Admission FAQs

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Yes, students who are interested in the Ph.D. program should apply directly to that program.
Yes, if you have fulfilled the program prerequisites​. Students who hold bachelors degrees in other fields may register as non-degree seeking graduate students​ in order to take the CS prerequisites.
Applications are reviewed as they are received. Depending on the time of year, it takes approximately one month to process an application after it is complete (GRE received, TOEFL received if appropriate, transcript received, letters received, etc.).
For the M.S. program, there is no a priori limit/acceptance rate. Applicants are accepted/rejected based upon their credentials.

For the Ph.D. program, the number of offers depends on the number of new slots opened through graduation or new grant funding. There are always some slots each semester.
No, but if you do take it, please report your score to us as it may enhance your chances for admission and financial aid.

Previously earned graduate credit with a grade of B or above while enrolled at another regionally accredited graduate school may be eligible for transfer into the student's current degree program if it has not been applied toward another degree (either at UAB or elsewhere). All transfer credit requests must be initiated by the student and require the approval of the graduate program director and the Graduate School. Transfer of Credit forms are available on the Graduate School website. Completion of this form does not guarantee that the transfer credit will be granted. No more than 12 semester hours of graduate credit can be transferred to UAB. Once transfer credit has been approved, it will be included in the calculation of the grade point average in the student's current UAB program.

We expect this to be the case for all continuing students. You should submit the most up-to-date transcripts available along with a list of courses you are currently enrolled in. If admitted, it will be contingent upon providing a completed transcript once you arrive.
Please follow the application instructions on the UAB Graduate School website. You can mail documents to the Graduate School at:

UAB Graduate School
1700 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294-0013
You do not need to formally apply for financial aid. All accepted applicants are automatically considered for financial aid.
Hourly paid TAship is available to top performing MS students. Please see Assistantships, Fellowships & Financial Aid for more information.
This is very important, as it will determine the faculty advisor you will be assigned to and how competitive your application is for financial aid. It is acceptable to have interests in more than one area, especially if there is documented research or project work in each area. It is rarely appropriate, and certainly not useful, to be interested in all areas.
You may contact faculty to learn more information about their research. Once admitted we will assign you a specific faculty advisor whose research interests are closest to those you have indicated on your application.

Note: You should not ask individual faculty members for financial aid or send them a detailed resume. Such e-mail is considered spam. Financial aid is coordinated through the department, not individual faculty members. Incoming students are not supported on research assistantships as they enter.
Visit the UAB Class Listing site, enter the term you want to search and 'CS-Computer Science' as the subject, and click 'Submit.' On the class list page returned by the search, those courses with a location shown as 'ONLINE' are online courses.
A student on an F-2 visa is allowed to study, but they cannot attend full time while they are still on the F-2 visa. Once they are ready to change to the F-1 status they will work with UAB's immigration office to file the appropriate paperwork. They can be in country and studying while this application is processed.
The UAB Career Center is revamping its online job search platform to make it easier for students to connect with employers and land the career of their dreams. Handshake – the Career Center’s new, fast and powerful recruiting platform for UAB students, alumni and employers – officially launched on August 18, 2019. Students and alumni can use Handshake to easily connect with employers, search for jobs and internships, discover event information and manage on-campus interviewing. Employers can use Handshake as a recruitment tool to identify qualified candidates for open positions and manage on-campus recruitment activities.

Graduate Careers

M.S. in Computer Science

Students with the MSCS degree go on to solve computational problems in the sciences and engineering, while bringing a deeper, broader perspective to such problems than they received at the Bachelor of Science level.

Woman working at a dual-monitor station.

Potential career paths include:

  • software engineer
  • systems analyst
  • database administrator
  • network and systems administrator
  • operations research analyst
  • data science and big data analyst information security analyst
  • computer network architect

M.S. in Data Science

Students with the MSDS degree go on to solve computational data analytics, data modeling, and big data computing problems in sciences, engineering, education, marketing, banking, insurance, online retail business, political campaigns, and many other fields.

Potential career paths include:

  • data analysts
  • data scientists
  • data engineers
  • data architects
  • data warehousing architects
  • business intelligence analysts

M.S. in Computer Forensics and Security Management

Students with the MSCFSM degree go on to solve problems such as tracking criminals to e-mail crime, identifying malware provenance and attack vectors in computer systems, and working specific criminal investigations where computers, networks, and/or e-commerce are involved.

Potential career paths include:

  • database security analyst
  • network security analyst
  • cloud security analyst
  • online crime investigator
  • system security and privacy analyst

Ph.D. in Computer Science

Dr. Johnstone teaching in a classroom. Students completing the CS Ph.D. go on to find new ways to mine “big data” from the Internet, solve cyber crime problems, create innovative visualization and graphics solutions, advance the use of modern IT infrastructure (such as cloud computing), and pursue inquiries at the frontiers of computer science understanding.

Potential career paths include:

  • college/university faculty
  • national research lab researcher
  • industry lab researcher (e.g., market research analyst, competitive intelligence analyst, quantitative analyst, operations research analyst)
  • finance company data scientist

Advice for International Students

One of the best things about UAB is its amazing diversity of its students — we are one of the top most diverse campuses in the United States. We want you to have every opportunity to succeed in your course work and college life. Here are some easy tips for you to follow:

Are you an international student interested in attending UAB? Explore the INTO UAB initiative.

We invite you to explore all of the programs and services offered to international students. International Student and Scholar Services will be able to advise you about how to apply and who to contact for information. Please visit their website, or send general questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

And remember — you are not alone! There are other international students/non-native English speakers in graduate programs across campus.Save

Assistantships, Fellowships & Financial Aid

The UAB campus at night.

Financial aid is available in the form of Teaching Assistantships (TAs), Research Assistantships (RAs), and Fellowships. There are no forms to fill out to request financial aid from the department. The majority of admitted doctoral students are offered either RAs or TAs. Admitted MS students are automatically considered for merit-based TAs and will be notified by the graduate program director if they receive one. Other sources of support, such as RAs, are available as individual faculty's funding permits. Students need to contact individual faculty for RA openings.

The vast majority of our master's students are successful in obtaining on-campus employment to pay for their studies during their first year in the program. Some are also supported by department funds. It is worth noting that Birmingham’s cost of living is lower than other comparable cities.

Tuition and fees information can be found on the UAB Students webpage. To learn more about on-campus living options, please visit the UAB Students Housing and Residence Life website.

Department Resources

Highly qualified first-year doctoral candidates who are engaged in full-time research are eligible to receive UAB Graduate Blazer Fellowship. Blazer Fellows will receive financial support for stipend ($23,000/12 months), tuition, and health insurance for four consecutive academic terms..

Information about fellowships offered through the university and other external sources may be found on the UAB Graduate School website.
Teaching Assistantships are financial aid positions for M.S. and Ph.D. students, and are primarily for instruction in undergraduate laboratories. The workload is typically 20 hours per week.

Some other employment opportunities are available for work sponsored by local companies and for work in the CS computer laboratories. We have found that all M.S. students have been able to find employment on campus or off campus through internships.
Research Assistantships are full financial aid positions for Ph.D. students. They support faculty research grant and contract activities. The workload does not exceed 20 hours per week. These awards are for a calendar year (three academic terms). An RA position is rarely available to entering students who have not begun research with a specific faculty member. The number of RA positions varies from year to year.
Stipends for Ph.D. students holding TAs is $23,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance. M.S. TAs are typically paid at $13/hour for up to 20 hrs/week.

Stipends for M.S. and Ph.D. students holding RAs are:
  • M.S. and Ph.D. Level 1 (for students who have not yet passed the Level 1 Qualifying Exam): $23,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.
  • Ph.D. Level 2 (for students who have passed the Level 1 Qualifying Exam but have not yet passed the Level 2 Exam): $24,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.
  • Ph.D. Level 3 (for students who have been admitted into candidacy): $25,000/year, plus full tuition and health insurance.

Other Resources and Internships

UAB ASBA program provides students with workforce knowledge and experience through internships with approved small business owners. Both student interns and business owners undergo an extensive interview process to successfully pair each group based on needs and experience.
UAB offers several scholarships specifically for international students. All incoming freshman (first-year) international students are automatically considered for the UAB International Scholarship, which is based on Grade Point Average (GPA), upon application to UAB. The ISSS office conducts interviews for the following scholarship opportunities in February each year. Learn more about Scholarships for International Students.