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 as an incoming student.

Shortly after you accept our offer of admission, the GBS Finance Manager will send you an appointment letter.

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

UAB Email

Visit BlazerID Central to create your own Blazer ID and password. You will not be able to establish your Blazer ID and password until the day following the date that appears on the top of your admission letter.

Please log into your UAB email at least once a day. Even if you forward your UAB email to another account, we have found that not all emails will forward and you run the risk of missing very important emails. 

Deadline: Prior to registering for classes the first time.

Health Insurance

GBS students are required to have health insurance. Single-coverage student health insurance through UAB is available at no cost to GBS students. Family coverage is available at an additional cost to the student. 

Students who already have their own personal insurance (e.g. through a parent or spouse) have the option to waive student health insurance. To opt out, a waiver stating the student has major medical insurance that is comparable or superior to the UAB student health insurance plan must be signed. You will automatically be enrolled in UAB student health insurance unless you submit a waiver.  

Health insurance costs post 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.

For additional information, see the UAB Student Health Services Insurance & Waivers Information. If you have questions, contact Student Health through the Patient Portal or by phone at (205) 934-3580.

Student health insurance becomes effective on your applicable start date, noted on your appointment letter.

B-Alert

During any emergency or severe weather situation, 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.  To register for B-ALERT or update your existing information in the system, visit the B-ALERT website.

Deadline: Prior to registering for classes the first time.

Medical Clearance/Immunizations

To ensure a safe and healthy campus, UAB requires all entering students to satisfy immunization/TB requirements and provide documentation of those immunizations through Patient Portal.

See a list of immunization requirements and instructions for submitting your medical clearance documents here.

Class Registration

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

Registration Deadlines: 

  • Summer term- May 1
  • Fall term- July 1

Note: You will not be able to register for classes until you have set up your UAB Email/Blazer ID and registered for B-Alert notifications.

HIPAA Training

HIPAA training is required to maintain privacy and security of medical data and information.  See instructions for completing the training here.

Deadline: Prior to the start of your first rotation.

Payroll

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 10-30, on June 28.
  • For students starting in July, you will receive your first paycheck, covering July 15-31, on July 31.
  • For students starting in August, you will receive your first paycheck, covering August 14-31, on August 30.

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 13, 2019 & Fall admits: August 17, 2019
  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.
    Deadline: June admits: June 13, 2019; August admits: August 17, 2019

Note: You may not be able to log into Oracle until your start date.

Important Dates & Orientation

First Day

If you are an early admit (summer), your first day will be June 10, 2019, which is summer orientation and the start of your rotation.

If you are a Neuroscience student (summer), your first day will be TBD, which is your orientation day for Dauphin Island.

All other students will have their first day on August 14, 2019, which is fall orientation for all students. 

 

Orientation

For Early Admits: June 10, 2019 | Shelby 105 | 8:00am - 11:30pm
This will be a brief orientation for students starting in the summer.  Photos will be taken for UAB ONE card, so dress accordingly.  Parking will be provided.  Instructions for parking will be sent prior to the event.
 

For All Incoming Students: August 14, 2019 | BBRB 170 | 8:00am - 5:00pm
This will be a full-day orientation for all incoming GBS students.  Photos will be taken for UAB ONE card and GBS headshots, so dress accordingly.  Breakfast, lunch, and parking will be provided.  Instructions for parking will be sent prior to the event.

 

Theme Welcome Meeting

Themes may hold a welcome meeting on Thursday, August 15, 2019. Your individual theme directors will reach out with information regarding the meeting specifics.

 

Symposium

The annual GBS Symposium will take place TBD at the UAB Hill Student Center Ballroom.  This event showcases research at UAB with poster and oral presentations by current students, and there will be a faculty poster session of labs looking for rotation students.

GBS Academic Calendar

See the GBS Academic Calendar for course and rotation dates, which do not always align with the UAB Academic Calendar.

Time off is a matter of individual negotiation between the student and the student’s research mentor and course directors.  For example, time off around Thanksgiving is dependent on the course schedule and your lab; it may not follow the UAB Academic Calendar.

Parking

Student parking permits may be purchased online through the UAB Parking & Transportation Services Parking Portal.  You must have your UAB ONE Card (student ID) in order to apply for parking, and you obtain your ONE Card at orientation.  Students are responsible for paying parking fees. 

Rotations & Mentor Selection

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. 

For information, see the Research Rotations & Mentor Selection page

Housing

Resources for finding housing in Birmingham:

It is recommended that you see an apartment in person before signing a lease.  If you are unable to visit Birmingham before moving here, try to secure temporary housing (e.g. AirBnB) while you look for apartments or contact Rent Monster to do Skype tours.

Contingency Admission Items

Your admission may have been contingent on items such as submission of official transcripts or English proficiency scores (see your decision letter for details).  Official transcripts can be sent to the addresses below.  TOEFL scores can submitted to institution code 1856.  IELTS and PTEA scores can be issued electronically or sent to the addresses below.

Most contingency items will not affect your ability to enroll in your first term; you must fulfill contingencies by the start of registration for your second term of enrollment.  You will not be allowed to register for your second semester of classes until all contingencies are cleared, so look for messages from the Graduate School on your student account in BlazerNet. Not clearing these will result in a hold that will prevent you from progressing in graduate school.

If you have questions about a contingency, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For United States Postal Service

UAB Graduate School
LHL G03
1720 2nd Ave. S.
Birmingham AL 35294-0013

For UPS, FedEx, DHL, etc.

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

For Email

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International Student Resources

UAB International Student and Scholar Services

The central point for services, programs, and activities for international students at UAB is International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS).  This office can assist with the Affidavit of Financial Support, Form I-20, visas, and more.  Check out their Compass guide for a wealth of information on transitioning to Birmingham and UAB including housing, buying a car, grocery stores, and more.

 

Proof of Financial Support

International students will be contacted by ISSS about submitting an Affidavit of Financial Support. You can provide your GBS appointment letter as proof of financial support, which is emailed to you after you accept the offer of admission.

 

Mentor Program

All incoming international GBS students are paired with a mentor.  The goal of the program is to make the transition to UAB and Alabama as smooth as possible.  The mentor is a current GBS student and can serve as a resource to discuss issues new students might be facing regarding coursework, lab rotations, accommodation, driver's license etc.

 

English Courses

For students wanting to develop their English language skills, UAB offers free community English classes.  Learn more.

 

GBS International Student Webinar

GBSO organizes a webinar hosted by current GBS students, International Student and Scholar Services representative, and GBS office representative to address questions or concerns for international students transitioning to UAB and Birmingham. Details will be sent out about the webinar when the event is scheduled.

Student Loan Deferment

If you are requesting student loan deferment while in graduate school and need forms filled out by a UAB official, the One Stop office can assist with completing the form.

Confirmation of Theme

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.