We all know how overwhelming it can be to register for courses, but registration doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are some tips on how to make your registration a breeze.
Find your registration date/time
Usually, you will receive an email about two weeks before your registration opens* to let you know that your date and time are available on the Student Service Centre (SSC). It’s important to have your contact information up-to-date in the SSC, so you don’t miss this email.
*Note: like just about everything else, registration is looking a little different in 2020, so you can expect this timeline to be condensed this year as UBC adjusts to a mostly-online course schedule.
Once you’re signed into the SSC, click on “Registration” under the Registration tab, and you’ll find your registration date.
You’ll be able to register your classes any time between your registration open date and the add/drop deadline for each term. Make sure you check the SSC often though, because your registration time could change.
Know what courses you need to take
Check your program requirements in the Academic Calendar to see what courses are required. Write these down to put in your worklist.
If you’re a first-year student, make sure to thoroughly review the first-year planning guide for your program. They’re designed by your faculty to help you narrow down your course options to make sure the courses you pick fulfill the requirements for your program.
Do you have a major in mind? Does your program require you to declare one? Some programs require you to declare a major at certain times during your degree. Check out the declaring majors page to figure out if your program requires you to choose a major, and when to do so.
Most programs allow you to self-declare a major through the SSC, but only during the registration period. However, if you’re an Arts student, you may have to contact an advisor. The list of these majors as well as contact information is also on the declaring majors page.
Have a backup (and a backup backup, and a backup for your backup backup…)
We’ve all been there—you build the world’s most beautiful worklist… only to have it all fall apart on registration day. All your first-choice sections are full, the Vampire literature course you’ve been coveting since first year has a waitlist longer than the hike from H lot, and the only available lab section for your required Chem course is at 8 a.m. (in the morning).
Expecting to get your first choice of course schedule at registration is like expecting a USB cable to plug in correctly on the first try. Sure, it could happen, but maybe don’t bet your first term tuition on it.
Why prepare only one worklist option for each term, when you can prepare three or five? It’s always better to have backups ready for registration, rather than scrambling to find alternate courses when your first choices fill up.
And don’t forget to keep coming back to check these worklists because you may need to update them as classes fill up, courses change, or new courses are added.
Pro tip: It’s not uncommon for the course schedule to change after publication, so you should always plan to review your worklists a few hours before your registration time. That way, you’ll have time to update them to reflect any changes to the schedule since your worklist was first drafted.
Disaster strikes: that Vampire lit course is blocked, restricted, or full. What does that mean?
If a faculty has chosen to block a course and it has a waitlist, jump in there and hope you make it. If it doesn’t have a waitlist, read the section comments to see if there’s any information there. For example, some courses may require the instructor to review your portfolio.
If you’ve done all this and still have questions, contact the department that’s offering the course—for example, the department of English and Critical Studies for ENGL courses—to find out more registration details.
If a course is restricted, that means you need to fill certain requirements to register that course. Some faculties restrict courses by year-level, degree program, specialization/major, or a combination of these. Make sure you meet the requirements before you try to register.
If a course is full, check back on it regularly, since there’s a chance some students will drop out. If there’s a waitlist, register it, but it’s still a good idea to check back regularly on the course in case a seat opens up. Remember the add/drop deadlines — you can make changes until mid-September for Term 1 courses and until mid-January for Term 2.
Red or yellow warnings indicate that you may not meet the requirements for the course.
Yellow warning: reminder to make sure you meet the prerequisites for the course (if you don’t, you’ll get kicked out—embarrassing, right?).
Red warning: you cannot register in the course. It’s likely that you don’t meet the prerequisites (nice try).
If you register a course that requires a lab, but the lab section is full or blocked, stay calm!
Keep an eye on the lab in the SSC to see if a seat becomes available. Spots may pop up as other students make adjustments to their own schedules, or the faculty may open up another lab section altogether.
If you’re really worried about your lab registration, contact the course’s home department for guidance.
Read the Section Comments
The section comments are where faculties put important information about registration. This could include registration requirements, who to contact with registration issues, and information about the course content.
Make sure to check out the section comments for all the courses in your worklists before you register.
Know where to go with questions
If you plan on contacting an advisor, consider the times they might be busiest, like during registration or the first week of classes. If you can book an appointment outside of these busy times, you will have a better chance of talking to an advisor sooner and avoid a super long wait time.
UBCO also has designated Aboriginal Student Advisors who should be the the first point of contact for students in the Aboriginal Access Studies program. They are also available to any self-identified Aboriginal students with any Academic Advising needs.
Registration doesn’t have to be stressful—UBCO has lots of resources to help you through this important time.
Before you book time with an advisor, don’t forget to first check if you can find the answer to your question in the Academic Calendar, your faculty’s webpage, or on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Now get out there and make some more worklists!