Monday, October 25, 2010

Help with figuring out possible schedules

OK, so I'm going to register for a common sophomore-level course sequence including organic chemistry and first-year biology and need to submit a set of possible schedules.

Let's see.... Chemistry 248 has three sections, and Chemistry 254 has seven sections. Bio 126 class has three sections and lab has eight sections. That's.... 3 x 7 x 3 x 8 --- holy cow! We're talking about over 500 possible schedules potentially!!! What do I do now?? (Actually, only 99 of those are compatible, but still....)

Help is available. Take a look at the Schedule Planning Assistant and see if it might be useful to you. This site walks you through the process of figuring out a set of possible schedules that you can enter into the registration system.

Using the Schedule Planning Assistant, you can factor in your extracurricular activities, select specific course times or profs, and get a sense of what the possibilities are. Now, even then, you might end up with quite a few schedule possibilities. So what if that happens? No one is suggesting that you enter ALL possible schedules into the SIS. We recommend entering at least a half a dozen or so, just to cover your bases.

Here are tips from the Chemistry Department chair, Prof. Abdella:

1) Whatever you do, don't just register for ONE schedule. This is the most common mistake science students make, and it's totally avoidable. Sure, you have a favorite schedule. Enter that. But also put in a few options that aren't quite your favorite. Otherwise you may end up with no chemistry course (especially because labs and class are linked, so if you can't get a lab, you also won't be getting a course section.

2) Remember that the labs most likely to close are the ones that are earlier in the day. If you have the possibility for attending them, get some schedules in there that include afternoon labs.

3) Get your schedules in early. This system only works if people don't procrastinate.

4) Check the system a day before it's all over and see how it looks. Did you get your courses? No? Think about adding a few more schedules with other sections.

5) Talk with the registrar! The beauty of this system is that there's plenty of time to fix things before registration is finally run. Just go over to the registrar's office and tell them you are having problems getting your courses. They are ready and willing to help you. They will be able to give you excellent advise.

6) Stay calm. There's no need to panic if you are having problems. Think of registration as a "first draft" that might be revised for full credit (OK, pun intended...) If it doesn't work out the first time around, talk with your adviser. That's what they are there for.

Good luck at registration!

Prof. Hanson

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