Registering for College Classes as a Freshman

on May 2, 2017

Incoming freshmen, it’s that time of year. Time to enroll in classes for fall (or summer) semester.


Deciding which courses to enroll in is a serious decision. It’s almost as important as deciding which college to attend. Typically, there’s a wealth of classes to choose from, which can be overwhelming for incoming students. Deciphering which courses to register for can seem like the beginning stages of solving a 1,000-piece puzzle. And although the process should be taken seriously, there’s wiggle-room during the add-drop period once school begins.


If a college has been in contact with you, chances are there’s an email coming your way with instructions to register for classes. There will be a scheduled date and time to enroll—make sure you remember that date so you get into the classes you want.


It’s unlikely you’ve heard from your advisor this early in the year, or have even been told who your advisor is. That’s perfectly OK. Some schools offer alternative resources to assist incoming students with the process. If you have access to current students, ask them for help. Some schools offer group chats or provide student feedback posts about classes to determine whether they’re a good fit. Do due diligence and read the reviews — sometimes a class sounds more exciting than it is. Others might be more work than the description provides.


Due to the nature of a university, students are given the freedom to choose classes that interest them instead of going through a state-mandated course load like in high school. When you view the course book, begin with your program to see which required courses you are eligible to take your first semester. Remember, don’t get over-excited about classes either. If you’re a journalism student, do you really need a bio-medical course on your transcript? Be strategic and take classes that will benefit you long term.

If you haven’t decided which program to enroll in, it’s no sweat. Reviewing the course book can give insight into what each program requires and which classes interest you. Full-time students probably should enroll in at least three required courses and one elective. This method typically allows students a little breathing room to take a fun and/or more engaging class than what’s required.


Elective classes also provide the opportunity of students within different programs to work and learn from one another—an invaluable experience in itself. Think of elective courses as classes that can help you develop and build upon professional skills your program might not necessarily require. Take an elective that is both beneficial and interesting.


Once you’ve decided which classes you want to take, make sure they are available. Design a realistic schedule (one where you won’t oversleep for that 8 a.m. class you knew you shouldn’t have signed up for). Is the class available, or will you be waitlisted? If you are waitlisted, consider the chances of getting into the class. You always can talk to the professor once classes begin or wait for other students to drop as well.


Once you’ve registered, enjoy your summer. Just make sure you find your advisor once classes begin.

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