Frequently Asked Questions



Advising


Who is my academic advisor?

All undergraduate students are assigned a professional or faculty advisor. You can find this person’s name in your DegreeWorks. Advisors are assigned during the first week of class each semester. Students with 0-45 earned hours are advised by the professional academic advisors in Tisch Student Services, located in Suite 190 Reese Phifer Hall. Students with 46+ hours are advised by a faculty member in your department.

How do I make an appointment to meet with my academic advisor?

For students assigned to advisors in Tisch Student Services (0-60 earned hours), you will use the online scheduling system here. If you are advised by a faculty advisor (61+ earned hours), please e-mail your advisor or stop by the departmental office to sign up for an advising time slot.

When do I meet with an advisor to register for next semester?

In Tisch Student Services, we advise students assigned to our advising staff year round so make an appointment any time you need to meet with your advisor. We strongly encourage you to come in early each semester to get advised for the following semester. Ideally, students will begin seeing advisors in September for Spring advising and in February for Summer/Fall advising.

Students assigned to a faculty advisor in their major department will need to work with that advisor to determine their appointment schedule. The best way to do so is either stop by for office hours or send an e-mail to your faculty advisor requesting an appointment.

All incoming freshmen and transfer students are advised during Bama Bound summer orientation.

Is advising required each semester?

No, advising is not required each semester unless you are an athlete, have been placed on academic warning, or have been reinstated from suspension. However, students are strongly encouraged to seek advising each semester.

Where do I go for career advising?

Your academic advisor can answer general questions about which major might best suite your career interests but a variety of services are offered by the Career Center at C&IS, located in Reese Phifer Hall. Assistance includes: resume and cover letter critiques, mock interviews, career exploration, and personality/interest assessments. Stop by Suite 190 Reese Phifer Hall to set up an appointment or call (205) 348-8599.

What undergraduate majors are housed in the College of Communication & Information Sciences?

There are five undergraduate majors in C&IS – Advertising, Communication Studies, Creative Media, News Media, and Public Relations. Four of these majors – Advertising, Creative Media, News Media, and Public Relations – are considered mass communication majors. Communication Studies is more focused on the liberal arts.

What are some popular minor options to consider with a C&IS major?

Almost any major can be paired with a C&IS major. Below are some of the more popular minor options that our majors choose to pursue. However, this is not an all-inclusive list, and students should speak with their academic advisor if they have questions regarding minor selection.

  • Advertising – Art, Communication Studies, Computer Technology & Applications, General Business, Psychology
  • Communication Studies – Advertising, Computer Technology & Applications, Public Relations, General Business, Psychology
  • Creative Media – Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Computer Technology & Applications, Art, Theater
  • News Media – Communication Studies, Creative Writing, Political Science, English, a Foreign Language
  • Public Relations – Communication Studies, General Business, Computer Technology & Applications, Political Science, Psychology

If I declare a double major, do I still have to have a minor?

No, students pursuing two majors are not required to complete a minor. Keep in mind that students can’t double major or minor in the four areas of mass communication – Advertising, Creative Media, News Media, or Public Relations. For example, a Public Relations major cannot minor in Advertising.

How do I use DegreeWorks?

You may access DegreeWorks through the Student tab in MyBama or degreeworks.ua.edu. Use the below links for helpful information and a tutorial on how to use DegreeWorks.

  • What is DegreeWorks
  • Introduction Video
  • Using the What-If Feature

How do I change to a major in a different college at UA?

You will need to meet with an advisor in your desired college before you can officially change your major. Visit the Undergraduate Majors page for a list of available majors at UA.

How do I change my major within the College of Communication & Information Sciences?

If you have fewer than 45 earned hours, you may log in to myBama and click the Major/Minor button on the Student Tab to make this change. If you have completed more than 45 hours of coursework, you will have to speak with an advisor in the specific department to change your major.

How do I determine my student classification?

There are five classifications of undergraduate students:

Freshman – 0-30 hours
Sophomore – 31-60 hours
Junior – 61-90 hours
Senior – 91+ hours
Post-graduate – any student that has previously completed an undergraduate degree and is taking courses towards another undergraduate degree or who is taking courses as a non-degree seeking student.

I have an Office of Veteran’s Affairs advising form. What is the process for having my form signed?

You may bring a VA advising form with you to be completed during their advising appointment, or you may complete the form on your own and submit it to your advisor for a signature. VA forms can be signed by your assigned advisor or any of the Tisch Student Services advisors in Suite 190 of Reese Phifer Hall. No appointments are necessary for a VA form signature, and these are to be returned to 3000 Houser Hall once completed.

Where can I find a Letter of Transiency and an official transcript?

The Letter of Transiency is located in the “Student Services” box on the Student tab in MyBama. We recommend that students who plan to take courses outside of UA complete a Letter of Transiency prior to starting the course. This lets the student know how their credit will be received by UA, and some institutions require a copy of the letter as part of their transient admission process. Note: Students must request to have their official transcript sent from the outside institution to UA in order to receive credit.

An official transcript can be ordered through the “Student Services” on the Student tab in MyBama. Official transcript requests are processed by the Registrar’s Office.

How can I be sure what credit I will receive for a course taken away from UA and transferred back in?

Check the Transfer Credit Equivalency Tables located on the Registrar’s Office website.

I’m transferring to a different school. What are my next steps?

If you are planning on leaving UA and transferring to another institution, you are responsible for contacting the other institution to see how your credits will be received. You may need to submit an official transcript to the other institution which can be found on the Student tab in MyBama.

How do I contact my major/program department?

» Advertising & Public Relations: 412 Reese Phifer Hall – 205-348-7158
» Communication Studies: 203 Reese Phifer Hall, Room – 205-348-5995
» Journalism & Creative Media: 490 Reese Phifer Hall – 205-348-7155
Graduate Studies: 478 Reese Phifer Hall- 205-348-8593
School of Library & Information Sciences- 514 Gorgas Library- 205-348-4610

I’m considering studying abroad. What are my next steps?

You will need to meet with a study abroad advisor in Bama Abroad to discuss options for studying in a different country. They can offer programs by country or degree programs to see what best fits your needs.

I am planning to study abroad. How do I make sure my courses transfer back?

Your study abroad advisor will give you a Course Equivalency Form. That form will then be sent to Tisch Student Services from Capstone International for course evaluation. The evaluation process generally takes 4-6 weeks to complete.

International transcripts can take up to 3 months to receive; therefore, we do not recommend students to take study abroad courses their final semester because the transcript most likely will not be received in time for graduation.


Registration & Add/Drop


When can I register for classes?

Registration dates fluctuate from semester to semester, so visit the academic calendar or check your registration date through the Student tab of MyBama. Click Student tab > Student Services folder > Registration folder > Registration Status. Registration for current students usually begins in March for the upcoming summer and fall semester and October for the upcoming spring semester. Incoming freshmen and transfer students register during Bama Bound summer orientation.

When are courses offered at UA?

Beyond the typical Fall, Spring and Summer terms, UA offers courses called Winter Interim in January May Interim in May. Fall II and Spring II are 10-week long sessions within the traditional Fall and Spring semesters. Course offerings for Fall II and Spring II are listed under regular Fall or Spring semesters in MyBama

How many hours do I have to be registered for in order to be a full-time student?

An undergraduate student must be registered for at least 12 credit hours in a regular fall or spring semester in order to be considered a full-time student. 16 credit hours is considered a full load. Any hours over 16 are assessed an overload fee. Students may not exceed 18 hours in a semester without advisor and C&IS Registrar approval.

How do I drop a class?

Students may add or drop courses during the first week of each semester without penalty. In order to drop a course, a student will need to go to the Add/Drop button in the Student Services box on the Student tab of MyBama. To drop the course, select “Drop/Delete” from the drop down menu next to the course to be dropped and click “Submit.”

The last day to withdraw from a course with a “W” falls around the 10th week of classes. During interim and summer sessions both intervals are considerably shorter. Consult the UA academic calendar for specific dates.

How do I get a PIN cleared for registration?

If a you have an academic advising hold, or a PIN, on your record, it must be cleared by your assigned advisor. Please contact your advisor to schedule an appointment in order to have your hold lifted/PIN lifted.

How do I use Schedule Builder?


Schedule Builder can be found by going to the Student tab in MyBama. For assistance using Schedule Builder, please check out these two links:

  • How to Use Schedule Builder
  • Reference Guide

GPA and Academic Standing


What’s the difference between my “overall GPA” and my “UA GPA?”

The overall GPA combines a student’s transfer GPA and their UA GPA, whereas the UA GPA is solely based off the work completed at The University of Alabama. Academic warning and academic suspension is based off the UA GPA. Coursework taken elsewhere and transferred back to UA will not impact the UA GPA, only the Transfer and Overall GPAs.

What does “academic standing” mean and are there different types?

There are four standings a student can be placed in based on their UA GPA. The University of Alabama uses the Satisfactory Progress Standard (SPS) to determine a student’s academic standing.

Good Standing – any student with a UA GPA above 2.0
Academic Warning – any student with a UA GPA below 2.0 but above the Satisfactory Progress Standard (SPS)
Academic Suspension – any student that has not met the SPS based on their overall hours after the completion of the spring term
Reinstated from Suspension – any student that has earned a suspension but has been reinstated to their college

Why have I been placed on academic warning?

An academic warning serves as an alert that your GPA is close to the threshold for academic suspension and is placed on any student whose UA GPA falls below 2.0 but remains above the Scholastic Progress Standard (SPS).

If I’m suspended, can I take summer classes to raise my GPA?

Yes, but those courses must be taken either on-campus or online through UA in order to impact your academic standing. Taking courses away from UA in summer will not impact your UA GPA which is what academic warning/suspension is based on.

What is academic bankruptcy?

The UA catalog defines academic bankruptcy as “a student’s request to retroactively withdraw from one academic term of study because of extreme personal, emotional or financial circumstances so devastating that it was impossible for the student to perform academically at a level approximating the usual record of achievement.”

For information on how to file for academic bankruptcy, please contact Tisch Student Services at (205) 348-8599.


Graduation


I’m getting close to graduation. How do I ensure that I have completed my requirements?

Students should request a degree audit via email to the C&IS Registrar, Alyson Jarnagin after you have registered for your second to last semester. This will ensure that you know exactly what you have remaining and you can register accordingly to prepare for graduation. You may reach Ms. Jarnagin at aljarnagin@ua.edu.

What are the steps to apply for graduation?

You will begin receiving e-mails to your Crimson e-mail account from the Registrar’s Office in the semester you will complete degree requirements and graduate. Graduation applications are available through MyBama, and students must submit their fees and application by the stated deadline.

What are the qualifications for summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude?

These honors designations are based on your UA GPA earned at the end of the semester previous to the semester of graduation. The honor designations are based off the following GPA ranges:

cum laude, 3.5-3.69.
magna cum laude, 3.7-3.89
summa cum laude, 3.9-4.0+

For further information, visit the UA Registrar’s graduation page here.