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Registration FAQs

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Tips and Strategies  |  FAQs

Registration Tips and Strategies

Registration is a process. Be patient and know that many students are not finished after their initial registration session. By design, the process goes on for 2-and-a-half weeks during November and April pre-registration, and also for a week during add/drop at the beginning of each semester. The overall system is focused on helping students get the classes they need to graduate on time.

Plan several alternative classes/schedules, and try something new. In an environment of small class sizes, some courses can (and do) fill up quickly. Students should understand they don’t need schedules composed entirely of major courses or Pathways classes. A minimum of 124 credits is required for the degree, leaving room for electives; don’t be afraid to try something outside of your comfort zone—you’re not wasting time; you’re discovering and growing! Just be sure to check with your adviser if you deviate from the schedule they’ve approved.

Don’t panic if...

  1. …your schedule isn’t complete or exactly what you want after your initial registration session. There will be ample time to adjust your schedule as many times as you’d like throughout preregistration and add/drop. Hundreds of students drop classes they signed up for, freeing seats for others. And typically, students add more than 2,000 courses to their schedules during add/drop week.
  2. …classes you want/need show as closed or waitlisted on TigerPaws. E-waitlists work! More than 1,800 “permission to register” notices are generated each semester to students waitlisted for courses, so add yourself to the e-waitlist. Next, if it’s a class you really must have, make plans to meet with the instructor and let him/her know your situation. (Sending an email is okay, but face-to-face contact is even better.) Most faculty want to hear from students interested in their classes. And in some cases, they may be able to accommodate students with special circumstances.

Manage your waitlists. Check your Tmail at least once daily during registration and add/drop for “permission to register” notices. Permissions are time-sensitive; you’ll have one day to register yourself from the waitlist if granted permission. After that, permission expires and the seat will be offered to the next student. If you no longer want a course for which you’re waitlisted, please remove yourself using “Manage My Waitlists” on TigerPaws. This gives your classmates a better chance of getting a seat (you’d want them to do the same for you!). Only add yourself to waitlists for classes you would actually take.

Waitlists provide faculty and administrators with valuable information. New sections may be added and resources may be adjusted when waitlists show courses are in high demand. By waitlisting courses you truly need, you’re helping the administration help students.

Add/drop means open seats. During the first week each semester, nearly half of all continuing students typically change their schedules. Students who need to adjust their schedules should be patient and regularly check course availability on TigerPaws. Students can also contact faculty members or attend the first day of class to see if space is available in any class. Bring a Closed Class Override form (available in the Office of the Registrar) with you when you meet the instructor. If signed, be sure to return it to the Office of the Registrar for processing by the deadline.

Master TigerPaws! Learn to use Search for Sections techniques to sort and filter open classes, find Pathways classes, pick classes on specific days and times, etc. Before your registration time, add your top choices and your alternative classes to the Preferred Sections list.

Registration FAQs

In what order do students register?
New first-year students register in random order their first two semesters. Prior credits earned, AP credits, etc., are not factored in at this point and won’t affect a student’s order of registration. After the first year, a seniority system based on all credits earned to date is used to determine registration sequence.

What happens to waitlists after pre-registration is over?
In November, waitlists are carried forward through add/drop in January. After April pre-registration, waitlists expire in preparation for the entering class of students.

I’m trying to register, but TigerPaws won’t let me. What should I do?
Carefully read the error message you’re receiving. It will normally explain the problem and give instructions. If you’re not sure what to do, take a screenshot or make a note, then contact the Office of the Registrar.

I’m still having problems. Who can help me?
First, don’t wait until the last minute. Let your adviser know your situation and seek their guidance. You can also come to the Office of the Registrar for assistance. We’re in Northrup Hall118, and our well-trained staff is here to help. For example, we can provide you with a list of open classes and help adjust your schedule.