Last Updated: July 22, 2013
As a freshman, you’re at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to registering for classes. Though a number of seats are usually reserved for freshmen students, you may find that all of the classes you were planning on taking are full by the time it’s your turn to register. If this happens, don’t panic—there are ways you can get into the class after the initial registration period.
Have A Back Up Plan
Most likely you will only be taking four or five classes a semester, but when preparing for registration, it is important to have back up options in case your first-choice classes are full. Take the time to look through the entire course guide and note the classes you’d be interested in taking—anywhere from six to ten back up classes will be sufficient. Look at the assignments, readings, exam schedule, and meeting time of each course to make sure they would be a good fit with your other options—you don’t want to burn out during your first year.
Join the Waitlist
For classes with a waitlist available, adding your name will give you a realistic indication of how likely it is that a seat will open up for you. If you’re anywhere from 1-10 on a waitlist for a lecture, it is likely that enough students will drop the class and allow you to register. On the other hand if you have a low number, like somewhere in the 20s or 30s, you don’t want to get your hopes up—it is unlikely that that many students will drop the course.
After the initial round of registration has ended, students continually drop and add classes at the beginning of the semester. If the classes you’re interested in do not have a waitlist available, continually checking to see if spaces have opened up is your best chance of getting into the classes you want to take.
Email the Professor
If you have a connection to the professor teaching a course you want to take, sending an email detailing your interest and asking for an override may get you the extra push you need to enroll in the class. Professors can sometimes issue special permission to register, and will give these to students they feel will be an excellent addition to the course. It doesn’t work in every case, but there’s no reason not to try.
Original Post Date: August 3rd, 2012