It’s that time of the semester again, you’re running across campus, getting classwork done and trying to balance out everything in your college life when another burden gets on your shoulders; course registration. Don’t be fooled, this is more important than you think it is at the time. It can severely affect your next semester or even your entire plan of graduation. Keep reading for 11 tips to get you through course registration at Purdue!
1. Use scheduling assistant!
First and most important tip for Purdue’s course registration is to use the scheduling assistant. This will save you lots of time and prevent confusions as you hunt for CRNs, match the time slots and try to register through myPurdue. The link to this scheduling assistant is within myPurdue, and it is the safest to access it from there to ensure that you are working on your own account and everything transfers back to your registration page. Its super easy to use and it shows you your schedule while you’re building it in a time-table form.
Click on a class to see if there are alternative sections and watch out for the little road-runner icon on the top right of a class box. That means that it is a powerwalk across campus (usually from one side to the other in 10 minutes or less). You don’t want to take that if you don’t like walking fast, you don’t want to walk fast in the snow or you just like enjoying walks from class to class throughout your day. Once you have built your schedule, hit Submit and you’re good to go! Here’s what it looks like once submitted.
Need to make changes? Go back, make them and hit submit again and you’re done!
2. Don’t get stuck while registering, have a Plan B for everything.
Before your time ticket starts up, you can still use scheduling assistant to check how your schedule is going to look, check availability of classes, check professor names and even locations. Make at least two versions that you are happy with, and keep those in mind. You don’t want to pull it up at the time of your ticket and pick and choose. Remember, this is an entire semester and you want to make sure you’re happy with the routine you’re getting into!
Check availability ahead of time, a lot of classes will fill up before you can even begin registration because upperclassmen and other priority students get to register before the others, and classes can fill up just like that. If the class is not available, figure out an alternative so you can register for that instead.
3. ALWAYS register as soon as your time ticket starts.
Yes, sometimes the time ticket is early in the morning, sometimes it’s a little late at night but regardless of all that, pull up your computer or go to an iTap lab, and register for classes. Purdue is a large school, and every year they are admitting record breaking numbers of students. A class can get full in the matter of seconds, and you want to be one of the students that gets in. Don’t want to be stuck with a super early or a super late class do you?
4. Download the approved course list from Purdue’s website.
The approved course list is a huge excel sheet, divided into sections that is basically a roster of every class at Purdue. When it comes time to choose electives and fill requirements like science, humanities, etc, you want to know what exactly is available. Sure, some friends might have suggested an easy course but you might just come across a course that you are really interested to take. This really helps when a course a full and you need to find a replacement. It’s always good to have the list saved on your computer. There is an online list as well as an excel sheet and both of these can be found here at this link.
5. Keep your advisor in the loop.
Your advisor is your best friend during registration week. He or she is going to be your ultimate guide to picking the perfect schedule. When you schedule your appointment, remember to go in with some background as to what you would like to take for the coming semester, whether you would like to do any summer courses, any online summer courses and anything else you can think of. Share your current semester experience, your advisor will likely take that into account when he or she suggests classes for you.
Remember, every class should have an alternative you can take, so when you are getting the sheet that gives you the class list and the registration pin, make sure you talk to your advisor about an alternative to every class in your list. Note down your time ticket where you can easily find it and take a picture of your registration pin, text it to yourself and email it as well. You never know where and when you will need it. Easy access will give you less stress when you REALLY need to register for that one class that has a spot left. If you are planning to fill up some requirements, check the course list in advance and have some options ready to take your advisor’s opinion on them.
6. Check myPurduePlan to get an idea of what you need to take.
myPurduePlan is a convenient way to know what you still require for your major without having to cross check manually. The link, once again, is within myPurdue and it shows you everything you need to take and everything you have already taken. This is a good way to understand what classes you need to take and what your current GPA is (take easy classes if you need to pull it up). That way you can look at those sections within the course list to find something that might interest you before your advisor’s appointment.
myPurduePlan lets you create an entire college plan with classes you will need to take each semester. Almost every time, you never follow it because of class availability and change of mind and that’s why it is a great idea to update it every semester to see how your progress is going and what future semesters will look like. If they look too rough, distribute out your harder classes across semesters. You never want to be stuck with every hard class in one semester, ESPECIALLY at Purdue.
7. Try to hit two birds with one stone (no, not literally).
Sometimes you will want to throw stones because you’re so frustrated with the amount of stress you have, but that’s not what I would recommend you do. What I mean is try to take a class that fills up two different requirements in your department. Different departments sometimes consider a class to fill two different requirements at once. For example, the class HIST 104 is considered a humanities class and an International elective at the Krannert School of Management.
Your advisor is the best person to tell you these things about course registration at Purdue. Ask, inquire and most of all ask your friends because they might have heard about it. You might just create a spot for that class you have been meaning to take because it sounds so interesting, or you now have a free spot for a class that you had to retake. It is always good to do that. The awesome part is you now have to take one class less! You save energy, time, money and lots of stress.
8. Ask about the professor, look up reviews.
It’s always good to know what you’re getting in to when you sign up for a class that’s going to go on for an entire semester. You don’t want to be stuck with the wrong instructor that you never understand. Look up professor reviews and most of all ask your friends in the same major, someone has bound to have taken that class. You could even ask your advisor for an opinion based on what he or she has heard from many students in the past about the class. It is better to hear it in person than to read it online, especially from someone that has taken the class at Purdue.
9. Have a timeline set up as soon as you get the email about course registration.
At some point towards the end of the semester, you will get an email from your advisor about the windows in which you can make an appointment with him or her to discuss the following semester’s classes. Pay attention for that email, and schedule an appointment way ahead of time. The spots fill up quickly and you might not get a good time, leaving you behind the others and at risk of losing that one class you really wanted or needed to get into. Be prompt about getting there on time and following up with your advisor for any questions you might have. They are more than happy to answer them and will help you out whenever needed.
10. Make sure you did it right, sometimes technology can go against you.
After you’re done, and you’ve hit the submit button, log out, close everything and restart myPurdue. Get into the registration tab, hit Add or Drop Classes and make sure all the classes you registered for are on there. Verify the amount of credit hours you have and make sure the classes are in the locations you had originally read on scheduling assistant. You also want to make sure you registered for the right variant of the class. Some classes have different variants like an entrepreneurship variant or an engineering variant. The last thing you want is to start the semester and realize you got into the wrong class so you end up registering for a different one last minute and getting a bad timing or even worse, no spot at all.
You should also check whether you have any holds for course registration at Purdue. These can potentially drop you out of your classes if you do not deal with them and resolve them on time. Many times your advisor might just have to override something to let you through the system but didn’t do it because it was never talked about. Don’t let that happen to you. Before each semester starts, once your tuition is paid make sure you log into myPurdue and confirm enrollment. If you do not do that, you may lose your spot in every class and that is not a position you want to be in.
11. Be patient, Purdue adds more sections and sometimes even changes timings!
Sometimes you might not get a spot in a class you really wanted or needed. Purdue is constantly monitoring the course registration processes and is making things easier for us. Register for your backup class but keep going back to check if there is any availability that has come up. A lot of times if there is high demand Purdue will add a section. For higher level classes, you might just end up seeing a few spots open up just before finals week or even after because some students realize that they have to retake a class that was a prerequisite for this one and end up dropping the class. You might just get lucky.
Classes have a wait list facility too, ask your advisor when the wait list facility opens for a class and what you should do to get on the wait list. Once you do that, you can get an email at any point of time if a spot opens up giving you a chance to register for the class and even holding it for 24 hours. This is another reason why you should always keep track of your Purdue email!
In the end, most of us are satisfied with our schedules. If not, don’t sweat it. Sometimes it is okay to have a rough semester, it teaches you new things about yourself and your way of working under extreme levels of stress. You always have the next semester to give you a break so always remember to plan ahead and keep track of what is going on with your classes!