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Choosing classes

There is a lot to consider when choosing which courses you will register for. Your ultimate goal is to complete your courses with passing grades and continue to take classes in your next semester. To do this, you need to carefully consider several things when choosing your courses.

Your academic advisor understands your program requirements, course prerequisites, transfer courses, assessment scores, how to read the Degree Audit Report (DARs) and other important things to consider when choosing which courses to take and how many. For your first semester, your academic advisor can provide very useful guidance for a successful registration.

After your first semester, it can be helpful to re-connect with your advisor and make a degree completion plan. Here is a checklist of what you want to think about each semester when choosing courses to register for.

Checklist: How to choose the best courses for each semester

Choosing courses to register for is not often quick or easy. Use this checklist to prepare for registration by reviewing what is important to consider when choosing courses. 

Keep in mind what the goal of your education is. Is it to:

  • Engage in what you learn?
  • Pass all your classes?
  • Achieve the best grade possible for yourself? 
  • Not spend time or money on a course you aren’t able to complete successfully?
  • Apply your transferable skills and knowledge in your career?

Step one 

Calculate how much time you must commit each week to be successful in your courses.

Time in class:

  • 3 credit course = typical 3 hours of class time per week
  • 4 credit course =  about 4 hours class time per week 
  • Online classes = 3 to 4 hours per week of "class time." Even though you are not in a physical classroom, you must plan to spend "class time" reading instructions, understanding assignments, checking the syllabus and posting to online discussions.

Study time:

  • 3 credit course =  6 to 9 hours of study time per week
  • 4 credit course = 8 to 12 hours of study time per week  
  • Plan for more hours of study time if the course subject is difficult for you (i.e.  math, science or writing can be easy for some students but difficult for others)
  • Plan for additional time to work with tutors if you know tutoring will make you more successful

Commute time:

You may be taking courses on different campuses, depending on what section you choose and what courses are available. Plan drive time between campuses, work and your house. Remember rush hour takes more time. If you take public transportation, plan ahead.

Your weekly schedule:

Calculate what time you have available each week for all your activities using this easy calculator to plan your weekly schedule.

Decide and choose:

How many courses will you have enough study time for in your weekly schedule to do well?   

Step two 

Identify what courses you still need to take. To do this, you will need the following two items: 

  • DARs: Can be found in eServices
  • Major checklist: Can be found on website program pages or from your advisor

What general education or liberal studies courses are remaining?

  • Check DARs for goal areas 1 through 10 that are missing courses
  • Check DARs for liberal studies: eight upper-division general education credits that you won’t get from a community college
  • “D” grades will transfer and fulfill a general education goal area, but not a major requirement
  • Check DARs for general education credit requirements: are you missing credits?  
  • Total general education and liberal studies  = 48 credits 
  • Check DARs for the degree requirement “Racial Issues Graduation Requirement”

What major courses are remaining?

  • What transfer courses fulfill major course requirements?
    • Check your DARs to see if a transfer course is listed as a major requirement
    • Check with your advisor to see if there is anything missing
    • Check Transferology to see if previous course work is equivalent to a required course
  • Be certain you don’t retake a course that was transferred or that you have already completed.
  • A “D” grade will not meet the major requirement; you will have to repeat the course.
  • Some majors have grade requirements that are higher than a “C.” Check with your advisor.

Step three

Know the major course sequence and course prerequisites.

  • Take courses in the correct sequence.
  • Always check the prerequisite course requirements found in the online course description.
  • Major checklists may show a course sequence or will list courses in the order you need to take them.
  • Students are responsible for knowing the course prerequisites and for following the course sequence. Do not depend on the registration system to keep you from registering. 
  • If you have a registration hold, contact your advisor or Gateway to find out about next steps.

Step four 

Know when and where your courses are offered.

  • Metropolitan State University has multiple locations. Always look for the location of the course on the class schedule or in the course description.
  • Be sure to check any notes in a course description. Notes explain if there are fewer class meeting times or if you are required to attend the first class
  • If your courses are on different campuses, be sure there is time between classes to travel there.
  • To find locations, use the key in the registration guide to understand the location name or abbreviation, and use the maps and location finder on the Metropolitan State website.
  • Check course start and end dates for half semester courses which may start  or end mid-semester.
  • Many classes are offered in the evenings, but there are also day time, online and weekend options

Step five

Make sure your registration is complete and you have registered for the right courses.

  • If you complete online registration successfully, you will see a pop up box that shows your course(s) and says “Registration Successful.”
  • There are several places in eServices you can check to make sure you are registered:
    • Go to  “View/Modify Schedule” and check to see that all your courses have been registered for.  
    • Under “Grades & Transcripts” open up “Academic Record.” Your upcoming courses should be showing on your transcript.
    • View your DARs report and look under the section for Metropolitan State credits.
  • Double check dates, times, and class names and numbers to be sure you choose the class you wanted.

Other considerations

Twelve credits is considered full-time. Unless you are in academic difficulty, you may register for a maximum of 16 credits per term without special permission. This means that you are responsible for planning a credit load that works for you. You must request your academic advisor’s approval to register for more than 16 credits.

Financial aid recipients

Students normally must register for at least six credits to be considered for loans. Contact Gateway for questions about financial aid eligibility. 

International students 

Students on a visa must register for a minimum of 12 credits to be a full-time student. Check with the International Student Advising Office for questions about visa requirements.


Because there are minimum registration requirements which can affect various education benefits, students who qualify for Veterans benefits should contact the Veterans and Military Student Services.