ESS 408: Registration Tips
This week on the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer we are talking about registration. Beginning this week all incoming freshman and transfer students will be registering for up to 17.5 units in preparation for Fall 2020. Almost everyone has gone through Golden Bear Advising and has heard back from their ESS adviser. Now is the time to double check your registration appointment on CalCentral and make sure your shopping cart is full and ready to go. We are excited to have Engineering Student Services adviser, Chaniqua Butscher, on the podcast to share some last minute tips, and discuss policies to keep in mind, to help you during the enrollment process.
- 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
- Make an appointment with your ESS adviser
- Semester in the cloud
- Course enrollment FAQ
LAURA VOGT: Hello! It’s me again, Laura Vogt, the Associate Director for Marketing and Communications for the College of Engineering and the host of the (Not So) Secret Guide to Being a Berkeley Engineer. This week I’m excited to introduce one of our Engineering Student Services advisers, Chaniqua Butscher and we are going to provide some registration tips since everyone will be registering next week. Hi Chaniqua and welcome to the podcast!
CHANIQUA BUTSCHER: Hi…
LV: Please tell us more about yourself and what your role is in ESS.
CB: Adviser, majors, 15 years
LV: Thank you again for joining me today. We started doing tips and tricks together I think seven years ago! Although how we deliver the information is different some of the tips have stayed the same. So first – dates. Transfer students will be registering July 14 and freshmen July 16. Please check your CalCentral for your registration appointment time.
CB: All of you should have completed Golden Bear Advising and be working with your ESS adviser about your proposed schedules. If you haven’t yet been contacted, you will be before your registration appointment. If you have not completed GBA, then you might have a hold on your registration – and you’ll need to finish it and have your proposed schedule reviewed 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
LV: TIP #1: 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. One: 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. Second example: AP English only fulfills the Reading and Composition A requirement for Engineering but fulfills 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/guide. Have questions about what requirements AP, IB and A-Level exams fulfill? Check engineering.berkeley.edu/exams. Have questions about the Reading and Comp requirement? Check engineering.berkeley.edu/hss. If you’re ever unsure after checking our website, feel free to email your ESS adviser.
CB: TIP #2: Don’t make your first semester schedule too heavy. Many of the program plans show 15-17 units each semester. If you have tested out of or have already completed some of the courses, you may consider taking fewer units. Keep in mind that for your first enrollment phase you can register for up to 17.5 units, and once the semester begins, you can drop a class if you realize that it is too much. A note of caution is that some classes have early drop deadlines – physics for example . The early drop deadline is a week and a half after classes begin. A great way to stay on top of these deadlines is to read our weekly newsletter, sent to your inbox from email@example.com.
LV: Tip #3: 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!
CB: Tip #4: Chemistry lectures and labs sometimes cause a little confusion because Chemistry 1A and 1AL are two different classes. It may be 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 if both are required for your major. We strongly suggest taking the lab in the same semester with the lecture even though the lab may be taken in the following semester. The material in both courses is complimentary which makes things easier in the long run.
LV: Tip #5: Let’s talk about the waitlist. 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. If you do have to go on a waitlist, choose the lab or discussion section with the fewest number of students on the waitlist, that will give me a better chance of getting into the course. You might also be placed on a waitlist if you don’t meet the reserved seats requirement.
CHANIQUA: Yes, let’s talk more about the reserved seat requirement with Tip #6: If you are having problems registering for a class and you get an error or are automatically placed on the waitlist, it might be because there is a reserve cap. Need a refresher on what a reserve cap is? They are the open seats reserved for students based on select criteria, such as major or class level. For example: EECS 16A has a capacity of 1032 students. While we were taping this podcast there were 930 open seats, but already 118 students on the waitlist. That means the students on the waitlist didn’t fit into one of the open reserved seats categories. EECS 16A has quite a few reserved seats including 400 for EECS freshmen or new transfers, and 4 for upper class Engineering Science students. 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: Tip #7: 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.
CB: Tip #8: It might seem like a long way away, but when scheduling your courses make sure you don’t have a final exam conflict. 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: Tip #9: The swap function in CalCentral 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. And tip 9.5: 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.
CB: Tip #10: We’ve been asked if you can take math courses out of order. 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. However, Math 53 is not a prerequisite for Math 54. You can take these classes in whichever order you choose. Be aware that some classes require 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.
LV: Tip #11: Be flexible! When you made your schedule in schedule planner 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 we talked about earlier, it’s better to get into an open class than 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. Sometimes 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!
CB: Tip #12: Our final tip might be the most important. If you 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 advisers. The link to submit a tix will be on welcomengineer.berkeley.edu.
LV: Thank you Chaniqua for joining me today!
CB: you’re welcome…
LV: I know the students will 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. Chaniqua and I will be back on the podcast next week to talk with us about what’s next now that you’ve registered. Bye!