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The Honors College is dedicated to innovative courses, hands-on experience, service learning, and — most importantly — the individuality and diversity of our brilliant students.

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Personalized Path

Some learning experiences — and some unique students — just don’t fit into the standard college curriculum. You know the type — the student who wants to double-major in neuroscience and philosophy, with a minor in business. Or the student who doesn’t see a major that suits her wild mosaic of interests and wants to design one of her own. That’s why we guide our students in charting their own course with their own personalized path.

  • View Personalized Path Details

    Like all Honors College students, those on the Personalized Path begin their First Year Experience with our New Student Retreat. Then, you start to truly personalize your own path with a First Year Honors Seminar of your choice. As you work toward either Distinguished Honors (by earning 18 hours of honors credit) or High Distinguished Honors (30 hours), you’ll have a variety of choices to get there. Honors credit hours can be earned through Honors Seminars on an array of special topics; honors sections of the Blazer Core Curriculum, major, and elective courses; courses in School or Departmental honors programs; supervised Honors independent study; graduate courses; or Honors by Contract.

    Making your undergraduate experience unique and meaningful is the point, and not just through your coursework. You’ll also complete at least one experiential learning adventure (this can be service-learning, undergraduate research, internship, or study abroad). Your honors advisor will help you through it all, so that your undergraduate experience is as personalized as possible!

    Sample First Year Honors Seminars: Case Studies in Great (and Not So Great) Leadership; Ethical Conflicts in Healthcare; Witch Narratives; Social Determinants of Health; Reading the Marvel Cinematic Universe; Cannabis in Cancer: What’s all the Highpe?; Safety & Sustainability: The Eco-Soap Making Project

    Sample Special Topics Honors Seminars: Conflict Resolution: Peace Building Skills to Change Your World; Poverty and Human Capability; Disability and Film; The Mindful Student; Who is Jesus? Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon

    Student Involvement

    Honors students on the Personalized Path are known for leadership. Look at any major student organization on campus — Ambassadors, TrailBlazers, Student Government, Residence Life, Athletics, Greek life — and you’ll find an honors student in a leading role. We count on our students to lead the Honors College through opportunities such as the Honors Ambassadors and the Honors College Student Leadership Council to develop their leadership potential. Leadership comes in many forms, but the element that brings them together is passion — to make the world better, to accomplish change, to innovate. It involves knowing who you are, what’s important to you, and how you can make a difference. And that’s why we get to know you on a personal level and why we allow you — and challenge you — to personalize your experiences in the classroom and out in the world around you.

    Student Spotlight: Reilyn Intemann

    Reilyn Intemann is a sophomore in the Honors College’s Personalized Pathway, majoring in pre-nursing. During one of her college visits on campus, she met with an advisor who explained the program and outlined the various paths she could take to obtain honors credits. Choosing the Personalized Pathway was the most flexible and the best fit for her academic program and goals. Based on her academic achievement, she has received a merit scholarship.

    The Honors College has given Reilyn multiple opportunities to explore career options and find her true passions through various volunteer organizations and specific honors classes. As a Trailblazer, she shares her love and experiences at UAB with prospective students, while helping them determine their fit on campus. She is also an Honors SMART Leader (Student Mentor And Retreat Team) in the Honors College and volunteers at Children's of Alabama. As an experienced U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medal winner for Ice dance, she continues to pursue dance as a member of the Love Your Melon Campus Crew and Dance Marathon.

    Once Reilyn began her studies on the impact of volunteer work in hospital settings, it opened her eyes to the field of nursing in pediatric and critical care settings, as well as her personal impact on the staff and patient’s lives.

    In her spare time, Reilyn enjoys exploring new coffee shops around Birmingham and trying new restaurants with friends.

  • View Honors Seminars
    Rewriting the Constitution Professor Adam Pinson
    United States foreign policy in the Cold War Era Dr. Adrian Rickert
    Leading You Dr. Allen Gorman
    Experiencing Theatre: A Mirror to Life Professor Bethe Ensey
    Now I Become Myself: The Quest for Integrity Professor Bill Blackerby
    Cannabis in Cancer: What’s all the Highpe? Dr. Braden McFarland
    Museums and their Impact Professor Christina McLellan
    Beyond the Clinic: Understanding the Link between Social Determinants of Health and Health Disparities Dr. Dina Avery and Professor Kristin Chapleau
    Lives Between the Lines: Creative Non-fiction from US Borderlands and Abroad Dr. Erika Hille Rinker
    FilmFest 101 Professor Gareth Jones
    How Cities Influence Our Lives Dr. Jeff Walker
    Greater than the sum of our parts: problem solving in groups Dr. Joseph Barney
    The Global Hero Professor Joseph Wood
    Classical Music in Popular Culture Professor Julianne Steele
    Ethical Issues in Women's Health Dr. Kelley Borella and Professor April Love
    Comedy, Health, and Wellbeing Dr. Kevin Fontaine
    Talking Immunology: Say What? Drs. Louis Justement & Heather Bruns
    Ethical Conflicts in Health Care Dr. Mariko Nakano
    Reading the Marvel Cinematic Universe Professor Mary Dutta
    Crime Fiction and Identity Professor Mary Dutta
    Environmental Ethics Dr. Mary Whall
    Persuasion: How to Get More of What You Want... Dr. Mike Wittmann
    Safety & Sustainability: The Eco-Soap Making Project Dr. Rani Jacob, Professor Judith McBride
    Engineering Design Dr. Tim Wick
    Engagement in Honors Dr. Adrian Rickert
    Leadership Professor Undré Phillips
    Who is Jesus? Exploring a Cultural Phenomenon Professor Bill Blackerby
    Chamber Music as Historical Record Dr. Denise Gainey
    The Mindful Student Dr. Kristine Hurst-Wajszczuk
    Burning Issues Dr. Nichole Lariscy
    Stoking the Fire TBA
    The History of Science and Religion Professor Ashley Foster
    The Challenge of Authentic Leadership Professor Bill Blackerby
    Poverty and Human Capability Professor Eddie Nabors
    Disabilities in Film Professor Gareth Jones
    Taste and See: The Spirituality of Food Dr. Gisela Kreglinger
    The Good Life Dr. Kevin McCain
    Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism Dr. Mary Whall
    The end always justifies the means? A more holistic and environmentally enlightened approach to scientific research and education Dr. Rani Jacob and Professor Judith McBride
    Conflict Resolution: Peace Building Skills to Change Your World Professor Sally Bowers
  • View Honors Sections

    UAB Honors College students start their freshman year strong, studying under top-notch faculty from the first day of their first Honors Seminar.

    Intro to Cultural Anthropo (Hon) Dr. Christopher E. Kyle
    General Chemistry I (Hon) Dr. Joe L. March
    General Chemistry I (Hon Lab) Professor Ellen A. Humphreys
    Organic Chemistry I (Hon) Dr. Jacqueline Nikles
    Public Speaking (Hon) Dr. Steven McCornack
    Intro to Human Comm (Hon) Dr. Timothy R. Levine
    Princ of Microeconomics (Hon) Dr. Joshua J. Robinson
    Princ of Microeconomics (Hon) Dr. Benjamin G. Meadows
    English Composition I (Hon) Professor Amy Cates
    English Composition I (Hon) Professor Aparna Dwivedi
    English Composition I (Hon) Professor James R. Guthrie
    English Composition II (Hon) Dr. Jennifer L. Young
    Lit Ideas: Reading B'ham (Hon) Dr. Jennifer L. Young
    English Composition II (STH) Dr. Cynthia Ryan
    World History to 1600 (Hon) Professor Christopher J. Perry
    The US to 1877 (Hon) Professor Beth Hunter
    The US Since 1877 (Hon) Dr. Natasha P. Zaretsky
    Calculus I (Hon) Dr. Lex G. Oversteegen
    Intro Diff Equations (Hon) Dr. Milena Stanislavova
    Intro to Linear Algebra (Hon) Dr. Carmeliza Navasca
    Engineering Graphics (Hon) Dr. Shannon L. Lisenbee
    Methods in Human Neuroimaging Dr. Mark S. Bolding
    Diseases of the Nervous System Dr. Scott M. Wilson
    College Physics I (Hon) Dr. Anca Lungu
    General Physics II (Hon) Dr. Kannatassen Appavoo
    Bioethics (Hon) Dr. Joshua D. May
    Public Service (Hon) Dr. Peter A. Jones
    Intro to Public Health (Hon) Dr. Karen E. Musgrove
    Intro to Global Health (Hon) Professor Heather J. Lee
    Biostatistics (Hon) Dr. Anastasia Hartzes
    Intro to Psychology (Hon) Dr. Mary M. Boggiano
    Intro to Sociology (Hon) Dr. Cindy L. Cain
    Introductory Spanish I (Hon) Dr. Malinda Blair O'Leary
    Introductory Spanish I (Hon Lab) Dr. Malinda Blair O'Leary
    Participation in Honors Dr. Joseph Adrian Rickert

Evan Parker

Tori Lathrop

Kimmy Chieh

  • Set your world on fire

    The Honors College was one of the biggest reasons I decided to come to UAB, and being a part of it has brought me an amazing community of people and experiences. — Sahar Moughnyeh, Honors College

Specialized Programs

Not all Honors College students choose a personalized pathway — some find a perfect academic fit in one of our three specialized honors programs. The Global and Community Leadership Honors Program, Science and Technology Honors Program, and University Honors Program lay out a curriculum of courses and experiences to thoroughly explore global leadership, science and technology, or interdisciplinary arts and sciences.

Global and Community Leadership Honors Program

Students in the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program (GCL) know that they’re members of a community — not just a local one, but a global one. And that means their responsibilities to their community span the globe. Social justice issues like educational disparities, poverty, human rights, environmental degradation, and health care access touch lives in every country, in every big city and small village, at every socioeconomic level. GCL prepares students to explore, understand, and take a leadership role in addressing those issues and making those lives better.

  • View the GCL Details

    The GCL curriculum is a carefully crafted mix of interdisciplinary coursework that will equip you to make a difference in local and global communities. Our “Burning Issues” course educates you on human rights, the environment, health, and educational opportunity — four foundational areas that impact almost every social justice issue facing society. Once you’ve identified your own burning issue (you know, the thing that keeps you awake at night and motivates you to make a difference), our GCL advisors will help you find additional courses to deepen your understanding and fan the flame of your passion. From there, you’ll complete a capstone course called “Stoking the Fire — Leadership in Action,” which will provide you with the skills and abilities to be a social change leader.

    But it’s not just about the coursework — GCL courses lay a foundation for all of the other educational experiences you’ll have out in the world. Whether you study abroad or partner with local nonprofits, every new encounter is an opportunity for service, and every lesson learned is another step toward engaged, responsible, inspiring leadership.

    In GCL, our four core values are Participatory Citizenship, Ethical Leadership, Creative Problem-Solving, and Effective Community. Of course, we don’t need to explain that to you because you already have the drive to internalize those values and put them to use in the world. Our goal is to connect you right away with service experiences and leadership opportunities that will prepare you for all of the impactful work you will do in the future.

    Sample Courses: Birmingham Civil Rights History; Dialogue on Race and Racism; Burning Issues; Leadership in Action

    Student Involvement

    Students in the program take the education they receive about world issues, with the guidance and support in developing their leadership strengths, to initiate real change in the community and throughout the globe. Engaged, driven GCL students hold leadership positions on the Student Leadership Council, which hosts social events such as Friendsgiving, Movie & Discussion Nights, trips to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Birmingham AIDS Outreach, along with a service project with Magic City Acceptance Center. Their accolades include receiving esteemed internships with the UAB Institute for Human Rights, UAB Sustainability and local nonprofit organizations. They consistently win prestigious awards, including UAB’s first recipient for the Obama-Chesky Scholarship for Public Service.

    Student Spotlight: Michael Ho

    Michael Ho is a sophomore in the Honors College’s Global and Leadership Community (GCL) Honors Program, double majoring in chemistry and French. Service learning has always been his passion, so he wanted to choose a curriculum that would broaden his global perspective and enhance his cultural humility to give back to the local community through a multitude of ways. Ultimately, he chose GCL to gain additional insight on global issues in a discussion-based setting and become an advocate in the Birmingham area, while learning about the rich historical past of the city. Over the summer, he put some of his college experience to the test when he ran an Instagram business page that sold vintage clothes and collector’s items of retro brands.

    While in the Honors College, Michael has participated in various programs, where he has introduced the Provost, spoke on multiple panels and met prospective students and their families to help them finalize their decision to apply for the Honors College. He even helped some of the professors develop their curriculum for honors seminars.

    In addition to serving as an Honors SMART Leader (Student Mentor And Retreat Team) and Honors Ambassador within the Honors College, Michael also serves as a TrailBlazer, Director of Campus Relations in the Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) and officer in Alpha Epsilon Delta(AED), which is a Pre-Health Honors Society.

    When Michael isn’t studying or helping with events, you can catch him playing basketball, soccer, backpacking/hiking/enjoying the outdoors or thrift shopping.

  • View the GCL Requirements and Courses


    GCL students must complete a minimum of 18 hours of designated honors coursework; students may complete 30 hours of honors coursework to graduate with high distinguished honors.


    12 hours of designated GCL honors coursework:

    • HC 110-130 Honors Seminar (3 credit hours) – Seminar on a topic related to GCL’s mission; topics vary annually.
    • GCLH 150 Burning Issues (3 credit hours) – Overview of various issues facing society (e.g., human rights, sustainability, healthcare access, educational opportunity). Course includes guest speakers, topical readings, and significant reflective writing. Ultimately, students identify an issue that ignites their passion – their “burning issue.”
    • Fanning the Flame: Variable courses (3 credit hours) – Student will select a course that provides further exploration of the student’s “burning issue.”
    • GCLH 350 Stoking the Fire - Leadership in Action (3 credit hours) – Students will learn, develop, and put into practice a pragmatic skill set for management and operations in social change leadership.
    • Six additional hours of honors coursework:

    • Students should take the remaining hours from approved honors courses relevant to GCL’s mission. GCL administration will designate appropriate honors courses for GCL students each semester, and students will choose the courses that are most applicable to their own passions and goals.

    Experiential Learning

    GCL students are required to complete a minimum of one experiential learning course at UAB. These courses may include service learning, study abroad, research, or internships.

Xavier Turner

Science and Technology Honors Program

The Science and Technology Honors Program (STH) is built around the knowledge that our students are driven, they’re curious, they’re smart, and they don’t want to wait to put those qualities to good use. We’ve built a curriculum around starting science and technology right away, from an honors-honed core curriculum (enjoy your English class focused on scientific and technical writing) to specialty classes that teach you the fundamentals of science right there in the lab where they belong. Because that’s where you belong.

  • View the STH Details

    The STH curriculum lays out a challenging, engaging four-year path from student/learner to skilled technician to scientist/innovator, from the basics of lab techniques, scientific communication, and planning to the intricacies of scientific research and leadership. Students graduate from the program with exciting knowledge, honors recognition (and most students can satisfy requirements for honors in their major using their STH thesis), and years of lab experience already under their belts before they even start grad school.

    A series of STH seminars will explore methodologies and techniques used to study biology, cell biology, chemistry, complex information systems, engineering, neuroscience, physics, and more. A series of Research Approaches courses will teach you state-of-the-art lab methods in biotechnology, molecular genetics, and other disciplines (ever wanted to splice DNA?), taking you to active research labs to observe researchers up close. And your honors thesis will put all of that to use, launching a two-year, hands-on research project that takes you from proposal to publication — from skilled lab technician to actual scientist.

    It’s all about experience. Our semiannual “Quick Connections” event is like speed dating for research scientists, helping students connect with faculty mentors who share their interests and want to help support their goals. Those connections can get STH students into the lab as early as freshman year, working one-on-one with their mentors and other researchers to see what real scientific discovery looks like up close — and to make discoveries of their own.

    Sample Courses: Problem Analysis and Project Planning; Communicating Science; Big Ideas in Science and Innovation

    Student Involvement

    Innovation and teamwork are two of the most essential skills a scientist can bring to the lab — and they can only be taught to people who really want to learn them. Through a two-semester leadership sequence, our students plan and carry out service projects to benefit the program and others. UAB’s annual regional Science Olympiad, the Middle School Math Tournament, and the student awards program at the Alabama Academy of Science have been STH initiatives. STH students also hold important positions on the program's Student Executive Council, planning key aspects of the program, assisting faculty with program seminars, and mentoring and tutoring. No evil scientists here — our students use their powers of research, critical thinking, analysis, and discovery to do good.

    Student Spotlight: Juhee Agrawal

    Juhee Agrawal is a senior in the Honors College’s Science and Technology Honors Program (STH), double majoring in neuroscience and Spanish. She chose the STH program because she wanted to learn how to think scientifically about the world around her and develop an independent role in a research lab. Juhee is grateful for the community of collaboration facilitated by the students and faculty advisors. Through these collaborative connections, she has served as a research assistant in Dr. Yogesh Dwivedi’s lab on depression and suicide neurobiology for the last three years.

    Since joining UAB, Juhee’s volunteer journey has osmosed into various organizations, both on and off campus. As a freshman, she began volunteering with Active Minds, a student organization that focuses on destigmatizing the conversation around mental health. She also serves as a Peer Mentor and Chair of Volunteering/Study Groups on the Student Executive Council in the Honors College’s STH program. Juhee previously served in leadership positions within the Honors College as an Honors Ambassador and Honors SMART Leader (Student Mentor And Retreat Team).

    Juhee has developed a strong academic reputation on campus through her involvement in the Honors College. With the help of Dr. Robin Lanzi and Dr. Angela Stowe in the Honors College Faculty Fellows program, she created a new Mental Health Ambassadors program, which trains UAB students how to conduct promotion outreach and develop presentations/campaigns on mental health. With the skills learned through the STH program, Juhee has co-authored two publications in her research lab, and she will complete a thesis in this lab before graduating.

    Juhee completed a month-long service-learning experience in Cusco, Peru, where she observed and volunteered at one of their community health clinics. This experience also helped her improve her Spanish-speaking skills and learn more about the Peruvian healthcare system.

    Juhee is truly a blazer at heart. She always travels with a small Blaze figurine so she can take pictures of him in different places.

  • View the STH Requirements and Courses


    All Science and Technology Honors students complete 30 credit hours of honors coursework. In the first two years, our students participate in a four-course sequence introducing them to the scientific process, exposing them to research methodologies and techniques, and providing them with hands-on experience in in the lab. Building on this foundation, students then complete a two-year intensive research experience under the direction of UAB faculty mentor. This project becomes the student’s Honors Thesis and is prepared for publication in a scientific journal and for presentation at a national conference.


    Each student in the program takes the following coursework in the program to prepare for their independent research experience:

    • STH 199 Introduction to the Scientific Process (3 credit hours) – Fall semester of freshman year. Students work in teams to analyze current scientific problems under investigation by UAB faculty, learning about how scientists approach problems and conduct their research, including ethics and institutional review of human and animal research.
    • STH 201 Research Approaches (3 credit hours) – Spring semester of freshman year. Systematic training in foundational research methodologies and opportunity to application of the methods in research laboratories. Students choose among biotechnology training, advanced chemical analysis, molecular genetics or engineering design principles.
    • STH 299 Interdisciplinary Seminar (3 credit hours) – Fall semester of sophomore year. This course illustrates the synergy achieved by interdisciplinary analysis of problems. Example topics include Clinical Innovation, Brain Science, Creating a Culture of Sustainability, The Race to Develop an Artificial Pancreas, and Cardiovascular Disease from Cell to Society.
    • STH 240 Big Ideas in Science and Innovation (3 credit hours) – Sophomore or junior year. This course will integrate skills developed in STH 199, STH 201, STH 299, and EH 102/202 to examine current controversies and challenges in science and technology. Students will analyze scientific research and explore the “conversation” between scientists and other constituencies regarding the interpretation and application of the findings.
    • STH 340 Current Challenges in Translating Science into Benefit (3 credit hours) – Junior or senior year. This course will build upon students’ research experiences by exploring the spectrum of basic to applied research in which each investigation is embedded. Through reading original scientific papers and using technical databases, students will explore “wicked problems” and develop innovative solutions.
    • STH 395 and STH 400 Proposal and Thesis Preparation (2 credit hours each) – Small enrollment courses typically taken in junior and senior year that mentor students through preparing a compelling proposal for their honors thesis research and a scientific publication reporting the research.

    To complete the program, students also take a special section of English composition that focuses specifically on scientific and technical communication, a biostatistics or other approved statistics course, and two-course sequence in leadership preparation.

Sienna Rucka

University Honors Program

Life doesn’t follow one path, and knowledge doesn’t come from one field of study. The University Honors Program (UHP) provides a uniquely engaging arts and sciences curriculum taught by faculty from a wide variety of academic fields. Special team-taught interdisciplinary courses and small seminars replace the core curriculum with something more innovative and varied for excellent students who value the full diversity of their skills and interests.

  • View the UHP Details

    An expansive interdisciplinary course focused on broad themes and taught by a six-person team of faculty and otherwise knowledgeable community members is created afresh each year for the combined class of first- and second-year students. Honors seminars are taught to students of all years by diverse faculty on subjects related to their fields of expertise but not found among the usual department listings. Service learning is formally incorporated into the interdisciplinary curriculum as an annual joint project between UHP and a selected program in the community.

    Housed in a beautiful old church on the southern edge of campus and led by a supportive and devoted team of faculty and staff, UHP provides an environment that is as familial as it is academic wherein students are encouraged to step out of their comfort zones, be steered by their intellectual curiosity, and develop the full diversity of their interests and talents. Many students travel (program-funded) to present research at regional and national honors conferences.

    Sample Interdisciplinary Courses: Representation and Reality; Happiness; Food

    Sample Seminars: Japanese Woodblock Printing; Church, Slavery, and Civil War; Ethnographic Filmmaking; The Western and the Gangster

    Student Involvement

    UHP has a long tradition of empowering its students to lead within the program, across campus and our community. UHP students lead the program's Steering Committee that oversees all student extracurricular activities and initiatives in the program from community service, sustainability, and Homecoming to road trips, and intramural sports. Many have an active voice in the operations of the UHP program including the selection processes by which seminars are chosen and students are admitted. Many contribute to and help design the student-run creative arts journal, Sanctuary, while others study or engage in service activities abroad for weeks, months, even a year at a time.

    Student Spotlight: Mary Anne Powell

    Mary Anne Powell is a junior in the Honors College’s University Honors Program (UHP), double majoring in public health and Spanish. Initially, she did not want to attend UAB since she was a Birmingham native and felt she would lack the true “college experience.” After careful consideration, she chose UAB and interviewed for UHP, and immediately knew she had to join. The small, tight-knight and intellectual community UHP encompasses has provided unmatched opportunities for Mary Anne. She has taken a deep dive into relevant topics and met incredible professors and experts that have opened her eyes to endless possibilities in her post-graduate career.

    Once Mary Anne joined UHP, she hit the ground running. With the advice of her advisor, she applied for leadership positions within the Honors College. She not only joined but moved up in leadership in the Honors College Leadership Council (HCLC), Honors SMART Leaders (Student Mentor And Retreat Team), and Honors Ambassadors. UHP and the honors organizations have given her self-confidence, professional skills, community involvement, exposure to health professionals, and top-notch advising that has set her on the best academic path to graduate in four years.

    Mary Anne is applying her classroom knowledge by volunteering at the Equal Access Birmingham, which is a clinic that serves under/uninsured individuals in the community through the UAB School of Medicine. She is responsible for taking the patients’ vitals and preparing them for the physician appointments, along with filling prescriptions and taking inventory of the drugs. She is also a translator for Spanish-speaking patients, where she translates for the physician and patient during check-ups and physical therapy appointments.

    Mary Anne completed a semester-long exchange program in Spring 2019 at the University of Jaén in Spain, where she will receive a UHP seminar credit for the courses she completed.

    Once her undergraduate studies are complete, Mary Anne plans to find a fellowship that will allow her to study in another country. She is also contemplating on applying for the English-Teaching Fulbright Program.

    When she finds spare time, Mary Anne loves backpacking, hiking, and camping –really anything outdoors. She also enjoys finding new music and hearing local artists.

    Due to her time in UHP so far, she can’t imagine being anywhere other than UAB.

  • View the UHP Requirements and Courses


    Students in the University Honors Program take 33 credit hours of honors coursework and three credit hours of mathematics that replace Blazer Core Curriculum requirements. UHP students take two, nine-credit hour interdisciplinary courses and five UHP honors seminars.


    The interdisciplinary honors courses are offered during the fall semester and are open only to University Honors Program students. These courses are team-taught by faculty members (usually six) from different schools in the university and by guest lecturers from the medical center, the business, and other areas. Each interdisciplinary course is organized thematically and designed to cover a broad range of material so the student is introduced to all areas covered by the Core Curriculum and to a wide variety of other areas as well. Topics of past interdisciplinary courses have included “Minds and Realities," "In Search of Human Nature," "It's About Time," and "The Anatomy of Desire." As part of the course, each student works on an independent project related to the central theme.

    The University Honors program offers about 18-20 different honors seminars each year. UHP seminars are offered during the fall semester, spring semester, and summer term and are limited to 16 students. Honors seminars are available in a variety of different fields and focus on issues that are of major interest within the field and also have implications and applications beyond it. Examples of honors seminars which have been taught are "Ethnographic Filmmaking," " China's Next Phase," "Cognitive Brain Imaging," "Philosophy, Psychology, and the Economics of Happiness," "Existentialism and Modern Literature."

    UHP students can also receive up to three credits for participation in special UHP events and completing UHP-approved long-term community service projects. In addition, students may propose an internship or independent study project in place of one seminar. They also have the option of registering for one, two, or three credit hours of Honors Research.

Ibshar Marnia


Honors Student Leadership Development Academy

Leadership is a broad topic that can be taught from many angles. UAB Honors College faculty use their expertise and life experiences to teach students about the basics of leadership and how to lead in different industries. Students leave each course with practical strategies and deeper understanding of leadership.

  • View the Honors Student Leadership Development Academy Details

    As a first of its kind in Honors College history, the Honors Leadership Certificate was established to provide students with an opportunity to earn an academic credential that exhibits competence in ethical leadership skills that are transferable to future careers.

    The innovative curriculum provides an experience that is tailored to each student and develops their leadership strengths. Through experiential learning and dialogue among leadership mentors in the community, the Honors Leadership Certificate will provide life-long relationships as well as foundational skills that give students an edge in graduate school and job applications after earning their degree. Upon successful completion of the required coursework, students will graduate with the Honors Leadership Certificate.

    To earn the Honors Leadership Certificate, Honors College students must be accepted in the Honors Leadership Academy. This unique program gives honors students opportunities for personal development and training that features mentoring opportunities with established leaders in our community. The Honors Leadership Academy will allow students to use their classroom experience and apply it to practical, real-world issues to capture the What, Why, When, Where, and How of leadership.

    Sample Courses: Leading You; Case Studies in Great (and Not So Great) Leadership; Ethical Conflicts in Health Care

    Admission Process: Honors students can be self-nominated or be nominated by UAB Honors College faculty or staff, Honors Leadership Academy Scholar (alumni), Cadets (current students in good standing), or Advisory Board members. Nominees must:

    • Attend an Interest Session
    • AND
    • Submit an application which includes an essay

    After applications are reviewed anonymously, a select number of students will be selected for an interview. A combined score of the essay and interview will be used to determine who will be selected for the cohort.

    **Honors Leadership Certificate is open to all Honors College students who are accepted into the Honors Leadership Academy.

    **Eligibility Update: Leadership course prerequisites are no longer mandatory to be admitted into the academy.

  • View the Honors Leadership Certificate Requirements and Courses


    Honors College students accepted into the Honors Leadership Academy must complete 15 hours of designated coursework, which includes an internship and a Leadership Capstone. The capstone is a culmination of students’ learning experience in the Honors Leadership Academy, where they demonstrate their creative leadership skills and elevate their leadership through a report and presentation.

    Students selected for the cohort are recognized as “Candidates” of the Leadership Certificate with the goal of becoming “Cadets” of the Honors Leadership Academy and later, “Scholars” upon earning all 15 credits for the Leadership Certificate.


    The following courses for the Honors Leadership Certificate will count towards the Honors College graduation designation:

    • HC 101 Honors College Leadership Seminar (3 credit hours) – This course introduces the study of leadership, focusing on the study of traits and characteristics of leaders, various dimensions of exemplary leadership, the situational nature of leadership, values and ethics used in administration, and the study of leadership as a team.
    • HC 201 Leadership Skills (3 credit hours) – This course is a leadership-skill development course focusing on the challenges of effective leadership. Students will explore authentic leadership by writing reflection papers on the readings and video lectures, learning about conflict management, and interviewing community leaders in medicine, academics, philanthropy, business, and religion to learn how they lead. A written, oral report culminates the final project presentation.
    • HC 301 Advanced Leadership Skills and Practice (3 credit hours) – The course allows students to develop an independent project using leadership principles and skills. Students will have the opportunity to shadow and engage with leaders in their respective fields. They will learn critical thinking skills to address current problems and resolve issues. The course culminates with a project report based on what the students have learned.
    • HC 401 Honors Independent Leadership Project (3 credit hours) – Completing an honors course during the fourth year culminates in an e-Portfolio of the student’s HLA experiences and demonstrates critical thinking, analysis, and decision-making. Under the supervision of the HLA Director/Dean’s designee, the student prepares an e-Portfolio and makes an oral presentation.
    • HC Leadership Elective (3 credit hours) – One elective can be chosen from the following courses (or other Honors seminars as approved by the Dean’s designee):
      • HC 118 Now I Become Myself: The Quest for Integrity; or, Ethical Conflicts in Health Care
      • HC 219 Poverty and Human Capability
      • GCLH 350 Stoking the Fire
      • HC 319 The Challenge of Authentic Leadership; or, Difficult People
      • HC 396 Honors Service Learning


Honors Partnership Programs

  • Accelerated Learning Opportunities

    UAB offers several options for high-achieving undergraduates to accelerate the time necessary to complete both their undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include Accelerated Bachelors/Masters Programs (ABM), Fast-Track programs, and Early Acceptance Programs.

    Read more

Student Spotlights

  • Palavi Ahuja

    Palavi Ahuja

    Palavi Ahuja - University Honors Program

    Palavi Ahuja

    Specialized - UHP

    Palavi Ahuja is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in literature. She plans to become an English Professor or a high school English teacher.

    She chose to join the University Honors Program (UHP) because of the content and approaches of the interdisciplinary courses offered by the program. UHP exposed her to different disciplines, allowing her to feel like a well-rounded student. She views UHP as one of the greatest experiences of her college journey not only for the education but the opportunity to meet friends with whom she will continue to keep in touch after graduation.

    To enhance her artistic experience, she joined the Sanctuary Review Board, which is an editorial board that is comprised of UHP students. Sanctuary is the student-led literary and arts journal of the Southern Regional Honors Council. As the Art Editor/Web Designer for Sanctuary, she helps curate submissions, review pieces, and publish the journal annually.

    Palavi’s biggest accomplishments include the scholarships she has received, such as the Walt P. Mayfield Scholarship and The Grave Lindsley Waits Scholarship.

    During her spare time, Palavi loves to paint. She also created an outlet for descriptive art to display her paintings and artwork.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

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  • Olivia Blanton

    Olivia Blanton

    Olivia Blanton - Global and Community Leadership Honors Program

    Olivia Blanton

    Specialized - GCL

    Olivia Blanton is a junior majoring in public health with aspirations to support marginalized communities to achieve health equity. She is also pursuing a Master of Public Health in Environmental Health and Occupational Safety in the Accelerated-Bachelor’s-to Master’s (ABM) program.

    As a student in the Global and Community Leadership Honors Program (GCL), Olivia believes that GCL allows students to find and connect their passions to issues affecting various communities. She credits GCL for allowing her to improve as a person, not just as a scholar.

    Olivia serves as the President-Elect for GCL’s student executive board, which has provided invaluable experiences with leadership, communication, and cultural awareness. She also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Green Initiative at UAB. She previously worked as a chemical safety intern in the UAB Environmental Health and Safety division.

    While participating in STEM-related opportunities, Olivia found another creative outlet that allowed her to develop new passions. She joined UAB’s Literary Arts Review Magazine, Aura as the Managing Editor.

    Aside from her coursework and extracurricular activities, Olivia enjoys exploring the local Birmingham cuisine and trying to replicate it at home. She loves the food that the city has to offer.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

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  • Garrison Dabbs

    Garrison Dabbs

    Garrison Dabbs - Personalized Path

    Garrison Dabbs

    Personalized Path

    Garrison Dabbs is a senior majoring in genetic and genomic sciences with a focus on becoming a physician with a clinical interest in aging.

    The Personalized Path provided Garrison additional flexibility for his class selection so he could select classes that aligned with his passions. For example, he took BY 436: Biological Processes of Aging as an opportunity to enhance his knowledge in support of his goal of becoming a physician.

    Garrison is an Honors Ambassador for the UAB Honors College as well as a Student Mentor and Retreat Team (SMART) Leader. Additionally, he serves the community through different organizations including Habitat for Humanity and the Community of Hope Health Clinic. He volunteers at the clinic as a Spanish interpreter for Hispanic residents of Shelby County without medical insurance. Based on his exemplary service, he was selected as the recipient of the Howard Mullis Non-Medical Volunteer of The Year Award.

    Since his first year at UAB, Garrison has amassed numerous academic achievements. He has maintained a position on the Presidential Honors List since his freshman year, earning at least a 4.0 GPA each term. He recently received an experiential learning stipend to travel abroad to Barcelona, Spain for his minor in Spanish.

    In his free time, Garrison enjoys training in martial arts, specifically the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

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  • Yancey Williams II

    Yancey Williams II

    Yancey Williams II  - Science and Technology Honors Program

    Yancey Williams II

    Specialized - STH

    Yancey Williams II is a senior majoring in biomedical engineering with plans to pursue a career in medicine as a cardiologist. As a physician with a Ph.D., he wants to research cardiogenic cells in a cell biology lab while working at an academic hospital.

    Enrolling in the Science & Technology Honors Program (STH) enabled Yancey to gain additional information and knowledge for a strong foundation in math, science, and lab research skills. As an exemplary student, he was awarded the Jo Anne J. Trow Undergraduate Scholarship, and the prestigious Amgen Scholarship. He also participated in the UAB Honors College’s Presidential Honors Fellowship in 2020 and UAB PARAdiGM in 2021.

    Not only is Yancey active in the Honors College, but his leadership extends throughout UAB. He serves on the Honors College Leadership Council (HCLC) and has held multiple roles including Communications Chair for STH and most recently, Vice President. He participated in weekly community service opportunities and provided various activities for the Honors College student body. He also serves as a peer mentor in the Blazer Male Excellence Network (BMEN). Yancey uses his influence as Vice President of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) to spread the word about BMES activities throughout the semester and to assist the elected Executive Board.

    When Yancey is not serving the community or studying coursework, his favorite hobby is listening to J. Cole while doing math for fun.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

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  • Faiza Mawani

    Faiza Mawani

    Faiza Mawani  - Personalized Path Honors Program

    Faiza Mawani

    Personalized Path

    Faiza Mawani is a junior double majoring in political science and history with hopes of practicing law and writing public policies in the future. She is also pursuing a Master's in Public Administration in the Accelerated-Bachelor’s-to Master’s (ABM) program.

    To increase her exposure to courses outside of her major, Faiza selected the Personalized Path because she wanted the flexibility to take courses, such as art and coding classes. Through the Honors College experience, Faiza found her time at UAB to be rewarding. For the past two years, she served as a Student Mentor and Retreat Team (SMART) Leader and most recently, a SMART Leader Coordinator. She is also an active member of the Blazer Spirit Council, Off-Campus Student Council, and Tobacco-Free at UAB.

    As a first-year honors student, she began working as a blog intern for the UAB Institute for Human Rights where she spreads awareness of human rights issues to a global audience in an accessible format. She also assisted Peter Jones, Ph.D. in researching educational funding for the state of Alabama, as well as conducting data analysis on Birmingham City Schools in collaboration with Lauren Rast, Ph.D. and ProjectEd Birmingham.

    In her free time, she loves to travel with her sisters and take pictures.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

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  • Davis Fabre

    Davis Fabre

    Davis Fabre  - Personalized Path Honors Program

    Davis Fabre

    Personalized Path

    Davis Fabre is a sophomore majoring in biomedical sciences on a pre-med track with a career goal of becoming a pediatric emergency physician.

    Davis chose the Personalized Path because it allowed him to build his honors courses based on his interests. To further enhance his collegiate experience, he added the honors course EC210 - Principles of Microeconomics, taught by Ben Meadows, Ph.D.

    During the Honors College New Student Experience retreat, Davis developed a passion to volunteer with The Exceptional Foundation after falling in love with their mission. He currently volunteers at The Exceptional Foundation in Homewood and has plans to volunteer throughout his undergraduate career. His service also extends to Children’s of Alabama in the Emergency Department as well as M-Power Ministries Health Clinic. In addition to his community involvement, he conducts research with Sara Gould, M.D. that looks at the head impact of different equestrian helmets in relation to concussions.

    In his free time, Davis enjoys traveling and exploring new places. He recently participated in scuba diving lessons and worked on his certifications to prepare for a study-abroad trip to the British Virgin Islands.

    More About the UAB Honors College

    The Honors College offers you the opportunity to select a curriculum that best suits your goals and interests. Set Your World On Fire and explore your honors future today!

    Read Student Profile


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