It’s that time of the semester again. Fall and summer registration windows are right around the corner, and even though it may seem like the spring 2017 semester just started, it’s time to start planning upcoming classes.
In case you haven’t given your future courses much thought, here is a list of tips and helpful reminders every student — from freshman to senior — should know.
Know what’s on your DARS report. The Degree Audit Reporting System is a computer program that illustrates an undergraduate student’s progress toward fulfilling the graduation requirements of their chosen degree. It can be used to show which classes a student has already taken, which classes they are currently enrolled in, and which classes they still need to take. This is a useful tool to check to ensure that you aren’t taking classes that aren’t in your program or that don’t go toward your degree.
Prerequisites and registration access codes. Some classes require you to have taken a previous course, called a prerequisite, before you register. Check ahead of time to make sure that you have taken all the prerequisites needed for the classes you are planning on registering for, otherwise you won’t be able to take them. Similarly, some classes — or majors — require an access code before you can register. To check if an access code is needed, log into your MNSU E-Services account and click on the “Courses & Registration” tab on the left to find the “Registration Holds” option.
Know your registration date and time. Also located on your E-Services account in the “Courses & Registration” tab through the “Registration Window” option, this is the date and time when your registration window opens. It is based on the number of credits you have taken so far. **NOTE: Summer registration does NOT have individual registration windows; it opens at the same time for all students and is first-come, first-serve, beginning on March 20.
Don’t take too many heavy courses. In order to avoid causing yourself too much stress, try to create a schedule that includes a mixture of both hard and easy courses. Don’t try to take two labs and a writing intensive course all in one semester — that’s just asking for trouble. If you take too many hard classes you are more likely to get bogged down and not do as well in all of them as you might otherwise. Instead, take some classes that are lighter in workload to compensate for those heavier classes. Your sanity and GPA will thank you.
Meet with your advisor. These are professors and faculty members who are invaluable resources to you. They usually belong to the major you’re enrolled in, giving them the knowledge to direct you to classes you should be taking in order to graduate on time. Even if you already know what your classes are going to be, it is still a good idea to check in with them. You never know if an issue could come up, and it’s better to know about any problems ahead of time instead of finding out the semester before you graduate.
Class schedule builder. You can find a link to this tool by simply typing “class schedule builder” into the MNSU website search bar; it should be the first search result that pops up. Not only does this interface allow you to easily add classes to an example schedule to see how they fit together, it also shows you how many seats are left in the class. Since some classes fill up quickly, the class schedule builder can help you come up with a Plan B, Plan C, or even Plan D if you don’t get into your desired classes.
Don’t be afraid to e-mail the professor. If the class you really wanted to take is full, try e-mailing the professor to see if they could open a seat for you. Usually, if it’s within the professor’s authority to do so, they are willing to help out students who are eager to take their class. It doesn’t hurt to try.