The University of Alabama School of Medicine aka Marnix E. Heersink School of Medicine is one of the most prestigious and long-standing medical schools in Alabama. The school has graduated almost 9,000 medical students in its over 100-year history, and it remains one of the most applied to MD programs with between 4,500 and 5,000 applicants every year. It is not one of the easiest medical schools to get into and has very specific admission requirements for individual applicants (in-state, out-of-state). This article will examine those requirements in detail and guide you through the application process to the school’s many tracks and programs.

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Article Contents
21 min read

Mission Statement Admissions Statistics Eligibility Selection Factors Coursework and Undergrad Prerequisites and Recommended Courses AMCAS Work and Activities Personal Statement Secondary Essays Interview Format Acceptance and Waitlist Information Application Timeline Tuition and Debt Funding Opportunities Residency Match Rates Review of Available Programs Campus and Faculty Affiliated Teaching Hospitals Research Fields Notable Faculty Contact Information FAQs

Mission Statement

“The Heersink School of Medicine is dedicated to excellence in the education of physicians and scientists in all of the disciplines of medicine and biomedical investigation for careers in practice, teaching, and research. Central to this educational mission are the provision of outstanding medical care and services and the enhancement of new knowledge through clinical and basic biomedical research. We embrace the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s commitment to creating an inclusive environment that values differing perspectives and experiences. This diversity is essential to fulfilling the enduring mission of our medical school.”

Want to learn why so many applicants do not get rejected by medical schools? Watch this video:

The school’s mission statement makes clear that it values research and innovation as much as it does academic achievement. This emphasis on research and breaking new ground is in keeping with the school’s remarkable record of medical and scientific breakthroughs. If you are interested in the research aspect of becoming a doctor or in becoming a physician/researcher, then the school’s various research fields will appeal to you. To this end, the school also offers various dual-degree programs for students interested in fields other than medicine.

Admissions Statistics

Overall Acceptance Rate: 3.2%

In-State Acceptance Rate: 26%

Out-of-State Acceptance Rate: 0.46% 

Average GPA of Incoming Students: 3.8

Average MCAT Scores of Incoming Students: 509

The main MD program at UAB Heersink requires that you have a bachelor’s degree and several course credit requirements to be considered for acceptance. Accelerated degrees, special master’s programs, and the Early Decision Program for advanced students have their own admission requirements we’ll talk about later, but they too only require a bachelor’s degree and the completion of various courses to be considered.

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Research Experience: 89%

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Paid Clinical Experience: 37%

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Medical Volunteer Experience: 83%

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Non-Medical Volunteer Experience: 89%

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Army Experience: 2%

Percentage of Accepted Applicants with Shadowing Experience: 97%


UAB Heersink accepts students from all over the United States, but preference is given to Alabama residents for the MD program and other degree tracks or special programs. Complicating things even more is that Alabama residents have unique application requirements that are not applicable to out-of-state applicants, which makes it difficult to deem UAB Heersink an out-of-state friendly medical school.

For example, the medical school GPA requirements are different for residents and non-residents. Alabama residents must have a GPA of 3.0 to be considered, while out-of-state applicants must have a 3.5 GPA for all undergraduate courses or post-bac courses. The MCAT requirement is also different for in-state and out-of-state applicants.

Out-of-state residents must have an MCAT score of 495 to be considered for a secondary application. However, the rule is somewhat relaxed for Alabama residents with a high GPA, who can apply to the medical school with a 493 or 494 MCAT score. Each of the school’s various degree programs or tracks has their own MCAT and GPA requirements that we’ll explore in detail later.

The school does not accept international students, so it is not a Canadian friendly US medical school. Applicants born outside the US can only apply if they have:

  • Naturalized US citizenship
  • Permanent residency in the US

Selection Factors


Recommended In-State MCAT: 493–494

Recommended Out-of-State MCAT: 495

Recommended In-State GPA: 3.0

Recommended Out-of-State GPA: 3.5 

If you have taken a graduate or post-baccalaureate program before applying to UAB Heersink, those courses will also count toward the cumulative GPA you submit to the school, but the minimum GPA for those courses to be counted toward your submitted GPA is 2. You can retake the MCAT if you want to improve your score, but the MCAT score you submit cannot be older than three years.

Coursework and Undergrad

The school requires that students complete at least 90 credits at a nationally recognized US college or Canadian university to apply. If students have completed coursework outside of the US or Canada, they must complete at least 24 credits in a combination of physics, biology, chemistry, and math at a US school to be considered. Then, they must submit all foreign coursework to a NACES (National Association of Credential Evaluation Services)-approved service to have their foreign school credits verified.

International medical graduates (IMGs) can apply to residency programs at UAB Heersink provided they have an ECFMG certification for all coursework done outside the US or Canada. The school also sponsors visas for applicants to certain residency programs, but only the J-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa for anyone coming to the US to learn, research, or perform some form of cultural exchange.

Prerequisites and Recommended Courses

The school lists various medical school prerequisites all applicants must complete before matriculating if they have been accepted.

The courses are:

Required courses taken online or at a community college will count toward your credit requirements. You must earn a C grade or higher for all required coursework.

AMCAS Work and Activities

UAB Heersink uses the AMCAS application portal to help applicants gather and organize their application documents and streamline applying to all participating medical schools in the US. Applicants submit their primary application via AMCAS, which must include the following:

The school does show preference to Alabama residents who apply, but it considers all applications holistically, meaning it does not single out specific attributes of a candidate, but considers all aspects, academic and non-academic. Students who have demonstrated qualities like leadership, critical thinking skills, resilience, and effective teamwork will be positively assessed by the admissions committee.

Personal Statement

All medical school personal statements are a chance for admissions committee members to see you as a person, rather than as the sum of your undergraduate coursework. You should use the opportunity not to review your grades or academic achievements, but to cover things like “why do you want to be a doctor?“ and answer common medical school interview questions like “tell me about yourself."

Every AMCAS personal statement must be written directly into the online page or written in a text-only program like Notepad or Text Edit. The length of your personal statement must not exceed 5,300 characters (with spaces). Students who are applying to the dual-degree MD/PhD program must submit two personal statements, one for each program.

Secondary Essays

AMCAS, like the other application services used by medical schools in the US, requires that students read a series of medical school secondary essay prompts and respond to them. These secondary essays give admissions officers a fuller picture of who you are, outside of the information given in your primary application.

Students who receive a secondary application must complete the essays (between 200 and 500 words) with all the other aspects of their secondary application. The school publishes a list of prompts online, so if you are hoping for an invitation from this school, you can get a start on what you want to say and how you want to say it. The prompts include:

4. Where do you see yourself in your medical career fifteen to twenty years from now?

2. Please describe your personal characteristics or experiences that would add to the educational environment for your classmates.

3. Please describe if and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected your preparation for applying to medical school.

Sample Answer

I think I was in denial at the beginning of the pandemic. It was nothing to do with the reality of it, but simply the fact that a once-in-a-lifetime event was happening in my lifetime. It was too surreal, unbelievable. But after I got over the initial shock, I told myself, “This is why I want to be a doctor.” I want to do everything I can to protect people and give them reassurance whenever the odds seem impossible or insurmountable.

That thought stayed with me all through lockdown and motivated me to use the time to study and work on my weaker science subjects. I enrolled in three courses, Basic Human Physiology, Biochemistry with a Medical Perspective, and Principles of Immunology, which was enough to keep me focused during quarantine. These courses fulfilled so much during this time. They gave me purpose, kept me motivated, and were a welcome distraction to all the suffering and misery the pandemic was causing.

4. Describe a patient interaction with the health care system.

Recommendation Letters

The school accepts a maximum of five letters to be submitted with your primary AMCAS application, but they provide several ways for you to fulfill the requirement. You can choose from three options, and the number of letters you submit is determined by the option you select.

You can submit:

  • One or more letters from your pre-health committee or pre-med science advisor (the preferred option)

If you are unable to secure a letter from this committee, the second option involves submitting:

  • A letter packet consisting of a cover letter from your undergraduate school pre-health committee but not an evaluative letter (the packet can be compiled by your school’s career center)

The third option consists of:

  • Submitting three medical school recommendation letters from any of the following referees: 1) one or more science faculty; 2) one or more non-science faculty; 3) one or more letters from any of your previous instructors

Interview Format

Successful applicants who have submitted a primary and secondary application will be invited to an interview with members of the admissions committee and faculty members and participate in a panel discussion with current medical students. Until further notice, all interviews will be held virtually.

The interview format combines a traditional one-on-one interview with the admissions committee and a nine-station MMI format, with each station taking about ten minutes to complete. The interviews are a mix of open and closed file, the former being when the interviewers have access to your GPA, transcripts, and MCAT, and the latter being when interviewers only have non-academic aspects of your AMCAS application like your personal statement, letters of recommendation, and secondary essays.

The one-on-one interviews typically last for about thirty minutes, and students are asked a variety of questions ranging from questions about their previous medical work experiences and how they would handle ethical dilemmas. The following is a list of the sample questions asked by the interview panel recently:

  • “Why are you interested in pursuing medicine?”
  • “Where do you see yourself in 10–15 years?”
  • “What is your experience working with underserved groups?”

Acceptance and Waitlist Information

In general, unless they have been told during the interview, or there is a specific date given by the school, students may still wonder when do you hear back from medical school interviews. UAB Heersink does inform students on a rolling admissions schedule starting October 15th of the application year. Applicants who submitted their application early will be notified first, and those who submitted closer to the deadline will be notified last.

Students who are not sent acceptance letters (all letters are sent electronically) may be sent either letters of regret or be notified that they have been placed on a waitlist. The school places around 100 students on the waitlist every year. Students placed on the waitlist are divided into two categories: first-tier waitlist and second-tier waitlist. Students on the first-tier waitlist have a better chance of being accepted than those on the second-tier waitlist. But there is hope for people who are on the first-tier waitlist. According to the school’s statistics, at least 10 waitlisted applicants are offered positions at the medical school every application cycle.

When the school notifies you that you are on the waitlist, they will detail any steps you can take to show you how to get off a medical school waitlist. The steps you need to take will be individualized to your application strengths and weaknesses, so you should only follow those instructions and not take any unsolicited steps, like writing a medical school letter of intent or updating the school about new course grades.

Application Timeline

If students are extended an offer to the medical school, they need to change their enrollment status on the AAMC Choose Your Medical School Tool by designating UAB Heersink as one of their “Plan to Enroll” schools – they may have other offers or be waitlisted but want to enter that program.

If by April 30th, accepted students have decided to enroll at UAB Heersink, they must change the “Plan to Enroll” status to “Commit to Enroll”; taking this step also requires withdrawing from all other waitlists you are on. However, if accepted students still want to remain on another school’s waitlist, they can keep their “Plan to Enroll” status.

Accepted students must decide at the latest three weeks before classes start whether they will accept the offer to hold their position. If they do not change their status to “Commit to Enroll” 21 days before classes begin, their position will be given to a waitlisted candidate.

Tuition and Debt

In-State Tuition & Fees (one year): $34,662 

Out-of-State Tuition & Fees (one year): $66,178

Annual Health Insurance Fee (In-state and out-of-state): $2,382

Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses (in-state): $70,367

Average Yearly Cost-of-Living Expenses (out-of-state): $102,688

Average Student Debt of Graduating Students: $160,973

Funding Opportunities

Students who need financial assistance to offset the costs of attending UAB Heersink can apply for multiple funding opportunities, ranging from internal and external scholarships to federal student loans. The school offers three institutional scholarships to eligible students, with various eligibility requirements and award amounts, but they are in the process of implementing more scholarship opportunities.

1. Blue Cross Scholars Program

The Blue Cross Scholars Program is only available to third and fourth year students but covers yearly tuition for 12 students. The program was created to address the primary care doctor shortages in rural areas of Alabama, so there is a service commitment attached to the eligibility requirements. Applicants must commit to working in an underserved area of Alabama for a minimum of three years after they complete their residency training.

The other eligibility requirements are:

  • Being a third or fourth year medical student
  • Being interested in primary care fields like internal medicine, pediatrics, ObGyn, psychiatry, or a family medicine residency

2. Dean’s Primary Care Scholarships

These merit-based scholarships are for first year medical students who have a demonstrated interest in practicing in a primary care field. Students need to complete an application form and answer a set of questions in essay format explaining their interest in primary care fields and being a doctor, in general. They must also submit a medical student CV.

The main requirement is that students remain in good academic standing for the duration of their medical school studies. Scholarship eligibility is reviewed every year, and the amount increases as you progress through the MD program ($5,000 second year; $10,000 third year, etc.). There are other benefits attached to the scholarship, such as:

  • Mentorship opportunities in primary care from practicing physicians
  • More exposure to primary care procedures in dedicated workshops
  • Summer programs focused on clinical skills

Only two students are awarded Primary Care Scholarships, and they must submit the necessary documentation (application form, essay responses, CV) as well as interview with the scholarship selection committee. Successful applicants are notified after their interview and review of their application by the scholarship selection committee.

All students who are awarded scholarships must both apply and accept these scholarships by creating an account with the school’s internal scholarship tool, the Blazer Scholarship Management and Resource Tool (BSMART). Creating a BSMART profile is also how you can apply to all the other departmental scholarships available for each department in the medical school.

Residency Match Rates

UAB Heersink has a perfect match rate for its students, as in a recent year, all 176 graduates from the medical school matched with their first-choice residency programs. Most of those graduates chose to enter non-primary care field specialties (63.1%), such as emergency medicine, diagnostic radiology, and neurology.

However, primary care specialties, such as pediatrics, family medicine, and internal medicine, received the most graduates – more than any one non-primary care specialty. For example, 26 graduates entered an internal medicine residency, which received more graduates than any other non-primary care specialty.

The UAB Heersink School of Medicine is a fully accredited and licensed medical school, and all graduates who receive their MD are eligible to practice in the US, as long as they pass the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2, and USMLE Step 3 licensing exams. If you want to perform your residency or practice in another country – Canada or the UK, for example – you should first check the World Directory of Medical Schools (WDMS) to see if your degree will be recognized by other countries – a degree from UAB Heersink is recognized in Canada. 

If you want to perform your residency in Canada or the UK, you will have to pass the National Assessment Collaboration (Canada) or the Medical Licensing Assessment (UK) first. If you pass, you will be granted permission to apply to the most competitive and least competitive residencies in Canada or the UK.

If you have already done your residency and are seeking to obtain a medical license to practice medicine in either Canada or the UK, you must register to take each country’s licensing exam for medical doctors. In Canada, you must pass the MCCQE Part 1 to obtain a license. In the UK, you must apply for a medical license from the General Medical Council (GMC).

Review of Available Programs

1. MD Program

The four-year MD program at UAB Heersink divides those four years between preclinical (year 1 and year 2) and clinical training (year 3 and year 4). Students in the first two years of their education are introduced to the fundamental concepts of medicine through the 17-week Fundamentals of Medicine block, which takes up a majority of their first year courses.

The first year also consists of introductory courses in different systems of the body, like the cardiovascular, renal, and gastroenterology systems. Entering their second year, students’ medical knowledge is broadened even further, as the majority of second year courses involve more systems of the body (musculoskeletal, neurosciences, reproductive health) while also introducing them to clinical procedures and skills training to prepare for clinical rotations in their final two years.

The final two years are when students are exposed to real-world clinical scenarios by performing clinical rotations at different training sites in and around the main University campus in Birmingham. The UAB Hospital, the Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital, and Children’s of Alabama are all affiliated teaching sites where students can perform their clerkships and rotations.

Third year rotations cover specialties such as internal medicine, psychiatry, neurology, and family medicine. Fourth year rotations consist of 22 weeks of elective rotations, while students take their remaining mandatory rotations in fields like surgery and pediatrics. Scholarly activity is also another major component of the final year of study as students prepare to apply for residency programs.

2. Early Decision Program

UAB Heersink does allow for students to apply for the Early Decision Program as long as they meet the criteria set forth by the AMCAS Early Decision Program. The program is intended for students who are certain they want to attend a medical school – UAB Heersink, in this case – and do not want to waste time and effort applying to other medical schools.

Some of the UAB Heersink eligibility requirements for participating in the EDP include:

  • Being a legal resident of Alabama
  • Being eligible for a bachelor’s degree by the date of matriculation
  • Having an undergraduate GPA of 3.6 or higher
  • Having a 506 MCAT score

But they must also meet the standard medical school requirements, like completing required coursework and submitting letters of recommendation and personal statements. Students not accepted into the EDP can still apply for the regular MD program afterward, provided they meet all the academic requirements.

3. Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program

This Early Assurance Program is aimed at students from HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) in Alabama that are partnered with UAB Heersink. The program gives interested and qualified undergraduate students a chance to apply to medical school in their final year of undergrad, so they can fast-track the application process by applying early.

Students from the following universities are eligible to enter:

  • Oakwood University
  • Alabama A&M University
  • Tuskegee University
  • Alabama State University

In addition to being an undergraduate at any of the above universities, students must also submit a Burroughs Wellcome Scholars Early Assurance Program application form, three letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and their SAT or ACT scores. They must also meet all the standard medical school requirements, such as completing required coursework with a C grade or higher, maintaining a GPA average of 3.5 or higher, and taking the MCAT and earning a minimum score of 495.

4. Primary Care Track

The fact that many UAB Heersink graduates enter primary care specialties after graduating may be due to this specialized track that focuses on giving students more intensive, primary care training than regular MD students. This track also takes four years, but PCT students are trained mostly in primary care specialties like internal and family medicine by faculty members and practicing physicians who will act as mentors throughout their medical school journey.

After their second year, students enter a three-week camp at the school’s Tuscaloosa campus to participate specifically in educational workshops based in primary care. This camp also prepares students to enter their clerkship and clinical rotation years. The main teaching site of the third year clerkship is the Heersink School’s satellite campus in Tuscaloosa where they spend the entire year. This time is for students to begin to interact with patients and build relationships with them. This type of learning stands in contrast to conventional third year clerkships where students move constantly between different departments to complete their rotations. After completing this longitudinal integrated clerkship, students spend their fourth year completing three four-week rotations and 18 weeks of elective rotations.

Students can indicate their interest to apply to the PCT on their secondary application. They must also interview with the admissions committee, but there is no separate, secondary interview specifically for the PCT. Students who are not admitted to the PCT can continue with their application to the standard MD program. 

5. Rural Medicine

UAB Heersink is ideally located to be a leader in creating the next generation of rural physicians, given its preference for accepting Alabama residents. It has created a specialized track for students who want to commit to practicing in rural, remote areas in Alabama and around the country. Students from rural communities in Alabama can apply to either take a:

  • Dual-degree Masters in Rural Community Health/MD


  • A four-year MD degree paired with one year of study (pre-medical school) at the College of Sciences and Mathematics at Auburn University

The non-academic eligibility requirements for either Rural Medicine track include:

  • Being a legal resident of Alabama
  • Having lived in a rural area of Alabama for at least eight years
  • Graduated from a rural Alabama high school
  • Committed to practicing a primary care specialty in a remote part of the state

The academic requirements include:

  • A minimum GPA of 3.30 with a 3.50 GPA being considered more competitive
  • A bachelor’s degree before matriculation

Applicants to the rural medicine track must also meet the regular admission requirements for the medical school. They can apply by submitting:

  • Special Programs Application form 
  • Two letters of recommendation from rural physicians, community leaders, or faculty science members
  • Official transcripts and MCAT scores
  • $100 application fee

6. Blaze to MD Program

This 11-month preparatory program is a collaboration between UAB Heersink School of Medicine and UAB Heersink School of Health Professions. It’s intended to give undergraduate students interested in a medical career (doctor, nurse, physician assistant, researcher) a competitive edge when applying to other medical or professional schools.

Students receive a Master in Biomedical and Health Sciences upon completion. The curriculum resembles the first two years of the standard medical school program and is often taught by the same professors. Students take 9 or 12 credits each semester over three semesters (spring, summer, fall) in courses like Microbiology and Immunology and Integrated Systems courses in Cardiopulmonary, Musculoskeletal, and Genitourinary.

The program has only ten openings every year, and the regular admissions committee for the MD program identifies candidates they feel would benefit from the program. Students are selected based on various factors, but the aim of the program is to give students who have uneven applications – meaning they excel in some areas, but not others – a chance to enhance their education before applying to the MD or any other health professional program.

Dual-Degree Programs

7. MD/PhD

This dual-degree program pairs a four-year medical school education with doctorate-level courses to give students a chance to earn an MD and PhD in fields such as biomedical engineering, biostatistics, or epidemiology. The degree takes approximately five years. PhD courses in advanced biochemistry, cellular biology, and genetics are integrated into the typical medical student education.

The acceptance rate for the program hovers around 3.6% depending on the number of applicants every year. The admission process resembles the standard medical school application process. Students must submit via AMCAS, upload letters of recommendation, etc. The admissions committee reviews your primary application and decides whether to ask for a secondary application or move you to the regular MD track.

If accepted, students are shown how to find a PhD topic in their first two years because they choose their topic and PhD mentor in their third year. The mandatory classes of the last two years of the medical school degree are again interwoven with the degree requirements for the PhD, meaning students complete 14 months of required classes, along with two internships, and two or three months of electives while also preparing for their residency and national medical boards.


A collaboration between the School of Medicine and School of Public Health, this dual-degree option has two formats:

  • A regular four-year MD/MPH, but students begin taking classes the summer before medical school
  • A five-year program in which MD students take a one-year leave of absence to complete the degree requirements of the MPH degree

Applicants to this program must first be admitted to the MD program. However, they can indicate on their medical school application that they want to take this track. If accepted to the MD program, students are automatically accepted to the MPH program but still have to fill out an application form and submit it to the MPH.

Depending on the track they choose – 4 years or 5 years – students will take more or less the same courses, but at different times. The credit requirements are also the same, which is 42 to complete the degree, with 12 credits taken from your MD degree to complete the other requirements.

You will take core competencies in public health in your first year, comprising courses like Public Health Programs and Policies, Public Health Management and Evaluation, and Public Health Leadership. Another feature of the program is that students can opt to take online, in-person, or hybrid courses. Taking online courses also saves you money if you are an out-of-state student since you will not have to pay the out-of-state tuition fees.


Another collaborative effort between the School of Medicine and the School of Public Health, this degree emphasizes an analytical and statistical approach to public health, as medical students not only take courses in Foundations of Medicine, but also courses with a public health focus like Social and Ethical Issues in Public Health and Pharmacoeconomics and Regulation.

The credit load is similar to that of the MD/MPH (42) and students apply in the same way – indicating their choice on their primary medical school application and then submitting a secondary application if accepted. The program is also available in different formats: online, in-person, or hybrid for certain courses. The class formats of the required and elective courses are shown on the school’s course catalog.

Campus and Faculty

The UAB Heersink School of Medicine is divided between a main campus building (Birmingham) and three regional satellite campuses in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, and Montgomery. The first two years of the MD program take place at the Birmingham campus, while clinical studies are done at the satellite campuses.

Degree choice also determines where students study, as Primary Care Track students take classes only at the Tuscaloosa campus, while Rural Medical Scholars also complete studies at Tuscaloosa. The UAB campus at Birmingham is a central locus of medical care and research in Alabama, the region, and the US, in general. It hosts the UAB Medical Center with a total of 70 different research centers located on the same site.

The Huntsville Regional Medical Campus comprises the largest teaching hospital in the area, the Huntsville Hospital, which is also the second-largest hospital in the state. Students must indicate on their primary AMCAS application which campus they prefer: Huntsville, Montgomery, Birmingham. Only these three choices are available, as the Tuscaloosa campus is for Primary Care Track students only.

Affiliated Teaching Hospitals

UAB Medicine Huntsville

301 Governor’s Drive Southwest

Huntsville, AL 35801



UAB Medicine Montgomery

2055 East South Boulevard,

Suite 202

Montgomery, AL 36116



UAB Medicine Selma

1023 Medical Center Parkway

Suite 200

Selma, AL 36701



Medical West

995 9th Avenue Southwest

Bessemer, AL 35002



Research Fields

UAB Heersink and its affiliated campuses are world-renowned as a center for scientific breakthroughs in medicine and biomedical science. There are many different research opportunities in a variety of specialties at UAB and its other campuses, which receive almost $270 million in direct funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Four of UAB Heersink’s main research centers focus on areas like precision health, which aims to use advances in technology to study genomics and develop new therapies for several diseases. Other fields involve public health and equal access to health care (Health Equity) or research on how microbes interact with the body’s immune system and the potential to use them in therapeutics. 

  1. Disruptive Tech Empowering Precision Health - (D-TECH)
  2. Health Equity
  3. I-4ward (Infection, Inflammation, Immunity, and Immuno-Therapy)
  4. Brain Health and Disease Across the Lifespan

Notable Faculty

Dr. Tinsley R. Harrison – Dean of the Medical School and editor of Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine

Regina Benjamin – former Surgeon General, University of Alabama School of Medicine graduate

Jeanne Marrazzo – Director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases

Michael Saag – HIV/AIDS researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

Steven Rowe – MD and cystic fibrosis researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine

W. Timothy Garvey – Butterworth Professor of Medicine, Director of Diabetes Research Center

Contact Information

University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine

Admissions and Enrollment Management

VH 100

1720 Second Avenue South

Birmingham, AL 35294-3412 USA

(205) 934-2433


1. What is the mission of the University of Alabama School of Medicine?

The UAB Heersink mission is to continue being a leader in medical innovation and scientific breakthroughs since it emphasizes its research capacities as one of its main features. The school’s various academic offerings and degree pairings demonstrate its versatile nature, while its rigorous academic standards show how much it values academic excellence in its students. 

2. Do I need to take the MCAT and submit my scores?

Yes, UAB Heersink requires that all students take or submit their most recent MCAT scores, but they have different recommended minimum scores based on a student’s geographic origins. Students from Alabama can have an MCAT of between 493–494 to be considered, while non-Alabama residents are expected to have a minimum MCAT of 495.  

3. What is the minimum GPA requirement?

The GPA requirements for in-state and out-of-state students are different. Alabama residents are recommended to have a GPA of 3.0, while out-of-state applicants are expected to have a GPA of 3.5, but higher scores than either of those minimums are encouraged to boost your visibility. 

4. What kind of degree do I need to get into UAB Heersink?

You need to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university to be considered a competitive candidate or have taken up to 90 credits from a school in the US. International students must have their courses and credits verified to be calculated with their current GPA and included on official transcripts.  

5. Are there prerequisite courses I have to take?

Yes, UAB Heersink requires that students complete up to eight credits each in biology and physics, six credits in English, and three credits each in biochemistry, biostatistics/mathematics, and behavioral sciences.

6. How can I apply to UAB Heersink?

All applicants must submit their primary application via AMCAS and then wait for notification from the medical school to submit a secondary application to them directly. 

7. How much does one year at UAB Heersink cost?

According to the university’s own data, one year of medical school in the four-year MD program costs $34,662 for Alabama residents and $66,178 for non-Alabama residents. Living expenses are also a cost to consider, and the school estimates that students spend up to $70,367 (Alabama residents) to $102,628 (non-Alabama residents). 

8. Is it hard to get into UAB Heersink?

The school shows a preference for Alabama residents and students from surrounding states, and it makes it easier for students to apply with lower-than-usual GPA and MCAT scores. The requirements are different for out-of-state applicants, but they are not out of the ordinary for a high-ranking, prestigious medical school like UAB Heersink. 

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