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Making Sure you Get the Classes you Want for the Semester

posted Sep 6, 2009, 11:29 PM by Danny Eusebio

Signing up for classes is almost like shopping during after thanksgiving (aka Black Friday). It's probably the one time you'll find yourself getting up early in the morning waiting in line at stores and shopping malls to get on the latest deals (or when the next iPhone comes out). The only difference about class sign up is that, you have to be strategic in the way you handle signing up. There's going to be a lot of people after the same courses you are after, and it's important you have the strategies I'm giving you to stay ahead of the competition. Now, hopefully, your school implements an online registration system. Unfortunately if they don't, you'll have to sort of work out the system yourself. There are some advice here that may or may not work with your school, but the concept is the same.

Some tips for signing up for classes:

  1. Setup an appointment with your counselor and figure out what classes you need to take your first semester/quarter. Do this before the school year starts.
  2. Take a look at your school catalog making sure the information your counselor is giving you is consistent. Counselors do make mistakes; they are human. Make sure you don't end up wasting a year taking the wrong courses. A friend of mine happen to fall in that land mine.
  3. Bust out your Google calendar or outlook calendar or whatever calendar you use and start inputting the days and times the classes are offered. You should do this before your registration window opens.
  4. Also make sure to write down class code numbers you'll need during the registration process.
  5. Make sure to add back up courses in the event that during registration some classes fill up. You may also want to jot down alternative discussion section times if you don't get into that particular time slot.
  6. Last but not least, sign up for the MAXIMUM amount of courses allowed based on your units. Even though your not taking all those classes, its never a bad idea to sign up for more and than drop a class later in the semester. The thing is, some classes may or may not work for you.  You may find out the in the syllabus that the class is way to difficult (too demanding). Well, then you realize you can't drop because you only have the minimum amount of units (any lower you go part-time). If you signed up for extra classes, you have more flexibility in dropping your courses with little concern over going below units.
  7. Advanced: If you know someone, usually an upperclassmen, you can ask him or her to sign up for a class in advance for you. When your registration window opens, you can ask them to suddenly drop the class you want and quickly sign up for it yourself. It's almost like a switch off. (This may or may not work) So it's important that you find some upperclassmen and make friends with them. It can help you get the classes you need.


I'm not familiar with how all campuses setup their registration process, but my school uses a unit system. The more units you have, the earlier your registration window opens. I know some schools might use an alphabetical system for there freshmen. Basically what I'm trying to say is that your going to be in a tough spot the first couple of years in school. Usually by the time your a 3rd or 4th year, getting into the classes you want shouldn't get difficult. But I stand corrected. If you have any strategies that you use to get into the classes you want, let us know at University Ninja. Will post and update your suggestions. Thanks.