Closed Course Crashing 101

The steps to take to get in that exclusive course

WRITTEN BY: Editorial Staff
Image Source: Clipart

While others may be celebrating the end of the semester, do you find yourself dreading another round of class registration? Do you constantly worry that your desired courses will fill up before you can click that “Enroll” button? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, sit back and relax. Here are some helpful tips on how to crash that elusive closed course and get you on track to completing your degree.

The first step to take is to visit the professor and give a good academic explanation as to why you need the course. Mentioning that you are a graduating senior or that this class is a prerequisite for another course you need to take next semester can be some starting points. If the professor feels that you deserve it enough, he/she may make an exception and save you a seat. And even though your school’s website may still indicate that the class is closed, keep checking back for openings. You may be surprised at the drop-rates during the first weeks of class.

The University of Washington recommends contacting department advisers. They may know if space will be added to the course, if the instructor will use a waiting list and if the class will be offered again in the future. The department may even add new sections to crowded classes.

However, if such options seem to result in dead ends, check with the professor and see if you can attend the first class. Not only are students likely to drop the course, but you will also stay up-to-date on the material. You can even try auditing the class (attending every meeting without being expected to complete assignments or receive a grade). This could really show the professor that you are serious about getting into the course.

If these crashing techniques are still unsuccessful, don’t give up. Try choosing a class section that may seem unappealing to others, such as late afternoons, Fridays and early mornings. Attending class is probably the last thing on students’ minds at these times.

Another trick is to see if the class is cross-listed, that is, if it’s offered under two names with the same time, place and instructor. Even though one section may be closed, the other may still have some available seats. Many schools also offer the same classes during the summer or an online substitute, so check with your university for such possibilities.

Lastly, if the credits are transferable, you might want to consider taking a very similar course at a nearby community or city school. And finding a different, less popular class to fulfill the requirement is always an option. 

But, for those who are truly determined, review your major requirements and degree progress. You may find that you are able to wait a semester or two before taking this course. 

Now that you can finally relax about the registration process, you can start looking forward to the holidays and your new set of classes.

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