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How-to sign up for classes

It’s that time of year again: time to sign up for next semester’s classes. For those who may not have this down to a T yet, here’s some advice on getting your schedule lined up.

  1. Get yourself over to your MaineStreet Student Center. For the new Student Center, click on enrollment and then Shopping Cart. In classic MaineStreet this was the wishlist. 
  2. Get to the right semester and go to class search. It can be daunting to have the entire University of Maine catalog of classes to sort through. Remember that UMaine has a catalog of majors and minors, which will tell you exactly what courses you need to take. It also has a recommended timeline of when you should take what classes, broken down by semester. If you’re not sure what credits you have to have, this can be a helpful tool. It also lets you click on each course and get a description of it. 
  3. In addition to required courses, your schedule may have room for electives. This catalog can be a good place to find classes in your major that look interesting or a place to see other department’s offerings to add in something different. If you don’t know what your minor will be, maybe try taking things out of your wheelhouse. Try an art class. Sign on for intro to creative writing. You might find something that piques your interest, even if it isn’t directly related to your plans.
  4. Look at your required courses before fun ones. Not all courses are offered every semester, or every year, so you don’t want to miss your chance. The catalog description of courses can tell you when it’s offered if you want to double check.
  5. Remember that your advisor is there to help you. Don’t blow off that email asking you to schedule a meeting. You will need your advisor to approve your schedule before you can officially register. When making your meeting, remember that your advisor typically wants you to have some idea of your schedule going in. Don’t go to the meeting with nothing in your Shopping Cart. Even if you still need a few credits added in, try and make your advisor’s life easier and be prepared.
  6. As you get to higher level classes, some courses have prerequisites. This can be previously taken classes or permission of the department. If a class you want requires permission, send an email to the professor. They may need a portfolio of work. Once they’ve given you the okay, you should be able to add the class, if you aren’t added in automatically.
  7. Outside of these classes, there’s also the age-old problem of time management. Should you take those 8 a.m.s? Can you get Fridays off? Is fifteen minutes enough time to get across campus? Know yourself. If you aren’t a morning person, maybe don’t have 8 a.m. classes every day. If you really need lunch, try and fit in a break to grab a bite. Sometimes these things can’t be avoided but do your best to plan around what will help you be productive. Some classes will have multiple time slots so use those to your advantage. And if you’re going to have classes back-to-back, make sure you have time to get from one to the other. 
  8. Check the syllabus. If you want to know more about a class before signing on, email the professor and ask for the syllabus. While it’s not guaranteed they’ll send it to you, many will and that can give you a layout of the workload. Sometimes it’s good to ask your friends or classmates about classes. If you need a science credit and your friend said introduction to astronomy is harder than you would think, maybe don’t go in expecting an easy A. At the very least, they might be able to get you some notes or advice on what professors should be avoided.

Picking new classes can be stressful, especially as you’re still in the midst of the current semester. Remember that what you chose right now isn’t set in stone. You can change them later if something isn’t going to work.


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