How to Register for Classes Like a Pro

It doesn’t seem right, but it’s already time to register for next semester’s courses! If you feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to start, I’m going to share some of the strategies I’ve found to be helpful to make sure your registration goes smoothly!

Prep work: Get a clear image of your degree progress and establish semester goals

Before we even begin to select courses, it’s important to know what classes you’ve taken that go toward your degree and what classes you have remaining. To get all of this information, I suggest running a degree audit which can be found on myIllini. When you run a degree audit, you can see which requirements you’ve met, which requirements are currently in progress, and which requirements still need to be taken. This will help you make your plan of action!

First step: Pick classes that interest you, but also meet degree requirements

After I ran my audit, I made a spreadsheet of all my remaining requirements and selected classes that I was interested in taking that met those requirements. This gives you a bank of classes to pick from when it comes time to register for classes. For example, I’m pursuing a minor in psychology, which requires me to take a couple upper-level courses. Now that it’s time for me to take one of these courses, I just looked at my spreadsheet and picked a class that worked with my schedule.

Second step: Make several plans on the Enhanced Registration tool

Enhanced Registration is the tool that can be found on our student Self-Service that allows us to sign up for classes. When you pull up Enhanced Registration and look at the bottom left corner, you’ll see a tool called Plan Ahead. This tool allows you to pick classes that you’re interested in taking and generate a schedule. If you’re taking a course that has multiple sections, planning ahead will allow you to determine which section will work best for your schedule. It’s important to work out your schedule before registration so that you aren’t left struggling on registration day!

Another advantage to planning ahead is that you can make several different versions of your same schedule in case one of the sections you chose fills up. I’ve definitely ran into the issue where one of the classes I’ve planned to take has filled up before I can register and I have to scramble to redo everything last minute! Being prepared with several options will ensure that you’re prepared for a smooth registration.

Third step: Meet with your advisor and check your time ticket

When time tickets are released, check it and make a note of the time and date. To make sure that you get the classes that you want, you’ll want to register as soon as you can! It’s important to meet with your advisor to not only make sure that you’re on track to graduate in the time frame you’ve decided, but they are also an amazing resource if you have any questions! Don’t hesitate to reach out to them with any concerns or questions.

Registration can seem daunting, but with the proper preparation the whole process will run smoothly!



Class of 2024
I’m a social work major with a passion for people and the betterment of society. Listening to my friends share their experiences sparked my love for the University of Illinois, so I can’t wait to share my own with prospective and incoming students!

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