At first glance, it might be hard to see what an astronaut, a cancer researcher, a bilingual engineer, a marine scientist, a high school principal and a missionary nurse have in common. Yet these individuals are all alumni of UAB’s Graduate School, and they represent the rich diversity of people who come here in search of their future.
In selecting UAB, these alumni chose to study at one of the leading research universities and academic health centers in the United States. Founded in 1945 as an Academic Health Sciences Center, UAB now ranks among the top 20 institutions in the country in federal research funding and in key areas of health care. Research funding has doubled every decade at UAB and currently totals more than $433 million. Today there are more than 100 different research centers at UAB. Accordingly, the opportunities for questioning, exploration, discovery, application, collaboration and publication abound.
For many students, it is not enough to attend a nationally ranked school. Prospective students often look for something more elusive than ratings. They seek the opportunity to study with nationally recognized faculty in a training program that accommodates their special talents, skills and interests. UAB faculty offer a broad range of excellent graduate programs from which to choose. There are 47 masters and 38 doctoral degree programs in disciplines that encompass arts and humanities, business, education, engineering, natural sciences and mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, bioscience, and health-related professions. In addition, recognizing that many innovations occur at the interface between fields, UAB emphasizes interdisciplinary and coordinated degree programs, which give students the opportunity to design educational experiences uniquely suited to their career objectives. Our goal is to provide a total environment where students can excel.
Upon closer inspection it becomes obvious that a Graduate School is more than the sum of its programs. Our alumni tell us that their success at UAB depended to a significant extent on the learner-centered approach employed by our faculty. UAB faculty challenge students to frame questions, seek solutions, evaluate results and to seek again. They demand much, but our students benefit from the fulfillment that comes from rising to meet challenges, and by creating new ones.
Add to that the availability of multiple support systems – administrative, financial, health care and career counseling. To facilitate the wide spectrum of ongoing research, state-of-the-art facilities are found all over campus. UAB’s research centers, lecture halls, labs, classrooms, dorms, greenways, hospitals, libraries, student center, recreation center and performing arts center occupy 82 city blocks. As a hub of activity, our campus regularly attracts visitors from all over the world.
Central to this environment is Birmingham, a progressive city in which medical research, banking, music, technology, art, engineering and higher education predominate. Located at the southern edge of the downtown business district, UAB is near the heart of the city’s multi-ethnic music, art, museum and theater area, offering students the chance to grow artistically as well as socially and intellectually. In this metropolitan area of approximately 1.1 million people, there are many opportunities for work experiences and valuable hands-on internships. At UAB, graduate education is a holistic process, one that fosters a sense of community and common purpose.
I invite you to visit UAB. See our campus and our city. Meet our faculty and staff. Most of all, I invite you to meet our students. They come from all parts of the city, the U.S. and the globe, representing more than 121 different nationalities. We value their diversity, range of thought, ideas and cultures. With each new discovery and accomplishment, they see the future unfold. With each new graduate student, so do we.