Seconds matter when registering for classes, and assigned registration times can be the difference between getting into a course and getting put on a waitlist.
While it is a common misconception that registration times are based on the total number of hours a student has taken, they are actually determined based on how close a student is to completing their degree. Students can track their progress through the interactive degree audit system, said Kendall Slagle, communications coordinator for UT’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.
Slagle said academic advising is recommended for all students before registration, and some majors require academic advising before a student is allowed to register for classes.
“If advising is required, a student’s registration information sheet will show a bar,” Slagle said. “A student will not be able to access the registration system until the major department has cleared the advising bar on the student’s registration information sheet.”
Because students in the School of Undergraduate Studies are not yet on a chosen degree path, their degree audits are based only on core and flag course completion. These students are required to meet with an academic adviser before registration, said undergraduate academic adviser Adriana López.
“(UGS) students are required to meet with their adviser to ensure they are staying on track and for internal transfer purposes,” López said. “The registrar’s office runs what’s called a ‘slotting audit’ to determine their times.”
Undeclared students who fail to meet with their adviser before the time listed on their Registration Information Sheet will not be able to register for classes, López said.
“We try to avoid that as much as possible,” López said. “It’s detrimental to the student because some consecutive classes could be restricted at that point, and there is much less availability for core classes.”
Slagle said the University encourages students to utilize the online UT Planner service to help search for, create and save preferred schedule options before their registration times.
Because registration is stressful for many students, computer science sophomore Sriram Hariharan designed UT Registration Plus, a free Google Chrome extension designed to make the registration process easier.
“Usually during registration, you end up with a ton of tabs open and it can be super overwhelming,” Hariharan said. “Combining those things, like course instructor surveys and a visual schedule, into one page and adding extra stuff like conflict highlighting just simplifies the whole process.”
Hariharan said the extension can benefit students with late registration times because they can use it to narrow their course search to only the classes that fit their existing schedule.
“By that time, you have probably already gotten into some classes and are just looking for the ones you need or are trying to reach a certain number of hours,” Hariharan said. “You can add classes to the extension that you are actually in and you can see what conflicts with that time.”