Graduate programs make admission recommendations based on a composite of qualitative and quantitative information that may include, but is not limited to, the following: the applicant's statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, the academic standing of the student in the program(s) in which the applicant has studied, relevant professional and research activities and achievements, admission test scores, previous grades, and the recommendation of the faculty and professionals in the area to which the applicant is seeking admission. Please see the Application section of this catalog for more details. Each application is considered in the context of other applications to the same area, with due consideration given to the availability of space in the program at the time the student applies, the need to maintain a pool of students of superior potential, and other goals of the program. A program may set higher admission standards than the Graduate School minimums. Not every student whose credentials meet stated quantitative standards is admitted.

Applicants are admitted to a specific program of study as specified in the admission letter. A request for a change of program, deferral of admission semester, or continuation beyond an original purpose is viewed as a new application and is subject to current procedures and standards. Admission is valid for 12 months after the requested entrance date. Applicants must seek approval if they wish to change the entrance date initially requested on their application. A change of start date can be requested once during the 12 month period. International applicants requesting a change in their entrance date should also be aware that their English language proficiency scores must be less than two years old at the time of deferral. 
A person who will hold a bachelor's degree (or international equivalent) from an accredited institution at the time of initial enrollment is eligible for consideration for admission to the Graduate School at The University of Alabama. Students who have been determined as exceptional may start a graduate program in their senior year if: 1) they are part of a UA program (e.g., AMP, Path to the MBA) that identifies exceptional undergraduates (once admitted, an AMP student may apply to a graduate certificate offered within their AMP department); or 2) they are part of a formal domestic or international agreement (e.g., a 3+2 agreement). The undergraduate path of study must have been approved by the graduate program, and the students must have been identified by UA faculty as being capable of starting a graduate degree early. Students enrolled at the University as part of a formal agreement with an external domestic or international university must receive their bachelor’s degree from their home institution by the end of their first full year at UA. If this is not achieved, they will be dropped from the master’s degree program. 

Admission requirements are subject to change without prior notice. Being admitted to a graduate program does not mean that each course required in the student's program of study will be available each semester or in a specific semester.

Applicants who are denied admission may appeal this decision. The appeal must be submitted via email to the Dean of the Graduate School. The appeal will be reviewed by a committee comprising the Dean of the Graduate School, the Associate Dean for Admissions, Recruitment and Fellowships, the Director of Graduate Admissions, and the Chair of the department in which the program is hosted.

Interested persons with restrictions that prevent the use of our online application should contact The University of Alabama Graduate School.

The dean of the Graduate School is the only person authorized to waive any requirement, admit applicants to the Graduate School, or otherwise notify applicants of the disposition of their applications.

Certificate Programs

Current UA graduate students, or prospective students, may, if admitted, enroll in a certificate program within their major or in another field. Please see the Application page and program list for the admissions and curricular requirements for each certificate.

Current UA undergraduate students enrolled in an Accelerated Master’s Program (AMP) may apply for admission to a graduate certificate program offered within their AMP department. The graduate certificate can only be conferred concurrently with or subsequent to the conferral of the bachelor’s degree.

Some graduate certificate programs do require the completion of a Master’s degree prior to beginning the certificate program. Please see the Application page and program list for the admissions and curricular requirements for each certificate.

Students who are enrolled in a certificate program and not in a master’s, doctoral, or Educational Specialist program will be classified as non-degree students. 

Non-Degree Admission

An individual who is interested in enrolling solely for the purpose of taking graduate-level classes, may be admitted with the recommendation of the program in which the courses are offered. Please see the Application page for admission requirements.

For students classified as non-degree (admitted only for the purpose of taking graduate-level classes), departments may set restrictions on the number or type of classes in which the student may enroll, may limit enrollment to one semester only, or may prohibit admission. Individuals enrolled solely as non-degree students cannot register for more than 12 hours without providing written verification to the Graduate School that they do not plan to pursue graduate degrees at the University. No more than 12 semester hours of coursework taken solely as a non-degree student can be applied to degree or certificate credit. Application of any non-degree credit toward a graduate degree or certificate will be contingent upon an evaluation made after the student has been admitted to the Graduate School to pursue a degree program. Responsibility rests with the student to observe the limitations imposed on credit hours, coursework, and transfer of credit.

Irregular Postgraduate (IPG) Admission

A person who applies but is not admitted to the Graduate School may seek admission as an irregular postgraduate (IPG) student through undergraduate admission, for the purpose of attempting to qualify for admission to the Graduate School. 

Application Limits and Enrollment Limits

See the Application section of the Graduate Catalog for limits on the number of concurrent applications and program enrollments.

Regular Admission

An applicant who submits the required application materials as listed in the Application section of this catalog and whose credentials meet the following minimum requirement(s) may be considered for regular admission:

  1. Grade Point Average (GPA): The applicant must have an undergraduate degree GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent) overall, or 3.0 (or equivalent) for a completed graduate degree program. Some programs may set higher standards. 
    If required by the program, the applicant must also have
  2. Entrance exam: Minimum entrance exam score (GRE, GMAT, GMAT Focus Edition, or MCAT) requirements are listed in the program-specific pages of this catalog. Entrance exam scores must be less than five years old at the time of application. The purpose of an entrance exam is to provide one measure of an applicant’s potential for success at the graduate level. Programs may consider waiving this requirement if there are other measures that can be used in place of the entrance exam score. Examples include prior success at the graduate level or extensive work experience in a field related to the graduate degree. 

Exceptions to Admissions Policy

For applicants in particular circumstances, additional conditions may be added to a letter of admission. In such cases, all conditions must be met within the stated time limit, or the student will not receive permission to continue in their graduate program, and will be dropped from the program.

In addition, under exceptional circumstances, applicants may be considered for admission if they do not meet the requirements for regular admission. If such applicants are admitted, they will need to obtain permission to continue in the program, after the first 12 semester hours of graduate-level work have been completed. Permission to continue is earned by achieving a GPA of “B” or better (3.0) in the first 12 semester hours. If the 12 hours are completed in a term in which the total credits exceed 12, the evaluation is made on the basis of all graduate-level work completed at the end of that term of enrollment. Students who do not meet this requirement will not receive permission to continue in their graduate program, and will be dropped from the program.

If a program requires an entrance exam and the applicant meets neither the GPA or entrance exam score requirement, a department must submit a written justification to the Graduate School that includes the following: 1) Compelling evidence indicating the applicant’s ability to be successful in a graduate program (this might include, for example, several years of experience in the professional field with a record of excellence, or prior experience by the departmental faculty with the applicant); 2) A list of conditions for permission to continue (beyond the minimum stipulations outlined above for admission with permission to continue); 3) A plan to complete all conditions within the first year of graduate work; and 4) a mentoring plan to ensure the student’s success. The justification will be reviewed by the Dean of the Graduate School or their designee prior to an admission decision. To receive permission to continue, students must meet all conditions as defined in the letter of admission from the Graduate School.

Admission of International Students

Applicants who are citizens of countries other than the United States are welcome at The University of Alabama. The fall semester begins in August and is considered the beginning of the academic year, and international students are strongly advised to plan to begin their studies then. Many of our departments and programs will consider applications for the spring semester, which starts in January, but fewer openings for new students are available at that time.

Each international applicant must, at the time of initial enrollment, hold the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution to be eligible for graduate admission. Bachelor degrees from Bologna Accord-certified institutions and many other three-year degree programs, are considered to meet this criterion.

Non-native speakers are required to submit TOEFL iBT, IELTS, DET, or PTE scores unless they meet at least one of the following criteria: 1) at the time of initial enrollment, they will hold a degree from a U.S. institution or an institution in one of the English speaking countries or regions listed below; 2) at the time of initial enrollment, they will have been enrolled in coursework for at least two years at a U.S. institution or an institution in one of the English-speaking countries or regions listed below; 3) they are a citizen or legal resident of one of the English-speaking countries or regions listed below. The minimum score for admission to a degree program or for nondegree admission is 79 on the TOEFL iBT, 6.5 on the IELTS, 110 on the DET, or 59 on the PTE. In regions where the TOEFL iBT is not available, the TOEFL Paper Based Test (PBT) may be accepted. The minimum TOEFL PBT score for admission to a degree program or for non-degree admission is 59. TOEFL iBT, IELTS, DET, or PTE scores must be less than two years old at the time of the application. Applicants to College of Education programs at international off-campus sites who are K-12 teachers employed at international schools, are exempted from tests of English proficiency. 

Upon demonstrating available financial resources for the first year of study at The University of Alabama, admitted international applicants will receive an immigration document (usually Form I-20 or DS-2019) to be used in the visa application process.

New international students must complete the orientation offered by the Office of International Student and Scholar Services on arrival in Tuscaloosa.

International students who are offered graduate assistantships are limited to a maximum 0.50 FTE (half-time, 20 hours/week) assistantship. In most cases, additional employment outside the University is not permitted. Please visit the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for more information

English-Speaking Countries or Regions

American Samoa









British Virgin Islands

Canada (except Quebec)

Cayman Islands

Christmas Islands

Cook Islands


Falkland Islands

Federated States of Micronesia



The Gambia





Hong Kong









Marshall Islands





New Zealand



Norfolk Island

Northern Mariana Islands


Papua New Guinea

Pitcairn Islands

Saint Helena

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines


Sandwich Islands

Sierra Leone


Solomon Islands

South Africa (English-speaking, i.e. not Afrikaans)

South Georgia Islands




Trinidad and Tobago

Turks and Caicos Islands



United States

United Kingdom

US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John)



Conditional Language Admission and the Pathway to UA Program for International Graduate Students 

International graduate applicants to The University of Alabama may be considered for conditional language admission if they do not meet the minimum English proficiency test score requirements listed above. Applicants should indicate on their application if they wish to be considered for conditional language admission. Conditionally admitted students who have not yet met their conditions for admission are not permitted to hold state funded assistantships or fellowships.

Students admitted with conditional language admission are required to take classes in the English Language Institute (ELI) as a condition of moving into full-time academic classes. Students with an English language proficiency test score of 61-78 on the TOEFL iBT, 5.5-6.0 on the IELTS, 100-105 on the DET, or 44-58 on the PTE have the option of applying to the graduate Pathway to UA program. The Pathway to UA program permits students in participating departments to take classes toward their graduate degree while taking ELI classes. Students scoring below these thresholds must start in full-time ELI classes before progressing to the Pathway to UA program. As their English skills will not be reflective of their academic potential, conditionally admitted students are exempt from the admission test score (e.g. GRE/GMAT/MCAT) requirements at the time of admission.

Pathway to UA Students

Depending on their English language test score, Pathway to UA students take a combination of ELI courses and graduate-level courses in their discipline (see table below). In order to meet the conditions of admission, students must complete ELI classes with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the advanced levels (Levels 5 and 6) and graduate-level courses in their discipline with an overall GPA of at least 3.0. A student who does not meet the Pathway to UA requirements in 2 semesters (not including summer) will not be permitted to continue at The University of Alabama.

Tier 1: Pathway students with a TOEFL iBT of 70-78, IELTS of 6.0, DET of 105, or a PTE of 49-53 will be initially placed in ELI level 6. Tier 1 students will spend one semester in the pathway (taking 6 credits of ELI classes and 6 credits towards the student's degree program). Upon passing tier 1 as described in the paragraph above, students proceed to full-time study in their degree program. Such students will be required to take an admission test (e.g. GRE/GMAT/MCAT) before proceeding to graduate classes if this is required for regular admission. 

Tier 2:  Pathway students with a TOEFL iBT of 61-69, IELTS of 5.5, DET of 95, or a PTE of 44-48 will be initially placed in ELI level 5. Tier 2 pathway students will spend two semesters in the pathway. In semester 1 they will take 9 credits of ELI classes and 3 credits towards the student's degree program. Upon passing their first semester, tier 2 pathway students will progress to tier 1.

Non-Pathway Students

Conditionally admitted students who do not initially qualify for the Pathway to UA program (either based on English language test score or non-participation by their department) must enroll full-time in ELI classes. For departments participating in the Pathway to UA program, non-pathway students enter the Pathway to UA program on completion of ELI Level 4 classes with a GPA of at least 3.0. Students from departments not participating in the Pathway to UA program take only ELI classes until such time as they complete the ELI program of study with a minimum GPA of 3.0 in the advanced levels (Levels 4, 5, and 6) and/or meet the English test score requirements for regular admission. Such students will be required to take an admission test (e.g. GRE/GMAT/MCAT) before proceeding to graduate classes if this is required for regular admission. 

English Language Institute

The University of Alabama offers intensive English language instruction to prepare students for further academic study at colleges and universities in the United States. In addition, through the English Language Institute, the University offers the International Teaching Assistant Program (ITAP), a program that all graduate assistants with any teaching or instructional activities who are non-native speakers of English must successfully complete before they are allowed to teach. Students are registered for the ITAP by their departments. For information about these programs please visit the English Language Institute webpage.

The Accelerated Master's Program (AMP)

UA juniors and seniors interested in the Accelerated Master's Program (AMP) should contact their department (typically their undergraduate or graduate program director) to inquire about AMP. Applications to AMP are submitted through the Graduate School online application. Additional information regarding AMP is located in the Graduate Catalog.


If a student applies but does not complete any coursework within 12 months of the requested entrance date, they must reapply for admission. Students initially enrolled in classwork but who have not registered for classes in their program for three years must reapply to their program. Applicants for readmission must meet all admission requirements. Acceptance of the application for readmission is not guaranteed. Continuity of financial support is also not guaranteed.

Students seeking readmission after dismissal from the Graduate School should consult the Grades and Academic Standing section in the Graduate Catalog.

Readmission of Service Members

The University complies with laws concerning readmission of service members.

A student who has been admitted to or enrolled in The University of Alabama Graduate School may ask for a military leave to fulfill a U.S. military obligation. The student should notify the dean of the Graduate School of a call to military service and provide documentation. Upon return from military service, the student also should notify the dean of the Graduate School of the intent to return to graduate school and provide documentation of honorable discharge.

A student called to active military duty, unless dishonorably discharged, and eligible for readmission as defined by law, will receive an extension of the degree time limit equal to the term of eligible service, with a cap on the number of years in the extension. The extension is subject to the five-year limit as applicable to readmission provisions in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (Section 484C of the HEA) and implementing regulations in 34 CFR Section 668.18.

Readmission Fresh Start

The Academic Fresh Start Policy is for former University of Alabama graduate students whose prior performance in graduate-level classes may not be reflective of their current potential. Students who meet the following conditions may be eligible to apply for re-admission and request an Academic Fresh Start if they meet the following qualifications:

  1. Cumulative University of Alabama graduate GPA below 3.0.
  2. Not enrolled in University of Alabama graduate classes for at least 36 consecutive months prior to the start of the intended first semester in the graduate program.

If students are granted admission under the Academic Fresh Start policy, whether to a new program or to the program where they had previously been enrolled, only their grades and credits earned after their readmission will be counted towards degree completion (with the exception of any credit hours applied toward an existing degree, certificate, or credential). All previous graduate academic work at The University of Alabama (including previously accrued transfer credit) will not be included in calculations regarding academic standing, grade-point-average, earned hours, or eligibility for graduation. Revalidation of credits may not be used if a student is granted Academic Fresh Start.

The Academic Fresh Start policy does not remove evidence/documentation of the student's overall academic history at the university such as grades previously received, even if a course is repeated in the process of Academic Fresh Start. All prior work will appear on the student’s transcript, but only the courses attempted following readmission will be applied to the degree requirements and calculation of the graduate grade point average.

Students may be admitted under the Academic Fresh Start policy only once in their UA academic career.

Students are responsible for satisfying all degree requirements for the new admission. To satisfy requirements for courses that were successfully taken during the first attempt, students have the following two options:

  • Repeat the courses to fulfill the requirements; or
  • Request to enroll in other courses to fulfill the requirements, subject to approval by the director of the graduate program.

Students seeking admission under the Academic Fresh Start policy must submit the Academic Fresh Start form concurrently with their application to the Graduate School. As requested on this form, students must explain the factors that resulted in the low GPA in previous graduate classes, and provide a detailed plan explaining how those factors will be addressed in their planned graduate studies. As part of the application, the Graduate School will request a letter from the department chair or graduate program director in support of Academic Fresh Start for the student, which confirms intent to admit the student to the graduate program. Applicants admitted under Academic Fresh Start are admitted with the designation “permission to continue” whereby they must earn an overall graduate GPA of 3.0 or better in their first 12 hours of coursework. If students were previously dismissed from The University of Alabama for academic misconduct, the Graduate School will also request a letter of support from the academic dean (or designee) for the school or college in which the Academic Fresh Start is sought. Admission under the Academic Fresh Start policy is not guaranteed and must be approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. If approved, the changes to the graduate transcript will be reflected once the student has fulfilled the 12-hour obligation with a GPA of 3.0 or better.

Graduate Admission and Internal Degree Candidacy for UA Faculty

Faculty who wish to take occasional graduate courses must register for these courses after admission to the Graduate School on a non-degree-seeking basis. To maintain university accountability, regular full-time faculty seeking admission as a degree-seeking graduate student must seek approval from their department chair and dean (which should not be unreasonably withheld), as well as the approvals required for other applicants to the same program. See the UA Faculty Handbook for details.