Congratulations on your recent admission to UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences!

This site will be a useful tool, as it includes everything you need to know regarding getting started at UAB. Please do not hesitate to contact your theme manager, if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Shortly after we conclude this year's recruitment season, your theme manager will send you the following HR paperwork:

1.  UAB Employment Application.  Please note that you may submit your CV in lieu of the employment application.
2.  Fellowship letter
3.  Scholarship letter

Below are items you will need to complete after May 1.  Most are deadline-specific.

2015 GBS Admissions currently in process - check back April 15, 2015.

Visit BlazerID Central to create your own Blazer ID and password, if you have not already done so. Please note the date that appears on the top of your admission letter. You will not be able to establish your Blazer ID and password until the day following the date on that letter.

Deadline:  Prior to registering for classes the first time

UAB's primary concern during any emergency or severe weather situation is the safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors.

During any actual emergency or severe weather situation, this site -- www.uab.edu/emergency -- will be the official source of UAB information. In addition, the UAB Emergency Management Team will use B-ALERT, the university’s emergency notification system, to communicate through voice calls, SMS text messages and e-mails to the entire campus all at the same time. B-ALERT also integrates with Facebook and Twitter.

The UAB Severe Weather & Emergency Hotline at 205-934-2165 also will be updated as appropriate to provide official updates on the university's and UAB Hospital's opening and closing status.

To register for B-ALERT or update your existing information in the system, go to www.uab.edu/balert. All registration is connected to your BlazerID.

Deadline: Prior to registering for classes the first time

You must either elect or decline student health insurance. Remember that GBS pays for single health insurance coverage, but you can waive it, if you are covered by another source. If you do not have housing in Birmingham secured yet, please use the GBS address - 1825 University Blvd, Birmingham AL 35294 - on the application. This will ensure you are seen as a local versus out-of-state student. Below are instructions to walk you through the process, as well as a Summary of Benefits brochure. The website to do this is www.uab.edu/blazernet.

Student Health Insurance becomes effective on these dates:    
Early Admits -- June 1, 2015; Fall Admits -- August 15, 2015.

Deadline to sign-up:  August 1

VIVA Health Student Insurance InformationInsurance Information   /   2015 Mandatory Student Health Brochure Mandatory Student Health Brochure

Your theme manager will provide you with detailed information regarding registration, which is done via www.uab.edu/blazernet.

Deadline: Registration begins April 6 and must be completed by May 4 for summer (if applicable) and April 6-August 23 for fall semester. 

NOTE: You will not be able to register for classes until you have completed the items above: set up your Blazer ID account and B-Alert notifications and taken care of your mandatory health insurance.

Receive medical clearance by submitting proof of required vaccinations through Certified Background. You can read more about what is required of GBS students at this site. Certified Background is the service UAB Student Health Services uses to enter and maintain all student health records. As in-coming students, you need to create an account with Certified Background in order to upload the required immunization and other health records. Students who do not create an account and upload the required information may have holds placed on their registration. Please note: since health records are considered to be sensitive information, the GBS Office cannot track specific immunization records or documents each students needs to submit. You will receive emails direct from Certified Background and/or UAB Student Health Services. A report of those students who are not compliant will be sent to the GBS Office for follow-up each week.

Domestic Students -
Then, follow the instructions in this document – Instructions for Domestic Students – to access and upload the pdf to Certified Background.

Fill out this form (pdf), getting all of the needed health care signatures -
Non-Clinical Domestic HH and Immunization form

International Students -
Then, follow the instructions in this document – Instructions for International Students – to access and upload the pdf to Certified Background.
Fill out this form (pdf), getting all of the needed health care signatures -
Non-Clinical International form

Deadline:  August 1 to set up your account  /  September 30 to be in compliance

We receive many questions about housing on-campus or in Birmingham. A few resources for you to explore include:
On-Campus Housing: The application for graduate student housing goes live in April, and due to the small number of spaces, early application is encouraged. More information is available by contacting the Capstone On-Campus Management Agency at studenthousing@uab.edu or contacting Mellissa Taylor at mellissataylor@uab.edu.

A map of where some GBS students live has been compiled, and you can access it by clicking here. This is not all inclusive, so if you have questions about a particular area of the city, please contact your theme manager. You can also check out one complex at this site and others are available at UAB Off Campus Housing and in this listing from the School of Medicine student site.
You may go online to make your arrangements for student parking with UAB Parking & Transportation Services. It is best to do this early. UAB has limited parking options.

Deadline: If you need parking, it is best to do this immediately after registering for classes.
Orientation is scheduled for Monday, August 11. Last year's agenda is provided to give you an idea of what to expect.

2014 GBS Orientation Agenda GBS Orientation Agenda

This day includes an overview of importation information, lunch and photos. Orientation is in the Bevill Biomedical Research Building (BBRB), room 170. This is the same location where you meet each day for your first core courses.

Map to Orientation

If you arrive on time, you can park for free in the deck behind the Community Health Services Building (CHSB), on the corner of 19th Street and 10th Avenue. Note that the entrance to the free parking in deck is on the 10th Avenue side.

Map to parking

You will receive your paycheck the last business day of each month.

For students starting in June, you will receive your first paycheck, covering June 1-30, on Tuesday, June 30th.
For students starting in August, you will receive your first paycheck, covering August 11-August 31, on Monday, August 31st.

To ensure timely payment, all students must do the following:
1. Check to make sure your local address and phone number are correct in Oracle. If changes are needed, follow the instructions in this document:  Changing your personal information
Deadline:  Early Admits --- June 18: Fall Admits --- August 18

2. You must set up your direct deposit. UAB does not issue payroll checks. Here are the instructions on doing this:  Direct Deposit Initial Set-up

Deadline: Early Admits --- June 18; Fall Admits --- August 18

Before any training module or requirement can be accessed via the Learning Management System (LMS), the student's personnel paperwork must have completed the process to be in the appropriate human resources system.
Deadline: August 7

  • Go to www.uab.edu/learningsystem (IE is the preferred browser)
  • Select "Access Learning System"
  • Log in using your BlazerID and password
  • Click to place the radial button under "Student/Manager"
  • Select "Proceed with Login"
  • "UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Training" will appear under "Assigned Learning"
  • Select "UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Online Training" (choose the ONLINE version and not the classroom version)
  • Click "Enroll"
  • Select "Online Presentation"
  • Select "Click here to view slide presentation"
  • Presentation slides will display
  • View all training material
  • When complete, exit by selecting either the "X" at the top of the screen or "Exit" at the bottom
  • Select "Post Test" and read the instructions
  • Complete the quiz as presented, being careful to answer each of the 16 questions
  • Return to course details
  • An option to print a certificate is displayed in the green banner (this certificate is available to be printed at any time by accessing "My Transcript", selecting the HIPAA course, and a green banner for printing a certificate displays)
  • An evaluation of the course is available, but it is optional
  • Successful completion (a score of 75% or better) will automatically be recorded by the LMS. If you are unsuccessful and must retake the quiz, repeat these steps

For students admitted in the fall, you will begin your first rotation on August 24th and continue through November 18th. Registration for the first rotation is in fall semester; for the second rotation (November 19-March 1) in spring semester, and for the third rotation (March 2-May 26) in summer semester. This means that students will have completed their three rotations and moved into their permanent labs by the time they register and receive a grade for their third rotation. Each rotation is followed by a mandatory poster session.

You may explore a comprehensive list of more than 350 UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences Faculty who offer graduate research training in highly diverse areas of the biomedical sciences.

Choosing a Rotation Lab.
Students should choose their rotation labs in consultation with their theme director and/or manager. To help students become familiar with faculty research interests, a faculty poster session will be held August 12, during Orientation Week. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to contact faculty to request a one-on-one meeting to learn more about faculty research interests (and that person's interest in taking rotation students). While rotations will typically occur with faculty in the student's chosen theme, students are free to rotate with faculty in other themes and research areas.
Each student should contact faculty via email to set up a time to meet face-to-face to discuss doing a rotation in that lab. When a student secures a rotation, she/he needs to notify the theme manager, as there is a form for the rotation mentor to use for evaluation purposes. Faculty are very busy, so it is important that you follow up by email, phone, or in person.

Deadline for choosing 1st rotation lab: Early admits -- June 1;  Fall admit students --- August 24.

End of Rotation Poster Sessions.
After each rotation, there will be a poster session. Each rotation student will present a poster, approved by the rotation mentor, in a public forum and will be judged by faculty, post-docs and/or senior students, selected by the GBS staff. You may or may not be alerted to the identity of the judges; therefore, you are expected to present to any and all who come to your poster, just as you would in any professional setting. Posters can be printed, free of charge to the mentor, in the poster printing facility housed in Shelby, provided it is submitted on time. More information will be forthcoming as the poster session draws closer.

The choice of a dissertation advisor/mentor is one of the most important decisions you will make as a graduate student. Thus, you should keep this matter in mind as you choose laboratory rotations and participate in lecture and seminar activities throughout your first year in the program. First year students arriving in August should select a dissertation advisor by June 1. Students who arrive during summer semester, should make this decision in mid-February. Students should make this choice in consultation with appropriate faculty so that the student and the faculty member can come to a mutually agreeable decision and arrangement. In special cases, students unprepared to make this choice may be allowed to complete an additional laboratory rotation during the summer term. Clearly, a fourth rotation should be elected only after careful consideration, since doing so could delay the student's completion of the doctoral program. Your program manager should be advised of your preference of dissertation mentor on the appropriate form.
Students enter with a given theme affiliation but have the flexibility to rotate with any faculty with active GBS status and may change theme affiliation if their research training interests change. Alternatively, faculty outside of a given theme may elect to join additional themes, if consistent with theme interests, wherein the student could retain his/her original theme affiliation. Additionally, first year theme-specific courses that may be required upon theme transfer can be completed in year two in fulfillment of advanced course requirements. Communication among the student, selected mentor, and both the original and the new theme directors will be necessary to facilitate transfer among themes. All students should confirm their theme affiliation at the time of selecting the dissertation mentor.
Many students are admitted to Graduate Biomedical Sciences while in the final semester of undergrad or a master's program. Your admission is contingent upon successful completion of that prior degree so you may have additional steps (e.g. submitting a final transcript) to complete. Likewise, your admission may have been contingent on other factors. You will not be allowed to register for the second semester until all contingencies are cleared, so be attuned for message from the Graduate School on your student account in BlazerNet and from your program manager. Not clearing these will result in a hold that will prevent you from progressing in graduate school.

Important Dates
Start Date for Early Admits       Monday, June 1
Summer Rotation for Early Admits       June 1-August 7
Summer Orientation for Early Admits       June 4
Fall Orientation for All Students       August 10
Faculty Poster Session       August 12
Welcome Reception       August 11
Rotation Dates

      Early Admits Rotation: June 1-August 7
      Rotation 1: August 24-November 18
      Rotation 2: November 19-March 1
      Rotation 3: March 2-May 26

Classes Begin       August 11
First Paycheck Issued       Early Admits: June 30
      Fall Admits:  August 31
GBS 707-Biochemistry Course       August 11-September 21
GBS 708-Genetics Course       September 22-November 2
GBS 709-Biological Organization Course       November 3-December 18


Important Deadlines:

Set up Direct Deposit           Early Admits: June 18
          Fall Admits:  August 18
Update Personal Information in Oracle           Early Admits:  June 18
          Fall Admits:  August 18


  • Check out the new student information on the GBS website. Information on first year courses is available online, including the syllabi for GBS 707, 708 and 709.
  • Review the GBS Handbook (2014-2015 version). The UAB Graduate School Handbook is also a helpful resource.
  • Consult the UAB Academic Calendar for important updates.
  • Review resources on the Graduate School website for enrolled students, including an overview of "Succeeding in Graduate School" and very important "Requirements for Completing a Graduate Degree".
  • Check out this Guide to Dining in Birmingham.