Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Student Side: Questions about Registration

Welcome back to Rowan’s and Paige’s Registration Guide! Today we’ll be tackling your most asked questions about registration.

Registration might make you feel one of two ways.

Either you’re super calm and you know what’s happening.

Or you’re freaking out because you don’t know what’s going on and you have no idea what classes you’re gonna take andyou’rejustlikereallyconfusedandfeellike-

Don’t worry! Registration can be confusing and daunting, but we’re here to clear it up for you!

What is registration?
Registration is the process of selecting and registering for classes.

What is the difference between planning, preregistration, and registration?
You might have seen these words thrown around in different conversations and discussions. All three of these words are related to each other but refer to different actions/processes that involve picking and enrolling in classes.

Planning is the process of choosing courses and adding them to your schedule in Student Planning on myBarnard. Planning is important because before you can register for a class, it must be on your schedule in Student Planning. You don’t want to waste time when your registration appointment comes around looking for and adding classes. It’s always a good idea to plan and add more classes to your schedule than necessary before you actually register for classes. Courses in the "planned" stage will be yellow on your schedule and will have a blue button that says "register" (which you can only use during your registration times). Confusingly, once you are able to add yourself to waiting lists in September, waitlisted courses will also be yellow on your schedule, but they will not have a register button, but will instead have a "leave waitlist" button.
Preregistration refers to the two periods in July and August where you can register for only First Year Seminar, First Year Writing Writing, and P.E. courses.
Registration is the process of enrolling in all other classes that aren't FYS/FYW/P.E. Registration will start on September 1st, 2017 after you meet with an adviser during NSOP.

Preregistration and registration have set start and end times where you can add and drop classes. During both pre-registration and registration, you'll receive an appointment time that says at what time you'll be allowed to begin adding and dropping classes. All appointment times are randomly assigned.

When is preregistration? What should I expect? What if I won’t have Internet during this time period?
The first week of preregistration will be from July 24th to July 28th. During this week you will only be able to register for First-Year Writing, First-Year Seminar, and Barnard P.E. courses. This is a fixed time so we can unfortunately not offer students alternative slots for registration. If there is a possibility that you will have access to intermittent wifi, you can pre-plan your courses and add multiple First-Year Writing and Seminar courses in Student Planning on myBarnard. Then when it is your registration appointment, the only thing you will have to do is click the "Register" button to register for courses. You can also check Student Planning in myBarnard to check when your registration appointments will be and see if any correspond to a time you could have wifi access.

There will also be another preregistration period in August for FYW and FYS, but some courses may be filled up by then, so we highly encourage you to register during the July period.

Are we also signing up for Spring courses?
You will register for Spring courses during Spring registration which will happen some time in November. Barnard is on a semester calendar so you only take courses for 16 weeks at a time and do not register for courses more than one semester in advance.

Can I (and should I) put down multiple options for the same class? Can you pre-register for multiple FYSs or FYWs and then later drop one? How many should I sign up for? Do we list alternates in case we don’t get our first choice?
Have several backups for whichever course you plan to take. For example, if you know you want to take a First-Year Writing course in the Fall, have a list of your first five choices, as some of them might be full by the time you sign up. You can only take either a FYS or FYW course at a time, you cannot take both in the same semester. During the preregistration period, if you register for a FYW/FYS course and it turns green on your calendar then you’re good to go and don’t need to worry about adding any other sections to your schedule.

Once you’ve enrolled in one of the FYS or FYW courses DO NOT sign up for another. If you want to register for more than one to see which courses still have open spots make sure that you immediately drop any excess courses so other students can get into the one(s) you won’t be attending. If after a registration period you are registered for multiple FYS/FYW, you will be dropped from all but one of them. FYS/FYW courses do not have waitlists and are capped at around 15 students each. There won't be enough space in the FYS/FYW courses for all first-years if you're registered for multiple courses. Remember that this is the one course that you can’t drop/change after the semester begins, so keep in mind the times of other courses you may want to take so they don’t conflict!!

Is each student given a time of the day to register for courses or can you register at anytime on the 24th? What’s the earliest time I can start registering? If I register later in the day will all the classes be full?
Yes! You can check your registration time under Student Planning on myBarnard. These times are decided based on a random lottery system. Registering later in the day means that other first-years may have signed up for classes before you, but there should still be slots open for a large portion of FYS and FYW courses depending on how late during the registration period you’re able to sign up. Remember, it is only these classes and your P.E. class which you’ll be able to sign up for during this period.

How the heck does the waitlist work! When do I get put on a waitlist? Why are classes already almost or all the way filled? Can I still sign up for them? Is it worth putting myself on the waitlist?
You'll be added to waitlists during the registration period in September when you register for other courses besides FYW/FYS. Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors have already registered for classes, so if it says on the Columbia Directory that 11/12 spots are filled it’s most likely because upperclassmen already signed up for them. Don’t panic! Many intro classes will have spots saved for first-years so you might still be able to get into them.

There is also no limit as to how many classes students can register for so, as described above, many students will sign up for way more classes than they’ll actually enroll in or even sign up for as back-ups in case their first choices fall through. This means that in the weeks of shopping period, a lot of spots will open up in classes as students start to nail down which ones they actually plan to enroll in. Absolutely sign up for the waitlist because there’s a good chance you’ll get into many of those classes as upperclassmen drop out. However, you'll only be able to sign up for 3 waitlists during registration.

Do note that as first-years, many professors will give seniority to upperclassmen and ask that first-years try again the next semester if it continues to be over-enrolled. The good news is that you’ve got plenty of time to take that class if that does end up happening, so don’t be disheartened! It’s happened to all of us. Also, keep in mind that the Columbia Directory of Classes is not updated in real-time, only at night. The registration numbers for a class may be accurate first thing in the morning, but not in the afternoon. Go by what myBarnard says when you register for your class. If it says it’s full and has a waitlist and asks you to join the waitlist, do so. For some classes, you'll be able to view your position on the waitlist on This is not available for all courses, so don't worry if you can't see your position on the waitlist.

If you get off the waitlist you’ll receive an email from the Columbia Registrar saying as much, and that you’re enrolled in the class. It will then ask you to resolve any outstanding time conflicts, for example, if you’re registered for a backup class that you signed up for in case you didn’t get off the waitlist for the other, you would need to drop the backup class to make room for your waitlist class. It's also a good idea to double-check myBarnard when you get this email to make sure the formerly-waitlisted class is now green on your schedule -- if it's not, you should contact the Barnard Registrar for help.

If you’re waitlisted for a class that’s required for your major or you’re really passionate about, feel free to reach out to the professor before the first class or go up and speak to them directly afterwards to communicate your interest. They sometimes will take that into consideration when deciding on the roster for the semester.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's posts where we'll be answering your miscellaneous questions and post registration tutorials!