Campus Center 2nd Floor
Registration Process and Instructions
Please read the Registration Guide and Registration Instructions carefully. Then go here to register for classes.
Registration materials are due July 1.
Registering for Your First Semester at Macalester
How will I Register? For your first semester at Macalester, the Registrar’s Office builds a schedule for you based on preferences that you submit. Registration forms are due on July 1 and we will immediately begin processing forms received by that date. Registration forms received after July 1 will be processed on a first come, first served basis. You may make changes to this schedule at orientation as necessitated by placement exams, and recommendations from your advisor, as course availability permits. In subsequent semesters you will register yourself through our on-line system after perusing the course schedule and meeting with your academic advisor.
When will I know what courses I am in? You will receive your complete schedule when you meet with your advisor at Orientation. Please note that we may make adjustments to your schedule throughout the summer. Your schedule as it appears on 1600grand is not final until Orientation. Do know that we will do our best to enroll you in your top choices, but there may be instances where demand exceeds available spaces. Rest assured we will never put you in a course you do not want to take and that you may make changes to your schedule both during orientation and during the drop/add period at the beginning of the semester.
How many courses will I take? Your first semester at Macalester will typically include four, 4-credit classes. To complete 128 semester hours (the minimum number needed to graduate) in four years, you need to average 32 semester hours per academic year. A full time student must register for at least 12 semester hours a term. To a typical 16-credit hour schedule, interested students may add 1-credit physical activity classes (we do not have a physical education requirement) and as many music activities as are feasible. Music activities do not count in the semester course load and do not count for credit unless taken in the combinations and/or sequences described in the Catalog. Registration into music lessons and ensembles happens after you arrive on campus and consult with the Music Department. You may take up to 18 semester hours without being charged additional tuition.
What should I consider when building my course list?
- Taking courses in the department(s) in which you plan to major or minor is a good idea, as you will be required to declare your major before you register for the first semester of your junior year. You should also review our graduation requirements in light of the types of courses you took at your previous school. Our Registrar's staff will evaluate your previous courses once they receive your official transcript; since this may not happen until later in the summer, be sure to select classes that will not likely duplicate coursework already completed elsewhere.
- Level of the course. 100 and 200 level courses are appropriate for students without prior college level coursework in the subject. 300 level courses are appropriate for students with junior standing or for sophomores with adequate preparation. It is always wise to consult the College Catalog to determine if the course has any prerequisites.
- Balance. Taking courses from different disciplines with different methods of learning is wise. Not only will this expose you to Macalester’s diverse curriculum, but it may also help you avoid taking three reading/writing heavy courses or three lab intensive courses in the same semester. Variety and balance often go hand in hand.
- Course sequencing. Some disciplines are sequentially organized and it is important to take the appropriate level course early in your college career. Second language courses are a good example. If you will be continuing in a language you studied previously to meet Mac’s second language requirement , taking that course in the first semester is a wise move. The Sciences and Mathematics are also examples of subjects where course sequencing is critical. Students planning to major in these areas are advised to read the departmental recommendations about which course should be taken first.
- Read the recommendations from the Academic Departments that are offering courses you are considering. Often these guidelines will include preferred sequences or best ways to explore the major as well as information on placement. For questions about Academic Departments contact the person identified or Academic Programs.
- Read course descriptions. In the schedule of classes in 1600 Grand, click on the course title, then View Catalog Entry. This description will tell you about the course and include information about pre-requisites. The catalog is also available from the Registrar’s webpage. For questions about pre-requisites contact the Registrar’s Office.
- Select thirteen courses you are interested in taking. Keeping in mind course level, sequencing, balance, prior college credit, and times courses are offered, list in rank order on the registration form the thirteen courses you are interested in taking. These should be different courses, not just different sections of the same course. Provide any special considerations in the comments section (major or minor plans, etc.), including which alternate sections of courses are acceptable. The Registrar’s Staff will do its best to enroll you in your top choices, but there may be instances where demand exceeds available spaces. Know that we will not place you in a course that is not on your list and that you may amend your schedule, as appropriate and necessary, at orientation. Questions about how to select courses may be directed to either the Academic Programs Office or the Registrar’s Office.
- Registration Forms are due July 1.