Registration and Scheduling tips for CSU Students

<p>The number one complaint you will hear by students at CSU Northridge, CSU Long Beach and all other impacted CSU's is not the tuition or location, but how difficult it is to get your classes. You will see so many classes you want to sign up for be filled weeks before your registration date and have 10-20 people crashing impacted classes on the first day with most of them leaving unhappy. Rather than being upset that you did not get your classes after your registration date, here are some things you can plan before the upcoming semester to help the chances of you getting a better schedule.</p>

<ol>
<li>Take 15-16 units freshman year.
I see so many incoming freshman only sign up for 12-13 because that is the max they allow at orientation, only to regret it later as they realize this was the only time it was easy to get all of your classes. They allow all students to sign up for an additional class during open registration which is listed on the school's calendar. If you have a part time job or feel it will be too much pressure to take 5 classes, than starting off with 12-13 is okay, but if you have the time, definitely try to take 15-16 units and at worst, you can drop one of the classes week one without penalty. </li>
<li>Do something for priority registration.
Some of the common activities to get priority registration (at least at CSU Northridge) include being an orientation leader, a university ambassador, or a note taker for someone in your class. Some uncommon ways are sports or other major clubs, but these usually have some heavy pre-requirements.<br></li>
<li>The professors you get.
Most worry about taking a class with a bad professor after seeing their reviews on RateMyProfessor, but most would tell you that could do well with whichever professor you have. Although this may be true depending on how much you study, I can tell you from my experience that the professor you have at universities does indeed make a difference not only because of how they teach, but because of grading styles such as curves. I am not saying do not take a class just because the professor for it isn't ranked high as it will be hard to get good professors without a good registration date, but if you are a type of student who has a hard time learning on your own and will need a good professor to do well, but the professor has heavy reviews along the lines of "you will need to teach yourself", you may want to wait-list for a better professor. </li>
</ol>

<p>As for your schedule, here are things I see people complain about the first few weeks into class.</p>

<ol>
<li>8 A.M. classes.
Unless you are a morning person, most incoming freshman regret taking an 8 A.M. class because of how tired they get during classes. Students also say it affects their studying and grades later in the semester. Do not be discouraged if it is the only option you have, but if you do indeed other choices, I would recommend taking afternoon or maybe even evening classes when you are wide awake.</li>
<li>Having too many classes back to back
Many think it's good to take 3 or even 4 classes back to back. The main negative goes back to the 8 A.M. class logic in that you will get tired and not pay attention, which in turn will lead to lower scores. If you dorm or live nearby, I recommend making your schedule flexible if possible. If you commute from a long distance, have a part time job or have another reason in which you have to take multiple classes back to back, do not worry too much, but just realize you will have to put in more effort to stay focused not only during class, but later at night as well. </li>
</ol>

<p>Here are ways to make your schedule better and gain more units.</p>

<ol>
<li>Take G.E. (General Education) classes online. This is something I cannot emphasize enough. Even after the semester starts, I always see so many spots open in online G.E. classes like astronomy and religion. Remember that even though these classes may not be the most interesting, they will help you in filling those G.E. requirements and hitting 15-16 units without being too overwhelmed. Try to take G.E. classes in subjects you enjoy, but if none are open, I recommend getting any online G.E. classes as it will benefit you in the future.</li>
<li>Plan your schedule for next semester ahead of time and look at pre-requirements of future classes you need.
If you are a math major and need calculus for your degree, take the pre-required classes for it like algebra during your freshman year when you are guaranteed to get them. Having your schedule planned out for all four-six years and knowing the order helps, as you can take those mandatory classes early when you can get them and save the electives for later. Also take lower level G.E. classes like history, arts, and sciences early as even though these are level 100-200 classes, everyone tries to get them junior/senior year because they didn't freshman year only to realize they will be full by the freshman with priority registration.</li>
</ol>

<p>This basically wraps up the main ways on how to enjoy your college experience when it comes to scheduling and classes. I commute so I cannot answer many question about dorms or clubs, but if you have any questions regarding things like registration, what to expect in certain classes, or even different majors, feel free to message me or post here.</p>

<p>Great tips, thanks!</p>

<p>One thing i would like to chip in for all you in-coming freshmans. </p>

<p>STAY ON TOP OF THINGS</p>

<p>this includes your financial aid, class registration,admission documents, class progress.</p>

<p>now i am 3 yr after my high school graduation, completed my CC journey and transfer into a 4 yr. meanwhile there are countless people who graduated with me 3 yrs ago who are still stuck in community college and not moving forward. </p>

<p>make sure you find and meet all the deadline
plan ahead at class registration
try figure out what career path you are interested in early</p>

<p>good luck.</p>

<p>Do you go to CSUN? I’m going there Aug 24 as a transfer student! Also should note for transfers you get an earlier date for registration, depending on how many units you have transferred. I had 74 and my date was JULY 3.</p>

<p>I also got all the classes I needed except for 1 which I waisted today. Hopefully I get it since I’m only #3 on the waitlist.</p>

<p>i go to CSUF, im not sure about CSUN, but at CSUF, transfer dont get n earlier registration date, instead you will register with just like every other junior which still early since postgrad n graduates get the first period, seniors get the second and junior are right behind seniors. mine is on the 19th this month, 98% of classes are still open at this point and the registration started back in 7/8.</p>

<p>Great tips. I’m still at CC trying to transfer to a CSU, but literally all of the same material applies to both.</p>

<p>It’s important to note that a lot of these tips can actually play off each other. For example, gaining priority registration (which disabled and veteran students are also eligible for by law at CSU) allows you more freedom in selecting the right professors.</p>

<p>I think online GE classes have low registration rates because the online environment for learning is not everyone’s cup of tea. Most students have been in the classroom environment through K-12 education and it is familiar to them. I personally don’t think online education is on par to buck the traditional way . . . yet. But if a student knows they can succeed in an online course, then that’s definitely worth pursuing.</p>

<p>My additions for scheduling: Of course different people are more “active” congnitively during different times of day, so students should learn early on what time is best for their brain (if they are not also juggling other requirements such as a job, etc). If your campus offers a decent amount of evening classes, then consider those as well. Don’t think evening classes will ruin “fun nights out with friends” - if you’re out watching movies, going to concerts, or bar hopping during the time that you know you are most able to critically think and accompish tasks, then you should re-evaluate your priorities as a student. I agree about the 8am ones (my wife proudly claims to have never had a class before 9amfor her BA). I understand that most students hate being on campus at 7:30am (even I’ve learned to enjoy my slow mornings after 4 years of 4:30am wake-ups in the military), but if those are the only ones open for registration, then it’s better to take it then instead of passing and perpetuating your stay in undergrad.</p>

<p>The best advice I can give: take the time to make an educational plan early and edit it as needed.</p>

<p>Do not rely on being hand-held by counselors and advisors. They are nice when you have them, but don’t solely rely on someone else to take responsibility for your education. What I mean by making an educational plan: truly know and understand the requirements to obtain a degree at your specific CSU. This includes knowing core/breadth requirements as well as reqs for your intended major. Then, map out a plan (plug it into an excel spreadsheet, utilize campus website tools for this specific purpose, type it out, write it on the back of a napkin, whatever) that shows, per term, the classes you intend to take to fulfill those education requirements. After each term, you can go in and mark what you’ve completed, analyze what is left to be done, and rearrange your class choices according to what you’ve registered for in the next upcoming term. This also allows you to easily track if you’ve completed prerequisite classes and helps focus on priority categories for you like GE or a major requirement. This does require a bit of effort, but if you stick to it and update it properly as you go along, then you will start to see how much simpler it is making your educational goal. In short, it can be a tool to help utilize the tips above.</p>

<p>“Do not rely on being hand-held by counselors and advisors”</p>

<p>Cant agree anymore.</p>

<p>I do indeed go to CSUN. I am entering sophomore year and I am majoring in accounting. Also, thanks to the rest of you guys also for adding more tips! Hopefully once the general CSU forum starts getting more attention, this thread will end up helping a lot more people and others will add even more suggestions.</p>

<p>I totally forgot to mention to take advantage of summer courses (either on the CSU campus or at a local California Community College) to get classes you are unable to during the regular academic year. Different campuses may have different policies regarding taking summer courses from another campus, but in every summer class I’ve had at CC there have been at least a couple local CSU students (and UC students sometimes) taking the same class for CSU equivalent credit. Speech, Philosophy, Political Science, whatever. . .</p>

<p>If you’re having a real hard time scheduling certain classes, then at least look into this policy at your CSU.</p>

<p>Mass AP credits. CSU’s give a ton rather easily (check the policies), yet it is rare for someone to go to a CSU over a UC when they have so many… Enter as a sophomore, junior, or if you enter as a senior, you’ll get all of the classes and times you want the semester after your orientation. As well, they’ll cover most of your GE’s / allow you to do upper division / class standing restricted courses early, so you can take major courses and graduate quickly.</p>

<p>But certainly, take whatever classes you can to get to the next standing levels in groups of 15 units.</p>