An urban commuter college located in Birmingham, Alabama.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham is known primarily for the work of its School of Medicine and various other health-related graduate programs. The University received a great deal of notoriety in 1999 when UAB researchers released that they had discovered the origin of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1, the virus that causes AIDS in humans), having traced the virus back to a subspecies of chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) native to West-Central Africa, thereby confirming the long-suspected link between Simian Immunodeficiency Virus and its human counterpart.

Although technically part of The University of Alabama System, UAB stands very much on its own. Besides its emphasis on healthcare and research, it offers strong undergraduate programs in English, philosophy, education, engineering, business, computer science, and mathematics.

UAB Public Relations students, competing with other state schools like The University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy State University, and North Alabama University, have won the annual Alabama Public Relations Council state-wide competition each year for more than two decades. And representatives from UAB's computer science department routinely compete (and win various awards) at IEEE and ACM-sponsored programming competitions.

UAB's philosophy department is home to several well-known professors, among them, Dr. James Rachels. A professor of moral philosophy, Dr. Rachels is best known by his book The Elements of Moral Philosophy (McGraw-Hill, ISBN: 007-28-2574-X ), which is used as the primary text in most American collegiate moral philosophy classes.

Another famous/infamous professor is Dr. Gregory Pence, UAB professor of Bioethics, who received his fair share of praise and criticism when he published Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? (Rowman and Littlefield, ISBN: 084-76-8782-1). In his book, Dr. Pence argued against the then-prevailing opinion that human cloning should be banned altogether, a position that eventually resulted in his testifying before Congress in 2001 on the subject.

UAB is also home to English professor and Beckett scholar William Hutchings, who holds the distinct honor of using the world's longest word in the title of the world's longest literary critique of the world's shortest play.

UAB's athletic department was started in 1977 by athletic director Gene Bartow. Since then, UAB has grown and developed world class men's and women's basketball teams (which reached the NCAA Tournament for seven consecutive years), a Conference USA 1-A football team, and 15 other athletic programs. The University's mascot is a pudgy green dragon named "Blaze."

The University of Alabama at Birmingham averages about 10,000 undergraduate students and 5,000 graduate students at any one time (excluding the summer "mini-semester"). Based on 2001 numbers, the average student age is 26.

UAB’s website is


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