Class registration priority process

My DD has been accepted to CS for 2020 but has not heard back about any honors especially the Turing that would give her priority in registering for classes. So, my question is what is the process at UT Austin for assigning priority for registration. I know, normally, certain classes of students get priority - athletes, honors. Next is number of hours, so seniors would have priority. What is next - lottery?
I have heard a few horror stories from my oldest D friends in CS being able to only register for 1 class and being on the wait list for everything else. I think they ended up with 12 hours but that is quite stressful and to be honest not enough hours. I’m wondering if this was a one time issue or a constant problem.
Thanks for any info.

I believe there is seniority within the freshman class as well. Those who have credits from AP or D/C classes may have enough to be considered a sophomore and therefore have seniority over other freshman. After priority and seniority, it’s pretty much random and every semester changes. You may be able to register on the first day or the last day on any given semester. Some semesters a trend is noticeable (last name.A to Z or maybe Z to A), but other times you really can’t tell. Most freshman classes will have enough space to take in anybody who needs the class. A single Chem 1 lecture period can have up to 500 students (out of multiple professors with multiple lecture periods).

The only advice I could give (I don’t even know if it’s still effective as it has been a while since I was a freshman) is to register for the earliest session of orientation as that will be where freshmen will register for classes (on the last day, after their registration bar is removed). Advisors will explain that going to later orientations will not be a problem because enough seats in classes are reserved for every orientation session.

From my understanding, what is SUPPOSED to happen is that freshmen are only able to register on the last day of their specific orientation session and during the “add/drop” period about a week before class starts.
It may have been a glitch in the system during my first year, or it may still be possible to do now, but I was able to register during the last day of orientations subsequent to my own (from home). I assumed this was because the system opens registration for all freshmen on the last day of orientation. Freshmen who have not yet attended an orientation to remove their registration bar would not be able to register, but those attending the current orientation and those who attended any past orientation would be able to. I basically was given extra chances to change my schedule from subsequent orientation sessions, aside from the “add/drop” period.

But again, I don’t know if this still works and you may have to clarify with someone who attended the most recent orientation sessions this past summer.

@OhSorryYo - Thanks for the insight. If she does decide to go to UT Austin, she will definitely go to an early orientation and at least postpone this issue. She already has 9 AP credit hours and will have another 15 her senior year. She has also taken some core classes at ACC that might transfer. Thanks for the insight.

I’m a CS freshman and registered at orientation last June. It’s pretty much the way OhSorryYo described it. CS advisors helped us decide what to register for and I had no trouble getting the classes I really needed (2nd semster CS & calculus classes). The other class I wanted was the required (of all UT students) freshman seminar, and I got the class but was waitlisted for the specific topic I wanted. During the summer, I tried severla times (each time registration opened again) to get it, but never got off the waitlist, so I went with my second choice seminar. (There are dozens of topics so it’s not a big deal.) I also had no trouble, in the fall registering for the classes I needed for the spring. They seem to be doing a good job of having enough of the required CS classes for all CS majors. We’ll see next year hiw it is getting CS electives.

BTW if you are thinking of placing out of the first semester CS class (312), like I did, you should be aware of the sudden death risk. If you don’t have a 2.75 gpa in your first 3 cs classes, you are cut from cs. Since the second and third classes are both taken in the second semester, that means, if you place out of 312 and take the other 2 in your first semester, you can be out after just one semester. They told us at orientation that if you claim AP credit for 312, they will treat that as a B+ (3.3) for this purpose. So do the math and if you don’t want to risk it, take 312 instead of taking the AP credit.

Thank you @Austinwannabe for the comments. How are you liking the program - any major complaints or compliments? If you are having issues with grades, is there a place to find help? I’m trying to figure out, because it is such a large program, whether the goal is to weed out or to promote the success of all.

@GTAustin, I’m very happy here so far. Looking forward to starting the Freshman Research Initiative class this spring. I got a bit of a shock when I got a C in discrete math, hadn’t seen that coming, and I narrowly escaped sudden death myself. There’s plenty of help available if you seek it out (which I didn’t do). But it is very competitive, will only get harder from what I hear, so I can see that I will have to work harder. But I love UT, it’s an awesome place to be, very happy with my choice so far.

@Austinwannabe - I’m glad to hear this. I’m on the fence about UT Austin but I do think my D wants to go there and I’m looking for reassurance that she can be successful there. So far, the input from her friends and online have all been good. Good luck to you in your second semester!

UT-Austin used to give priority registration to those with the most credits. That has recently changed. Most of the state schools in Texas are testing new ways to have their students graduate in 4 years. UT has changed the priority registration to only count the credits that directly apply to your major for degree credit. If you have a bunch of AP & testing credits coming in from high school - only the ones that can be applied directly to your major will be used for registration priority. My daughter just finished her freshman semester. She brought in several AP credits and is taking 2 classes right now over break. She will have enough credits to be junior status credit-wise (after these 2 classes are recorded) - but not major-wise. She is pursuing 2 certificates (UT’s equivalent of minors) on top of her major. She’s assuming she’ll maybe have junior status registering in the fall - but no guarantees… It’s very difficult during registration as a freshman… Probably the biggest complaint I have about UT as a freshman parent. Actually - that’s my only complaint- UT is an incredible university…

@go4fan56, thank you for your insights. I have one question - so it gets better after the freshman year? Also, you’re saying that if my D has AP credits that can be applied to her major, that would give her an advantage in this process. She will have the first CS course and calculus (which I think is a required CS course). I was thinking it might be better for her to take the CS course again and use it for GPA requirement to get out of preCS as explained by @Austinwannabe . Thanks again for replying.

Here is Sample 4-Year Plan.

CS 311, 312, 314, 429, 439, 331 are mandatory, and UT makes sure that there are enough spots.

Linear Algebra and Statistics might be a challenge since it’s a different department, but these classes have variations.

Upper division CS is always a lottery, but if your child is into research there are always CS 378 classes available, no problem with them.