How to Prepare for Class Registration

As hard as it is to believe, we’re already halfway through fall semester and less than a month away from class registration for next semester. I know... it’s scary.

As an organizational freak, I already have everything organized and planned out for next semester weeks ago. (I check Patriot Web religiously) For those of you who want to get started, but you’re not sure how, here’s what to do!

1. Look at required classes for your major and university core

Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

Look at all the classes you have to take for the rest of your college years, both for your major(s), minor(s) and for the core classes you have to take for the school (i.e. Mason Core). It is also smart to look at all the required prerequisites for each course so you can plan your classes accordingly.

If you’re an organization nerd like me, you can create a spreadsheet with all the information in one place!Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

On my spreadsheet, I have a list of all the classes I have to take for my major, my minors and all the prerequisites for those classes. I also highlighted the classes I still have to take in orange so that I can visually see what classes I still need. For the electives, I highlighted everything that interests me and that I will possibly take.

2. Make a 4-year plan

Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

In order to know what classes/how many classes you have to take to graduate on time, you need a 4-year plan! (I know, it’s overwhelming, but trust me, it’ll help you out in the long run!)

Remember, this is only a tentative plan, you don’t have to be too strict about it. It’s totally okay to move those classes around in order to accommodate your different needs. (For example, all the professors ratings for this particular course are super low, so you decided to take the class next year instead.) The important thing is you know how many classes you need to graduate and how to spread those classes evenly among your semesters. If you have various majors or minors, it’ll be a nice idea to color code them too!

3. Decide on how many classes or credits you’re going to take

Now that you have a tentative 4-year plan, you’ll know how many credits you need for next semester! If you can’t fit all your classes into the 4-year plan (5 classes/15-16 credits per semester), it’s possible that you’ll have to take 6 classes (18 credits) next semester!

4. Know what your priorities are

Everyone has different priorities when it comes to picking your classes. Some people value the time of the class the most, for other people, it’s the location or the professor. If you have work or other commitments next semester that have a set time and day, you should take note of the day and time various classes meet when you are looking through classes on Patriot Web. If you’re the kind of person who cares a lot about the quality of the professor’s teaching, make sure you look up ratings on ratemyprofessor.com so that you know who to look for or avoid.

5. Look at all the tentative classes and list them

Photo Courtesy of Marina Li

After you have your priorities straight, it’s time to look at all your options! For me, the quality of the professor’s teaching is more important than the time and the location of the class, so I made sure to look up the professors’ rating and put them in the tentative class list.

Don’t be afraid to list as many classes as you want in your list because it’s always good to have back up classes if your top choices are full! As you can see, I have some of the classes highlighted. Those are the top classes I wanted to take next spring.

6. Meet with your advisor

Now that you have everything planned and ready, make sure you schedule an appointment with your advisor to make sure you’re on track and that you’re registering for the right courses!

Good luck, collegeittes! May your registration time slot be in your favor.