The University of Alabama at Birmingham (also known as UAB) is a public, coeducational university located in Birmingham, Alabama. The university is part of the three-member University of Alabama System that also includes the main University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH). The history of UAB began with the relocation of the University of Alabama School of Medicine from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham, in 1945. Due to the rapid growth of the Birmingham area, it was necessary that an extension program for students who had difficulties which prevented them from studying in Tuscaloosa, was needed. The result was that UAB became an autonomous campus in 1969. 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 and nursing), and public health. The school is highly renowned for its medical research and natural sciences programs. UAB's green-andpar-gold-swathed athletics teams are nicknamed the Blazers, and are members of Conference USA and participates in Division I of the NCAA. UAB's athletic programs are relatively new, and as such, the school has often had to struggle to earn recognition.