Dealing with class registration woes

Christine Illes
Associate Photo Editor

Well, it’s that time of the year again. Not only is the semester quickly coming to a close, but it is time for students to fight for the classes they want to take in the fall. 

Class registration seems like it will be easy. You plan out your schedule and take the time to meet with your advisor to figure out what classes you need. However, as soon as registration comes along, it only seems to take a few seconds for classes to fill up. If you have a later registration time, all you can do is just sit and wait while you watch the classes you need fill up quickly. 

Talk about stress overload. What is a student supposed to do when there are no spots left in the classes they want to take?

There is no need to worry. Even though it seems like all hope is lost when that last spot is taken, there are many ways to work around closed classes. You still have a chance of getting into the courses you want after the registration period ends. All you need to know are the tricks of the registration game. 

There are a handful of tips you should follow before and after you register. Listed below are tips compiled from,, and If you keep these in mind as you register, you should be able to get into the classes you want. No one should have to pay for a college course they do not want to take.

Before/During Registration:

1. Make an early appointment with your advisor and keep it! As registration gets closer, appointment times with advisors fill up quickly. Prepare yourself and schedule an appointment nice and early. Do not be afraid to ask questions about the courses you need to take. They are there to help you! Be sure to write down your appointment time and date, as it may slip your mind if you schedule it weeks in advance. Don’t be disrespectful and arrive when you are scheduled and not unannounced. It’s possible that your advisor has hundreds of students to see and you do not want to interfere with another student’s time. There’s a reason why most advisors ask to make an appointment!

Avoid registration stress by making an early appointment with your advisor, picking out classes beforehand, making a list of back-up classes and registering as early as possible.
Avoid registration stress by making an early appointment with your advisor, picking out classes beforehand, making a list of back-up classes and registering as early as possible.

2. Pick out classes beforehand. Do not wait to choose your classes the day before your register. Your advisor should be able to suggest the right classes for you, but you can take a look into what classes are offered as well. Read the descriptions and write out possible schedules to see if it works for you. You don’t want to be doing this during your registration time, as other students will be registering as well. 

3. Make a list of back-up classes. As the Rolling Stones said, “You can’t always get what you want.” Classes may fill up quicker than you expect, and it’s important to have back-ups just in case the classes you want close. Take a look at your options. Instead of taking a major course, are there any general education requirements you need to get out of the way? There are many possibilities and if you take the time to look at them all, registration may go by more smoothly. 

4. Register as early as possible. We are all assigned a certain date and time to register, decided by the amount of credits we have earned. Make sure you write down your registration time so you do not forget. The quicker you register, the more of a chance you have of getting into the classes you want. So if you are assigned to register at 6 in the morning, don’t wait until 8 a.m., set an alarm to get up right at 6 a.m.! The earlier the better!

After Registration:
5. Waitlist, waitlist, waitlist. Waitlisting a class can give you the chance to register once a student drops the course which, chances are, will most likely happen. Here at Millersville, you will get an e-mail informing you when a spot is open and you can register. Sometimes the wait might be awhile, but keep in mind, there are many students adding and dropping classes the first week of the new semester. 

6. Talk to professors. Explain your situation to the professor of the course to see if there is anything they can do for you. They will be happy to know that you are very interested in taking the course they are teaching, and will try their best to help you. Getting to know your professors could put you at an advantage and is always extremely helpful!

7. Be persistent. If you are desperate for that one special class, you’ll have to work for it. You have the option of contacting the department chairperson for permission to enroll in a closed course, for which you will have to fill out the “Permission to Enroll in a Class” form, as stated in Millersville’s registration guide. If you are still not able to get into the class when the fall semester begins, attend the first class or two and express your interest to the professor.

As stated, many students change their schedule around at the beginning of a new semester which creates open spots, and it may be possible for a professor to decide that they can accommodate more students. 

If you have any questions or would like more advice on registration, check out Millersville’s registration guide for the Summer/Fall 2014 semesters. It is extremely helpful, and will answer any questions or concerns you might have!