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The University of Alabama at Birmingham encourages application from and gives full consideration to all candidates for admission and financial aid without respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, language, abilities/disabilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, geographic region, and more.



Students select a theme upon application but have access to faculty and courses from across GBS and UAB, allowing for flexibility in both research and academics.  Learn more about themes. Applicants may apply HERE. Applicants must apply to 1 theme only.


Our 8 themes as listed in the application system: 

  • Biochemistry and Structural Biology Theme (PhD)
  • Cancer Biology Theme (PhD)
  • Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology Theme (PhD)
  • Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics Theme (PhD)
  • Immunology Theme (PhD)
  • Microbiology Theme (PhD)
  • Neuroscience Theme (PhD)
  • Pathobiology, Pharmacology, and Physiology Theme (PhD)


Application Deadline

Applications for Fall 2025 will open on August 1st, 2024. Applications are not accepted for spring or summer terms.

  • Priority Application Deadline: November 30, 2024 - FREE domestic applications if submitted by this date; $60 international* application fee
  • Final Application Deadline: December 31, 2024 - Domestic* application fee ($50) reinstated; $60 international* application fee

*Applicants may qualify for an application fee waiver. Check this page for more information.

All components listed in the Application Checklist, including letters of recommendation, are due by the application deadline. We encourage early submission of applications so the Graduate School can verify uploaded materials and applicants have time to make any needed corrections before the deadline.


Application Requirements

  • Minimum 6 months of research experience.
  • English proficiency scores for international applicants (minimums: TOEFL 80; IELTS 6.5; PTEA 53; IELA 176; Duolingo 120).  Scores must be no more than two years old at the time of application submission.
  • An online application including all components listed in the Application Checklist.
  • Visit our International Applicants page for information about WES transcript requirements


  • GRE scores are not required
  • There are no specific courses or majors required 
  • A master's degree is not required
  • For the initial application review, we can accept unofficial transcripts (if from an institution outside the US, they must be evaluated). If offered admission, we will then require official documents. 


Application and Selection Process

Applicants apply to one of eight interdisciplinary themes.  Starting around late October or early November, applications will be reviewed by the theme admissions committee as they become complete, so early applications are encouraged. 

Competitive applicants are invited to interview in early spring. Offers of admission are generally made from January through April.  Admission to the program is highly competitive and the number of positions is limited; unfortunately we are not able to offer admission to every qualified applicant.

Offers of admission will be based on a combination of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • Research experience
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement
  • Resume or CV
  • Undergraduate/Masters performance 
  • English proficiency scores
  • Multiple interviews

April 15 is the final day for an applicant who has an offer of admission to accept or decline the offer.