Student Affairs - Dean's Office
Faculty and Student Advising Handbook

Course Registration: Preregistration and Drop/Add

The first three phases of course registration (planning, scheduling, and adjustment) are known as preregistration. For all entering students, preregistration for fall courses takes place just before classes begin; for continuing students, it takes place the previous April. Preregistration for spring courses takes place in November. Finalizing a student’s course plan normally must be done in the faculty advisor’s office; both student and advisor must log into the system. There are two exceptions: incoming first-year students, who typically choose two courses in summer registration, and students studying abroad, who are expected to discuss their course selections with their advisors by e-mail, after which the advisors can approve their choices without their physical presence.

During New Student Orientation, training in the use of the electronic course registration system is provided by the Office of the Registrar for first-year, transfer, exchange, and visiting students. Hands-on training is also provided for faculty advisors.

  • Planning Period
    • During the planning period, students examine a range of courses that they would like to take and begin to put together a coherent and challenging program of study to discuss with their faculty advisors. There are some practical issues, described below, with which students and advisors need to be familiar and which may require action on their part before they can enroll in certain courses.

  • Permission of Instructor (POI)
    • Some faculty members reserve the right to select individually the students who will enroll in their courses. The course description explains how, when, and where students may need to audition, present a portfolio, or meet some other criteria. For some courses, POI can be requested and granted electronically. When this is the case and permission is granted, the student must include the course in the ranked plan in order to be scheduled into the course

  • Prerequisites
    • Many courses list curricular prerequisites (e.g., ECON209 requires ECON101 or ECON110). Students who have completed the stated prerequisites will be permitted to register for the selected course, providing the course has seats available. Students currently enrolled in a course listed as a prerequisite may add a course with this prerequisite to their plan. The current preregistration system does not automatically recognize comparable transfer courses as fulfilling prerequisites. In this case, transfer students must electronically complete a Prerequisite Override form through the e-portfolio.

  • Prerequisite Override
    • Students who wish to enroll in a course for which they lack a prerequisite should discuss their qualifications with the instructor. Instructors can grant Prerequisite Overrides electronically and must do so before students can preregister. Receiving a Prerequisite Override does not register a student for a course; the student still must include the course in the plan approved by the advisor.

  • Section
    • Students should indicate the section or sections of a course in which they would like to be enrolled.

  • Grading Mode
    • If a grading mode option is offered, the student must select a grading mode, either A-F or CR/U (credit/unsatisfactory). Changes in grading mode must be made no later than fourteen days after the Drop/Add period ends. See "Common Advising Questions" for more information.

  • Cross-Listing
    • Wesleyan courses may be listed in two or more departments or programs (e.g., HIST241 is cross-listed as AFAM203). If a course is cross-listed, the student must select one department or program designation. This determines how the course will appear on the transcript. In most cases, the choice of crosslisting has no other impact on the student, except possibly oversubscription, but students should consult their advisors about the possible implications of choosing a listing. Some majors require the course be listed in a specific department. Cross-listed courses are counted in all departments in which they are listed for purposes of oversubscription. Changes to the crosslisting selection may be made only through the end of Drop/Add period.

      The cross-listing selection has no bearing on the GenEd department assignment. To identify a course’s department/program GenEd designation, the student should consult WesMaps.

  • Seat Distribution and Class-Year Exclusions
    • WesMaps provides information on the number of seats available in each course, how those seats are distributed among the classes, and whether seats are reserved for majors. For some courses, the instructor may have chosen to exclude one or more class years. If a class year is excluded, the scheduling program will not preregister students from that year in the course. Students should communicate to the instructor their interest in and qualifications for a course from which they have been excluded. The instructor may agree to their adding the course during the Drop/Add period.

  • Day/Time Scheduling
    • Students should be careful not to include courses that conflict, because the preregistration scheduling algorithm checks for time conflicts and will not schedule a student in courses when times overlap.

  • Ranking
    • The order in which students list the courses they have chosen implies priorities and these will be considered by the automated scheduler. Courses that are likely to be in high demand should be listed at the top, with larger-enrollment or less-preferred courses listed lower. Peer advisors can help new students understand which courses may be in great demand.

  • Scheduling Period
    • During the scheduling period, students’ enrollment requests approved by faculty advisors are electronically assigned according to the instructors’ seat allocations. The automated scheduler assesses each student’s academic plan and allocates seats, taking into consideration such factors as prerequisites, POI, class and major status, the ranking of the requests, and any other criteria set by instructors. Students can view their initial schedule online through their e-portfolio.

  • Adjustment Period
    • After the scheduling program has been run, students may make changes to their schedule during the adjustment period. They may add courses if seats are available or they may remove courses from their schedule. Advisors approve these changes electronically through their e-portfolios. Advisors have the option to require that advisees consult with them before specific changes are approved.

  • Ranked Enrollment Requests
    • During the adjustment period, students are encouraged to submit up to four ranked requests for courses they hope to add during the Drop/Add period.

  • Course Schedules
    • Preliminary course schedules are available in the student e-portfolio at the conclusion of preregistration.

  • Drop/Add Period
    • The fourth phase, Drop/Add, begins on the first day of classes and runs for two weeks. During this time, students may make changes to their course schedule. Students add or drop courses electronically, and all changes must be approved electronically by their advisors. A student is responsible for officially dropping a course, even if the instructor has determined that he or she should not continue to be enrolled.

  • Unranked Enrollment Requests
    • In addition to the ranked course requests that students submit during the adjustment period, students may submit an unlimited number of unranked course requests during the Drop/Add period. The ranked and unranked requests will be used by the class instructor to admit students to a class when seats become available.

  • Tutorials
    • Students sign up for tutorials and student forums during the Drop/Add period. Registration for these requires electronic submission of the Tutorial Form, available through the student’s e-portfolio. Registering for tutorials and student forums requires the approval of the faculty tutor or sponsor, the faculty advisor, and the chair of the department/program. These forms must be submitted through the e-portfolio no later than 5:00 p.m. on the last day of the Drop/Add period. First-year students are ineligible for individual tutorials.

  • First Class Meeting
    • Students who do not attend the first class meeting or communicate directly with the instructor prior to the first class may be dropped from the class by the instructor. The EPC has determined that an instructor is not obligated to maintain the enrollment of students beyond the end of the Drop/Add period if a student is absent from class or fails to communicate directly with the instructor. However, it is incumbent upon the student to drop the course online.

  • Schedule Accuracy
    • It is important that students check the accuracy of their schedule during the drop/add period, since changes in grading mode and crosslisting are not permitted after it ends. Courses with which students will not continue should be electronically dropped at this time as well, so that they are deleted from the transcript. Courses that students are attending but do not appear on the transcript should be added electronically.

  • Confirming Course Schedules
    • After the end of the Drop/Add period, students are required to confirm the accuracy of their course schedules (including grading modes and cross-listings). Those who need to make course enrollment changes after the Drop/Add period must submit a petition. However, submitting a petition does not guarantee its approval. Students should see their class dean for petition forms and information.

      After the Drop/Add period, students may still withdraw from courses up to the withdrawal deadline (one week before the last day of classes). The course will remain on the transcript with a “W” in place of a grade.