First Year Students

Note: The below information applies to students who started at CWRU in Fall 2023.  It will be updated soon for students who start in Spring 2024.  Check back in early October!

We're excited for you to join the Case Western Reserve community as a new first-year student! In addition to conversations with an advisor, this resource will help you build a draft of your schedule before registration opens.

Recorded Registration 101 Webinar

For an overview of the below information, watch a recent recording of our Registration 101 webinar.

Getting Started

The information below will help you understand the components of your first semester course schedule. The process consists of three steps:

Step 1: Get Acquainted with a CWRU Course Schedule

For your first semester you will enroll in 4-6 courses. The majority of courses you will take will be between 3-4 credit hours each, with some variance for accompanying 1- or 2- credit lab courses. While your total number of credit hours can range from 12-19 hours, we recommend enrolling in 14-17 credit hours. You can learn more about the definition of a credit hour and other commonly used registration terms and functions through the University Registrar.

First Semester Schedule Template

The template below can be used as a starting point to guide you as you consider your first semester schedule. 

COURSE 1 Recommended introductory course for a major you are considering

One of the following (see additional information below):

  • Academic Inquiry Seminar
  • Breadth requirement

Choose one:

  • Additional recommended major course
  • Course for another major of interest
  • Breadth requirement 
  • Accompanying 1- or 2-credit lab (if applicable)
  • No course
Total Credit Hours: We recommend a schedule of 4-6 courses, totaling 14 to 17 credit hours.

The Academic Inquiry Seminar

In your first year, you will take an Academic Inquiry Seminar, a 3-credit course that provides a foundation for your undergraduate experience as a writer and speaker at CWRU. To learn more about how you self-select your Academic Inquiry Seminar, please view the FAQS on the Writing Program website.

  • Required for all first year students in either first or second semester
  • Allot 3 credits in schedule planning for your Academic Inquiry Seminar in either first or second semester 
  • In early July, you will see a placeholder in SIS letting you know when you are scheduled to take your Academic Inquiry Seminar.
    • If you are scheduled to take your Academic Inquiry Seminar in your first semester, you will see a 3-credit hold in your schedule (AIQS 850F). 
    • If you are scheduled to take your Academic Inquiry Seminar in your second semester, you will see a 0-credit hold in your schedule (AIQS 850S).

Before registration, complete the “What Kind of Writer Am I? Selecting Your First-Year Writing Seminar” task on your Roadmap. On the form, you will select one of three Academic Inquiry Seminar experiences, but will not choose your specific seminar course.

Fall Academic Inquiry Seminar:

  • During the course registration period, register for all of your classes except the Academic Inquiry Seminar via SIS (as outlined later in this guide). 
  • After registering, return to your Roadmap, mark "Course Registration" as complete, and refresh the page. You will complete one of the following, based on your selected Academic Inquiry Seminar type:
    • If you selected a Topical Seminar: return to your Roadmap, mark "Course Registration" as complete, and refresh the page. A new item "Academic Inquiry Seminar Placement Times" will activate to allow you to indicate your interests.
    • If you selected Foundations Seminar or Seminar for Non-Native Speakers of English, you will be placed in a section that fits your schedule, and do not need to take any further action.

Spring Academic Inquiry Seminar:

  • During the course registration period, register for all of your classes. In place of an Academic Inquiry Seminar, you can explore breadth options. You will be prompted to enroll in the Academic Inquiry Seminar course in your second semester.
  • After registering, return to your Roadmap, mark "Course Registration" as complete, and refresh the page.

Step 2: Explore Courses and Recommendations

With the template above as your guide, review and refer to the following resources as you build your first semester schedule.

Explore major recommendations

Learn about general education and breadth requirements

Course sequence information

AP, IB and pre-matriculation credit

Proficiency Exam Information

In order to register for classes in July, there are a few items that must be completed in order to remove your “Roadmap Hold” on your account preventing course registration. 

  • Information for your advisor 
  • Math Placement, if applicable. 
  • Selecting Your First-Year Writing Seminar 
  • Test Scores and College Credit Evaluations
  • Completing a Meeting with your Advisor

Beyond the “Roadmap Hold”, the university also requires you to submit the following to register:

  • Student Financial Responsibility Agreement
  • Completing the emergency contact information in SIS

As you explore course options, some will have linked components, such as recitations (REC), discussions (DIS), labs (LAB), clinicals (CLN) and additional lecture (LEC) sections. If you are considering one of these courses, you must register for all components required for that course.

Step 3: Build your Schedule in SIS and Register

Search and add courses to your "Shopping Cart" in SIS to begin building your first semester schedule. Use the videos and other resources below to learn how to use the Student Information System (SIS).

Registration opens on Tuesday, July 18 at 9 a.m. Eastern and closes Thursday, July 20 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern. After registering for courses in SIS, don't forget to mark this task complete on your Roadmap. 

For Nursing students: see major-specific scheduling advice in the Step 2 "Explore major recommendations" section.

How to search for courses by subject and keyword in SIS (video)

How to add courses to your SIS Shopping Cart and Register (step-by-step guide)

For additional SIS guides, please refer to the University Registrar website.

Course Changes After Registration

An advisor from the Office of Undergraduate Advising Support will review your official schedule after registration and will reach out to you via email if adjustments are needed before classes begin. Changes can be made through the "Drop/Add period", and you can find dates and deadlines on the Registrar's website.