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Advice for Newly Admitted Terps (updated 2017)


Replies to: Advice for Newly Admitted Terps (updated 2017)

  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    @soofdad thank you for the insight!! Looking forward to our visit
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,994 Senior Member
    @lbf, my son never had trouble getting into classes that he needed. There are definitely times he had to go on a waitlist, and even though he his place was in the high teens, he still got in. So, let me clarify that a little more. Being on a waitlist may seem hopeless for several weeks as the list will not start to "move" until a few weeks before the semester begins when people re-evaluate their schedules and decide to drop one class for another. So, while it may seem hopeless to be number 18 for 8 weeks over the summer, by August, hope returns as you begin to see your waitlist position get closer to target and then finally get in.

    FYI, there are 3 types of classes - the big lectures with 1 small discussion section a week, the medium size classes (which may or may not have a small discussion section), and then small.

    The big lectures tend to be the basic foundation classes that multiple majors require. For those, they will add more sections if the waitlist gets large enough. You can waitlist multiple sections, and you will be placed in the first one where a seat opens. However, you cannot waitlist a section for a "better" time/prof if you already took a seat in a section. So, you just need to be sure that you only sign up for a section you are willing to take, and if there is one you prefer, you can play chicken with waitlisting or just grab the seat in the section that's open.

    The medium size classes (around 40-60) that are ELECTIVES will not open additional sections, but again, waitlisting is possible. If it's a really popular class, then you may not get it and will just have to try again another semester.

    There are also small classes, such as ENGL101, which ensure that students get more individual attention. Even though that is a small class, since it is a required class, they will def open up additional sections if they run out of seats. However, the small classes that are the honors college seminars (so the really cool electives) and upper level electives will not open up additional sections.

    SoofDad is correct that they do "reserve" seats for incoming freshman and only release them -some at each orientation session.

    So, has my son ever not gotten a class he's wanted? He never had a problem getting the classes that are required for his major. The very few (as in literally one or two) he didn't get into were the highly popular electives for GenEds but there were lots of other options available, so he just took his second choice, and was able to get everything in he needed.

    Further, my son is a sloth. So, for him, selecting classes was a balancing act of finding profs he wanted at the times he wanted. For his freshman year, his earliest class was 10 a.m. so clearly, getting the classes he wanted really was no problem. However, I will say he had signed up for one of the earliest orientation sessions, which likely helped. AFTER the first semester, students are given enrollment times based on number of credits, so it is possible that a freshman with a lot of incoming AP credits may actually register before a sophomore that has none.

    In 8 semesters, there were a total of only 4 classes that he "had" to take at 8 a.m. because that was the only time the class was offered...2 were for his major, and 2 were electives.
  • lbflbf Registered User Posts: 251 Junior Member
    @maryversity thank you so much for the insight, greatly appreciated!!
  • AHRed13AHRed13 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Hi @maryversity, I've been having trouble finding information on something and was wondering if you could help. Other wise I can call Maryland so no worries if you don't know. I'm going to go to Maryland in the spring semester next year, instead of participating in the freshman connection program for spring admitted students, but I can't figure out what orientation sessions I am supposed to sign up for. The dates for orientation that Maryland lists on their website are labeled as for fall freshman only, and then they provide a link for freshman connection student orientation, but nothing for students entering in the spring. Do you know what I should do?
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,994 Senior Member
    Welcome to Terp Nation! I think they only do orientation sessions one semester prior to start date since orientation is when you actually select your classes for your first semester. So, I would imagine that the orientation for spring semester starts will be in the fall. Not sure if you have plans for the fall, but this might interest you...https://globalmaryland.umd.edu/offices/education-abroad/freshmen-abroad
  • AHRed13AHRed13 Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    @maryversity Oh, I get it now. That makes much more sense in retrospect, thank you.
  • vandygrad87vandygrad87 Registered User Posts: 738 Member
    @maryversity - Prior to your son starting at UMD (and even afterward) what websites did your son use to know which professors he wanted to aim for?
  • maryversitymaryversity Registered User Posts: 1,994 Senior Member
    Before starting UMD, he used ourumd.com (which unfortunately seems not to have been updated for a few years now, so while the reviews may be "old" and some newer profs are not on there, it's still pretty useful). However, after starting, he primarily went by word of mouth from other students, at least for engineering classes. One thing I remember him saying was that for *some* engineering classes, "TBA" (to be announced) for prof in a particular section was actually a chance worth signing up for. They would deliberately not name the prof until much later if a particular prof was really popular. That way, students were more likely to sign up for other sections and avoids overcrowding the waitlists (you cannot waitlist one section if you accept a seat in another...)
This discussion has been closed.