Second Year & Beyond


Course Information

Per GBS policy, students must complete 3 upper-level elective courses.  For PBMM guidelines regarding eligible courses as well as a partial listing of available courses, see info at left.



Committee Information

  • PBMM students should attempt to have their Dissertation Research Committee formed by Jan. 2 of their second year.  
  • The Graduate Committee Formation Form must be completed, signed by the Theme Director or Co-Director, and submitted to the UAB Graduate School for approval. A copy of the form should be given to the Program Manager for inclusion in the student's file (this can be scanned and emailed). Please note the instructions on the form regarding Graduate Faculty Status. Should a member of your committee not have Graduate Faculty Status, additional steps will be required.
  • The committee should meet at minimum once a year, although every 6 months is recommended by PBMM.  
  • After each committee meeting, a copy of the Committee Meeting Evaluation Form (both the Student & Mentor versions) must be given to the Program Manager for inclusion in the student's file (this can be scanned and emailed or submitted in person). 

Graduate Committee Formation Form, Committee Meeting Evaluation Form (Student) and Committee Meeting Evaluation Form (Thesis Mentor) are all available HERE



Qualifying Exam
  • PBMM students are encouraged to qualify by October/November of their third year, so students should begin preparing for this during the Spring term of their second year. 
  • The Qualifying Exam consists of a written grant proposaland an oral presentation.  Both the written proposal and oral presentation should be given to the student's Dissertation Advisory Committee, and any other faculty members the committee recommends.  
  • More information regarding selection of a mentor and the qualifying exam may be found in the GBS Student Handbook, pages 37-41.  Please note, however, that for the Qualifying Exam, PBMM will use the following format for written proposals:  NIH R01 format (one page for Specific Aims; 12 pages for Research Strategy; and a Literature Cited section). 
  • Students are encouraged to read the relevant portions of both the GBS Student Handbook and the UAB Graduate Student Handbook regarding qualifying exams.  
  • Once a student has successfully completed the qualifying exam, his/her committee must recommend the student for candidacy to the UAB Graduate School, using the Application for Admission to Candidacy form available here.
  • Once the student has been admitted to candidacy, he/she may register for GBS 799:  Dissertation Research Hours the following semester.  
  • A student must be admitted to candidacy for one year before he/she may defend.