Online pre-registration for the Fall 2018 semester will begin at 7 a.m. (9 a.m. for in-person registration in Markle Hall) on Monday, April 16. Order of registration is based on class year (class year is based on total number of completed credits). Registration for subsequent class years will open on April 18 (Class of 2020) and April 20 (Class of 2021) and will remain open through the last day of classes (

The purpose of this article is to provide parents with some basic information about this important event in the hope that this knowledge can go a long way towards supporting your student(s) during this stressful time.

Most students regard the time that they are actually entering their ideal schedule into the online system as the most important part of this process. Seeing the notification: “class added” pop up on a laptop screen provides quick reinforcement and a satisfying feeling. However, it is the steps prior to that moment that can make the most difference in whether this process will ultimately be considered a success.

The first step that students should take to prepare to register for classes, is to schedule a meeting with their advisor. This should be initiated at least two weeks prior to the date that registration opens. A four-digit pin is required for students to register through the online system, and many faculty advisors will not release the pin via email. The reason for this is that course planning should ideally begin with an interactive discussion in which overall goals for a student’s academic plan are discussed. Advance planning is essential in order to identify an appointment time and to follow-up on recommendations an advisor may make. This is also the time for students to determine whether there are ‘holds’ on their account that could prevent their participation in pre-registration. Holds are placed on an account for a myriad of reasons and are only utilized when the student has failed to act after multiple warnings. It is important that these are addressed prior to pre-registration.

Many students make the mistake of expecting to complete and finalize their schedule as soon as they enter their course selections. Most of the time a student can add all of the courses that they planned without additional thought. However, this expectation can leave them anxious and frustrated when something does not go as planned. For example, a student with a robust list of potential and alternate courses can likely schedule a full course load for the following semester before they even eat breakfast. However, it is unlikely that this will be the case during every registration period. Therefore, a more prudent way to approach pre-registration is to consider the initial process of entering preferred courses as only the first step to building a schedule. This simple shift in mindset can make the difference between a student quickly re-envisioning their plan and one who is desperately searching for courses to add to their schedule.

Important things to keep in mind if the pre-registration process does not go as planned for your student:

  • There is often less urgency to getting a schedule finalized than students believe. Pre-registration lasts two weeks. The College does not consider the process to be a mad dash to the preferred courses, and even after pre-registration, does not consider the schedule final. Instead, the College is interested in ensuring that every student has a reasonable schedule that supports their plans, respects pre- and co-requisites, and provides the best opportunity for success.
  • Normal load for most A.B./B.S. degrees is three-four courses. Normal load for B.S. engineering students is three-five courses. Overloads may not be scheduled during pre-registration and require that a petition be completed.
  • It is preferable for a student to register for a class that is less appealing than to remain on a waitlist for a course that is their preference.  If space becomes available in a waitlisted class, the Registrar’s Office will contact the student to determine their preference.
  • Original preferred sections are not final; enrollment in sections will be adjusted to ensure balance and appropriate class sizes. Changes are often necessary to ensure small class sizes.
  • Small adjustments (changing a course or section) can usually be accomplished during the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester.

It is important to keep in mind that ALL students will be able to assemble a schedule that meets their academic needs. Advisors and/or class deans are happy to help with issues; simply remind your student to reach out if they experience challenges, especially those that appear to be extraordinary. Students can make an appointment with their class dean by calling the Office of Advising & Co-Curricular Programs at 610-330-5080. Class deans for the 2017-2018 year are:

Class of 2021 – Dean Brandon Morris

Class of 2020 – Dean Chris Selena

Classes of 2019 & 2018 – Dean Karen Clemence