Registration Frequently Asked Questions

The answer to this question will vary depending on your intended major(s), any earned credit (AP, IB, or college-level) and other personal factors. However, generally speaking, students should expect to register for 14-17 credit hours their first semester, including SAGES First Seminar (four credit hours). This means that you will register for three to four courses during the July 11-14 registration period. (SAGES First Seminar will be added to your schedule later. See SAGES First Seminar Course Selection for more information.) Undergraduates can take at most 19 credit hours per semester without special permission, but the ordinary, recommended schedule is 14-17 credit hours. First-year students are not permitted to take more than 19 credit hours in their first semester.

First, review the Determining an Academic Focus for Your First Year section of this guide. As you review the schedule development recommendations for the majors in which you are interested, take note of any courses that are recommended for all majors. Also take note of any recommended courses that are part of a sequence or are prerequisites for courses that are recommended in the second semester. Each set of schedule development recommendations includes both fall and spring semesters. (Students who have credit for many of the recommended courses can use the General Bulletin as a resource for looking further ahead in the required curriculum.) Reviewing this information first can give you an idea of which courses you may choose to prioritize. Finally, if you are considering majors that are subject to different sets of general education requirements, take note of any requirements that apply toward both majors.

It is not always an easy task to plan a schedule that can apply toward more than one major. There may come a point when you need to make decisions about courses that make your schedule less balanced and more focused toward one than the other. Keep in mind you do not have to do everything your first semester. There will be many opportunities to take courses of interest in the future, and there are many ways to explore academic interests beyond taking courses in that subject.

You can complete two or more Arts and Sciences majors within the 120-hour minimum requirement for the BA or two or more engineering majors within the 128-133-hour minimum requirement for the BS in engineering, or two or more management majors within the 122-hour minimum requirement for the BS in management. These are referred to as double majors.

If you would like to pursue two or more majors that fall within different degree programs, you can complete one of those majors with the associated general education requirements of its degree program and another field as a “secondary major.” In this case you will earn the degree for which you completed general education requirements, but your second major will also be noted on your transcript and diploma.

Another option is to pursue a dual degree program completing the major requirements and the associated general education requirements of both degrees (e.g. a BA in music and a BS in Engineering with a major in civil engineering). To earn two degrees, in addition to meeting all major and general education requirements, you must complete an additional 30 credit hours of study for the second degree. This means a minimum of 150 credit hours earned. You should expect that a second degree will require an extra year of coursework. However, if you enter CWRU with a significant amount of credit through AP, IB, or college coursework, this may allow you to complete two degrees within a period of time closer to eight semesters.

Depending on the degrees in question, the differences can vary. In general, Bachelor of Arts degrees are characterized by breadth and flexibility in that they allow students to gain knowledge through in-depth study of a discipline or disciplines while providing opportunities to explore other areas of interest. Bachelor of Science degrees also provide breadth but may require more focus on specific courses related to the discipline. Some majors are only offered as a BA or BS, while others provide students with a choice between the two. Though your intended major may provide you with the option, this is not usually something you need to decide in the first semester. The Schedule Development Recommendations in this guide will provide you with any applicable distinctions in coursework in the first year if applicable. To get a sense of the differences between the two curricula, you can consult the General Bulletin. If you have questions about this, contact Undergraduate Studies.

Not always. Some majors have required or sequenced courses that, if not taken, could have implications for the courses you can take in subsequent semesters (e.g. a fall course that is a prerequisite for a course recommended in spring semester). If you opt to not take one of these courses, make sure you understand how this will impact your progress in the major. However, there are other recommended courses that do not necessarily have to be taken in the first semester. This can be helpful if you are considering multiple majors or simply want to reduce the number of courses you are taking to make your semester more manageable. If you have questions about this, contact Undergraduate Studies for help.

For courses in lecture format, one credit-hour represents the subject content that can be delivered in one academic hour of contact time each week for the full duration of one academic semester, typically 14 weeks along with a final examination period. For undergraduate courses, one credit-hour also includes associated work that can be completed by a typical student in two to three hours of effort outside the classroom. For courses taught in other than lecture format (e.g., seminars, laboratories, independent study, clinical work, research, etc.), one credit-hour represents an amount of content and/or student effort that in aggregate is no less than that described above.

Pre-professional interests are not the same as majors. Students who plan to attend a professional school (medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law, etc.) will choose a major and fulfill degree requirements in the same manner as all other undergraduates while simultaneously fulfilling any curricular requirements to prepare them for entry into a professional program. Information and recommendations for scheduling based on these interests can be found within this guide.

The Scheduled Development Recommendations sections of the guide should include notes to address these questions. If you have viewed this information and still have questions, contact Undergraduate Studies.

A prerequisite is a requirement that must be satisfied before a student is permitted to enroll in a course. For example, you must have credit for MATH 121 before you can enroll in MATH 122. A corequisite is a required course that must be taken along with another course, unless a student has already earned credit for that course. For example, CHEM 105 is a corequisite for BIOL 214. If you want to enroll in BIOL 214 you must also enroll in CHEM 105 unless you have credit for CHEM 105 through AP, IB or transfer credit. (Important note: Any AP, IB, or college credit must be received by CWRU and posted in SIS in order to use this credit as a prerequisite or corequisite.) See the relevant sections of the New Student Checklist for information regarding this credit.

Generally, no. The exception to this is a course that requires instructor consent, which you can request through the "Schedule Change Request" item on the New Student Checklist beginning July 1. Course prerequisites are put in place because the faculty assume enrolled students will have learned the material presented in the prerequisite course(s). Prerequisites are not arbitrary obstructions, but rather intentional learning paths. Therefore, you should not expect to enroll in a course for which you have not met the prerequisites. Additionally, SIS will not allow you to do so. This is why it is important that you have all prior credit earned (AP, IB, or transfer credit) sent to Undergraduate Studies in advance of registration.

As this credit is received and evaluated, the status of this credit will be updated on the New Student Checklist. You should review these items carefully for information regarding the process of having this credit received, reviewed, and posted (if applicable). It is important to have this credit sent to CWRU as soon as possible so that it can be evaluated and posted before registration begins. Score reports for students who have indicated CWRU as a recipient of AP and IB exam results will be sent to us electronically in early July. Credit will appear in the "Course History" section of your SIS account once posted.

If your AP or IB exam scores do not qualify you to earn credit, or the college coursework you took does not meet the transfer eligibility requirement, there are other options. Proficiency exams are offered in math, chemistry, physics, and computer science. Students can earn course credit by passing what is equivalent to the final exam for that course. These exams will be offered during new student orientation. Information about these exams can be found in this guide. If you took college courses that meet the CWRU requirements for transfer eligibility but were not awarded credit, refer to the correspondence received from Undergraduate Studies for further information. Occasionally courses require further review by a department before credit is awarded.

Each of these refers to a category of general education requirements. When reviewing the general education requirements for your intended major(s), you will find that one or more of these categories will be listed, along with an indication of the number of courses and credit-hours required to fulfill this requirement. Listed under each category heading will be a series of course departments or specific courses that can be used to fulfill this requirement. Categories that list only course departments (e.g. Arts and Humanities) will allow any three- to four-credit-hour course within that department to count toward that requirement.

This is a common question that has unique answers for each student. Some students are apprehensive about moving ahead in a course sequence or taking an upper-level course because they have questions about whether or not they are truly prepared. Only you can know whether or not using the credit you’ve earned to move ahead or repeating a course is in your best interest. How well you are able to learn the material presented in a higher-level course will not only depend on your preparation but also on your study skills and ability to utilize the resources around you (faculty office hours, tutoring, supplemental instruction sessions, etc.). Therefore, there isn’t a way to predict student success or for an advisor to tell you what you should do.

The first two weeks of the semester are designated as a drop/add period. Students are free to drop and add courses during this period before having to finalize their schedules. You can register for and sit in on a class for the first week or two and "test drive" it before making a final decision. Let’s say you decide to use the AP credit you’ve earned for MATH 121 and take MATH 122 in the fall semester. If after the first week of the course, during which time you’ll have the opportunity to review the course syllabus, talk with your professor, and look over the course materials, you decide that MATH 122 is not an appropriate course for you, you can drop MATH 122 and add MATH 121 instead. This is a common strategy for students with questions about whether or not to use AP, IB, or college credit to take a higher-level course because it allows them to learn first-hand what the course is like before making a decision to use the credit, whereas simply not using the credit and repeating a course does not. Regardless of the work done before, your goal should be to ensure that you are prepared for the next course in the CWRU sequence. Note that repeating a course for which you have already earned credit means giving up the credit previously earned. It will be easier for students to move to a lower-level course after beginning in a higher-level course.

Your first-year advisor will be the faculty member instructing your SAGES First Seminar. You will meet your first-year advisor at new student orientation, both in a group setting and also individually. Advisors help students make the most of their CWRU experience by providing information and guidance. They will work with you to develop an understanding of your interests, talents, and aspirations. First-Year advisors are familiar with policies and procedures and will help you successfully navigate the university. Upon declaring a major, you will be assigned an advisor who is a faculty member from the department in which you have declared your major. First-Year students may declare a major no sooner than Nov. 1, 2017. More information about academic advising can be found here.

You cannot register for two courses that meet at the same time or have overlapping meeting times. If one of the courses has multiple sections, see if another section will fit your schedule. You may have to adjust other courses on your schedule to accommodate an alternate section. In cases where this is not possible, you will have to make a decision about which course is a priority and plan to take the other course in a future semester.

Use the "Schedule Change Request" form on the New Student Checklist to request consent for the course. Do not request consent through the SIS permission page. You should review course prerequisites in advance of registration and request consent July 1-5 to ensure timely review and processing of these requests in advance of registration. (Note: submission of a request does not guarantee approval. Undergraduate Studies will contact you if the request cannot be approved.)

The answer varies depending on where your classes are being held and how much time is available in between them. Generally, 15 minutes between classes should be enough to make it from one to another. If possible, you should consider leaving yourself a larger block of time (about an hour) at some point during the day for meals and to give yourself a break.

Generally we are able to ensure that incoming first-year students are able to register for courses that they need for an intended major. If a required course is full, you should use the "Schedule Change Request" on the New Student Checklist to request a seat in the course. Do not request permission to enroll in a closed course through the SIS permission page. The "Schedule Change Request" item will remain open during the registration period (July 11-14) and be reviewed shortly thereafter. During the period which students’ schedules are reviewed (July 17-28), Undergraduate Studies will review students’ requests and make adjustments to their schedules if possible. Students should check their CWRU webmail frequently during the schedule review period, as Undergraduate Studies may need to contact you about these requests.

There are cases in which a course that a student wants to take (e.g. a general education course, elective, or course of interest) is full. For situations like this, we ask that you find an alternate course to take instead and plan to take that course in a future semester.

All CWRU students are welcome to participate in our music ensembles. A full list of ensembles can be found at There are gateway auditions for several of the primary ensembles, which include Orchestra, Symphonic Winds or Wind Ensemble, and Concert Choir. Other ensembles require placement auditions. Auditions are held the first week of class. Interested students should contact the director via email or attend the first class meeting. Learn more by visiting

There are a limited number of courses that will give you the option to select the number of credit-hours you wish to receive for the course when enrolling. You will most commonly see this with musical ensemble courses. These courses will give you the option to enroll for zero or one credit-hour. If you need the course to count toward a major or minor requirement, you should take the course for one credit-hour. Otherwise, you have the option to take it for either zero or one. In both cases, you will receive an evaluative grade in the course. However, if you take a course for zero credits, the final grade will not be factored into your GPA. You are required to be enrolled in a course to participate. (Note: If you wish to use MUEN 384 – Spartan Marching Band to fulfill a physical education requirement, you must take it for zero credits.)

Another possible instance of this may occur if you are registering for a research course or independent study. In these cases, you should contact the instructor of the course to understand the appropriate number of credits in which you should enroll. Any questions about this can be directed to Undergraduate Studies for assistance.

Access to SIS will close at 11:59 p.m. EDT July 14, 2017 and not reopen until after students have met with their first-year advisors during new student orientation. If you change your mind about your intended major after having registered for fall courses and your decision fundamentally alters your schedule for the fall, notify Undergraduate Studies immediately. If the intended new major requires minimal schedule changes, you can wait until new student orientation to address your concerns. New student orientation provides you with the opportunity to review your schedule with your first-year advisor and make changes to your schedule at that time.