Students in the College have several opportunities to explore courses and adjust their rosters before settling on a final schedule. The registration process includes:

Advance Registration

Students request courses for the upcoming semester during the Advance Registration period. For incoming first-year students, Advance Registration takes place over a three-week period in the summer before they arrive.

During Advance Registration, students submit their preferred courses, as well as alternative courses, using Path@Penn, the online registration and information system. Students can submit their course requests at any time during this period. All course requests are processed at the conclusion of the Advance Registration period, regardless of when the request was submitted. There is no advantage to registering early and no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all their requested courses.

It is very important to take part in Advance Registration. Students who do not advance register may find themselves closed out of the courses they wish to take.

Registration Tips

A registration hold may be placed on a student's record that will prevent the student from registering until action has been taken to resolve the issue. If students are unable to register using Path@Penn, it is their responsibility to contact the College Office or other relevant office promptly to determine the cause of the problem and resolve it in a timely manner. Students may see what registration holds, if any, have been placed on their account by reading the messages on Path@Penn.

Any of the following circumstances may prevent a student from registering for courses:

  • A first-year student or a first-semester sophomore has not spoken with their pre-major advisor to discuss registration. The student should make an appointment to do so immediately.
  • A second-semester sophomore, a junior or a senior has not declared a major. The student should speak with their pre-major advisor and then make contact with the major department or program.
  • A student has a past due balance on their student billing account. Contact Student Financial Services.
  • A student may need to update their contact and emergency notification information in Path@Penn.
  • Student Health and Counseling does not have up-to-date insurance and immunization records.

Other Types of Registration Holds

  • Departmental hold: Certain departments require their majors to speak with a major advisor at points throughout their academic careers. The hold is removed by the department after the student has spoken with their major advisor.
  • Judicial hold: A judicial hold is the result of some judicial action or inquiry concerning the student. The student will be barred from registering until the hold is cleared and should contact the Center for Community Standards and Accountability for more information.

The Course Selection Period informally known as the Add Period, allows students to visit classes and add and drop courses using Path@Penn before finalizing their schedules. Unlike Advance Registration, during the Course Selection Period courses are filled as students register for them, so timing is important and students will know immediately if they are enrolled. Students should refer to the academic calendar for specific dates for each semester.

Policies governing adding a course

After the Course Selection Period ends, students may continue to drop a course until the Course Drop Deadline. Once dropped, the course will be removed from the transcript. See the academic calendar for dates.

policies governing dropping a course

Students may change the grade mode for a course (to or from pass/fail) until the Deadline to Change Grade Mode which is a date between the Drop and Withdrawal deadlines.  See the academic calendar for exact dates.

policies governing pass/fail

After the drop period ends, students may withdraw from a course through the end of the eleventh week of the semester, with the permission of the instructor. If a student is considering withdrawing from a course, they should consult their instructors and advisors (pre-major, major or College Contact whose information appears on Path@Penn). An online form is available to begin the process.  If the request is granted, a grade of "W" will appear on the transcript. See the academic calendar for dates.

policies governing withdrawal from a course  

Risk of being Under-Enrolled