With registration for classes in the Fall beginning this week, I wanted to give some advice on a problem almost every UMass student has experienced. What happens when that perfect class you wanted is full? That ideal class would have fit so perfectly into your schedule, looked so darn interesting, fulfills that requirement you needed, and isn't at 8 AM. It would have been great. Well, we can't always get into all the classes we were hoping to but there are a couple of ways you can still potentially get into that perfect class. Here are some general tips on what to do when you don't get your perfect schedule.
Register for classes right when your registration appointment begins. Just because you didn't get into your last class, it doesn't mean you shouldn't sign up for another class. When looking for classes for Fall 2013 you want to pick out a couple of backup classes in case you do not get into every initial class you wanted to take. Oftentimes, all the classes you want are still open but then two minutes later when your registration appointment begins, they magically fill up.
If the class you could not get into eventually opens up you can always swap it with your backup class using the "Swap" feature on SPIRE.
2.) Check periodically to see if the class opens up
People are literally making changes to their schedule from the beginning of April this semester till the end of Add/Drop period in September. With this said, people could potentially be dropping the classes you want to get in. Check every once in a while to see if the class becomes available.
3.) Wait list
Check to see if the class has a wait list and add yourself to the waiting list if it does (Not sure how? Come to the Advising Link!). But, be careful--wait lists can be tricky! First, not every class has a wait list. Second, wait lists only work if you arrange your schedule in a way that leaves space for the class. So, for example, if you enroll in Psych 100 but are on the wait list for a section of Pub Hlth 160 that meets at the same time, if/when your wait list number comes up, SPIRE will not be able to add you because of the time conflict and your number will be skipped. Also, you have to have enough credits available to accommodate the class. SPIRE cannot automatically enroll you in a wait listed class if doing so will put your over your credit maximum. Your maximum credit load may depend on your major, so check with your advisor if you have questions. Finally, wait lists expire on the first day of classes. If you're still patiently waiting for a seat in the class at that point, attend the class on the first day and speak to the professor directly.
4.) Email the Professor
No luck with anyone dropping the class yet? Try emailing the professor of the class. See who is teaching it and find their email on "Peoplefinder" on the UMass homepage. Send them a professional email telling them why you are interested in taking their class and if there is any way that you can get in despite the fact that it is full on SPIRE. Some professors might not respond, others will tell you there is nothing they can do, but some may override you into the class or give you some advice on getting into the class.
5.) Show up on the first day
Even if the professor never emails you back or you are not officially enrolled in the class, show up on the first day of the class and talk to the professor in person. This way you can get a feel of whether or not this course is truly a course you want to be in and it gives the professor another reason to let you into their class. I have done this before and my professor told me to keep showing up for the first and second week and he eventually let me into the course.
So don't get discouraged when all those beautiful green circles turn into blue boxes. You can still have have the beautiful schedule of your dreams.