Course Registration for Beginners

It is now that time of year when you can start choosing the courses you want to make your next semester enjoyable and keep yourself on track for graduation. I know from experience that registration can be nerve-wracking and frustrating for someone not used to the process. So, being a senior on my way to graduating, I thought I’d share my tips for registration to help newer students register for classes stress-free. 

Don’t Wait 

My first piece of advice for new students is to start looking at courses for the next semester as soon as they are available to view. Do not wait until registration day to register because courses will fill up fast. You also want to make sure to start registering as soon as possible in case you have any problems with registration that need to be solved.

Outline your Schedule 

Once you know what course you need, you can begin looking at offered classes for the semester. (Some courses only run one semester a year). What I like to do is search the department of a course and see everything available to me. I read the course descriptions and requirements, as well as pay attention to the time the class runs. If I’m interested, I write down the course number, the CRN and time so I can plan out a schedule. This way, I can be aware of courses with times that clash, as well as avoid long class days. You won't want a schedule with three classes in a row within 15 minutes of each other.  

Professor meeting with student and reviewing work
Have Backups 

I know it’s hard when the course you really wanted gets filled and you’re stuck on the waitlist. The best way to plan for success is to make sure you have backup courses you can take if the class you wanted is unavailable. When you choose these backups, you also want to make sure they don’t clash with your schedule too much.  
For example, you have your ideal schedule lined up but what if you don’t get into the SCI1005 course you had for your science elective? Well, you have a couple of options.

  •  Find another science elective running that semester at the same time 

  •  Forgo the course for another semester and find a replacement course in a different department scheduled for the same time 

You want to make sure the backup class is at the same time as the original so if that is the only class you are unable to join, it will not affect the other courses you have planned. 

Registration Date 

Once you are given your registration date, you’ll want to write it down and set up a reminder for that day. The earlier you register, the more likely you are to get into the classes you want. Additionally, if you run into any problems with registration, it’s easier to get help from your advisor early on. On the day of your registration, you can register as early as 6am.  

Student Outside Gaebe Studying


To make your registration as quickly as possible you will need to make sure you have the CRNs for the courses you want to take. CRN is the course registration number which is unique to each course time. The number differs for each course, even if they have the same course number. Once you have your CRNs saved somewhere, registration should be pretty easy because instead of searching the class by its course number, you can choose the option to enter CRNs and just copy and paste yours in the dialog box. This also allows you to register for multiple courses at the same time instead of searching for each one individually. 

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help 

Now that you have a step-by-step guide on how to prepare for registration, I hope to have calmed some of the stress that can come along with registration time. For more information on registration and how to register for classes you can visit JWULink Course Registration and Planning if you need more help. JWULink also has helpful videos on registering for class so if you need a visual aid there is a playlist of videos on YouTube to help students register. Also, don’t be afraid to meet with your advisors and professors to help you figure out which courses you should take first. They know the system best so will help you plan a schedule that’ll work well for you. 

Additional Materials

To learn more about courses you may be eligible to take you can view JWU's course catalog online. The catalog has course descriptions and prerequisites needed. You can also view required courses for your major program on the catalog. Additionally, if you want to know about interesting courses you can register for at JWU there's a list of them featured on the JWU News Page.

Read More About Unique Courses Here: 7 Interesting Courses at JWU


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