Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

What are my chances for acceptance into UAB’s GBS Program?

Here is a snapshot of a recent entering class:

  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • 44 first‐year students
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average GRE (quantitative plus verbal): 310
  • Average amount of research experience: 2.5 years
  • 59% female, 41% male
  • 86% U.S. citizens, 14% international
  • 20% U.S. students from underrepresented groups

What can I do to increase my competitiveness as an applicant to the GBS PhD program?

  • Review the admission requirements on our website to learn about our requirements and deadlines.
  • Submit your complete application by December 1.
  • Follow‐up on the status of your application and act appropriately to ensure it is complete through TargetX.

What kind of research experience is needed?

Scientific research at a bench is needed. At least six months of research experience is preferred, and this can be a combination of summer research opportunities, undergraduate research, etc.

Does UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences also offer an M.S. track training program?

No. Visit the UAB Graduate School website to learn more about the full range of M.S. programs offered at UAB.

Do I need an M.S. degree to enter the Ph.D. program?

No.

May I enter the Ph.D. program in the spring or summer semester?

  • Only early admits will be allowed to enter during the summer semester to begin their first lab rotation.
  • No students are admitted during the spring semester.

I’ve applied in the past and wish to apply again this year. How do I do this?

All documents from your prior application will be transferred over and used with your new application. Submit a new application and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to advise of your new application and request for transfer of materials.

 

Transcripts, GRE, & References Questions

May I submit unofficial GRE scores and transcripts for initial review of my application?

Yes!  Upload directly to your application through TargetX.

To what address do I send my official transcripts?

For UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

UAB Grad School
LHL G03
1700 University Boulevard
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

For United States Postal Service
UAB Grad School
LHL G03
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

 

For those schools that use email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How many reference letters are required?

Three. It is strongly suggested that the reference letters come from professionals who are in a position to provide appropriate input on the applicant’s suitability to be successful in a Ph.D. program.

May I have my reference letters mailed?

No. Online submission is the only way reference letters are accepted. There are no exceptions. If your preferred recommender cannot submit online, then find a different recommender.

For GRE scores, what is the department code and the institution code for UAB?

  • Institution code is 1856.
  • There is no department code.

I’ve asked ETS to send my GRE scores some time ago and the scores are not yet showing in the system. Why? What can I do to speed up the review of my application?

  • Submit unofficial or official documentation right away through TargetX, via fax (205.934.8413), or via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).
  • If your name or any other identifying information that you provided to UAB and ETS is not an exact match, a delay in upload of your score could occur.

Have my GRE scores/transcripts/references been received?

  • TargetX allows you to check the status of your application 24/7. Log into the system to view your current status.
  • If you believe that your GRE scores or transcripts have had ample time to be processed but they do not show as having been received, contact the Graduate School at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to follow‐up.
  • If your recommendations have not been received, then follow‐up with the recommender.


International Student Questions

Can the application fee be waived?

No, this is not possible.

May I submit unofficial TOEFL scores for initial review of my application?

Yes!  Upload directly to your application through TargetX.

Can the requirement for the TOEFL exam be waived?

  • If the applicant has a degree from a US institution and a GPA of 3.0 or higher, they may request a TOEFL waiver by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If the applicant has graduated from a higher education institution where English is the first language, the Ph.D. program can consider asking for a waiver.  To be considered for a waiver, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Should the applicant be competitive based on the other required application components, the Ph.D. program can consider asking for a waiver.  To be considered for a waiver, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

How and when will an interview occur for international students?

  • Applications are reviewed by the admissions committee as they become complete.
  • The most competitive applicants may be invited to interview via Skype or another online service.
  • It is possible that an invitation to interview at UAB would be extended should applicants from this group be in the continental U.S. during the interview period.

Do I have to submit the Financial Affidavit of Support with my application?

  • Yes.  The Financial Affidavit of Support is a government requirement for all international students who matriculate into our program.
  • All students admitted into the program receive financial support, which includes an annual stipend of $29,000, all program tuition & fees paid, and single coverage health insurance. 
  • It is suggested that the Financial Affidavit of Support be submitted with your application. However, if it is a burden, the student may provide this after they are offered a position. This is not the preferred way because this could cause a delay in the student’s paperwork (such as the I‐20 Form) and entry into the U.S.