Maximizing Student Registration Options

Students can maximize their chances of being enrolled in their desired course by following certain strategies and correctly using their primary, extended primary and alternate requests, the any section option and the course registration sequence number.

Primary requests are requests for course sections whose credit values total the student's desired credit load, including not-for-credit courses and activity types.

In general, a student's primary requests should be those course sections in which the student would be enrolled if he/she could have exactly the schedule wanted.

Alternate requests are requests for course sections that the student will take if the primary request cannot be satisfied. The following are a few rules for alternate requests:

- an alternate request is ALWAYS paired with a primary request

- an alternate request carries the same registration sequence numbers as their associated primary requests

- permits and authorizations CANNOT be assigned to alternate requests

- if the alternate request is for a different course subject area than the primary request, it CANNOT be used for a section of a multi-activity


- if the alternate request is for the same course subject area as the primary request, then the alternate request section activity type must

be the same as the activity type of the primary request

Extended primary requests are primary course requests that exceed the desired credit load of the student.

RULE: Students may request up to ten credit-bearing primary course requests plus any necessary co-requisites.

The same course section can be requested as both an alternate and a subsequent primary request, but cannot be requested more than once as a primary request.

The same alternate request can be paired with more than one primary request.

If the section of requested course is full, the scheduler will try to find another open section of the same course with meeting times compatible with the rest of the student's schedule, if the student has said YES to the Any Section option. The scheduler will not schedule anyone in time conflicts through the Any Section option.

Student must decline the Any Section option if they do not want to be scheduled into a different section.

The registration sequence number is a number assigned to a course request that defines the course's importance to the student. Normally, the system assigns registration sequence numbers based on the order of the requests entered on Screen 1A4, Advance Registration. Students may assign different registration sequence numbers to course requests through their division offices, PENN InTouch, or the Registrar's Office.

The scheduler does not allow more than one course request pair (primary and alternate) to have the same registration sequence number. If you assign a registration sequence of one to all course requests, the scheduler will ignore it and assign sequence numbers based on the entry order.

See "THE SCHEDULER" for detailed information on how the scheduler considers course requests.

Here are some suggestions for students to increase their chances of receiving their desired schedules:


Make sure that permission is obtained before the close of Advance Registration for all courses requiring it.


Make sure that major or graduate group information is correct.


Request courses in order of importance to the student.


Do not decline the Any Section option.


Attach alternate requests to every primary request.


Do not enter alternate requests for any course that requires permission.


Be sure to enter course request for all activity types of multi-activity courses.


Avoid time conflicts.


Choose alternate requests with meeting times compatible with the other primary requests.


Do not enter a request more than once as a primary or extended primary request.

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