Explore UAB

UAB's Bold Vision

When Dr. Joseph Volker became UAB’s first president 50 years ago, in 1969, he had a bold vision for our future that some people at the time considered extremely unlikely, wild, and even crazy. But those reactions did not deter him. Instead, Dr. Volker was powered by the will to grow our fledgling university into an internationally renowned leader in education, research and scholarship, and patient care.

Over the years, countless students, alumni, employees, and community supporters have shared that belief that we can build a brighter future for Birmingham, Alabama, and the world. Their efforts laid the foundation for five decades of growth and success far beyond what anyone could have imagined.

Breakthroughs made at UAB have had a global impact. To name just a few examples, we have pioneered game-changing treatments for cancer, diabetes, HIV, cystic fibrosis, and many other diseases. We engineered the fiber-optic endoscope, four-handed dentistry, and materials for lighter, stronger military gear. Locations in Antarctica—and on Mars—bear the names of UAB researchers to honor their contributions to marine biology and physics. Using satellite imaging, we have revealed thousands of buried pyramids in Egypt and ancient settlements around the world. And we have pioneered software and partnered with the FBI to catch cybercriminals.

As extraordinary as our past is, however, our future is even more promising. We have become one of the nation’s most vibrant, diverse, and sustainable campuses. Here you will discover students and faculty redefining treatment through precision medicine, bridging gaps in education and health care, launching high-tech start-ups to boost our economy, and pursuing innovations in the arts, engineering, science, and many other fields.

Once again, we share a bold vision—and the willpower to bring it to life. I invite you to join us as we begin UAB’s next 50 years.

Key Initiatives

Roadmap to 1 Billion in Research ExpendituresResearch Strategic Initiative

We are working collaboratively to establish a road map to reach $1 billion in total research expenditures.

Icon of piece of paper and pen.Strategic Plan

We are Forging the Future to define goals and strategies that will guide our progress.

Icon of a building.Campus Master Plan

We envision a campus that supports learning, patient care, research, economic development, and the community.

Icon of a handshake.Community Engagement

We’re in Birmingham. We’re for Birmingham. We’re committed to supporting our community.

Icon of two speech bubbles.Campus Engagement Survey

With input from our faculty and staff, we are making UAB better every day.

Icon of the state of alabama covered by a heart shape with an ekg line. Grand Challenge

We’re harnessing science, technology, policy, and innovation to improve Alabama’s health.

Icon of two building columns. Signature Core Curriculum

A unique curriculum will model and develop socially conscious global leaders and citizens.

Icon of a bag of money. Investing in Innovation

Discover how we are building upon the success of the historic $1-billion Campaign for UAB.

Icon of a handshake.Enrollment Growth

We are pursuing effective strategies to recruit and retain top students.

Icon of a microscope.Fostering Robust Research

Through enhanced support and infrastructure, we make discoveries with a global impact.

Points of Pride

  • Ranked among the top 8% of Best Global Universities by U.S. News (2023)
    UAB also is home to more than 1,100 international students, offers 87 Education Abroad programs
    in more than 38 countries and maintains sponsored research programs
    with 82 international partners.

  • Operates the 8th largest hospital in the U.S. (2023)
    UAB, one of the nation’s largest and most advanced medical centers, also is
    home to the state’s only ACS-certified Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and
    only NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in a four-state region.

  • Generates $715 million in research awards (FY2022),
    UAB continues the most successful period of research funding in its history
    with 50% growth ($237 million) in awards in the past five years.

  • Annual economic impact exceeds $12 billion (2023)
    The growth in the academic, research and medical enterprises represents
    a 61% increase since 2016 and a 163% increase since 2008.

  • Voted America’s No. 1 Best Large Employer by Forbes Magazine (2021)
    UAB topped the list of more than 500 public and private corporations, hospitals, universities,
    Fortune 500 companies and more, across dozens of industries.

  • Partners in the Promise (2023)
    UAB became the first academic partner to support the Birmingham Promise scholarship
    in providing Birmingham City School graduates with a one-to-one tuition scholarship match in 2020.
    Nearly 200 students have enrolled through the program, and the first scholar graduated in spring 2023.

Abstract background with the text did you know.

A selection of fun facts, surprising figures and other distinctions from across campus.