at various times

University of Alabama at Birmingham

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (also known as UAB) is a public, coeducational university located in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. UAB is one of three autonomous institutions of the University of Alabama System, which includes the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (UA) and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The university was established in 1969, and is the newest and largest in terms of faculty, staff, and budget of Alabama's major universities. UAB is the third largest university in Alabama in terms of enrollment, behind the University of Alabama and Auburn University and has an enrollment of approximately 16,200 students. The school's president is Dr. Carol Z. Garrison.

UAB offers programs of study leading to bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees in various fields, including social and behavioral sciences, liberal arts, business, education, engineering, health-related fields (such as medicine, dentistry, optometry and nursing) and public health. The school is highly renowned for its medical research and natural sciences programs. UAB received over $416 million in external grants and contracts in fiscal 2007-2008. This places the school as one of the larger research institutions in the Southeast. In fact, as of 2005, UAB is 4th in the Southeast for NIH research funding behind only Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Vanderbilt University. UAB Hospital also sponsors residency programs in various medical specialties, including internal medicine, neurology, surgery, radiology, and anesthesiology. UAB Hospital is the only Level I trauma center in Alabama, as rated by the American College of Surgeons Trauma Program


UAB began in 1936 as the Birmingham Extension Center of the University of Alabama. Because of the rapid growth of the Birmingham area, it was decided that an extension program for students who had difficulties which prevented them from studying in Tuscaloosa was needed. In 1945, the University of Alabama School of Medicine moved from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, and took over management of Jefferson and Hillman Hospitals in Birmingham. In 1966, the Extension Center and the School of Medicine were merged into the University of Alabama in Birmingham. In 1969, UAB became one of the three autonomous campuses of the new University of Alabama System. The university's name was changed to the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1984.

Since 1969, UAB has awarded over 105,000 degrees. UAB alumni live and work in all 50 states, more than 65 countries. Although once known as a "commuter school", UAB reported that 60 percent of 2007 freshmen are living in UAB campus housing, up from 52.8 percent in 2006.

UAB is a component of the University of Alabama System and is governed by the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama. The President of UAB is appointed by the Chancellor of the University of Alabama System with approval of the Board of Trustees. The President reports directly to the Chancellor, and is responsible for hiring and promotion of faculty and staff on the UAB campus.

List of Presidents

  • Dr. Joseph F. Volker, 1969-1976
  • Dr. S. Richardson Hill Jr., 1977-1987
  • Dr. Charles A. McCallum, 1987-1993
  • Dr. J. Claude Bennett, 1993-1996
  • Mr. Paul Hardin, 1997 (Interim)
  • Dr. W. Ann Reynolds, 1997-2002
  • Dr. Malcom Portera, 2002 (Interim)
  • Dr. Carol Z. Garrison, 2002-Present

(source: UAB Archives)


UAB is located on approximately 83 blocks on the Southside of Birmingham, Alabama. The medical center which is located on the east and north sides of campus closest to downtown contains buildings mostly dedicated to healthcare, research, and support of those enterprises. Also located in the medical center district are non-UAB hospitals, such as the VA Medical Center Birmingham, Children's Hospital of Alabama, and Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The west campus area near Interstate 65 and the Glen Iris and Southside communities is mostly dedicated to the non-health related schools, student housing, and athletic facilities.

Since 1969, UAB has undergone extensive growth and is sometimes jokingly referred to as "The University that Ate Birmingham, and construction projects are common across campus. Current projects that are in planning, recently completed, or under construction include:

  • Shelby Biomedical Research Building
  • Southern Bio-Safety Lab Alabama Birmingham
  • Heritage Hall
  • Alumni Affairs House
  • Campus Green Project
  • Women's and Infants Center
  • Hazelrig-Salter Radiation Oncology Facility

Campus Green

UAB has constructed a new park called the Campus Green which has been completed. The park is divided into the North and South Greens. The Green is bordered by Blazer Hall, the Commons on the Green (the campus dining faculty), the Campus Recreation Center, and the new 95,000 square foot Heritage Hall academic building. Blazer Hall opened in Fall 2006 and is a new 753-bed freshman Residence Hall located next to the Commons on the Green. Other aspects of the Campus Green that would make it distinctly representative of UAB are being discussed such as a bell tower and fountains.


UAB has five dormitories on campus:

  • Blazer Hall (Freshmen only)
  • Blount Hall (Sophomores and higher)
  • Camp Hall (Sophomores and higher)
  • Denman Hall (Juniors and higher and married couples)
  • Rast Hall (Sophomores and higher)

Academic profile


UAB offers nearly 140 degrees at both the undergraduate and graduate levels in 12 schools and the UAB Graduate School.

Academic Rankings and Accolades

  • UAB students continue to garner prestigious national and international scholarships, fellowships, and other awards. Just since 2000, UAB has produced 7 Fulbright Scholars, 6 Phi Kappa Phi Fellows, 8 Goldwater Scholars, 3 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Fellows, 2 Truman Scholars, 1 Marshall Scholar, 1 Rhodes Scholar
  • In 2007, the Princeton Review listed UAB as one of the "Best College Values" and also as a "Best Southeastern College". UAB is designated as one of the best overall bargains—based on cost and financial aid—among the most academically outstanding colleges in the nation.
  • The average ACT score of entering freshman at UAB was 23.7 in 2006. In 2007, the freshman class had an ACT average of 24, meeting the University's Strategic Plan 2010 goal 3 years early
  • Seven faculty members are members of the National Academy of the United States National Academies.
  • The UAB Model Arab League team is among the best government model teams in the nation with over five years of expansion and award winning achievement including multiple "outstanding delegation" awards.
  • The UAB Mock Trial team is consistently among the nation's best as a perennial Top 25 program. The program has enjoyed so much success that, in 2006, it won the national title in the Silver Division defeating the defending national champions of Harvard University.
  • The schools of Nursing and Medicine at UAB are among the nation’s best, according to the 2005-2006 U.S. News & World Report ranking of graduate schools. The School of Nursing is ranked 1st. The School of Medicine is ranked 23rd. Five medical specialties at UAB are ranked in the top 20 nationally by the magazine: AIDS, 4th; women’s health, 8th; internal medicine 18th; geriatrics, 19th; and pediatrics, 19th. The school’s primary care program was ranked 34th.
  • The Master of Science in Health Administration program has been ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News since the early 1990s and is currently ranked 7th in the nation.
  • The Master's in Physical Therapy program is ranked 25th.
  • The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is ranked among the top 30 nationally.
  • The School of Health Professions is #1 in the nation in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and holds the record for 26 consecutive years in either first or second place.
  • The UAB School of Business was ranked 7th in metropolitan state business schools by US News and World Report in 2004 and is accredited by AACSB International.
  • UAB graduates first-time pass rates on the CPA exam that are 30% higher than the national average.
  • During the past six years, a UAB graduate has achieved the highest score in Alabama on the CPA Exam 5 times. (Comparatively, no other university/college in the state has had more than 2 graduates achieve the highest score in the last six years.)
  • UAB School of Business finance graduates pass the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam at a rate 20% higher than the national average.
  • UAB's School of Business has 4 tenured Black faculty in the Department of Management and Organization.
  • The Industrial Distribution Program is the only fully integrated business-engineering ID program in the U.S.
  • A UAB engineering student has been named by the ASPE (Alabama Society of Professional Engineers) as Alabama’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year from 2001-2007 and 9 of the past 12 years (more often than any other university in the state).
  • The School of Engineering’s biomedical engineering program is ranked 40th in the nation. Doctoral programs in the biological sciences are in the top 50.
  • In 1990, UAB was selected as the winner of competition for a $20 million grant from the Civitan International Foundation. The grant established the UAB Civitan International Research Center, the first institution of its kind in the United States to be focused solely on the research of developmental disabilities.


UAB also includes the UAB Health System which is a partnership between UAB and the University of Alabama Health Services Foundation (UAHSF). The UAHSF is a private, not-for-profit medical practice made up of the faculty of the UAB School of Medicine. The UAB Health System is managed by a board that is made up of members from the UAHSF, the University of Alabama Board of Trustees, and members of the UAB administration. The UAB Health System is managed by a Chief Executive Officer who reports to the UABHS Board and is appointed by the President of UAB. The President of UAB is also the Chairman of the UAB Health System Board. Organizational units of the UAB Health System include:

  • UAB Hospital
  • UAB Highlands Hospital (formerly HealthSouth Medical Center)
  • UAB Health Centers (10 primary care centers located throughout Alabama)
  • Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital
  • The Kirklin Clinic
  • Viva Health (HMO)

Managed by the UAB Health System through management agreements are UAB Medical West in Bessemer, and Baptist Health of Montgomery. UAB also has affiliations with the Birmingham VA Medical Center, Children's Hospital of Alabama, and Huntsville Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama.


The UAB Blazers are the forest green and old gold-swathed athletic teams at UAB. The school is one of the twelve member institutions of Conference USA and participates in Division I of the NCAA. The UAB football team, which competes in the Football Bowl Subdivision is led by Neil Callaway and plays its home games at 71,594-seat Legion Field. The school's men's basketball team, coached by Mike Davis, plays in 8,508-seat Bartow Arena.

The basketball program's first coach was Gene Bartow, who was John Wooden's successor at UCLA. Bartow left UCLA after several exceptional seasons (52-9 over three seasons, including a berth in the Final Four in 1976) to head up the founding of the first UAB men's basketball team. He served as the school's first head basketball coach and athletic director for 18 years. Bartow led UAB to the NIT in the program's second year of existence, and followed that with seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including trips to the Sweet 16 in 1981 and the Elite Eight in 1982. Bartow retired from coaching in 1996, and in 1997, UAB renamed its basketball venue from UAB Arena to Bartow Arena in his honor. Bartow continues to support the university as an influential booster and currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where he serves on the staff of the Memphis Grizzlies as a Special Advisor. In 29 years UAB has made 13 NCAA appearances, 3 Sweet Sixteen appearances, 1 Elite Eight appearance, has had 26 winning seasons, of which 18 of those were 20+ wins seasons.

In addition to football and basketball, UAB also has programs in men's sports for baseball, golf, soccer, and tennis. Women's sports programs include softball, basketball, golf, soccer, synchronized swimming, tennis, track and field(indoor and outdoor), cross country, rifle and volleyball.

Fight Song

The Fight Song for UAB is the "UAB Fight Song". It sometimes is also know as the "Blazer Fight Song". The lyrics for the song are:

At UAB in Birmingham
All Hail our players bold
They are the mighty Blazers
Who wear the Green and Gold
Tonight let's fire their Golden Blaze
The Flame of victory
Go Blazers! Go Blazers!
Win for UAB!

Student Life

Greek Life



Inter-Fraternity Council

Student Media

Kaleidoscope is the official student newspaper of The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Started in 1967, the weekly 8,000 circulation paper is a broadsheet published on Tuesdays during Fall, Spring and Summer semesters. The student editorial staff of the newspaper is lead by the editor, elected twice per year by the Board of Student Media. The Kaleidoscope online is updated weekly.

Aura Literary Arts Review is a twice-yearly student magazine featuring fiction, creative non-fiction, art, photography, poetry and reviews. It was awarded the highest honor in student media, the Pacemaker from ACP, in 2006.

BlazeRadio is UAB's non-profit internet radio station, , located in the Hill University Center. The station adviser is Amy Kilpatrick, Student Media Director, and is managed by an elected student general manager once each year. is staffed by volunteer students at UAB. The station currently has 14 DJs who are on air at various times through the week and hopes to expand it's audience and staff in the near future.


The school also has an intramural program that runs year-round. Students and staff compete for league trophies in sports such as basketball, bowling, flag football, golf, soccer, softball, ultimate frisbee, and volleyball. Or play to win special tournaments in billiards, racquetball, tennis, and other sports.

Notable Alumni & Faculty

External links


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