Registration Tips

This past week, Wash U students went through the semesterly ritual known as registration. Although incoming freshman choose their classes for the fall semester later on in the summer, current students have just registered. If you’re an incoming student worried about choosing college classes for the first time, have no fear. Here are some tips for how to choose classes based on my experience:

  1. Check the IQ Requirements-If you’re in the College of Arts and Sciences like I am, there will be certain IQ Curriculum requirements you need to fulfill. If you’re looking at course listings online, it’s a good idea to check the course’s “Attributes” under the “Details” tab. If you’re not sure what you want to major in yet, focusing on fulfilling the curriculum requirements is a great way to work towards graduation while exploring your interests. I personally made sure to get my Natural Science and Math requirements out of the way, so now I can just focus on my major, International and Area Studies.
  2. Have Backup Classes- It’s possible that you may not get all of your first choice options. However, there are plenty of interesting classes at Wash U, so it’s not really “settling”. I signed up for Political Writing as a backup class and it ended up being one of my favorite classes last semester. Backup classes are good security to have, and they don’t feel like a second choice when you actually take them.
  3. Explore Your Interests- Unlike high school, college has a wide variety of classes in subject areas you may have never heard about. Until I took a Sociology class this semester, I was totally unaware of the subject area. If a class catches your interest, you should sign up for it. Obviously it would be ideal of that class meets an IQ requirement or a major requirement, but even if it doesn’t, the beauty of college is that you can take interesting classes. Take advantage of that. And you never know, maybe that class will lead to a major or a minor in the subject area.

Registration can be overwhelming, with so many classes to choose from, but it doesn’t have to be. Let your interests (and the IQ Requirements) be your guide. If you know current students, ask them what classes they’ve enjoyed. With so many great options though, it’s hard to choose wrong.