If you’re a returning college student, or someone enrolled in university or college courses for the first time, online class registration can seem a little scary. The good news is that, with a little preparation, you should be able to navigate online registration easily and quickly. You may find there is some competition for classes just like you would expect from in-person class registration. With over 14.6 million estimated college or university students in the U.S., you can understand why competition may be a bit fierce!
Before you dive into your first online class registration, we have some tips you can use to help make sure you’re able to get enrolled in the classes you need.
Talk to your academic advisor.
This tip is perhaps the most important. Talk to your advisor. As you would expect, they will be able to help you understand which classes you need to take to fulfill your degree requirements. They also know which classes will fill up fast for your course or major and may have tips about back-up options if you’re not able to get into a course you need.
Another thing your advisor will be able to help you decide is when you should try to take which course. There are some pre-requisite courses you may need to try to focus on taking in your first few terms while there are others, like electives, that can wait until later. Be sure to approach your appointment with your academic advisor with an idea which classes you’re planning to register for and be prepared for your advisor to recommend changes in your plan.
Check professor rating websites.
You shouldn’t base all of your decisions about which courses to take on which professors are most popular, however, reading through reviews for some teachers may help give you an idea of how difficult it is to get into their classes so you can prioritize registering for those classes accordingly. (And, yes, you may also learn some good tips for how to succeed in that particular class based on the experiences of students who have taken it before you.)
Make a preliminary plan for all your remaining school terms.
It can be difficult to decide just which courses you need to take without actually working out how you’ll get everything done that you need to in order to graduate with your degree. Try making a spreadsheet or even just a list for each school term you’re planning to be enrolled through the point where you would earn your degree and list the classes you plan to take for each term along with the credits you’ll earn. By making a plan, you’ll be able to easily substitute in a class you planned to take later if you’re unable to get into a class you want during registration.
The good news is that your school wants you to be able to take the classes you need to graduate. While this is your first registration and you probably have a lot of classes you could take, as each term goes on, there are fewer and fewer options available to you about which classes you need to take. Schools understand this and often stagger registration priority by school year. This means seniors are often able to access registration earlier than freshmen so they can get into the classes they need first. So even if you get waitlisted, don’t panic! You’ll most likely get the chance to take the class eventually!