GBS Program Requirements

GBS program requirements can be found in the GBS Student Handbook. Theme-specific requirements can be found in the training plan located in the side bar menu of each theme page.

It is your responsibility to know all requirements pertinent to your theme selection. If you have questions, ask the GBS staff.

GBS Academic Requirements

Students are expected to be aware of their academic standing at all times. The student is responsible for maintaining the accuracy and integrity of their academic record. We highly recommend that students review their academic records/transcripts each semester. If problems are identified, contact the GBS office for guidance.

Each student is required to register for 9 hours per semester. Any courses over 9 hours must be documented and approved by the mentor and GBS office. All students are required to register for 27 credit hours per academic year (fall, spring and summer terms). Students on certain diversity grants are required to register for 10 hours fall, 12 hours spring, and 10 hours summer, totaling 32 hours in an academic year.

All students are required to complete first-year fall modules in basic content knowledge.

  • GBS 707: Basic Biochemistry/Metabolism
  • GBS 708: Basic Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • GBS 709: Basic Biology Organization

All students are required to complete training in statistics (GBSC 722: Intro to Biostatistics, offered in the fall) and ethics (GRD 717: Principles of Scientific Integrity, offered every term) or HudsonAlpha approved alternative course.

GBS students are expected exhibit a working knowledge of the content in the three core topic courses (Biochemistry, Genetics, and Biology). A letter grade of “C” or below is considered a failing grade. If a student does not pass any one of the three core courses (GBS 707, 708, 709), they will be required to retake that course as soon as it is offered. Upon earning a failing grade, the student will meet with their theme director to discuss training resources and academic remediation plans. If a passing grade is not obtained in the second attempt, the student will be dismissed from GBS.

All students are required to complete four spring semester modules. Please reference theme training plans for recommendations and requirements by theme. Students that earn a “C” or lower in a first-year spring modular course must retake the course. If a student receives a failing score (“C” or lower) in the same course twice, the student will be dismissed from GBS.

Three failing grades (“C” or lower) in any combination of first-year courses or rotations will result in dismissal from GBS. Dismissal will be effective at the end of the spring semester (Typically in late April).

UAB Graduate School Requirements

Information about Graduate School requirements can be found in the UAB Graduate Catalog and on the UAB Graduate School website.  Students can request more information by emailing the Graduate School at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling (205) 934-8227.

Minimum Course Requirements

The Graduate School has minimum course credit requirements for students in doctoral programs. These requirements differ if you are entering with a baccalaureate or a master's degree. You can find minimum course requirements in the Completion of a Degree section of the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Application for Degree

The application for degree must be received in the Graduate School Records Office by the deadline set by the Graduate School. This form is your official notification to the Graduate School that you intend to complete graduation requirements that semester. You can find more information about the application process in the Completion of a Degree section of the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Some GBS themes have earlier deadline dates for the application for degree. Contact your theme advisor to find the specific date — you are responsible for submitting your application before the deadine set by your theme. 

Dissertation Approval Form

No later than two weeks before your thesis or dissertation defense, submit a request for your dissertation approval form. It must be completed after you have submitted your application for degree. The committee members on your approval forms must exactly match those on your official records. If any member of your committee has changed, that change must be submitted on an official Change of Graduate Study Committee form — found in the Forms Used to Complete Graduate Study section of the Graduate School's list of online forms —before you request your approval form.

Public Dissertation Defense

Some programs, like GBS, hold private and public defense meetings; the Graduate School is concerned only with the public defense, which must be held by the posted semester deadline. We recommend chosing an earlier defense date to allow time to complete final requirements before graduation. Schedule your final defense well in advance with your committee members, and determine when they require a completed copy of your manuscript for review. You can find more information about the public dissertation process in the Completion of a Degree section of the UAB Graduate Catalog.

Submission of Dissertation

Your committee-approved thesis or dissertation and all applicable forms are due in the Graduate School no later than two weeks following your public defense. More information about submitting your dissertation can be found in the Graduate Catalog and on the Graduate School website: