Registering for the First Semester

When Will I Register for Fall Classes?

If you are a first-year student, in August you will be assigned to a First-Year Tutorial and the FYE class, so you will already be partially registered when you arrive.

During New Student Orientation (NSO) you will have meetings with your faculty adviser.

After discussing your academic goals and interests and planning your schedule with your faculty adviser, you'll submit your final registration on Tuesday of New Student Orientation.

On Wednesday of NSO you will have a chance to make changes to your schedule, if you desire.

How Will I Register for Fall Classes?

Although many colleges register new students in the summer before arrival, at Grinnell we place high value on in-person advising. Thus we wait until all of our new students (arriving from Tulsa to Timbuktu!) are here on campus in the fall. Then, together with their adviser, each student registers for fall classes.

Here is how it works.


New student advising happens Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday of New Student Orientation. You will have time on at least two of these days to meet with your Tutorial instructor, who is your adviser, for consultation.

Eligibility to Register

When you arrive on campus the Office of the Registrar will place an Arrival Confirmation form in your campus mailbox. The Arrival Confirmation form lists any holds that offices may have placed on your ability to register for courses. Holds may be placed by the Office of Student Accounts, Student Health and Wellness, Financial Aid Office, or the Office of the Registrar in circumstances where you have failed to address an outstanding requirement of that office (e.g., completing paperwork or providing payment). If your form indicates “none” on all lines, you do not need to do anything. However, if you have a hold, you must visit that office.

Holds must be cleared before you will be allowed to register for classes. You should strive to not have holds on your registration upon arrival to campus, so communicate well with these offices this summer and it will streamline your registration process.

Submit Registration Card

You will be provided a registration card upon arrival to Grinnell. After you have met with your adviser and your adviser has signed your card, bring the Registration Card and your New Student Arrival Confirmation form to the Registrar’s Office in the John Chrystal Center.

The card must be turned in no later than 4 p.m. on Tuesday of NSO. Any student who fails to submit a card by 4 p.m. will have to add classes when the drop/add process begins on Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m., in the Harris Center. Using the cards, the Registrar's staff enrolls students in classes based on a very equitable lottery method.

Your Course Schedule Posted

As soon as registration is completed on Wednesday of NSO, your schedule will be released and viewable via your WebAdvisor account. Click on Class Schedule on the main menu. If there are any errors, you should visit the Registrar’s Office immediately.

As of 2 p.m. on Wednesday, all classes are under the direct control of instructors, and the instructor’s or department representative’s signature will be required to add a course (which you will be able to do at 3 p.m. that day). If you want to add or drop any of your courses, a new process will ensue as of 3 p.m. on Wednesday. See next step below.

Post-Registration Forum

On Wednesday of NSO at 3 p.m. faculty will be available in the Harris Center so that students can make adjustments to their schedule.

The Course Change form — necessary to add or drop courses — will be available in Harris, in the Registrar’s Office, and online. A signature from the instructor of the class is required, as well as a signature from your faculty adviser.

The last day to add or drop a class will be at the end of the second week of classes, Friday, September 13, but, realistically, students finalize their schedule within the first four class days.

Further Academic Opportunities >>

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