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Registration & Scheduling

How many courses should I take over the Summer Term?
I am a junior but my registration date is set with the freshmen...
I'm not going to be able to finish this class this term...
Why do freshmen register so late?
What is the ideal semester schedule?

Hello Edward,

I am a Dual Major in Political Science and Advertising & Public Relations and I want to finish college in four years. I'm planning on law school, so I took 18 credits this semester. I also want to take classes in the summer? How many classes can I take in the summer and how much does it cost to take 18 credits? Thanks,         

--Future Lawyer

Dear Future Lawyer--

Generally students don't take more than 9 credits in the Summer term. I have seen students take more but the workload is more intense in the summer because the term is half as long. If a student takes 9 credits in an 8-week term, it would be a similar amount of work to taking 18 credits in a 16-week term. If you are comfortable with the amount of studying that you are doing now then I would suggest that you take three courses over the summer. Here is a link to the Spring 2013 Tuition and Fees page. Nine credits this summer will cost $2,070 plus fees.

If you would like to finish college in four years you only need to take fifteen credits per semester (with no summer classes), so there is no need to study so hard in the summer if you continue to take as many classes as you are--if you continue to take 18 credits a semester, you will have reached the 120 credit minimum required to graduate after 7 semesters (3-and-a-half years). Ambition is a good thing, and you have much of it, but I'd suggest you take some time to enjoy college life as well--look at your general education requirements and the programs you are enrolling in and plot out the next four years. This will tell you exactly what you need to do each semester. Don't overwork yourself now--you still have to make it through law school afterwards.


Dear Edward--

I am a first-semester transfer student from Bronx Community College where I graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts. When I arrived at City College I was given 60 transfer credits but for some reason I was assigned the same online registration date as lower freshmen. I didn't think it was a big deal at the time, but I think I might have missed out on a better schedule than the one I ended up with. I know it is too late to do anything about this now, but what can I do if this happens again next term?

--Not a Lower Freshman

Dear Not a Lower Freshman--

There are many reasons why a student might have a registration date other than those listed on the Appointment Schedule--student athletes are allowed to register early in order to accommodate their practice schedules while a student not in good academic standing may be required to wait for his or her grades from the current semester in order to register for the next--but in the case of any inconsistency of which you are unaware you should see an advisor as soon as you can, or you could go directly to the Office of the Registrar and ask about your date at the service window. I would certainly agree that one's registration options become fewer the longer one waits to register, so it is very important that you check your registration date as soon as it is available and be sure to clear your account of any registration stops and all other inconsistencies so you can register as soon as you can.



Dear Edward,     

I am a first-semester freshman working my way toward the Mechanical Engineering program. I placed into Calculus 2 (MATH 20200) but now that I have been to class twice I feel like I am missing something. I’ve been to tutors and talked to my professor but I just don’t understand. I have four other classes and I can see that the extra work I will have to do to catch up will be at the expense of my those courses. I would prefer to stop attending this course and take it again next semester but I don’t want to get an F. Is there anything I can do?

  --Lost in Calc 2

Dear Lost,

During the first week of school students are allowed to change their classes for a small fee—-this is called the Add/Drop period and it is clearly marked on the Academic Calendar each semester. In the Fall 2012 term the deadline is September 4th, so if you can get in to see an advisor, you may be able to be placed into Calculus 1 if you like, or you could choose another discipline entirely. After that you will still be able to drop the course until September 14th and there will be no evidence of this on your transcript. If you decide to stick it out longer than that and decide later that you will not be able to finish the course you will have another option: official withdrawal. Every semester, students who feel that they will not perform as well as they would like in any course can choose to withdraw from that course, but that does not mean that you should just stop showing up.  There is an official procedure outlined below.

1)    Pick up a Withdrawal form from the Office of the Registrar and fill out the appropriate sections;
2)    Meet with your professor and have him or her sign the appropriate part of your form;
3)    Meet with your academic advisor and have him or her sign the appropriate part of your form;
4)    If you receive financial aid, you will also have to meet with and get a signature from a Financial Aid Officer (withdrawing from so many courses that you are no longer a full-time student may affect your financial aid in the future);
5)    Then you must return to the Office of the Registrar to file your completed form for processing;
6)    Be sure to check your transcript every couple of days after that until the “W” is placed.

Each semester the deadline to file a withdrawal form is posted on the Academic Calendar—it is very important that you are aware of these dates every semester in case something comes up. The last day to withdraw from a class in the Fall 2012 semester will be November 9th.



Dear Edward,

How is my registration date determined? By the time my date comes up most of the classes I want to take are already filled. How can I switch classes after the semester begins?

--Disappointed Freshman

Dear Disappointed,

Registration dates are determined by the number of credits that you have accumulated--the more credits you have, the earlier you get to register. This may seem very unfair to freshmen but by the time you are a senior, you will understand. Near the beginning of your college career, although you may have picked out the perfect schedule, you have many more options than a senior, who may need five specific courses in order to graduate at the end of the term. General education requirements are often interchangeable and if one course is full by the time you get to it, there will most likely be another similar course available. If you cannot choose an adequate schedule from the courses that remain when your registration window opens, please see an advisor for some help. And if you don't get exactly what you want, don't give up right away--sometimes courses will open later on in the registration period that may fit the schedule you are looking for.

As for switching classes after the semester has begun, students are allowed to trade classes during the Change of Program period which is clearly marked every semester on the Academic Calendar. This is the time when students can change their existing schedule and move into any seats that may have been vacated by people who were on the original class list but have dropped. Request for Change of Program forms are available in the Office of the Registrar.


Dear Edward--

Yesterday, the incoming freshmen, myself included, were allowed to create our first schedule for the Fall 2012 semester. I have never experienced a college class, and so I am not really sure how to place my schedule of classes. Even now, after I've chosen my classes, it has been brought to my attention that I might want to switch my schedule. As of now I have no classes on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On Monday and Wednesday, I have a class from 8:00 AM - 9:15 AM, then 9:30 - 10:45, then 11:00 - 12:15, and finally from 12:30 - 1:45. I originally wanted it this way because the thought of three days of NO classes really appealed to me. Also, having back to back classes as opposed to gaps between would make my day shorter.

--First-Year Student

Dear First-Year--

I do have to say that four classes back to back to back to back is quite a commitment especially for a first-year student. There are any number of things that could go wrong, as you describe in your letter. What if you are sick? Then you miss all four classes. When will you have lunch? If you brought a cheeseburger into my class I'd certainly make you leave. Most importantly, when will you hang out with the friends you make in your classes. There is definitely a lot more to college than just the coursework. The campus is a community not just a series of assignments and lectures. You should leave time in your schedule for study groups and lunch outings and club activities and tutoring. The schedule that you have now would be perfect for someone who has a lot of other responsibilities in his or her life, a full-time job or a child, but if college is your main activity you should be here every day so you can meet with your peers and professors and try to figure out what you are going to do with the rest of your life. You will soon see that there is more to all of this than a nice convenient schedule.