As Told by Tam: the ins and outs of registration

Tamra Smalewitz

April tends to be a busy month, whether it be making it through to graduation, trying to make it another semester or registering. There is never a dull moment.

Students can seek help with registration questions and concerns in the Registrar's Office, located in Centennial Hall. (Photo credit: Sady Swanson)
Students can seek help with registration questions and concerns in the Registrar’s Office, located in Centennial Hall. (Photo Credit: Sady Swanson.)

April is the month that we here at Colorado State University like to stress out about trying to register for classes.


Registering should not be that hard, right? Wrong. It can be if you do not know how to do it or if you just do not know where to start. Well, I am here to help, Rams.

Below are some tips on registering for classes without crying and wishing you had dropped out.

Make an appointment with your counselor.

Contrary to popular belief, they are here to help you. Your counselors know what classes you need to take to graduate and they will pass that information on to you.

Once you have met with your counselor, sit down and take a look at the information they have given you. Usually, you will have certain classes you need to take to stay on track to graduate, but you will also be allowed to take a class or two of your choice. If you do not know what class interests you, ask your friends, go on your class Facebook page, look at the CSU catalog of classes or take an hour or two out of your day and go to RamWeb to search the different courses offered. Not only will you get a wide variety of suggestions, but it will let you know if it sounds like an interesting class or not. 

Take an online course.

I repeat, take an online course. Why, you ask? Online courses you give the flexibility to do school work at your own convenience. One day you may be loaded with work and do not have time for additional schoolwork.

With an online class, you can do the work as early as you want or as close to the deadline as you want. It is also a good opportunity when classes are full to look to see if they are offered online. Take it. You will be getting the same information online as you would in the classroom. It shows up on Canvas with the rest of your classes, so do not think you have to go to a different website to do an online course.

Check up on who the professors are.

When looking at classes to pick, go to, type in the class and professor teaching it and see what past students have said. So many CSU professors are rated and they have very high ratings with information explaining why they got their rating. If you have taken a class with a professor before, go online and rate them and explain the class to users. This way, others know what they are getting themselves into. I check the professors before registering for their class and I have never been sorry. I have always been steered in the right direction and appreciate my fellow Rams’ feedback.

The wait list is your friend, not your enemy.

If a class or a couple of classes are full, go put yourself on the wait list. The sooner you wait list yourself, the better a chance you have at getting into that class. I have put myself on a couple of wait lists and sometimes, I am notified that a spot is available and is mine if I can register for it within 24 hours. Watch your emails if you put yourself on a wait list, because once accepted to register for the class, you only have 24 hours to actually register for the class before losing your spot to the next individual on the wait list.

Register for more credits than you need.

You will most likely drop a class or two and it is good to have some bonus classes just in case you drop some. That way, if you drop a class or two and try to register for another, you will not have to deal with the class being full. If you end up liking what you picked, then drop the extra classes on your schedule so that someone else can register for them.

When it is your turn to register, get on right away.

Have the classes you want to take next to you with the CRN numbers, that way you can just type them in and register for more then one class at a time.


If you follow these steps, registration will not cause you to stress anymore and will allow you to go back to doing things you like to do or doing homework. Registration can be stressful, but if you are prepared it will be a breeze and only take you five minutes to register. Good luck with registration, Rams, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Collegian Advice Blogger Tamra Smalewitz can be reached online at or on Twitter @tamrasmalewitz.