Course Registration Advice

Aim to take between 12 and 20 credits this fall, including the First-Year Tutorial, a four-credit class. (Most students take about 16 credits, but 12 really is a full load.) So, now you need to consider what else will round out your schedule.

Resources for Choosing Classes

Your faculty adviser (your Tutorial professor) is your primary resource as you make decisions about your academic plan. Prior to meeting with your adviser, consult these three essential resources:

  1. Departmental Advising and Registration Suggestions describes each academic subject in alphabetical order by department, and gives suggestions for courses to take, in which order, with an eye towards the possibility of majoring in that discipline.
  2. The Schedule of Courses displays the courses (with descriptions and prerequisites) offered in a specific semester. It is searchable by subject, level, time of day, and instructor’s name.
  3. The Grinnell College Academic Catalog is the official listing of all courses offered at Grinnell. Within it, departments, majors, and concentrations are listed. The catalog does not indicate which courses are offered in which semesters; for that information check the Online Schedule of Courses (above).

Once you have your Grinnell online credentials, check out and begin adding classes to the student planning tool. Find the portal and instructions on the Registrar’s GrinnellShare page (login required).

Courses Available to First-Year Students

To identify which classes are open to first-year students, do the following:

  1. Go to the searchable Schedule of Courses.
  2. Enter parameters for your search:
    1. Term: select a semester, e.g., “Fall Semester 2021”
    2. Course Type: select “Open to First Years”
    3. Location: “Main Campus”
  3. Click “Submit.”

This will display a very long list of classes to choose from.

To narrow the parameters of your search, use the drop-down menu under “Subjects.” Here you will find each of the majors and programs offered at Grinnell. It is important to plan for the possibility of several different majors in your first year as you explore coursework.

Under “Subjects” you will also find interdisciplinary areas of study. Many of these classes are open to first-year students. Interdisciplinary studies offer a way to investigate intersections across fields of knowledge and are sometimes the gateway course to one of the concentrations. Examples are American studies; East Asian studies; environmental studies; European studies; global development studies; general literary studies; humanities; Latin American studies; linguistics; neuroscience; peace and conflict studies; policy studies; Russian, Central European, and Eurasian studies; science, medicine and society; and studies in Africa, Middle East, and South Asia.

Dates for Advising and Registration

  • Between June 1 and 15, provide your top five preferences for the Tutorial on the New Student Checklist.
  • By July 15 complete Advising Information form available on the New Student Checklist after considering what classes you want to take to complement the Tutorial and FYE. Your comments on this form will give your faculty adviser an idea of your background and interests.
  • Between Aug. 20-25 you will meet with your advisor during New Student Orientation (NSO) and finish registering for the rest of your fall classes with your advisor’s guidance.
  • Classes start on Aug. 26.

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