Location: Bowdoin / Polaris / Guides / Registration Guide

Polaris

Registration Guide

Logging into Polaris
Registration Portal Page
Registration Status
Request Classes
Advisor Hold
Error Messages
Instructor Overrides
Linked Courses (Labs)
Courses with Multiple Labs
Instructor Approval Only Courses
Courses with Co-Requisites
Submitting Requests
Notification of Courses
Changing Courses During Add/Drop
Changing Grade Mode to Credit/D/F
Logging out of Polaris

Watch a short video tutorial on registering for courses in Polaris


Logging Into Polaris

Login to Polaris using your Bowdoin username and password. Polaris can be accessed anywhere you have an Internet connection.

Log into Polaris

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Registration Portal Page

Click on the “Registration” portal tab in the top menu. The Registration portal tab will only be visible to student during the registration period.

Registration-PortalPage

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Registration Status

The “Registration Status” is the first tab within the Registration page. In order to register, students must see three green checkmarks.

Registration-Status

If there are any yellow warning symbols, those will need to be resolved before a student can register. If a student has a Hold, s/he can see who placed the Hold(s) by looking at the "Holds" tab within the “My Academic Profile” portlet. If a "Registration Hold" is shown, the student must contact the office that placed the hold.

Note that at the bottom of this screen any instructor overrides or special permission to request a course will be shown.

If a student has a blank screen when s/he clicks on Registration, simply click on “Registration Status” and it will load.



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Request Classes

Click on the “Request or Add/Drop Classes” tab within the Registration page. Students can only request up to 4 one-credit courses or up to a maximum of 5 credits. For example, a student can request 4 one-credit courses and 2 half-credit course or 4 half-credit course and 3 one-credit courses.

Registration-RequestClassesTab

To request classes, enter the 5-digit Course Reference Number (CRN) in the Add Classes boxes on the bottom of the screen and hit submit. To find a CRN for a class, use the Class Finder within Polaris or the Registrar's list of Course Offerings. The CRN is shown in a rectangular button and will be different every semester. If you click on the CRN button within Class Finder, it will display the full description and registration preferences of a course.

Registration-ClassFinderCRN

In the screenshot below, the student successfully submitted a request for SOC 1010.

Registration-RequestSubmission

The student can use the drop down button in the Action column to drop a course from the request sheet by selecting the “Drop Request” option and then clicking on the “Submit” button below. Courses can be added or dropped from the registration request worksheet. It is fine if the student types in the wrong CRN number or, if after reviewing the requested course load, student and advisor decide to change the courses on the request worksheet.

Registration-DropOption

Polaris does real-time checking for eligibility for all requested classes (e.g., prerequisites, placements, class standing, major/minor status, course co-requisites, time conflicts, closed/full class, and so on). It will take a few moments for it to check all of the parameters, especially when multiple CRNs are submitted at once.


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Advisor Hold

To ensure that students have a conversation with advisors before registering for courses, when registrtation opens an Advisor Hold is placed on all students registering for next semester's courses. The student will be able to request courses but his/her courses will not be processed at the end of Round 1 if the Advisor Hold is not released. Students can see the Advisor Hold in the "My Courses" portlet within Polaris, as shown below. When it is released, the color will change to green and the text will indicate that the hold has been released. 

advisor-hold

The student can obtain the name and contact information for his/her advisor in the "My Academic Contacts" portlet in the "Advisor(s)" tab.

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Error Messages

If a student is not eligible for a class, an error message will appear. For example, if a student tried to add BIOL 1101 but does not have the appropriate placement, s/he will see:

Registration-ErrorMessages

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Instructor Overrides

Students are advised to contact professors early for any overrides (e.g., waiving pre-requisites or co-requisites) or courses that require instructor permission so that the student will have enough time to request these courses after the instructor has submitted the  Instructor Registration Permission/Overrides request.

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Linked Courses (Labs)

For courses that have a lab/discussion section linked to them, students will need to request both at the same time (but the order of placement in the boxes does not matter). Classes and labs have separate CRNs. For example, if a student tried to add BIOL 1090 without adding the lab at the same time, s/he will see:

Registration-LinkedCourses
To swap labs for a course or swap sections of a course without dropping the linked course or lab, follow these directions.

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Courses with Multiple Labs

For courses with multiple labs, students can only put one lab choice. This is different from our past practice of allowing students to list 3 lab choices. However, examination of past registration data shows that over 90% of students who get a course/lab from their top-choice requests, got it through their first choice lab. If a student does not get their preferred lab choice, the registration program will attempt to enroll them in another lab that does not conflict with their first year seminar nor with any other top-choice courses. If a student prefers not to be in the course because of the lab s/he received, they will be able to drop the course/lab during Round 3. But, once the course/lab is dropped, they will not have the ability to re-enroll in the course if all other labs are full.

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Instructor Approval Only Courses

For courses that require Instructor Approval, students must obtain approval BEFORE the course can be added to the request sheet.  For example, if a student tried to add MATH 1050 without first obtaining approval from the instructor, s/he will see:

Registration-InstructorApproval

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Courses with Co-Requisites

For courses that have a co-requisite, the student needs to add them at the same time, or the one with the co-req second. For example, a student cannot add Dance 3212 without first adding (or simultaneously adding) Dance 3211.

Registration-CoRequisites

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Submitting Requests

Once the student has submitted their requested courses, they have completed that round of registration. Until the Registrar’s deadline for that round, they are able to change their requested courses, assuming they have talked to their advisor about the changes.

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Notification of Courses

As soon as the student has requested courses, the courses will display in the "My Courses" portlet under the "Next Term" tab. The "Status" column will show that these courses have been "Requested." After the Round is complete and all of the requests have been processed, the student will see the courses in which they are enrolled (the "Status" will indicate enrolled rather than requested). 

my-courses-next-term

Additional courses may be added in Round 2. In Round 3, the student may drop and/or add courses. Because Round 3 is first-come, first-serve, the student will see their courses change immediately in the "Next Term" tab, after s/he requests a course and refresh their browser. The date and time of the registration rounds will vary by semester and be available at the Registrar’s calendar.

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Changing Courses During Add/Drop

During the Add/Drop period of each semester, instructors need to give permission for a student to add their course. Instructor permissions and overrides are shown in the student's "Registration Status" tab, as shown below. After the instructor has given permission, the student will add the course via the "Request or Add/Drop Classes" tab in the "Registration" portal tab, like during Round 3, as shown above.

Note: To swap from one Biology, Chemistry, Physics, or Art History 1100 lab section to another, the lab instructor MUST give you "Instructor Permission" in Polaris. Follow these directions to swap labs for a course or swap sections of a course without dropping the linked course or lab.

instructor overrides on status tab

Students may drop courses using the "Request or Add/Drop Classes" tab in the "Registration" portal tab.

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Changing Grade Mode (Credit/D/F)

If a course can be taken as either a standard letter grade or Credit/D/F, students can change the grading option using the "Change Grade Mode" tab in the "Registration" portal tab. Credit/D/F grade mode will not satisfy Distribution, Division, or First Year Seminar requirements, nor will it satisfy most major or minor requirements. Before changing the grade mode, students should review the complete college Credit/D/F policies and consult with their advisor. Students have several weeks into the semester to decide. The Registrar's calendar shows the deadline.

grade mode tab

In the example above, "Chamber Choir" shows that it is a "Credit/D/F Only" course. The other courses can be taken for the "Standard Letter" grade or "Elective Credit/D/F." Once the grade mode change has been selected from the pull down menu, the student scrolls to the bottom of the page and clicks on "Submit Changes."

grade mode submit button

The new grade mode will now display in the "My Courses" portlet in the "Student" portal tab.

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Logging out of Polaris

To log out, select the chevron to the right of your name in the header and choose “Sign Out.”

polaris-signout

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