Incoming Student Checklist

Congratulations on your recent admission to UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences! To help you get started, we've put together a list of items you will need to complete after May 1. Most are deadline-specific.

Shortly after we conclude this year's recruitment season, Felita Milon (Finance and HR Manager) will send you the following HR paperwork:

  1. Fellowship letter
  2. Scholarship letter

Please do not hesitate to contact the GBS office if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Set up your UAB email account

Visit BlazerID Central to create your own Blazer ID and password, if you have not already done so. Please note the date that appears on the top of your admission letter. You will not be able to establish your Blazer ID and password until the day following the date on that letter.

Deadline: Prior to registering for classes the first time.

B-Alert emergency announcements

UAB's primary concern during any emergency or severe weather situation is the safety of its students, faculty, staff and visitors.

During any actual emergency or severe weather situation, the UAB Emergency Management website will be the official source of UAB information. In addition, the UAB Emergency Management Team will use B-ALERT, the university’s emergency notification system, to communicate through voice calls, SMS text messages, and e-mails to the entire campus all at the same time. B-ALERT also integrates with Facebook and Twitter.

The UAB Severe Weather & Emergency Hotline at (205) 934-2165 also will be updated as appropriate to provide official updates on the university's and UAB Hospital's opening and closing status.

To register for B-ALERT or update your existing information in the system, visit the B-ALERT website. All registration is connected to your BlazerID.

Deadline: Prior to registering for classes the first time.

Mandatory student health insurance

You must either elect or decline student health insurance. UAB requires that all graduate students have health insurance. If you have insurance through either a parent or spouse and do not want/need student health coverage, be sure to use the Waiver option as you move through BlazerNet to release your registration hold (see bullet points below).

For those who will be covered by student health insurance, remember that GBS only pays for single health coverage. If you choose to also have coverage for any dependent(s), you will be responsible for paying for this additional coverage. Student health insurance posts to your student account in fall and spring semesters. GBS will pay the dollar value for the individual coverage. The remaining amount to cover the cost of your dependent(s) is your responsibility and will need to be cleared from your student account before the end of each semester in which coverage costs post to avoid a hold on your registration.

Instructions to release your student health/registration hold from your account (which also includes insurance waiver)

  • Log in to BlazerNet:
  • Click “Personal Information” at the top of the page.
  • Click “Mandatory Student Health Insurance Selection/Waiver” towards the bottom of the page.
  • Verify if you will be returning in the fall.
  • Verify the address where you will live while taking classes at UAB. This step is very important. Any student who uses an out-of-state address in this section will be charged for out-of-state insurance. If you have not moved here yet, please click "Moving to Alabama but don’t know my address yet."
  • Click either "I will have my own personal health insurance coverage" if you do not need student health insurance (because you have outside insurance either through parent or spouse) or "I wish to purchase health insurance coverage through UAB" if you do not have private insurance and need student health coverage.
  • If you choose to waive coverage, you will be asked to provide coverage information. Enter information and click on "Confirm insurance."
  • The final screen should summarize your choices.
  • Go back to BlazerNet home and the hold should be removed.
  • If you encounter a problem, please contact Candace Ragsdale at Student Health by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at (205) 996-2589.

Instructions on signing up for health insurance:

If you did not sign a waiver, you need student health insurance, which is a requirement for all graduate students. See the link below to download an application. There are several potential start dates: June 1 (early summer admit), July 14 (Neuroscience Theme) or August 8 (most popular start date).

Please use the GBS address—1825 University Blvd, Birmingham AL 35294—on the application where you are expected to list your local address. This will ensure you are seen as a local versus out-of-state student.

Student health insurance becomes effective on:

  • Early Admits: June 1, 2017
  • Fall Admits: August 8, 2017

Useful Links

Deadline to sign-up: August 1

Registering for classes

The GBS Curriculum Manager, Jessica Stephenson, will provide you with detailed information regarding registration, which is done via Blazernet.

Deadline: Registration begins April 9 and must be completed by May 1 for summer (if applicable) and April 9 - July 1 for fall semester.

NOTE: You will not be able to register for classes until you have completed the items above:

  • Blazer ID account
  • B-Alert notifications
  • Mandatory health insurance.

Medical clearance

To ensure a safe and healthy campus, UAB requires all entering students to satisfy immunization/TB requirements and providing documentation of those immunizations through Patient Portal. All requirements must be met prior to registering for class at the University.  See a list of immunization requirments here.

Submit your documentation:

  • Log into BlazerNet at using your BlazerID and password.
  • Click on "Patient Portal" and log in using your BlazerID and password
  • Click on "Forms", then click "Add immunization record"

You will have the ability to scan and upload documents or to send by fax. PLEASE NOTE: the scan and upload feature will NOT support pdf, so if you are using a copier/scanner you will need to go to settings and set to jpeg. If you are taking a picture with your mobile device, this is not necessary.

Learn more about immunization, testing, deadlines, and other policies at the UAB Student Health Services website.


Student Health and Wellness | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | (205) 975-7753

Deadline: August 1


On-Campus Housing: The application for graduate student housing goes live in April, and due to the small number of spaces, early application is encouraged. More information is available at the Student Housing website.

Off-Campus Housing: Information is available at UAB Off-Campus Housing.  Another resource that is unaffiliated with UAB or GBS is Rent Monster, a free Birmingham apartment locator service.


Make your arrangements for student parking with UAB Parking & Transportation Services. It is best to do this early. UAB has limited parking options.

Deadline: If you need parking, it is best to do this immediately after registering for classes.


GBS Fall Orientation will take place Monday, August 6, 2018, in Bevill Biomedical Research Building (BBRB) room 170 from 8:00am - 5:00pm. Breakfast, lunch, and parking will be provided.  Photos will be taken for UAB ONE card and GBS headshots, so dress accordingly.  Orientation for early admits will be June 1, 2018 in Bevill Biomedical Research Building (BBRB) room 170.

Payroll information

You will receive your paycheck the last business day of each month.

  • For students starting in June, you will receive your first paycheck, covering June 1-30, on June 30.
  • For students starting in July, you will receive your first paycheck, covering July 14-31, on July 29.
  • For students starting in August, you will receive your first paycheck, covering August 8-August 31, on August 31.

To ensure timely payment, all students must do the following:

  1. Check to make sure your local address and phone number are correct in Oracle. Instructions to update your name and home address are available on the UAB Financial Affairs website.
    Deadline: Early admits: June 18; Fall admits: August 18
  2. You must set up your direct deposit. UAB does not issue payroll checks. Download instructions on how to do this: Direct Deposit Initial Set-up (pdf).
    Deadline: Early admits: June 18; Fall admits: August 18.

HIPAA privacy and security training

Before any training module or requirement can be accessed via the Learning Management System (LMS), the student's personnel paperwork must have completed the process to be in the appropriate human resources system.


  • Go to (IE is the preferred browser)
  • Select "Access Learning System"
  • Log in using your BlazerID and password
  • Click to place the radial button under "Student/Manager"
  • Select "Proceed with Login"
  • "UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Training" will appear under "Assigned Learning"
  • Select "UAB/UABHS HIPAA Privacy and Security Online Training" (choose the ONLINE version and not the classroom version)
  • Click "Enroll"
  • Select "Online Presentation"
  • Select "Click here to view slide presentation"
  • Presentation slides will display
  • View all training material
  • When complete, exit by selecting either the "X" at the top of the screen or "Exit" at the bottom
  • Select "Post Test" and read the instructions
  • Complete the quiz as presented, being careful to answer each of the 16 questions
  • Return to course details
  • An option to print a certificate is displayed in the green banner (this certificate is available to be printed at any time by accessing "My Transcript", selecting the HIPAA course, and a green banner for printing a certificate displays)
  • An evaluation of the course is available, but it is optional
  • Successful completion (a score of 75% or better) will automatically be recorded by the LMS. If you are unsuccessful and must retake the quiz, repeat these steps

Deadline: August 10


You may explore a comprehensive list of UAB Graduate Biomedical Sciences Faculty who offer graduate research training in highly diverse areas of the biomedical sciences.

GBS Rotation Dates:

  • Summer Rotation (Early Admits): June 1 - August 3, 2018
  • Early Fall Rotation: August 13 - October 12, 2018
  • Lab Rotation 2: October 15 - December 14, 2018
  • Lab Rotation 3: January 7 - March 8, 2019
  • Lab Rotation 4: March 11 - May 10, 2019

Choosing a Rotation Lab:

Students should choose their rotation labs in consultation with their theme director. Please reference this GBS spreadsheet will show you which faculty are interested in hosting lab rotation students. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to contact faculty to request a one-on-one meeting to learn more about faculty research interests (and that person's interest in taking rotation students). While rotations will typically occur with faculty in the student's chosen theme, students are free to rotate with faculty in other themes and research areas.

Each student should contact faculty via email to set up a time to meet face-to-face to discuss doing a rotation in that lab. When a student secures a rotation, they must complete the Lab Rotation Verification Form.

Learn more on the research rotations page.

Deadline for choosing first rotation lab: Early admits: June 1; Fall admits: August 13.

Selecting a dissertation mentor

The choice of a dissertation advisor/mentor is one of the most important decisions you will make as a graduate student. Thus, you should keep this matter in mind as you choose laboratory rotations and participate in lecture and seminar activities throughout your first year in the program.

Suggested Deadlines:

  • First year students arriving in August should select a dissertation advisor by June 1.
  • Students who arrive during summer semester, should make this decision in mid-February.

Students should make this choice in consultation with appropriate faculty so that the student and the faculty member can come to a mutually agreeable decision and arrangement. In special cases, students unprepared to make this choice may be allowed to complete an additional laboratory rotation during the summer term. Clearly, a fourth rotation should be elected only after careful consideration, since doing so could delay the student's completion of the doctoral program. Your program manager should be advised of your preference of dissertation mentor on the appropriate form.

Confirmation of theme affiliation

Students enter with a given theme affiliation but have the flexibility to rotate with any faculty with active GBS status and may change theme affiliation if their research training interests change. Alternatively, faculty outside of a given theme may elect to join additional themes, if consistent with theme interests, wherein the student could retain his/her original theme affiliation. Additionally, first year theme-specific courses that may be required upon theme transfer can be completed in year two in fulfillment of advanced course requirements. Communication among the student, selected mentor, and both the original and the new theme directors will be necessary to facilitate transfer among themes. All students should confirm their theme affiliation at the time of selecting the dissertation mentor.

Contingency admission items

Many students are admitted to Graduate Biomedical Sciences while in the final semester of undergraduate studies or a master's program. Your admission is contingent upon successful completion of that prior degree, so you may have additional steps (e.g. submitting a final transcript) to complete. Likewise, your admission may have been contingent on other factors.

You will not be allowed to register for the second semester until all contingencies are cleared, so look for messages from the Graduate School on your student account in BlazerNet and the GBS office. Not clearing these will result in a hold that will prevent you from progressing in graduate school.