One of the most exciting things about starting college is having the opportunity to explore new, unfamiliar academic subjects and ideas. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by!

First, we’ll talk through the types of courses you might be thinking about taking or that are good to consider in your first term. Then we’ll walk through the process of viewing the schedule and creating a preferred course list ahead of registration.

A&I Courses and Additional Credits

Because you’ll already be registered for an A&I, you’ll want to register for at least 12 additional credits. Remember, you can only take one A&I (courses numbered 100, e.g. PHIL 100, HIST 100, ENGL 100), so while you are free to change your A&I during your registration time if there are seats available in another section, you cannot take two.

  • Please note that the Registrar’s Office will not change your A&I for you either before or after your registration priority time, so if you ask them to do so please be prepared for the answer to be no!
  • Also, the capacities on these courses are strictly enforced, so even if a faculty member tells you they’ll add you to their already-full A&I, the Registrar’s Office will not allow you to register for the course. You may change your A&I during your registration priority time provided that there are seats available in another A&I.

Language Courses and Other Courses

Many students place into a language course that is being offered in fall or have chosen to start a new language, and this fall is a great time to take that language course! This can be a good place to start your schedule search. If you have completed your language requirement, have placed into a course scheduled for later this year, or if your chosen language starts in a different term, your options for choosing your twelve credits are more open.

General Advice

Some students like to continue on with math or science courses in their first term to build on knowledge they gained in high school. Some students want to take courses to try out a possible eventual major. Some want to branch out into new subjects that were never offered in their high school. All of these approaches are fine, but here are a few words of advice:

  1. There is no “right” schedule for your first term at Carleton. Different students have different interests and so what is right for your roommate might not be right for you. The “right” schedule is a minimum of 18 credits, including one Argument & Inquiry seminar, in courses that are appropriate for you and your interests and abilities.
  2. Do not worry about courses you think you might “need” this term. There is no path at Carleton that is so strict or stringent that not getting into a specific course, or set of courses, in your first term will prove catastrophic. You should discuss this with your adviser during your one-on-one advising session during New Student Week, who can provide suggestions for how to plan out your academic choices over your first year and beyond.
  3. Do not worry about making progress in your major this term. We know everyone you know has asked you what you’re majoring in, and we know you’re excited about your major — it’s probably a big part of why you came to Carleton. But you aren’t majoring in anything yet! In fact, Carleton students don’t declare majors until ⅔ of the way through the sophomore year. 
  4. About of your time at Carleton will be spent working on a major, about of your time will be spent on your Liberal Arts requirements, and about of your time will be spent exploring the curriculum and taking courses for the pure joy of learning. There is no better time than now to stretch and dive into an unfamiliar course, topic, or academic discipline. Again, these are good topics to discuss with your adviser.
  5. Don’t forget to check your test scores on the Hub to make sure we have received all your AP, IB, or Carleton test scores. These prerequisites may impact your course choices.

With that, let’s talk over how you choose your courses.

Choosing your Courses

There are two ways to view the schedule:

  1. Search for Courses (ENROLL)” is available via a link on The Hub or directly from the Registrar’s homepage. You can use it to view courses that count toward a specific curricular exploration requirement and you can use its key-word search functionality. It’s also an easy way to view an entire department’s or program’s term offerings on a single scrollable page. This page updates hourly, so while it is a great resource for choosing courses, once registration is open it can be best to check course availability using the Real Time schedule.
  2. The Search for Courses (Real Time) link on The Hub allows you to search our course schedule in a slightly different way than ENROLL and provides the up-to-the-minute information on course offerings. Most importantly, it shows you in real-time how many seats are available in courses. It provides the same search functionality available to you via the Register for Courses link but without registration functionality.

However, keep in mind that you cannot register via ENROLL — it is a course search tool only. In order to register, you must use The Hub. Many students find they prefer to view the schedule in Enroll and save their preferred courses in The Hub.

You can create a preferred course list in both of these schedules. The Enroll saved list is handy for deciding between courses, and The Hub saved list is handy for making registration move quickly during your registration priority time.

To build a preferred course list in Enroll, make sure you are logged in to the Carleton site. When you identify a course you’d like to save, click the “plus” sign at the far-right of the screen:

Add a course

and you’ll note that the bar turns green with the symbol changing to a minus sign:

Added course

You can save as many courses as you’d like to this list, including from other terms that are listed on ENROLL. To see your saved courses, just navigate to the top of any page in Enroll and click on the “Saved Courses” box, which will bring you to your saved courses page:

saved courses

In The Hub, you can add courses to your preferred section list in a number of ways. Many students write down the course “Synonym,” a section’s unique five-digit code, on ENROLL, which they then use to populate our Express Registration feature in the Hub. 

To search for courses in The Hub to add to your preferred section list, you’ll need to go through a few clicks. In the Registration and Courses menu, select Register for Courses. The top menu item is Search and Register for Courses, and that is the menu you want. 

  • Note: Although this screen looks the same as the real-time schedule of classes, the real-time schedule does not connect you to registration, nor will it build your preferred course list! You must access the schedule via Search and Register for Courses to build your preferred course list.

Simply make selections on the schedule by checking the box next to your preferred course and clicking Submit at the bottom of the page.

select courses from list

Do this for as many courses as you’d like. Please remember that this is not verifying that you are eligible to register for these courses or that there are seats available — this is only for you to put courses into a list. Then, back on the Hub’s main menu, in the Registration and Courses menu, select Register for Courses, then Register for Previously Selected Sections, where you’ll see your preferred sections listed:

register for previously selected courses

On your registration day, you can either use this screen or type in the five-digit synonyms from your saved list on Enroll into Express Registration. We don’t recommend that you search-and-register for courses and register for them on the actual day of your registration, because with so many people accessing registration at once, you’ll almost certainly experience a system slow down. It’s much better to either register using these previously selected sections or by using Express Registration.

express registration

You access Express Registration from the Registration and Courses menu, select Register for Courses, then Register for Express Registration. Simply type in your synonyms and hit submit!

Always remember to check your schedule on The Hub under My Course Schedule after you’ve registered to make sure everything you expected to happen has happened!

Accessing Registration

Your registration priority time can be found by logging in to The Hub and clicking on the “Am I Registration Ready?” link under the Registration and Courses section. Remember – registration times are in Central Daylight Time. While you’re there, enter your emergency contact information. You’ll need to submit this information before you’re allowed to register. Click the “Emergency Contact and Cell Phone” link in the About Me section and fill in all of the information. Do this well in advance of registration! Then, on your registration day, use the process outlined above to register for your pre-selected courses. Remember to keep your eyes on the real-time schedule on The Hub to make sure your chosen courses still have spaces available, which we’ll cover next.

Seat Availability

You can check available class seats prior to and during registration by clicking on “Search for Courses (Real Time)” or “Search for Courses (ENROLL)” on The Hub. During registration, “Search for Courses (Real Time)” and the registration screens will have current seat availability information; information in ENROLL is likely to become dated because it only refreshes on an hourly basis.


If a course has met its capacity of students and is now full, but you are still interested in taking the course, you can stand in a virtual line for the course by waitlisting it during registration (via the “Register for previously selected sections” link), in the hopes that a seat will open up for you when the fall term begins.

You can also drop yourself from a waitlist or check your position on the waitlist via the “Manage my waitlist” link from The Hub. You may waitlist for a course which conflicts with a registered course. You are not allowed to waitlist for multiple sections of the same course or for another section of a course in which you are enrolled.

A waitlisted course does not count toward the minimum of 18 credits you should be registered for when you complete your pre-registration. If you waitlist a course, please be sure to still register for up to 18 credits just in case a seat doesn’t open up in your waitlisted course. If, during New Student Week or during the first week of the term, you are approved to register into a waitlisted course, you will get an email from the Registrar’s Office informing you that you’ve been given a spot in the course. You’ll have 24 hours to take the seat, so be sure to keep an eye on your email if you’ve waitlisted a course!

Technical Problems

Should you have technical difficulties while using the web registration screens, the ITS Helpdesk (1-507-222-5999) will be available to help you during business hours (listed on their site). Creating your preferred sections list and resolving any technical issues prior to registration should help ensure that your registration goes smoothly.

After Pre-Registration

The day after you pre-register for your remaining courses, and sometimes during your registration day, you will get an email from the Registrar. The Registrar will let you know if they have suggestions for improving your schedule. At that point in time any necessary changes will typically be made via your Carleton email. During New Student Week, you will meet with your Liberal Arts Adviser and have an opportunity to confirm your pre-registration or make additional changes to it. Changes to registration after classes begin—including registering for waitlisted courses—must be completed online by you via the Hub within published deadlines after you confirm meeting with your adviser.