Admissions Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

+ How do I compare to your average student?

Here is a snapshot of a recent entering class:

  • Acceptance rate: 17%
  • 44 first‐year students
  • Average GPA: 3.5
  • Average GRE (quantitative plus verbal): 310
  • Average amount of research experience: 2.5 years
  • Average TOEFL: 108
  • 59% female, 41% male
  • 86% U.S. citizens, 14% international
  • 20% U.S. students from underrepresented groups

+ What can I do to increase my competitiveness as an applicant?

  • Review the admissions information to learn about our requirements and deadlines.
  • Submit all components listed in the Application Checklist by the application deadline.
  • Follow up on the status of your application through TargetX and act appropriately to ensure it is complete.

+ What kind of research experience is needed?

Admissions committees look for scientific research at a bench or bioinformatics research.  At least six months of research experience is required, and this can be a combination of summer research opportunities, undergraduate research, postgraduate research, employment, etc.  Lab components of an academic course are generally not considered research experience.

+ Do I need a master's degree to enter the Ph.D. program?

No.

+ May I enter the Ph.D. program in the spring or summer semester?

  • Only early admits will be allowed to enter during the summer semester to begin their first lab rotation.
  • No students are admitted during the spring semester.

 

Application Questions

+ Have all parts of my application been received?

TargetX allows you to check the status of your application 24/7.  Log into the system to view your current status.  

+ May I submit unofficial transcripts for initial review of my application?

Yes!  Upload directly to your application through TargetX.

+ I submitted my application with unofficial transcripts, but my checklist says transcripts have not been received. What happened?

The Graduate School has to review and verify all uploaded transcripts.  This review is typically done one to three business days after application submission. Once they have verified the transcript, it will be marked as "complete" in your checklist.

+ To what address do I send my official transcripts?

For UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

UAB Grad School
LHL G03
1700 University Boulevard
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

For United States Postal Service
UAB Grad School
LHL G03
1720 2nd Avenue South
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

 

For those schools that use email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+ How many reference letters are required?

Three.

+ May I have my reference letters mailed?

No.  Online submission is the only way reference letters are accepted.

+ Should I waive the right to see my letters of recommendation?

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, students have access to their education record, including letters of recommendation. However, applicants may waive their right to see letters of recommendation, in which case the letters will be held in confidence.  Most people waive this right because it can allow the author to be more honest and genuine in their letter, but it is up to each applicant to decide what is best for their situation.

+ Have my letters of reference been received?

After submitting your application, TargetX provides a checklist stating which components of your application are complete or incomplete.  If a letter has not been received, follow up with the recommender.

+ The person writing my letter of recommendation never got an email to submit the letter. What should I do?

If you have already submitted your application, log into TargetX and click to resend the email to that recommender.  For further help, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the name and email address of the recommender to have a new email sent.

+ For GRE scores, what is the department code and the institution code for UAB?

  • Institution code is 1856.
  • There is no department code.

As a reminder, GRE scores are no longer required for application, but scores can be provided voluntarily.

+ I applied in the past and wish to apply again this year. How do I do this?

Documents from your prior application can be transferred over and used with your new application. Submit a new application and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request for transfer of materials.


International Student Questions

+ Can the application fee be waived?

No, this is not possible.

+ May I submit unofficial TOEFL, IELTS, or PTEA scores for initial review of my application?

Yes!  Upload directly to your application through TargetX.

+ For TOEFL scores, what is the institution code for UAB?

  • Institution code is 1856.

+ Can the English proficiency requirement be waived?

  • If the applicant has a degree from a US institution and a GPA of 3.0 or higher, they may request a waiver for the English proficiency requirement by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • If the applicant has graduated from a higher education institution where English is the first language, the Ph.D. program can consider asking for a waiver.  To be considered for a waiver, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Should the applicant be competitive based on the other required application components, the Ph.D. program can consider asking for a waiver.  To be considered for a waiver, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

+ Do I have to submit the Financial Affidavit of Support with my application?

  • Yes.  The Financial Affidavit of Support is a government requirement for all international students who matriculate into our program.
  • It is suggested that the Financial Affidavit of Support be submitted with your application. However, if it is a burden, you may provide this after you are offered admission. This is not the preferred way because this could cause a delay in the paperwork (such as the I‐20 Form) and entry into the U.S.
  • All students traditionally admitted into the program receive financial support, which includes an annual stipend of $29,000, all program tuition & fees paid, and single coverage health insurance.  This will be stated in the offer letter, so you may submit the offer letter as proof of financial support.  If you have dependents, such as a spouse or children, you must provide proof of an additional $5,000 per person.  You can find details here.

+ How and when will an interview occur for international students?

  • Applications are reviewed by the admissions committee as they become complete.
  • The most competitive applicants may be invited to interview via phone or Skype.
  • It is possible that an invitation to interview at UAB would be extended should applicants from this group be in the continental U.S. during the interview period.

+ Are transcript evaluations from WES or ECE required?

Transcript evaluations are helpful but not required.  You have the option to include them with your application.