Mastering the art of course registration: What to do and where to do it

Kim Ghahramani, Contributing Writer

Course registration can be stressful between balancing the need to fulfill academic requirements, the desire to pursue personal interests, and the accommodation of time preferences. And if that is not stressful enough, worrying about late registration slots or not getting into a required class can cause students to panic. With registration set for next week, here is some helpful advice to guide students through the course selection process.

How to pick classes:

When deciding which classes to take, it is important to note what College Core Curriculum (CCC) requirements need to be met, which students can do by logging on to myBucknell and viewing the Academic Progress Report. Students have the option to look up courses by course, CRN, department, instructor, CCC requirement, or by credit.

“The main thing that I’d suggest is to read a lot of course descriptions; you might find a course you’d never have thought of taking that is really interesting to you. Use the curriculum requirements to help you explore new areas,” Associate Professor of Economics Amy Wolaver said.

It is also important to be aware of which classes are offered during either the fall or spring semester.

“I wasn’t sure what my major was as a freshman or first semester sophomore, and by the time I decided my major and realized I needed to take Topics in Calculus, I couldn’t do so because the class is only offered in the spring. Since I want to study abroad spring of junior year, I have to take it senior year which is not ideal,” Claire Culliton ’18 said.

A very easy and accessible way for students to plan out their schedule is through the website

“The goal of no8am is to put the same course information alongside an interactive calendar. This allows you to find interesting courses that fit your weekly schedule. For example, some students prefer getting all of their courses out of the way in morning, others try to avoid 8 a.m.’s at all costs, and many have sports and other group commitments that they can’t schedule on top of. No8am allows students to have the freedom to quickly and easily discover their perfect course schedule. One additional feature is the ability to save your schedule (useful for sharing with advisors and friends),” creator of no8am Nadeem Nasimi ’17 said.

How to register:

Every University student is assigned an academic advisor who provides guidance when students are choosing classes. If students have questions that are not answered under the “Registering for Classes” section on the University’s website, their advisor will help them.

“Pragmatically, assisting with course registration is about having another set of eyes on a student’s schedule and helping him or her move successfully along a path to graduation. An advisor can help the student to find ways to maximize his or her college experience,” Professor of Psychology John Ptacek said.

Advisors will provide students with a registration PIN, which is necessary for registering online. After receiving their PIN, students must log on to myBucknell during their assigned registration slot in order to select the online registration link on the Course Registration page. They can then enter their registration PIN and submit the CRNs of the classes they wish to add.

What does a student do if he or she doesn’t get into a class they want?

It is important to have options and back-up options so that if students do not get into their first choice of classes, they are prepared. If a class is full, sign up on the wait list as soon as possible. Be diligent by checking in with the professor of the course over email or in person to reaffirm interest.

“Early in your time here, you may find that the classes you most want to take are closed. Recognize that that happens, but don’t stress about it. Bucknell offers hundreds of classes taught by passionate and fantastic professors. Remember that any course you take here has the potential to help you grow, perhaps in ways that you hadn’t even considered. Take another course, one that fulfills a CCC requirement if you can, and know that down the line you will be able to get into the courses that you need and want,” Ptacek said.

The Registrar’s Office is also available at 102 in Marts Hall to assist with course registration and often allows students to drop or add classes.

“If a student receives permission from a professor to enter a class but the online course registration does not allow them to sign up for the course, the Registrar’s Office can request to put in an override and allow for registration to be completed,” Registration Specialist Carol Randall said.

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