How to Get the Classes You Want

WSN shares advice from upperclassmen regarding course selection for underclassmen.

Prepare yourselves for war — it’s time for fall semester class registration. Every year, when April comes around, NYU students get busier and busier, with deadlines, finals and internship season barging full speed ahead. Class selection is just one of the tasks that we have to complete, but arguably, it’s one of the most stressful. Class selection can be daunting when balancing tough majors or figuring out tight credits for graduation, especially since it always seems as if all the classes we want fill up in a matter of seconds. Class selection might bring out the worst in people, but unfortunately, there’s no way around it.

In the midst of all this chaos, there always seem to be those few students who manage to get every class they wanted, as if registration magically opens early for them. Paula Zhang, a junior in CAS, is one of those people.

“Honestly, my class registration always seems to be based on luck,” Zhang said. “But I also try my absolute best to make sure I’m actually prepared. Instead of just haphazardly adding things to my cart the morning of my registration period, I have my schedule planned out ahead of time, so when my registration time comes, I can register on the dot, as soon as the clock strikes.”

During this time of year, it can often feel like our advisors are emailing us every other day, but there’s a reason for it: they don’t want us to get tripped up in registration either, because it only creates more problems for everyone. SPS sophomore Isabelle Robinson knows this from past experience.


“It’s also very important to actually read the emails that your advisor sends to you,” Robinson said. “Make sure that you’ve looked over the coursebook for the courses that you’re interested in registering for, and then have backups ready on a list so that just in case the class is closed, you’ll have safe options ready.”

Although many students try to plan ahead and add backup classes to their cart, this doesn’t guarantee that they will be placed in the crucial courses needed for their major. However, CAS sophomore Aneesh Ashutosh says you can always try reaching out to a department head as a last-ditch effort to get into a class.

“If you’re waitlisted, often all it takes is a quick email to the head of the department,” Ashutosh said. “As a Computer Science major, the head of the computer science department has been extremely helpful in getting students to the classes they want to take, either by adding new sections or bumping them up the waitlist.”  

Although you might hear horror stories of seniors trying desperately to get into College Core Curriculum classes, course selection isn’t as scary as it seems. While registration can certainly be frustrating, if you take the time to prepare and plan out your schedule, you won’t be playing catch-up senior year.

Email Thomas Chou at [email protected]



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