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 in July and during Orientation; for continuing students, it takes place the previous April. Preregistration for spring courses takes place in November for current students and January for new students. Finalizing a student’s course plan normally requires a face to face meeting between the student and faculty advisor. There are two exceptions: students returning from study abroad and leave, 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, hands-on training in the use of the electronic course registration system is provided by the Office of the Registrar 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 during pre-registration, while others are only available during Drop/Add. When this is the case and permission is granted, the student is guaranteed a seat in the course. Students are not able to submit POI requests in July.
  • Prerequisites
    Many courses list curricular prerequisites (e.g., SPAN 113 requires SPAN 110 or SPAN 111). 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 WesPortal.
  • 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. Students are not able to submit Prerequisite Override requests in July.
  • 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.,MB&B 181 is cross-listed as BIOL 181). 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. Some majors require the course be listed in a specific department and all listings count toward oversubscription, so students should consult their advisors about the possible implications of crosslistings. 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. Academic Peer Advisors can help new students understand which courses may be in great demand.
  • Scheduling Period
    During the scheduling period, students are first scheduled into approved POI courses and then the students’ ranked 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, class and major status, the ranking of the requests, and any other criteria set by instructors.
  • 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, remove courses from their schedule. or submit ranked Drop/Add enrollment requests. Advisors approve these changes electronically through WesPortal. 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 WesPortal 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 WesPortal. 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 WesPortal before Drop/Add ends. 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 GenEd designation 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, GenEd designations and cross-listings). Students are able to change the grading mode for student option courses once on paper within fourteen days after the end of Drop/Add. 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.

  • General Education Designation
    When applicable, courses will be given a GenEd designation for a division and a department. The cross-listing selection has no bearing on the GenEd department assignment. If a course has multiple GenEd designations, students must select the preferred designation using the electronic preregistration and Drop/Add systems before the close of Drop/Add.