Registration? More Like Hunger Games

The Brandeis Block Schedule... confusing, ain't it?

In Brandeis course registration, only the strong survive. Registering for courses takes strategy, skill, and patience.

The way it works here, you actually can’t register for all your classes at once. You have three “enrollment appointments.” On the first one, you can sign up for 4 credits (1 full course). Then the next day, you can sign up for 8 credits (2 full courses). On the third day, you can sign up for the rest of your schedule.

But that’s not all. Enrollment appointments are literally appointments. Registration takes place entirely online, however, the website will only let you sign up for classes during your designated time slots.

A lot of classes, such as big lectures, most required courses, and intro class, don’t have a cap on the number of students allowed to enroll. It’s crucial that you know which classes fit those criteria, so you can register for them last. Always register for the small ones or most demanded ones first.

Last semester, I lucked out, and had the first enrollment time on the first day, meaning I was able to get into my smallest class with no problems. But the way Brandeis does it, if you have an early appointment the first day, you’ll have a late one on the second day. Still, I only had one small class, so it wasn’t an issue.

This semester…. I haven’t been so lucky. I had one of the later enrollment appointments on the first day, so the lab section I needed for organic chemistry was all filled up. And today, I planned on switching things around, but the different section I need is also full. However, because lab is required for the course, Brandeis will have to find a way to fit me into a lab section somehow. So I don’t have to worry–It’ll all get figured out.

Especially in lab sections though, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. People rush to get into the ones they want. And even though each lab might have 30 or even 60 slots, they fill up fast. Thankfully Brandeis realizes this and tries to make it less impossible.

There are a few courses where it’s seriously a matter of survival when signing up. There are two required psych courses, which, forever reason, only have about 70 slots each. And instead of signing up for these courses online, a physical, paper list is posted outside a classroom on a particular day. Sign-ups start at 8:45 in the morning; however, people start forming lines at 6:30am just so they can be the first one there and ensure a slot! It’s like camping out for concert tickets, only the concert is a psych statistics lecture… But seriously, it’s survival of the fittest: the early bird gets the worm, you snooze you lose… all of those cliches actually apply here.

That’s the only legitimately crazy registration quirk I can think of.

Other than that, registration is running pretty smoothly. Most people I know have gotten at least some of their classes or labs, and registration isn’t over yet. Also, people often sign up for extra classes, or change them around during the “shopping period” at the beginning of the next term. So there will be movement, and some classes will open up.