Welcome to Registration 101, your guide to registering for your courses this fall at WashU.
During the first year, you may take any classes you want listed in CourseBook 1.0. Along with your first-year writing-requirement, you can explore a current interest, try something new, or follow your curiosity with a special First-Year Program. In Arts & Sciences, you create your own path!
You MUST have activated your WUSTL Key to register. An email was sent to you with instructions on how to activate your WUSTL Key. If you have not received this email, please contact the University Registrar’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-935-5959.
Step 1: Registration Process Videos
Please watch all three of these videos prior to reading through the remaining steps for registration.
If you are having problems viewing the Registration 101 videos below please try to access with your WUSTL Key through WUSTL Box.
WUSTL Key, WebSTAC and Email
Course Listings and Registration Worksheet
Step 2: Planning Your Schedule
What classes are required?
All students in Arts & Sciences must fulfill the first-year writing requirement. Most will enroll in College Writing 1, but several specially themed sections of the course are being offered this year. Two courses – Writing Identity and Citizen Scientist – are hybrid classes where each week all students attend a lecture followed by two small-group writing classes that probe deeper into lecture topics and teach writing skills. Each of these courses will fulfill the college’s first-year writing requirement and is open to all interested students. More information on each can be found on the College Writing Program website.
Which semester should I take my writing class?
Regardless of your writing course selection, WashU will let you know if you are assigned to take writing in either the fall or spring semester. To check this, log in to your account in WebSTAC and select "Scores and Placements" under Academic Records. Your assigned semester for college writing will be posted here by late-May.
Some students are required to take an online writing placement exam before they can register for their writing course. If WPE Required appears in "Scores and Placements" in WebSTAC, a writing placement exam is required. By May 31, you should have received notification from the College Writing Program for the requirement with detailed instructions for taking the online placement exam. Additional information on the exam can be found on the
College Writing Program website, or you may send questions to email@example.com.
How many classes should I take?
A typical first-year student will take 4 to 5 classes in the first semester. Every class carries a certain number of units of credit, typically 3 units. Many students will complete the first term with 15 units of credit if they enroll in 5 classes. You only need 12 units to be full-time. Students who take a 5-credit language course may end up with as many as 17 units.
What classes should I take?
Consider one of the special First-Year Academic Programs designed specifically for incoming students. First-Year Seminars offer a small, dynamic course on just about any topic you can imagine. You can apply for one of the Ampersand Programs, multiple-semester courses that deeply engage a topic in a small peer-group with dedicated faculty. First-Year Opportunity classes are a great addition if you don’t have much free-time in your schedule; these classes supplement your course load and add a bit more breadth and depth to your studies. Beyond Boundaries courses are interdisciplinary; they cross departments not only in Arts & Sciences but across the entire University.
Coursebook 1.0 contains introductory courses at the 100-level and 200-level, along with any 300-level courses that are appropriate for first-year students. Read through it and make note of the classes that sound most interesting. You can take anything you want that appears in the book.
If you have taken AP/IB/British-A level exams, have studied a foreign language, or are planning to continue in math, dance, or music, you may be able to enroll in upper-level courses not included in Coursebook 1.0. To see which classes you are qualified for, you will need to take a Placement Exam.
Try to take different types of courses. For example, along with a science or a math class, take a literature, or an art history course. In the process you will discover what you like and you will also begin to fulfill the basic curricular requirements of your liberal arts degree.
If you are PreHealth your suggested course selection is clarified here.
What are standard class times?
Classes may start as early as 8:00 a.m. Coursebook 1.0 shows the day(s) and times each class is offered. Courses begin 10 minutes after their scheduled start time; e.g., a 10:00 a.m. class begins at 10:10 a.m. This gives you plenty of time to travel between classes.
Make sure you have some breaks in your day to eat and relax. Unlike high school, too many back-to-back classes in a single day can be overwhelming.
Step 3: Placement Exams
How do I take a Placement Exam?
Math: Depending on what you want to pursue, you may need to continue your study of mathematics. The following information applies to students who wish to continue in Calculus. If you received a 4 or a 5 on the AB Calculus AP exam, you may enroll directly into Calculus II (L24 132). If you received a 4 or a 5 on the BC Calculus AP exam, you may enroll directly into Calculus III (L24 233). If you received a 5 on the BC Calculus AP exam, you may also choose to enroll in the one-year sequence Honors Math I-II (L24 203 and 204). Additional information can be found on the math department site. All other students planning to continue their study of Calculus should take the Online Placement Exam.
Students planning to continue the study of other languages are required to take a written exam during Orientation in August.
Dance: Registration in any upper-level dance course is subject to approval after the Placement Class. Information about the Dance Placement Class held during orientation will be found on the Performing Arts Department site later this summer.
Music: Placement policies are available on their web site.
Step 4: Preparing for Registration
We have preregistration tools to help prepare you for fall registration. The first step is to enter your proposed classes into a Registration Worksheet. This must be completed in order for you to be authorized to register.
Review all the categories below for important details on creating your worksheet.
How do I create a Registration Worksheet?
Your Registration Worksheet will be a working draft of your schedule. The Registration Worksheet is one of the menu items on WebSTAC. Before you begin creating your worksheet, watch Video 2: Course Listings and Registration Worksheet.
This video shows you how to access Course Listings, where you can find online information for the courses you have selected and how to add them to your Registration Worksheet.
You have the option to create a worksheet based on your first choice classes and times (RSW1), and a second worksheet (RSW2) that contains back-up course options as well as back up times. Always choose a few back-ups.
To add a class to your worksheet, simply find it in Course Listings and click on RSW1 or RSW2. The course will then appear in your worksheet. If a subsection is required, you will be prompted to add that within the worksheet.
What is a subsection?
All courses are assigned a section number (01, 02, etc.). Some also have required subsections which are listed as letters (A, B, C, etc.). If you see a list of subsections with the course information, then you must select both a course section (e.g., 01) and a subsection (e.g., A) when entering the class into your worksheet.
Why should I add back-up options?
Classes limit enrollment. When you are selecting classes for your worksheet, you can see how many seats remain in the class. If one particular section is full, you may choose a different one or you can elect to be added to the wait list when you actually register.
What is a wait list?
Some classes allow students to be on a wait list. If a space opens up, students are automatically enrolled in the order they are on the list.
Some classes do not allow wait-listing:
- Writing 1. If your first-choice section is full at the time you register, you will need to select a different section.
- General Chemistry, General Chemistry Lab, and Physics 197F offer many sections and subsections. They do not allow waitlisting, so choose a section and subsection for each class with seats available at the time you register. Don't worry if your first choice sections are filled when you are creating your Registration Worksheet; the departments will be opening up additional seats during registration. There will be room for everyone, although not necessarily in your first choice of section or subsection.
- Several Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies courses may look full but have seats reserved specifically for first-year students. These courses are identified in the course descriptions. Put yourself on the wait list for these classes; students will be pulled off the wait list by the department in order of registration. You will learn soon after registration if you were one of the first-year students who enrolled.
How do I check for schedule conflicts?
Scroll down beneath the worksheet and review the Schedule Grid to make sure you have no class conflicts and that no days are overloaded with classes.
After you register, make sure to check your schedule in WebSTAC to see your Final Exam times to ensure there are no conflicts.
Step 4.5 For PreHealth Students and those interested in Biology and Chemistry
If you are interested in PreHealth, or want to explore a major in biology or chemistry, please review this additional information.
What should I take first as a PreHealth student?
That depends on what you plan to major in. ANY major will allow you to also complete the premed prerequisites and you do not need to major in a science to be an outstanding candidate for medical school. Explore for a major you will love, and start the science sequence in the courses you are well prepared for and expect to enjoy.
What should I take if I want to major in Biology or Chemistry?
If you plan to pursue a Biology or Chemistry major, and if you have the required skills from high school coursework, you should enroll in General Chemistry 111A & General Chemistry Lab 151. You will also register for a subsection in each course. Therefore you will have four slots on your schedule (and five credits) dedicated to Chemistry. In addition, you may wish to enroll in the appropriate level of Calculus.
What are the pre-requisites for General Chemistry?
Students who plan to register for General Chemistry must have taken high school chemistry, two years of high school math, and a year of high school physics. You should also be familiar with the following topics at an 11th or 12th grade level:
- Kinetic energy, Potential energy, forces (especially dealing with gravity; F=mg), velocity, a conceptual idea of momentum;
- Vectors and how to graph them;
- Factoring simple polynomials;
- Use of the quadratic equation.
If you do not have this background, starting college in a course where you have known content gaps, may not be your best strategy. Please contact a PreHealth Advisor to plot out a curricular path that will be most successful for you.
How do I pick the appropriate General Chemistry subsection?
General Chemistry (L07 111A) subsections have two formats. Select the format that you think will work best with your learning style or seek advice from your four-year advisor.
- Classic: These subsections are 1 hour in length. This format includes a quiz during the first 15 minutes of class. Following the quiz, a brief summary of the week’s main lecture topic is presented. Practice problems are worked on the board with the students for the remainder of the class period.
- POGIL (Guided-Inquiry): These subsections are 1.5 hours in length (30 minutes longer than the classic subsections). This format includes a quiz during the first 15 minutes of class. Following the quiz, a brief summary of the week’s main lecture topic is presented. Students then work in small groups on guided-inquiry problem sheets that have been written specifically for Washington University Chem 111 topics. These problem sheets are structured to help students develop self-teaching and problem-solving skills, and the custom-designed exercises include an emphasis on conceptual aspects of a topic.
Is there additional help for General Chem (GenChem) outside of class?
There are optional Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) study groups which students may choose to join. These study groups meet once a week on Saturday or Sunday for a two-hour workshop. In these groups, students work on prepared problems that are designed to be solved collaboratively. A trained PLTL undergraduate leader facilitates each group. This leader does not help solve the problems, but is there to provide guidance and encouragement throughout the learning process. Students in PLTL groups learn critical-thinking skills, problem-solving and study strategies, and different methods of group work. No answer keys are provided; students must decide as a group whether answers are correct. This strategy enables students to be confident when applying their knowledge to new problems and concepts, which is essential for performing well on quizzes and exams. The PLTL program provides a supportive community of scholars and emphasizes taking responsibility for one’s own learning.
Are there any additional requirements for PLTL?
Enrollment in PLTL requires that you take the department's diagnostic exam. This is not a placement exam, so it may be taken after registration.
How do I learn more about the PreHealth curriculum?
If you are interested in more information pertaining to pre-medical requirements, please visit the PreHealth web site and download the pre-health handbook.
Step 5: Register
I've completed my Registration Worksheet, now what?
Once your Registration Worksheet is complete, you are ready to contact your advisor to review your proposed course selection. If you are not attending Summer Start or SOAR, you will receive an email at the end of May from Dean Dirk Killen with the name and contact information of your four-year advisor. Email your advisor indicating you are ready to discuss your academic interests and your fall course choices. Make sure to include a number of days/times you are available and your advisor will get back to you with an appointment time.
When do I register for classes?
July 10th is Registration Day for all students not attending Summer Start or SOAR. The email you receive from Dean Dirk Killen with the name of your four-year advisor will also contain your registration time for July 10, 2018. All registration times are Central Time.
Are there any other things I should know about Registration Day?
- You must login to WebSTAC to begin your registration.
- You may wish to be logged in before your designated time in order to register as early as possible when your assigned time slot opens.
- If you are worried you will not be able to register on July 10 because of problems with internet access, you must contact Dean Sean McWilliams in the College Office at 314-935-7353 to discuss options. Note: College Office registration will offer a student absolutely no advantage in registration time or course enrollment.
- When you register, please know that your selections are not set in stone. If you change your mind after registration, you have time to add and/or drop a class in your schedule.