ESS 306: Registration Tips
This week on the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we are talking about registration. Beginning next week all incoming freshmen and transfer students will be registering for up to 17.5 units in preparation for Fall 2019. Almost everyone has gone through Golden Bear Advising and has heard back from their ESS adviser, if you haven’t, you probably have a hold on your registration and need to complete GBA before the hold will be released. Now is the time to double check your registration appointment on CalCentral, make sure your shopping cart is full and next week – you’ll register. We are excited to have two Engineering Student Services Advisers, Olivia Chan and Dawn Strough, on the podcast to give some last minute tips and policies to keep in mind, that will help make your registration process easier and get you the best schedule for your first semester.
- Day of registration troubleshooting
- Humanities and Social Sciences Requirement
- Early Drop Deadline – Open the accordion for “Enroll in/Drop a class” and click on the pdf for Early Drop Deadlines
- CalCentral registration support
- Video and PDF Tutorials for planning your schedule and how to find classes:
LAURA VOGT: Hi, my name is Laura Vogt and I’m the Associate Director for Marketing and Communications for the College of Engineering. This week on the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we are giving you some registration tips since everyone will be registering next week! Join me in welcoming Olivia Chan and Dawn Strough to the podcast – Welcome! Olivia please tell us about yourself and what your role is in Engineering Student Services.
OLIVIA CHAN – Hi! My name is Olivia Chan and I work with Energy Engineering, Engineering Math and Statistics, Environmental Engineering Science and EECS, last name Si-Z. I have worked with Engineering Student Services for over 7 years but have over 15 years of advising experience! I can’t wait for you all to begin your journey at Cal!
LV: Dawn, your turn to tell us about yourself and what your role is in Engineering Student Services.
DAWN STROUGH: Sure! So I advise the IEOR students and a portion of the EECS students. I’m the baby of the bunch because I’ve only been with ESS for about a month but I’ve been advising for about 17 years, mostly in the College of Letters and Science. I just returned to campus after being away for a couple of years and I’m really, really happy to be back. I also graduated from Cal, so this place is pretty special to me.
LV: Thank you again for joining us today. Registration for transfer students is July 22 and first-year students is July 24. Check CalCentral for your registration appointment time. All of you should have completed Golden Bear Advising and have heard back from your ESS adviser about your proposed schedule. If you have not completed the advising then you might have a hold on your registration – you need to finish Golden Bear Advising and have a proposed scheduled looked over by your ESS adviser before you’ll be able to register. If you have any concerns or questions about a registration hold, please email your adviser or email@example.com. We want to share some last minute tips for registering and what we think is important to keep in mind as you complete your first semester schedule and register for classes.
LV: Olivia, where should students find out or double check that they are taking classes that fulfill their College of Engineering requirements?
OC: First of all, and very importantly, please be aware that all colleges on campus have different requirements, different deadlines and the course requirements you could fulfill with your exams might not be the same. Two examples. If you are rooming with a Letters and Sciences student, their minimum unit requirement is 13 units whereas the College of Engineering requires 12 units. So often times I have students coming in seeking out a 1 unit course because they think they need that additional unit. Also, AP English only fulfills the Reading and Composition A requirement for Engineering but fulfill A and B for Letters and Sciences. The information that you need about College of Engineering policy and requirements are on our website: engineering.berkeley.edu. Have questions about what requirements AP, IB and A-Level exams fulfill? Check the exams page on the website. Have questions about the Reading and Comp requirement? Check the humanities and social sciences webpage. If you’re ever unsure after checking our website, feel free to email your ESS adviser.
LV: The information for your major is on the COE website – not a different college’s website. One more time it is engineering.berkeley.edu. Dawn, How heavy of a schedule should you have for your first semester?
DS: Many of the semester program plans show 15-17 units. If you have tested out of or already completed some of the courses you might think about taking fewer units. Keep in mind that for your first semester you can register for up to 17.5 units and then once the semester starts you can drop a class if you realize that it is too much. Some classes have early drop deadlines – for example physics. The early drop deadline is week and a half after classes begin, Friday, September 6 you can find the complete list online and we’ll have the link on our website. All other classes have to be dropped by the 4th week of instruction.
LV: A great way to stay on top of these deadlines is to read our weekly newsletter, sent to your inbox from firstname.lastname@example.org. What are the student’s options if they’ve realized that maybe they didn’t pick the right major?
OC: If you’re already thinking about potentially changing your major, you can let your ESS adviser know but the discussion should happen through an appointment in the fall when you arrive. For now, College of Engineering policy states that every engineering student must be enrolled in two technical courses towards their current major. Not to worry though, almost all of the majors have courses in common such as the Math, Physics and possibly Chemistry!
LV: Chemistry lectures and labs can seem to cause a little confusion, can you tell us more about them?
DS: Chemistry 1A and 1AL are two different classes. It is sometimes confusing to see that 1AL has a lecture but that is only the lecture for the lab – you’ll still have to take Chem 1A. We strongly suggest taking the lab with the lecture even though you could take the lab the following semester. The material goes together and will be easier in the long run.
LV: What is a common reason that I could be on a waitlist but there are still spots listed as available?
OC: If you have the choice of enrolling in a course, lab or discussion section at a less desirable time/day we strongly advise you enroll if it means you know you have a seat in the class. Being in a class is much more important than not getting into the class at all. Some courses do not offer waitlists, such as Physics and Math. You are only only able to enroll in a course if there is a spot open in the lecture and a discussion/lab section.
LV: What is a popular reason that I could be getting an error when trying to register for a class?
OC – If you are having problems registering for a class and you get an error, it’s probably because there is a reserve cap. To check reserve caps, you can check the course on classes.berkeley.edu or click the “I” button in schedule planner. The reserve caps will be listed there.
LV: Should students take two classes at the same time and is that even possible?
DS: Avoid time conflicts when making your schedule. There are a few exceptions to this rule but overall you want to make sure you can attend all your classes. Plus if you have a class at the same time, you will most likely have your final at the same time. Instructors do not have to make arrangements for you if you can’t make it to the posted final time.
LV: When preparing their fall schedules, should students be planning for final exams already?
DS: Do not schedule courses with final exam conflicts. Exceptions are not made and instructors don’t offer a second exam time – so you will miss the final exam. We have heard the rumor that you don’t have to take more than two exams per day. This is NOT true, there is no limit on the number of exams you can take on one day.
LV: The swap function in CalCentral – what is it and why would students want to use it?
OC: The swap function is great if you have a preferred course you want to take and the only option is to be put on the waitlist. Instead you can enroll in an alternate course and tell the system to swap into your preferred course if a seat opens up. Basically, swapping will automatically take you off the waitlist for your preferred course and drop you from the course you originally registered for.
LV: Is there any tips for making the most out of the swap function?
DS: We suggest if you want to use the swap function that it is the last thing you do when registering. Otherwise, if you are close to the unit cap and do the swap first, you will not be able to add another course – the system will see the swap option as a total number of units. However, if you have signed up for all your courses and are at the unit cap, then do the swap and the system will not read it as going over the cap.
LV: When taking math courses is there a specific order that they need to be taken in?
DS: Math 53 is not a prerequisite for Math 54. You can take these classes in whichever order you choose. Be aware some classes have Math 53 as a pre-req or concurrent course (such as physics 7B), so in those cases you’ll have to take the math class that is required. Math 1A is a prerequisite to Math 1B and you need to have completed both Math 1A and Math 1B before taking either Math 53 or Math 54.
LV: Students have to be flexible with their schedules don’t they?
OC: Absolutely! When you submitted your schedule, it may have had the perfect gaps in between classes and sections, but the reality is that you may not get your first choice lecture or section. As I mentioned earlier, it’s better to get into an open class that to waitlist into a course that’s full and risk not getting in at all. You all have had 8 am or even earlier classes with your zero periods. Some times to get a class you want, you will need to be flexible with the times. Also, please be sure to schedule in time to eat, sleep and hang out with friends!
LV: What’s the number one tip that you want students to remember?
OC: Okay, well this is important. If you do have a problem registering please send a ticket to Cal Student Central right away. They are the folks running the registration software and can often help and/or understand the problem faster than us. The link will be on welcomengineer.berkeley.edu.
Laura: That is a lot of great information. Thank you Dawn and Olivia for joining us today. I know the students appreciate the extra tips for getting ready to register next week. And thank you students for listening to the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. We’ll be back next week for what to do now that you have registered for classes.