New Students

You are already destined for greatness. Now, achieve it. Find everything you need to begin your Graduate School journey, from housing to registration.

Welcome to The University of Alabama, Where Legends Are Made.

Before You Arrive

Register for GROW

The University of Alabama’s Graduate Orientation and Welcome (GROW) is an onboarding and networking event designed for incoming graduate students. Connect with faculty, staff and other students and learn more about the University and Tuscaloosa’s rich history.

Submit your official transcripts.

If you did not submit official transcripts (transcripts directly from your other institutions) during the application process, please ensure that these have been submitted.

Electronic transcripts from each higher education institution you attended for 15 or more hours should be sent to If your institutions cannot send electronic transcripts, please request that they send hardcopy transcripts to one of the following addresses:

Regular Mail:
Graduate School, The University of Alabama
Box 870118
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0118

Express Mail or Courier:
Graduate School, The University of Alabama
Suite 100 Rose Administration Building, 801 University Boulevard
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487

Complete international requirements.

If you are an international student, review the Capstone International Center’s pre-arrival and arrival checklists before packing for the U.S.

Find housing.

As a college town, Tuscaloosa has several off-campus housing options, depending on your budget and location preference.

Learn more about Tuscaloosa.

A melting pot of over 100,000 people, Tuscaloosa is nestled along the Black Warrior River in west-central Alabama. Spend an afternoon by the river at Manderson Landing, hammocking or walking your dog. Or visit the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater, which draws some of the biggest names in music each year.

Experience the magnetism of Tuscaloosa’s historic district, enjoy free live music at Government Plaza or sample some of the South’s best food downtown. There’s something for everyone, no matter your taste.

See everything Tuscaloosa has to offer at

Drive Times:

  • 45 minutes to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
  • One hour to Birmingham, Ala.
  • Three hours to Atlanta, Ga.

Getting to Tuscaloosa.

The nearest international airport to Tuscaloosa is Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, located approximately 60 miles from campus. The best way to travel between Tuscaloosa and the airport is by personal vehicle, shuttle, rental car or taxi. UA’s international students’ website includes a list of transport providers and options.

Currently, shuttle services that provide transportation to and from Tuscaloosa include Groome. Check their website for rates and scheduling.

The University of Alabama Crimson Ride offers a shuttle service to and from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport for extended academic breaks.

For more information, visit

Getting around Tuscaloosa.

Tuscaloosa and The University of Alabama offer many commuting solutions. Students can travel around campus and select apartment complexes using Crimson Ride.

The Tuscaloosa Trolley, currently running seven routes, provides access to much of Tuscaloosa. Additionally, the city also has a large network of Uber and Lyft drivers. For those who prefer bicycling, the University promotes a safe and convenient environment on campus through established bike lanes and strategically located bike racks.

Get connected.

myBama is your hub for information at The University of Alabama. It is an interactive website for UA faculty, staff and students. Crimson email, course information and campus news are available through myBama.

Visit OIT’s prospective students page for more information on myBama account access and password recovery.


You can search for apartments and houses through UA’s off-campus housing website. Many rental apartments offer roommate matching. Typical rent for one bedroom in a shared apartment is between $500 to $600 per month, although there are cheaper and more expensive options available. Be sure to confirm whether utilities and services are included with rent or not.

Learn your Campuswide Identification Number (CWID).

Your CWID is your official UA identification. You will use it for a variety of purposes, so we recommend you memorize it.

If you do not know your CWID, you may find it in myBama:

  1. Click the “Student” tab.
  2. Under “Academic and Student Services,” open “Academic Records and Curriculum.”
  3. Click “Academic Profile.”
  4. Your CWID will be in the top-left corner.

Set up DUO two-factor identification.

DUO two-factor authentication adds a second layer of security to your myBama account. It requires two factors to verify identity. These factors include something you know (your username and password) and something you have (a phone or passcode) to authenticate and gain access to an account.

DUO is required for all current UA students to access myBama and digital ACT Card accounts. Visit OIT to get started.

Activate your student I.D.

Your UA Action Card (or ACT Card) is your official student ID. Use it for Bama Cash, Dining Dollars, building access and more.

Note: If you intend to upload identifying documents (e.g., a driver’s license or ACT Card photo), you must register for DUO two-factor identification. Visit OIT for more information.

Register for classes.

To enroll in classes, you must do the following:

  1. Log in to myBama.
  2. Select the “Student” tab on the left.
  3. Open “Registration” in the left menu.
  4. Select “Add or Drop Classes” from the drop-down menu.
  5. Select your enrollment term, choose your classes and submit your enrollment.

For more information, visit Registration Help, which contains more detailed instructions. If you need assistance selecting classes, contact your program.

Funding and Financial Aid

Confirm your scholarship and financial aid package.

If you receive a scholarship awarded by an agency outside The University of Alabama, the organization needs to contact Student Financial Aid and forward appropriate documentation as directed.

For more information on assistantships, fellowships and scholarships, visit the Graduate School’s Financial Resources page.

Set up direct deposit.

If applicable, you may set up direct deposit for surplus fellowships and scholarships processed through your student account (not payroll) using the following steps:

  1. Log in to myBama.
  2. Search “Direct Deposit” in the search bar.

For more instructions, consult the Banner Self-Service Direct Deposit guide.

If you have an assistantship, make sure your department provides you a Memorandum of Appointment listing your entitlements and obligations. If you have not received a memorandum, be sure to request one from your hiring department.

Also, be sure to complete your I-9 form. You may find it and other required forms on the Forms & Paperwork section of the Student Jobs website.

For more information, visit the Payroll Services website.

Immunization and Health Insurance

Submit immunization and test verification to the Student Health Center.

The Student Health Center requires proof of your immunization record against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and TB. This information is required for all students before beginning classes. If you do not have these records verified, you will be dropped from your classes.

Visit the Student Health Center immunizations page for more information.

Purchase health insurance.

If you wish to purchase the UA student health insurance plan and/or add spouse or family coverage, you must register and pay the associated premiums through the United Healthcare/UA website.

Domestic students with a graduate assistantship.

The University will pay for the single-coverage premium for the university-sponsored student health insurance plan unless you have alternative insurance and decline the University’s plan.

The payment amount is based on the FTE of your assistantship: 0.50 FTE will receive full benefit; 0.25 FTE will receive half. Those students with 0.25 FTE will be required to pay the balance of the premium cost through the Student Health Center; otherwise, the benefit will be forfeited.

You must formally accept or decline the coverage through the Student Health Center.

International students with an assistantship or fellowship.

If you have a graduate assistantship or fellowship, you will be automatically enrolled in the UA student health insurance plan and have a grant applied to your student account to offset the cost of the single coverage premium.

You can be exempted from automatic enrollment if you provide timely proof of adequate student health insurance before the start of each semester.

For more information, contact the Student Health Center.

Getting Around Campus

Purchase a car or bicycle permit.

Whether you plan to drive a vehicle or ride a bike on campus, you must purchase a parking or bicycle permit.

First-semester graduate students may request a waiver in-person at the Transportation Services Office if their desired zone is no longer available online.

If you do not own a bicycle and wish to ride one around campus, then you may rent one from Outdoor Recreation. For quick transportation, Veo electronic bikes are available around campus.

For more information, including Crimson Ride and Fleet Services, visit Transportation Services.

Final Steps

Meet your department.

Attend your department’s orientation and complete the international student virtual orientation, if applicable.

Contact your program for specific dates and times.

Prepare to teach.

If you are scheduled to begin working as a teaching assistant in the fall semester attend the August Workshop for New Graduate Teaching Assistants. Your program will register you, so please check with them regarding confirmation. If you are an international student who will be serving as a teaching assistant, you will also be signed up for the International Teaching Assistant Program.