When is Registration?

Early registration for classes for each term occurs in the latter part of the previous term: Students register for spring semester classes starting the previous November; students register for summer and fall classes starting the previous April.

When do I register?

You should receive an email from the Office of the Registrar around the middle of each term. Following the instructions in the email, look for your Time Ticket (earliest registration time) on Student Self Service. Once the time stated on your time ticket arrives, you can start registering for your courses.

When is the soonest that I can register? When can I see my Time Ticket?

Besides sending you an email about your Time Ticket, the Office of the Registrar has a page about Time Tickets that may be helpful.

What happens if I wait until a few weeks or months after my Time Ticket to register?

If you wait, you may be unable to register for the courses you want or even need! CS courses are popular and they fill up, so we're trying to help you by restricting registration in many of our courses by major and by admissions cohort. Eventually we lift those restrictions. If you haven't registered when you can, you may find that the class you want is full.

What if I have a hold and cannot register during my Time Ticket?

If you have a hold for any reason that restricts your registration ability, let an advisor know ASAP (before registration begins, if possible). They can help you figure out the source of the hold and work with you as much as possible to get you a seat in your required CS courses.

Registration Checklist

See the Registrar's Office website for a step-by-step registration checklist.

How to Use the Online Registration System

Registration is done online through the Student Self-Service system. The Office of the Registrar has step-by-step instructions on how to use the system. Their pages on Registration Procedures and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) also contain helpful information.

Planning for Next Semester and the Future

Which courses should I register for?

This depends on (1) which courses are required for you to complete your degree, (2) which requirements you have already completed, (3) when a course is usually offered, and (4) which courses you might be interested in taking.

Degree Requirements

Requirements fall into three general categories:

  1. Major requirements: courses required for your specific major - these are spelled out for each CS major: CS in The Grainger College of Engineering, Mathematics & CS, Statistics & CS, and CS + X.
  2. General education requirements: to ensure your degree program is well-rounded - see the Engineering advising website for Engineering gen eds and the LAS website for LAS-specific gen eds.
  3. Free electives: additional coursework to bring your credit hours up to the required minimum for graduation - Engineering students, be sure to check the Engineering free electives web page for courses that do not count.

Progress on Degree Requirements

You can follow your progress through your requirements using two main tools:

  1. Check the requirements flowchart for your major for the suggested order in which major requirements should be taken, or use one of the course planning forms. (CS in The Grainger College of Engineering, Mathematics & CS, Statistics & CS, CS + X - see your X department for their requirements).
  2. By checking your degree audit, see what requirements you have completed/are completing and have left to complete. You can access your degree audit on the web-based Degree Audit System (DARS). The Registrar's Office website has a step-by-step procedure for running a DARS Audit.

If you have a concern about your DARS (for example, if you have taken a course that you think should satisfy a requirement but it is not being counted), please email

If your situation is not straightforward or you're struggling in your courses, you should talk to your assigned CS advisor before registering for your courses. If you're struggling, that might be a sign that you need to take fewer hours or fewer technical hours. If you're wondering if your proposed course schedule is manageable, ask your peers – and don't be afraid to get more than one opinion.

Course Offerings

When drawing up your schedule, pay close attention to course-offering patterns to avoid overloads! Some courses are offered in fall or spring only. If you're within two or fewer semesters of graduating, plan out the rest of your courses carefully so you don't need a course not offered the semester you intend to graduate. We anticipate this might be a problem, particularly for CS in Engineering majors who plan on completing the two-course Software Engineering or Senior Project sequence and/or certain focus groups. This also applies to Mathematics & CS and Statistics & CS majors looking to complete certain required courses at the junior and senior levels.

Information about individual courses

How do you discover what a course covers, if it is being offered, or if an elective might be helpful or interesting to you?

There are several critical sources of information:

Consider a CS 498 Special Topics in CS course!

Every semester, the department offers a few CS 498 Special Topics sections, which tend to be smaller classes, focused on a topic close to a faculty member's heart. You can use them to satisfy your 400-level CS elective requirements. For more information, including meeting times, course descriptions, and prerequisites, see the class schedule in Course Explorer ( and search for CS 498 to see the titles of courses offered. 

Registration Advising, Faculty Mentors, & Piazza

Seeking Advice

Who is my advisor?
All undergraduates in the Computer Science department (students in any major with the words "Computer Science" in the title) are assigned a CS advisor.  If you have ANY questions about requirements, policies, and procedures, you can make an appointment to meet with your CS academic advisor or email your advisor.  Students not in a Computer Science major can seek advice during drop-in advising hours in the CS Academic Office at 1312 Siebel Center or by emailing Advisors are usually on duty during drop-in advising hours (listed here). You can check to make sure - the drop-in advising hours are usually posted right by the door to the Academic Office.

Am I required to meet with an advisor before I register?
First-year students are required to meet with their CS academic advisor during the fall (you will be emailed about this requirement). If you have questions about scheduling, requirements, and procedures, you should see your CS advisor or email  Otherwise, students are not required to meet with an advisor before registration, but we encourage students to reach out to their assigned advisor to check on their proposed schedule and/or make a long-term plan.

Can an advisor get me into a closed class?
Having a backup course on your schedule is always best if your first choice is unavailable at registration time. Advisors usually cannot add you to a closed course, but here are some suggestions:

  • Check the class schedule on Course Explorer. Read the course notes and check to see if there is information on restrictions and when they might be lifted.
  • Make the relevant section(s) of the course favorites in Course Explorer
  • Keep checking occasionally (but DO NOT write a script or obsessively keep trying to add the course – too many attempts will have you locked out of the registration system for the rest of the semester!).
  • Schedule a related course that would be a good alternative.
  • Try again during peak schedule change times. Right before classes start and during the first 10 days of the semester, people frequently change their schedules (again, DO NOT write a script or obsessively keep trying to add the course – too many attempts will have you locked out of the registration system for the rest of the semester!).


In past years, the CS Department required students to meet with a faculty mentor every spring and we enforced that requirement by putting registration holds on students who hadn’t met.  As of this writing, we are no longer requiring students to meet with a faculty mentor. To provide students the opportunity to seek the kinds of information we hoped they would receive from faculty mentors, we plan to schedule information sessions that we will publicize widely throughout the department. We're looking into other ways that students can contact CS faculty to ask the kinds of questions faculty are best-equipped to answer.

In the meantime, all our faculty members are listed by research area and alphabetically on the CS website. You can find these listings and contact information for each faculty member in the CS departmental faculty directory


CS uses Piazza as a forum for students to get advice from their peers and the Office of Undergraduate Programs. We also use the CS Undergraduate Advising Piazza to post course restrictions and registration updates along with information about research opportunities, graduate school, student organizations and other items. 

For simple advising questions, feel free to post them to Piazza; CS staff will monitor and answer them as best and as quickly as we can. This may save you a trip to our office (though we'd still like to see you - don't be a stranger!).

Here are some suggestions, guidelines, and comments about this service:

  • Use this forum to ask your peers questions about courses, sanity-checking schedules, internships, etc.
  • Use this forum for simple questions about department, college, and university policies.
  • Don't post academically sensitive information (e.g., grades, etc.) unless you post anonymously.
  • We've disabled private posts because such a post usually indicates that you should probably be coming in to see an advisor or the Director of Undergraduate Programs in person.

How to sign up for the advising Piazza:

Link to the Advising Piazza "course" page:

Prepare for Graduation

    • Check your degree audit (often referred to as DARS)  to ensure you know your remaining requirements and that you can fit them into your remaining semesters. Note that sometimes the degree audits do not keep with new requirements (though they are generally correct about general education requirements and total hours – see below). If you think your degree audit is not quite accurate or for help interpreting it, contact your assigned CS academic advisor or email
    • Make sure you reach the required minimum total hours. See your degree audit for this, and remember that your degree audit includes in-progress courses - anything you're currently taking this semester and anything you've registered for next semester - in the total hours!
    • Don't forget free electives! CS in Engineering majors need 128 total hours to graduate; all CS undergraduates in LAS need 120 hours. Just fulfilling your major requirements and gen eds might not be enough. Students in the Grainger College of Engineering, check the Engineering advising web page on free electives to see which courses DO NOT count toward your total graduation hours.
    • If you have any time conflicts among the remaining required courses, email the CS undergraduate advisors as soon as possible and let them know which courses are conflicting.
    • Declare your intent to graduate. You should do this through Student Self-Service when you register for your final semester of courses. Click on the tab "Graduation Information" to ensure the term is set at the term you are graduating, then follow the instructions to declare your intent to graduate.
    • Review this Graduation page from the Office of the Registrar to ensure you complete all the essential steps for graduation.
    • Complete commencement information can be found at

Registration Error Messages

The following error messages are commonly received during registration. Learn what they mean and what to do when you receive them. It may be helpful to read the course notes in the course explorer under the specific CRN (course reference number) you are attempting to add to your schedule.

Class Restriction

The class is being held for students at a particular class standing (i.e., freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors). Try to add another section of the class. Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted.

Closed or Reserved

The class is being held for students in a particular program or major. Try to add another section of the class. Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted.

College Restriction

The class is being held for students in a particular college. Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted.

CORQ Error

Some classes require that you also register for a co-requisite or attached course. If you get this error, the error message will tell you the class and CRN you need to add. Type both CRNs in the boxes at the bottom of the add/drop screen and try again.

Departmental Approval Required

The department has restricted the course. Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted. Otherwise, contact the department for more information.

Link Error

Specific lecture sections must be linked to a lab or discussion section. The lecture, discussion, or lab must start with the same letter (A, B, etc.).

For example, I want to register for SOC 100. I need a lecture (AL1) and discussion section (ADA or ADF). If I do not have the lecture and discussion section selected, or if I register for a BL1 lecture and an ADA discussion, I will get this error.

Major Restriction

This class is being held for students in a particular major(s). Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted.

Program Restriction

This course is restricted to a particular program or major. Check the class schedule to see if the department has posted when the restriction will be lifted.

Student Attribute Restriction / PREQ or Test Score Error

You get one of these messages when you don’t have an attribute required of the course or section. Check the section restrictions in the class schedule. Most often, courses are held in this fashion for freshmen, James Scholars, pre-College of Media students, Weston or Allen Hall students, and so on.

Unless otherwise noted, these sections will not open to other students, so if possible, try to add another unrestricted section of the class.

Time Conflict With (CRN)

You will get this message when the time of the course you try to add conflicts with another course. Check to see if the course conflicts with either a discussion or lecture, and try to change the previous or new course to a different time.