Staff Editorial: Registration requires finesse

Registration for spring semester classes began on Monday. While some students have adequately prepared themselves, many don’t know how to go about the registration process. We suggest that students talk to informed individuals, plan ahead, and know what to do if registering for classes doesn’t go according to plan.

The most important part of registration is figuring out which classes you need to take, as well as which professor to take these courses with. Your CAPP report on SIS will show all the requirements you need to graduate and whether you’ve fulfilled them yet or not. Also, your academic advisor can help you determine which classes you need to take for your major. However, they may not be able to impartially tell you which professors to take the class with. This is where upperclassmen come in. They’ve taken courses and know which professors are able to teach and which, unfortunately, aren’t. Older students can also hold classes for you. You should also talk to your classmates. If your major requires that you take a difficult or boring course, it’ll be easier to get through with people you know than with total strangers.

Once you know what you need to take, start planning out each of your semesters at RPI. There’s always the possibility that you won’t get into every class you want to take—especially if you’re a freshman. In that situation, a backup schedule is critically important if you hope to be prepared. Additionally, many classes, particularly those in the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences department, are only offered once a year, rather than every semester (or even once every two years, in some cases). If you don’t plan accordingly, you could be forced to stay at RPI for an additional semester or two in order to take an obscure requirement.

As mentioned, registration isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. In the event that a class you plan to take fills up, there are other options available to you. Your best bet is to contact the professor of the course you want to get into. Chances are they’ll let you in—unless you’re trying to get into a smaller humanities course. For those, you’ll have to contact Associate Dean of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Lee Odell ( or HASS Manager of Student Services Elizabeth Large ( You can also contact the registrar about potentially getting into the class, especially if you need it to graduate.

Although the entire registration process can be a pain, preparation makes it less stressful. If you know which classes you’re going to take and with whom, you just need to plan your four or so years at RPI. With a little luck, your registration might actually be filled with happiness and sparkles.