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Scheduling Season is in Session

After midterms and finals, scheduling for classes is one of the most stressful parts of any semester. Highly competitive, signing up for courses tends to bring about some degree of disappointment and frustration, especially for underclassmen.

Students fortunate enough to enter the university with credits from AP testing or prior coursework have a leg-up, but even still it’s a challenge to get that perfect, CORE-conquering schedule you crave.

“I have heard so many people having trouble getting in classes they need,” says sophomore kinesiology major Jenn Walsh. “It’s very frustrating being accepted into the university for a certain major and then having them tell me they do not have room for me in the classes they require me to take.”

However, although sometimes blocked out of required classes, Walsh agrees along with most students that the credit-system employed by the school is fair.“The longer you are in college for, the earlier your registration date is. It seems fair to me that seniors should register before freshmen.”

Along with the difficulties of finding open classes, there is the pining for Friday-free, late morning sections. In this endeavor, however, there is a reliable helping hand. Websites like Venus allow you to input classes that you must take and classes that are optional and returns each possible schedule. You can even opt for it to show sections that meet only between certain times, or on certain days.

Another site, OurUMD, posts reviews and rankings on courses and professors, in addition to displaying the average grades for that class. “Usually I pick my classes and then use Venus to try and see if I can’t have class Fridays,” says sophomore Brian Donaldson, an undecided major. Like many students, Donaldson uses Venus to eliminate the process of looking up individual sections and being forced to visualize what fits.

Daniel Fitzgerald, a sophomore marketing major, finds sites regarding scheduling hugely helpful, but warns that there’s no guarantee they will just spit out your dream results. “I’ve been frustrated with the scheduling system,” he says. “[Sometimes] I can’t make a schedule that works well for me or makes me get up really early to take the classes I want.” Really, no matter how much assistance the internet offers, there’s still a lot of thought toward deciding which schedule is the best fit for your college life.

You can visit http://www.sis.umd.edu/bin/venusto access the Venus site, and ourumd.com for OurUMD.

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