First Year Registration Timeline

Williams students pre-register for the upcoming fall semester classes each spring (mid-May through June). Although your initial course choices won’t lock you into a final schedule, this is your best chance of getting in courses; you should make your initial selection of four courses carefully. If your choices depend on placement exam results that you haven’t yet received, make your best guess at where you should place.  You may change any or all of your registered course selections through the beginning of each semester, but as we move through the process, more courses will be closed to further enrollment.

Registration TimeLine
You will be entering your initial course choices online in our online Student Records system (aka PeopleSoft) in the ‘Shopping Cart.’  Those initial choices will be loaded to your class schedule during the first week of July.  If you view your class schedule in our online system between July and September, it may look somewhat different from what you submitted for initial course requests.  The information below outlines our process as we move from pre-registration to the start of classes.

May/June
Williams begins its registration as a preregistration demand process.  First-year enrollment requests are recorded without checking enrollment caps; first-year students are given full consideration for any course. Enrollment requests are also recorded without checking prerequisites; placement will be reviewed later. Schedules are not firmly fixed during preregistration.  Part of the First Days schedule in early September is devoted to placement exams and academic advising.  We expect that most first-year students will make changes in their schedules once drop/add begins.

Early July
Enrollments in multi-sectioned courses are balanced.  This process may assign your registration to another section that fits your schedule, but will keep your registration in the course.  Williams uses this process to accommodate as many course requests as possible.

July thru early August
– Limited enrollment courses are reviewed.  If a course has overenrolled, instructors review the class list and trim the enrollment down according to priorities for each course.  Any student dropped is notified by e-mail. 
– Course requests are reviewed against any Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or college course work taken while in high school.  We may change your course registration according to placement guidelines and we may be contacting you with questions regarding your registration.

Mid August
Online registration will re-open in mid-August (August 6-18 for students dropped from courses and August 13-18 for students not dropped). You will receive more information by e-mail from the Registrar’s Office.  Any student dropped from an overenrolled course can select another course from those still open. You also may wish to change your registration if you submitted your course requests before receiving placement test results.

Late August
Enrollments in multi-sectioned courses are again balanced (see note from early-July).

First Days/Early September
During First Days, a number of departments give placement exams.  Exam results will be available before drop/add opens for first-year students.  You may need to change your registration as a result of any placement exams you take.  Also during First Days, academic departments are available to meet with first-year students and discuss course offerings.

Drop/Add in Early September
Drop/Add is the last opportunity to settle in to the courses you will take for the semester.  First-year students meet with their assigned Academic Advisors on Wednesday, September 4, discuss any placement results and review course selections.  More details on how to proceed through the drop/add process will be included in information available during First Days Registration Information Sessions.

Spring Semester
Preregistration for Spring Semester takes place in late October/early November.