Important: Majors must meet individually and in person with the director of undergraduate studies (DUS) prior to online self-registration each term in order to have the ADV hold removed from their record. These meetings are also required to plan your schedule, discuss your academic standing as well as University and department requirements for graduation, and talk about your undergraduate career. Receiving special permission numbers to enroll in such courses as the religious studies capstone seminar, internships, directed study, URA and UTA also require meeting with the DUS. Exceptions are made only for students who are studying abroad for credit during the registration period.

Preparing for your Pre-registration Appointment

  • Sign up for a pre-registration advising appointment. A sign-up appointment sheet is posted outside the office door of the DUS beginning about one month prior to registration for each term. To prevent delays in your ability to self-enroll, arrange to meet with the DUS before your enrollment appointment begins.
  • Check your account on to make sure there is no hold on it that would block your registration.
  • Review Requirements for the Major. You may also want to consult with faculty members in your areas of interest about course recommendations and curriculum and career planning.
  • Review General Education and Other Degree Requirements.
  • Review Course Descriptions for the courses you would like to take. Courses may be viewed by department, general education requirements, instructor, or course title.
  • Check PeopleSoft for recitation sections and up-to-date schedule information.
  • Get signed special permission forms from other departments or the Honors College for restricted classes that you wish to take.
  • Fill out the Registration Worksheet (DOC) with the courses for which you want to register. Be sure to accurately include course titles, course catalogue numbers, five-digit class numbers, and days/times of classes. Be especially careful when indicating recitation or lab sections. Selecting alternatives in case courses are filled is strongly recommended.
  • Complete the Checklist for Majors (DOC). This will help you see what courses you still need to complete the major.
  • Complete the General Education Requirements Checklist (DOC).
  • Complete the Accomplishments and Milestones Form (DOC).
  • Print out a copy of your advising transcript. To access your transcript on PeopleSoft, click Student Services » View My Academic Info » View My Degree Progress Report, and select Academic Advising Transcript in the drop-down menu next to Report Type.

Important: Bring four documents to your meeting: Registration Worksheet, Checklist for Majors, Gen Ed Checklist, and transcript—plus any special permission forms and the Milestone Form (if applicable). Make sure you have your PeopleSoft ID number (not your Social Security number) and current contact information on file with us.

Important: Majors planning on registering for RELGT 1903: Senior Capstone Seminar, Internships, Directed Study, URA, and/or UTA should remember to obtain a special permission registration number from the DUS at the pre-registration meeting. Directed study, internships, URA and UTA also require permission of the advising faculty member and a description of the project.

How to Register

Students self-enroll online. Once you have met with the DUS, have obtained any special permission registration numbers, and have ADV (and other) holds removed from your record, you may self-enroll at any time beginning on the start date of your enrollment appointment through the add/drop period. Your start date may be found on the right side of your Student Center on Popular classes close quickly so it is advisable to be prepared to self-enroll as early as your start date allows. General information on self service enrollment may be obtained through the registrar.

Important: Special permission numbers are required to register for certain courses, including RELGST 1903: Senior Capstone Seminar. Make sure to obtain these prior to registration. When you enroll for RELGST 1903, make sure to enroll for three credit. The default is one credit, so you will have to manually change it to 3.

See also Transferring Credits.

Navigating Closed Courses

The Department of Religious Studies does its best to accommodate our majors in courses that are controlled by us and are taught by our faculty. We have no authority over courses controlled by departments elsewhere in the University that we cross-list for them.

If a religious studies course you are trying to register for has already closed, first check to see if it is cross-listed with another course. If it is, you might be able to register for the course using a different course number. For example, RELGST 1120: Origins of Christianity is cross-listed with History. You can register for it as HIST 1775: Origins of Christianity; in either case, it will count towards the major.

To find out whether or not a particular religious studies course is cross-listed with another department, go to its course description under RELGST. Click on the class number. Under the heading Combined Section it will list the course numbers of the courses with which it is cross-listed.

A course is typically a religious studies-initiated course if it is taught by a member of the departmental faculty or one of our advanced graduate students or adjuncts hired by the department. Another way to check is to visit the department list of regularly taught courses. Our courses that are cross-listed in other departments are indicated with their alternate numbers.

If all sections of the course are closed, ask the instructor for special permission to enroll in the course. Make sure to mention that you are one of our declared majors. After getting the instructor's permission, you will need to get a special permission number to enroll in the course. Only the instructor for the course can give permission to open the course to you. You might be able to get the special permission number directly from the instructor. If not, you will need to get from the departmental administrator the form titled Department of Religious Studies Request for Admission to a Closed Course. Fill out the form and have the instructor sign it. Then submit it to the departmental administrator.

Registering for More Than 18 Credits Per Term

Students may register for a maximum of 18 credit hours per term without special permission through self-enrollment. For those credits over 18, students need permission from an assistant dean of undergraduate studies. Students should simply call 412-624-6480 to schedule an appointment with an assistant dean for approval.


Full-time students may cross-register for one course per term at the following Pittsburgh Council for Higher Education (PCHE) affiliated institutions for credit towards graduation: Carlow University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College, Community College of Allegheny County, Duquesne University, LaRoche College, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Point Park College, and Robert Morris University.

Students who cross-register do not pay tuition to the host institution; however, they are responsible for any additional fees associated with the course such as laboratory fees and books. Cross-registration is only available during the fall and spring terms. During the summer, students may attend one of the above colleges as guest students, but they must pay that institution’s tuition and fees. Students are discouraged from cross-registering during their term of graduation to avoid any delays in receiving course credit needed to graduate. Students should meet with the director of undergraduate studies before cross-registering.

See also Transferring Credits.

Add/Drop Procedures

Routine add/drop during the first two weeks of each term are done through online self-enrollment and does not require a signature from the department. If your add/drop changes affect your progress in the major, however, please inform the DUS by e-mail. Check the Academic Calendar or Ex Cathedra for the last day of add/drop.

Course Credit for Double Majors

School of Arts and Sciences regulations state that up to six credit hours (typically two courses) can be applied to courses that meet the requirements of one major (e.g., Religious Studies) and a second or double major (e.g., History). Consult with the DUS at your pre-registration appointment.

Course Credit towards the Major for Study Abroad

Pitt offers many opportunities for students to study abroad during the academic year or summer. The Department of Religious Studies encourages study abroad for our majors and thinks that the ideal time to take advantage of these programs is in the junior year. Students should not plan to study abroad in their senior year during the fall capstone seminar. Students must consult the director of undergraduate studies before leaving for their study abroad programs. Visit the Study Abroad Office for details on programs and funding opportunities.

Courses taken while studying aborad may be eligible to count towards the major in religious studies. You will need to plan ahead.

First talk with the Study Abroad Office in the William Pitt Union, room 802. Then show the information on the course you plan to take to the DUS, who will be able to tell you whether a course can count toward the major.
Keep the syllabus and any course work or exams you do for the course to show the DUS. Upon your return, DUS might need to see them to determine what credit, if any, can be put toward the major.

More on School of Arts and Sciences Requirements, Graduation, and Degree Options