Registration — Class Sizes

I am told that we should try to register for the smallest classes first. How do we know which classes are the smallest? (many of us aren’t on campus to look at the room sizes)

Good question.  On the registrar’s web pages, in the registration instructions, there is a list of the classrooms and their sizes.  It’s in the section titled “Priority Planning” and can be found at  There are also a few other guidelines listed that can help you decide what classes to make a priority.

In general, seminars tend to fill quickly because they have a cap of 14 to 20.  Classes that are only offered every other year may fill, although the reason they are offered every other year may be because the enrollment hasn’t justified offering the course every year.  Look to see how many sections of a course are offered in a year.  For instance, there will usually be two sections of administrative law plus one in the summer.

There should be enough spots for all those who want to take the course.  Nevertheless, a particularly popular professor or a course in a time slot where it doesn’t conflict with many other classes, can cause a course to overbook and leave another section of the course with open slots.  Think about who your class feels are the most popular professors.  The classes of those profs may have some pressure on them.  In the end, most people get into most of the classes they want.   The curriculum committee looks at enrollments each year and attempts to provide enough sections of classes to satisfy demand. If you don’t get into a class you really want, make sure to get on the wait-list as soon as priority registration ends.  There is an active add and drop period over the summer. Wait-list invitations go out in early August.

-Martha Spence (

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs