Department of Physics
For the 2015-2016 academic year, a base stipend of $24,000 was provided for most admitted students through a variety of assistantships and fellowships. As described below, special fellowships may provide larger stipends for highly qualified students, and the department offers supplemental support for select 1st year students. In addition, tuition and the cost of health insurance for the graduate student are usually paid for by the Department, research grant, and/or fellowship.

Department & College Assistance

2018 Blazer Graduate Research Fellowship in Physics

Students with exceptional promise in research and scholarship applying for the PhD program in Physics will be considered for the UAB Blazer Fellowship. Fellowship recipients will be able to engage in research at the beginning of their first year with no teaching duties, and a plan of study will be developed based on academic need and interest. It is expected that the Blazer Fellow will choose a research mentor by the end of their first year.

For information about the 2018 application deadline and graduate stipend, contact the Physics Graduate Program Director at

Teaching Assistantship (TA)

During the 2015-2016 academic year, new TA's will be assigned teaching duties consisting of introductory laboratories or recitations. A senior graduate student shares the laboratory during the 1st semester to assist the new student. Explanation of responsibilities and discussion of teaching methods are provided throughout the year by the department and the UAB graduate school. Prospective students should contact the department for updated or additional information.

Research Assistantship (RA)

In select cases, a student may be admitted with research support from a specific professor. In these instances, the student must work closely with their advisor on the research project required as well as maintain high academic standards. Some students who begin with teaching assistantships transition to a RA during the first few years of their graduate work.

Supplemental Support for Select First Year Students

Support for summer research prior to your first year of study and additional support for supplies during your first year may be available under special circumstances. For further information, please contact the graduate program director Dr. Mary Ellen Zvanut (

Special Fellowships

Department of Education – Graduate Assistantships in the Areas of National Need (GAANN)

The U.S. Department of Education has funded the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Department of Physics for three years, 2012-15, to support the department's doctoral students in their academic pursuits. The funding released through the fiscal year 2014 Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) program, will support five physics Ph.D. students at a stipend level up to $32,000 depending on the financial need of the applicant as assessed by the UAB Office of Financial Aid. The GAANN program also makes an annual institutional payment of $14,7242 per student. The project title for the UAB physics program is "Doctoral Fellowships in Nanoscale Materials and Computational Physics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham." This distinctive program will lead to a Ph.D. degree in physics involving individualized academic course work, closely-supervised research experiences, optional industrial internships, continuous development of pedagogical and communication skills, and comprehensive supervision and evaluation of teaching performance.

NASA-Alabama Space Grant Consortium Fellowships

Awards are up to $37,000 ($24K in student stipend, up to $12K for tuition/insurance and $1K for student travel allowance) and are made initially for one 12-month period and may be renewed annually for a maximum total award of 36 months (3 years) support. Must be a U.S. citizen, enrolled full-time in good academic standing with a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale at an Alabama Space Grant member university pursing any space-related field of graduate study (Masters or Doctoral level). Must conduct a specific faculty-mentored research project that has a NASA or aerospace relevance. Cannot receive funds from any source for work other than that defined by the student's approved proposed research and plan of study for which the award is made (supplements to the student's award may be made by the home university using funds from any source, provided the amount and source are disclosed in advance - see information booklet for more details). Awardees must also complete an extramural NASA experience sometime during the fellowship year. The details are to be worked out with the faculty advisor and NASA lab facility where the student plans to participate in a research activity. It is advisable that a NASA contact be found prior to submission of the fellowship proposal. Fellows are also expected to be involved in ASGC outreach activities and submit a final report at the end of the award period.

The online Graduate Fellowship Application is located at:

Other Financial Aid Opportunities

Other financial resources available are listed on the UAB's Graduate School website.