Welcome to REL
All majors (first and second) and minors (REL, Judaic Studies, and Asian Studies) should meet with their respective Advisor at least once each semester (usually prior to registration for the coming semester’s classes), to ensure they are properly proceeding through their program of study. Our advisors are: Prof. Edith Szanto (REL majors/minors), Prof. Daniel Levine (Judaic Studies minors), and Prof. Steven Ramey (Asian Studies minors).
All students interested in declaring a major or minor in our Department can meet with the respective advisor to get information but must also meet with the Undergraduate Director, Prof. Richard Newton. He will be ask you to fill out a Student Info Form to be returned to the REL main office, Presidents Hall 212, so that we know how to contact you. Prof. Newton will provide you with this form at the time of your meeting, and then ensure you arrange a meeting with your degree program’s specific advisor.
How to Declare a Major or Minor
Declaration of majors and minors is done mostly through myBama now. Once on myBama, click on the Student tab > Student Services > Mm: Major/minor app. This will direct you to the “Change of Curriculum” page where you will click the red “Go” button beneath your name.
Declaring a Major
On this page next to your first major (i.e., Major 1), there will be a red, clickable link that says “Change Major.” On the next page you will have to choose the college and program to add. To add religious studies, you will need to select the College of Arts and Sciences and then religious studies, BA.
Declaring a Minor
On this page next to your minors, there will be a red, clickable link that says “Change Minors.” It will direct you to a page where you can select religious studies from a list of programs. Double-click on “Religious Studies” to add it to the list. Then hit “Continue” in the top right of the page. You will then be able to review everything. Once you’re satisfied, click “Submit.”
Registering for Classes
Students whose first major, or only major, is REL are required to obtain advising from our department each semester, prior to being allowed to register for the next semester’s courses. (First majors outside REL, and REL or JS minors are strongly advised to come to REL regularly for advising as well.) Unless the main office is notified by Prof. Newton that REL first majors have been advised, you will not be cleared on the registration system to register.
Prior to the two-week period leading up to registration each semester, a sign-up sheet for advising appointments is placed in the main office (Presidents Hall 212) and Prof. Newton confirms advisees daily with the main office so that they are then cleared to register.
Registering for Upper-Level REL Courses
To ensure that majors and minors obtain a seat in upper-level REL courses (300 and 400), the department sometimes holds spaces specifically for them (such as with REL 490 each Spring, the Senior Seminar [required of all majors]). If an upper-level REL course seems to be closed, and you are a major or minor in the department, please visit the main office (Presidents Hall 212) to obtain a permit to register for the class.
If Prof. Newton has allowed you to substitute a non-REL course for requirements toward the major or minor (so long as that course is not already satisfying a major requirement in another program), a memo will be on file, with the College of Arts & Sciences Registrar to signify this and a note will appear in each student’s DegreeWorks.
Through myBama you can see your degree progress using DegreeWorks — you can even click the “What If” button to see how your current courses stack up for other majors and minors. Be sure the correct catalog is selected. Learn more about DegreeWorks.
Getting Ready to Graduate?
Students nearing graduation (first or second semester junior year) should make an appointment with Prof. Newton to ensure that they have completed all of their REL degree requirements. A formal “degree check,” carried out by the College of Arts & Sciences registrar is also strongly advised. And don’t forget: you must apply for graduation as well, early in your senior year.
Remember: REL 490 is required of all majors to graduate and it is offered only in the spring semester each year.
If the College of Arts & Sciences registrar does not understand that you have completed your major or minor requirements in the department (i.e., if the department has allowed you to substitute other courses for required classes), then a memo will be written by the undergraduate advisor, on your behalf, to the College. Such memos must be submitted early in your final semester, so make your appointment with your advisor early.