grades and student account will be checked at that time and, if appropriate, a letter indicating that you have completed all degree requirements and the date on which your degree will be conferred will be mailed. Details concerning degree verification are included in the instructions you receive with your approval forms.
Note: Students who leave the Birmingham area before the approval process is complete are STILL responsible for ensuring that their own requirements are met before semester deadlines.
 
Conferring of the Degree
Degree is officially conferred when the final copy of your document has been cleared by the Graduate School office and when all records have been cleared. Grades are not cleared until the end of exams in the semester in which you graduate. Once the degree has been officially awarded, degree verification can be obtained through Student Clearinghouse (http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/). Official transcripts can be requested through the One Stop Student Services (934-4300 or http://www.uab.edu/onestop)