Posted April 2, 2021

Your guide to a successful course registration experience

Registering for classes can be stressful—we’re here to help.

Hooter carrying books

This article was updated on October 28, 2022.

With class registration swiftly approaching, you don’t want to be caught without a plan at 7 a.m. on the day your scheduled registration window opens—that’s way too early to be stressed about your classes. To help you prepare, we have a few pieces of advice to ensure you get through the process smoothly and you can close your computer, roll over and fall back asleep when you’re done.

Plan ahead
Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor as soon as you can to talk to them 

about your class schedule (psst—this is an easy way to check off your Fly in 4 checkpoint). Before you go to your academic advisor, you should create a plan of your potential class schedule on TUportal. The portal allows you to plan up to five alternative class schedules to discuss with them. Having alternative plans can be helpful in case some of your classes get filled up before you register. These plans will make it easy when you’re up early trying to register for classes, since you’ll only have to press one button to sign up.

Think about your requirements
Before registering, take a look at your major’s bulletin to see which courses it recommends that you should enroll in each semester. Each major has recommended courses to take each semester. It’s an easy way to make sure you are on the right track with the classes you are planning to take. This is an important step to take before you meet with your advisor about your plans. If you’re undecided, GenEd or elective courses are a good way to test the waters.

“Know” yourself
Are you a night owl or a morning person? Do you want to stack your schedule on specific days in order to make room for an internship? Do you want to spread out your classes? These are all good questions to ask yourself before thinking about registration. 

Additionally, be intentional when selecting your GenEd and elective choices—choose something you’re interested in. Halfway through the semester, you might be regretting that one boring class. Find subjects that motivate and energize you to learn during class time.

Look into the details
Is this an online course? In-person? Hybrid? You have to pay how much? Be familiar with your course’s instructional setting and the additional fees that may come with it. You can identify these details in the left hand menu during registration under the items “class details” and “fees” on TUportal.

Also, if you’re not in the Honors program, make sure you don’t accidentally sign up for one of the program’s tailored courses. Otherwise the portal will not allow you to add the class, potentially altering your schedule.

Count your credits, save your favs
If you’re a first-year student, you probably don’t have too many credits in the bank just yet and are closer toward the end of the registration line—which means a lot of students are registering before you’re eligible, possibly filling up the courses you’ve chosen. Also note that if you’re an Honors student, you receive priority registration, so you’ll be among the first students to register.

In order to avoid the disappointment and frustration of finding out at the last minute that a course you had your heart set on has filled up, we recommend saving those popular courses for a future semester where you’re more likely to gain admission. We get it. Dissecting Hollywood's depictions of catastrophic events sounds like an appealing science course. That being said, Disasters: Geology versus Hollywood fills up quickly along with other popular favorites. But if you want to take the chance, then keep tabs on those courses throughout registration week. Then you’ll know in advance if it reaches capacity.

Registration can be confusing and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Following these tips can help make the process smoother. Even if something seems to go wrong, stay calm and don’t hesitate to reach out to an advisor. They are there to support you. And remember: when your alarm goes off at 7 a.m., take a deep breath—you got this!

—Hannah Church and Nick Eiser