Advance Registration Guide

Advance Registration Process for Fall 2010

Even when you advance register, you are not guaranteed enrollment in every class that you request. Depending on how many students request a course, some courses may fill up faster than others.

You will not be shut out of any class that is required for your major, although you may not get your first choice of time or instructor. In particular, if you register for chemistry, math, or physics but do not get them on your roster because they are full, DON’T PANIC! Try registering during Add/Drop Period through Penn InTouch. Alternatively, when you arrive on campus go to the departmental office of the course in question.

If you miss the Advance Registration deadline on July 23, 2010, you will need to wait for the Course Selection/Drop period, beginning on August 12, 2010, to make changes in your schedule. The Course Selection period will end September 24, 2010 and the Drop period ends on October 15, 2010.

Choosing Your Major

You do not have to choose you major now. Penn Engineering offers two degree programs and a total of 14 majors. Moving from one major to another within Engineering is fairly easy to facilitate. In a few cases, though, keep in mind that your switch after the first semester may require some catching up.

If you are certain about a particular major and degree program, you are encouraged to go ahead with that major. However, if you are not yet decided, follow the guidelines for Curriculum Deferred. Please know that in ALL cases, the courses you select for your first semester will not restrict you to a particular major.

Curriculum Deferred (CD)

Freshmen who do not initially choose a specific major when applying to Penn are designated “Curriculum Deferred (CD)”. Many first year students are CD (between 80-100 freshmen each year or 20-25% of the incoming class), so you shouldn’t feel as though you are the exception. Since you are not required to declare your Engineering major until the end of your first year, you have time to learn about each department. During New Student Orientation and throughout the fall semester, the Academic Programs Office (APO) and the academic departments organize events to give you opportunities to explore degree options.

Choosing and Scheduling Your Courses

Penn Engineering freshmen are limited to a maximum registration of 5.5 CU’s in the first semester. You should register for no more than 5.5 CU’s, or 5 courses, for the first semester. One “CU” represents one course. In courses with lab components, the course will have a total of 1.5 CU’s. In the case of introductory Chemistry the lab is actually a separate 0.5 CU course (e.g. CHEM 101 is 1 CU and CHEM 053, the lab, is 0.5 CU)

Each Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) and Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) major has six categories of requirements:

  • Math
  • Science
  • Engineering
  • Electives related to your major a.k.a. Technical Electives, Application Focus, Career Path, Concentration (these electives are specified on the Worksheet of your intended major)
  • Social Science and Humanities/Technology in Business and Society (SSH/TBS),
  • Free Electives

The recommended courses for your first semester are listed by each degree program and major (see table of content for links to requirements). Look over the table of courses for the major you have chosen.

If you are a CD student, follow the guidelines under “Curriculum Deferred” or follow recommendations for one of the majors.

Course Selection Tips

  • Before actually entering the registration process, outline a schedule. This can be done easily through the Penn Portal.
  • Although you will be registering for five courses in your first semester, you should list more than the five since you may not be able to get all of your first choices (further instructions can be found in the Course Timetable).
  • Working out a satisfactory course roster and schedule can be time consuming. You will have to play around with your desired courses to be sure your courses are evenly spaced out over the entire week.
  • Try to distribute your classes among labs, lectures, and recitations to make your program more interesting and perhaps less stressful.
  • Some of the best courses around campus are found in the very “unusual” majors or disciplines at Penn. We urge you to look broadly and thoroughly to find topics and courses that will capture your imagination.
  • If you are stuck, you can ask your OPA! for registration strategies.

Additional pointers to help you plan out your schedule.

  • No courses among your first set of choices should have times that overlap.
  • Classes end ten minutes before the scheduled end time. So, you can schedule classes back to back and have plenty of time to make it from one to the other.
  • You are strongly encouraged to space out your classes evenly over all five days of the week so that you are not overloaded on any given day.
  • In general (of course there are exceptions), Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes start on the hour and run for 50 minutes, and Tuesday and Thursday classes are in one and a half hour time slots with 80 minute classes.