Exchange Student Class Registration

This article explains the class registration process for exchange students.

Understanding Courses in the U.S.

There are a few basic things to understand about registering for courses at The University of Alabama(UA). Several things may be very different from the way courses are listed at your home institution.

Course Credit

Courses at The University of Alabama are counted in credit hours. One credit hour at UA is equal to 2 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System(ECTS) credits. You will need to take at least 12 credit hours at UA. Your home institution may require you to take 15. We do not allow students to take more than 18 credit hours without special approval. Most courses are 3 credit hours. This means you will typically take four or five classes.

Course Prefix and Level

Courses at The University of Alabama are listed by Title and Prefix and Course Number. The prefix indicates what area of study the course focuses on. You can see an explanation of all the prefixes here.

The level indicates what year of study is appropriate for the course. Exchange students are only allowed to take courses in the 100-400 level range. 100-200 level courses are typical for students in their first or second year of university study. 300-400 level courses are for students in their third, fourth, or final year of study. 300-400 level courses will often have many prerequisite requirements. Note, we typically recommend that exchange students take an even balance of 100-200 level courses with 300-400 level courses.

The University of Alabama Academic Catalog

All courses that could be offered at The University of Alabama are listed in the Academic Catalog. You can view the Academic Catalog at Note, not every course in the catalog is offered every semester. The catalog is used to determine what courses you might be interested in.

Example Catalog Entry

The example below is an entry from the Academic Catalog. The green box contains the course prefix (AMS) and course number (203). The red box is the name of the course (Introduction to Southern Studies). The orange box shows how many credit hours the course is for (3.0). In addition, you will also be able to read a brief description of the course.

Schedule of Classes

The Office of the Registrar has a instructions page on viewing the Schedule of Classes.

To see courses offered by UA during the semester you intend to study, you can view the Schedule of Classes.  This can be done by logging into myBama and going to the Student tab and selecting Class Schedule in the Academic and Student Services channel.

If you do not have a myBama login, you can access the Class Schedule as a Guest or directly access the Class Schedule listings here.

Course Syllabus

The catalog description contains a brief description of the course. For a complete description of the material covered by the course, you will need the syllabus. Many syllabi are archived at If you can not find the syllabus that you are looking for, contact International Student and Scholar Services for help.

Course Equivalencies

We recommend that you work with your faculty and advisors at your home institution to review course descriptions and syllabi to determine how UA courses may match to your home institution course.  The University of Alabama's Education Abroad office has established a course equivalencies table for UA students studying abroad. 

While this list is meant for UA students going abroad, you can use this course equivalencies table to search your home institution and find equivalent courses that UA has already evaluated.


Some courses have prerequisite requirements that you must have completed before registering for the course. You can click on each prerequisite requirement in the catalog to determine what course is needed. If you have completed the prerequisite at your home institution, you will work with International Student and Scholar Services to get an over-ride. In the example below, there are four different prerequisite requirements that must be completed to enroll in this course. This is typical of courses that are 300-400 level courses.

Step by Step Instructions on Course Registration

Plan your Course Selections

Working with your academic advisor at your home institution, plan out what courses you want to take for the semester and record them on the Course Registration/Study Plan worksheet below. Have your academic advisor sign the sheet and submit it to International Student and Scholar Services. Note, this document is for planning and approval only. This does not guarantee that you will be approved for these courses, and it does not register you in these courses.


 Register for the Courses

Follow the instructions at to register for your courses through MyBama. Remember, that the courses you are approved for must have the campus designation “Main Campus Tuscaloosa.”

Get Prerequisite Overrides

You may not be able to register for all of the courses you want to. If you have a course with a prerequisite error and you have the prerequisite met from your home institution, contact Sonya Harwood-Johnson ( at International Student and Scholar Services to help you with the over-ride.