Registration Tips


Watch the Tutorial

The Registration Tutorial provides an excellent overview of the Advance Registration process

Understand the System

During Advance Registration students submit their preferred courses, as well as alternate courses, using Penn InTouch, the online registration system. Course requests can be submitted 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.

Two weeks after Advance Registration, the system will open again for the Course Selection period. During this period, students can add and drop courses in real time until the end of the second week of the semester, and they can drop courses until the end of the fifth week of the semester.

Use Outside Resources

Penn Course Review and PennCourseNotify are excellent tools to assist in course selection. Penn Course Review offers student reviews of particular courses, which can provide insight into a particular course or instructor, and can also indicate whether or not a particular course or section may be in high demand. PennCourseNotify is a service that emails students when a closed course opens up during the Course Selection period.

Resources for Course Selection includes lists of entry courses to majors, courses that fulfill College requirements and more

Remember to Register

Mock schedules are helpful when planning logistics BUT should not be confused with actually requesting courses which can be done by selecting Register for Courses under. Registration & Planning in the Penn InTouch menu.

No "Submit" Button

Penn InTouch has no "submit" button to finalize a schedule during Advance Registration. The courses in the system when the Advance Registration deadline hits are what the system will use to create the schedule. Make sure to check the Register for Courses screen before the deadline!


Rank High Need or High Demand Courses FIRST

Smaller courses, courses in high demand or those students’ particularly need should be listed at or near the top of the list of requested courses. Writing seminars, in particular, can be difficult to get into.

Always Select an Alternate.

The system moves through a student's selection list by sifting through primary and alternate requests. Students can be strategic with their choices to better their chances of getting the courses they prefer. Selecting an alternate for every course provides the system with more opportunities to accommodate requests.

Pair Your Top Two Choices

Students who have two courses they really want or need can request them both in the top two slots. For example, if a student wants both WRIT 048 and CIMS 015, a strategy might be to list them as follows:


For Two Part Courses, List the Recitation Before the Lecture

Small recitations, particularly those in more popular time slots, can be harder to get into than the large, associated lecture. A good approach is to rank the recitation higher on the priority list in order to increase the chances of getting the preferred section. Students should not forget to register for the lecture!

If a student does not get into the lecture portion of the course, it’s wise to check back when the system reopens. Space very often opens up during the Course Selection period.

Request More Classes Than Needed

College students are limited to 4.5 credits for their first freshman semester and 5.5 every semester thereafter. It's recommended that students list as many as six or seven primary and alternate requests since it is likely that they will not get in to some of their top courses.

Things to Remember

There Are No Guarantees

Strategically selecting and prioritizing courses increases the likelihood of receiving a favorable schedule, but there is no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all of their requested courses.

Advance Registration Is Not Final Registration

Course selection starts about two weeks after Advance Registration ends and lasts approximately two and a half weeks. During the Course Selection Period, students move in and out of courses by adding and dropping on Penn InTouch. Students who still want a course they did not receive during Advance Registration should check back during the Course Selection period to see if room in the class has opened. Until they are sure they can’t get into the class, it is wise for students to attend the course so they do not miss any important material.

Ask for Help!

Pre-major and peer advisors are available to help students navigate their life at Penn, including course selection. All students are encouraged to reach out for advice on how to register for classes. For quick questions, the College Office offers walk-in hours for advising from 12:00 to 4:00, Monday through Friday

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