From the course to the teacher to the time, there are plenty of factors involved in creating the perfect semester. Knowing the steps involved will make this process work in your favor.
Any scheduling is done on your Hokie SPA account online. There are a few sites you need to know.
The timetable of classes is the database where all the classes, times and teachers are organized by major. They are listed by course number, from lowest to highest. The CRN number is the specific class for each course.
There is a site called “Registration and Schedule” where you are able to do course request.
Freshmen do not experience course request before the first semester but need to understand the process for the future. Freshmen will have to go through the course request process in mid-fall to schedule their classes for their spring semester.
During a certain time window, students returning for the following semester are asked to select classes they would prefer to take.
Once the timetable for the semester opens up, it is smart to talk to your adviser and pick which course and which course sections you want to take. It’s best to have a first choice and a second choice for courses, if available.
Course request begins at midnight and lasts for about two weeks. It doesn’t matter when you fill out course request, because the point is to give the university an idea of the demand level for classes, especially lower-level general education classes that a lot of students need to take.
Once course request ends, the university processes the requests and will let you know what classes you are definitely enrolled in. This could be anywhere from no classes to all the classes you requested.
Even if you are not assigned to a class in course request, you may enroll later, during the Drop/Add period.
Drop/Add is not based on class level. At midnight, Drop/Add will begin and any student can pick up any open seats that the timetable of classes says are available.
Definitely do not wait until the end of the Drop/Add period because there will be very few classes available. Expect to hit the refresh button several times when Drop/Add first begins, as thousands of students will be trying their luck at the same time.
If you are unsure about one class, don’t drop it until you can replace it, because it’ll most likely be gone by the time you decide you wanted to keep it.
Some friends coordinate Drop/Add together, where one will drop a class and another will immediately pick it up.
If you don’t pick up everything you want during Drop/Add, your final opportunity is to force-add.
When classes begin, you can force-add a course by attending the class the first day. Some teachers will let you sign up to be force-added if there are seats available.
Certain departments do not offer force-add, so check with your adviser.
Additionally, if you don’t attend a class the first day, you’ll be removed from the roster and then someone can be force-added in your place.
Class scheduling is very polarizing at Tech. Some students put off course request to the very last minute. Other students love meticulously planning out their next semester to make the most of their free time and arranging a schedule without Friday classes. (One editor at the CT has managed three semester in a row without Monday or Friday classes.)
In any case, the word of advice here is remember to actually fill out course request. Neglecting this step will result in 8 a.m. classes for the rest of your college experience.