Fall 2013 On-Campus Registration

Important Dates
Before You Begin
        Verify Your Status
        Resolve Registration Blocks
Phase I Registration
        Preventing Registration Problems
        Filling In Your Registration Card
        Other Phase I Information
Viewing Your Schedule
Phase II Registration


Important Dates

Phase I Registration: Begins on Thursday, 18 April 2013. Ends at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 25 April 2013.
Course Schedules in Bearings: After noon on Tuesday, 30 April 2013.
Phase II Registration: Begins at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 1 May 2013. Ends at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 3 May 2013.


Before you Begin the Registration Process:

Verify your status for Fall 2013 BEFORE you begin registration.

  • Log into the Student Information side of Bearings.
  • Click on the Status tab/screen.
  • In the semester column of the chart, find Fall 2013.
  • The description column for Fall 2013 should say "Here," and the Active? column should say "Y."

If your status is not listed as here and active, have your status corrected through the Off-Campus Study office or through the Dean of Student Affairs office before attempting to register for Fall 2013 courses.

If you will be studying off campus next semester, please do not register for Fall 2013 courses.

Resolve all issues related to registration blocks/holds BEFORE you begin registration.

If the Bursar's office has placed a hold on your registration, resolve those issues before attempting to register for Fall 2013 courses.

If there is a block/hold on your registration due to your need to declare a major or to register for a first-year seminar, resolve those issues before attempting to register for Fall 2013 courses.


Phase I Registration:

  • Begins on Thursday, 18 April 2013. No registration card will be accepted before 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, 18 April 2013. Course details continue to change up until the start of Phase I registration. Students are responsible for double-checking course details on or after 18 April 2013--BEFORE turning in their registration cards. 
  • Ends at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 25 April 2013. Registration cards turned in to the Office of the Registrar after the deadline of 5:00 p.m. on 25 April 2013 will not be processed. In that event, your first opportunity to register for courses would be during Phase II registration.
  • Registration cards are available in the lobby outside the Office of the Registrar on the first floor of the Moulton Union.
  • Information about Fall 2013 courses is available in the Course Finder side of Bearings.
    • On the Bearings login page, click on the Course Finder link. 
    • Be sure the semester chosen is Fall 2013.
    • Search for and view courses by number, department, instructor, day and time, division, or distribution.
  • A complete Schedule of Course Offerings is available online.
    • Go to the Office of the Registrar website.
    • Click on Course Information in the left menu.
    • Click the Schedule of Course Offerings under the Fall 2013 tab.
  • The course schedule for Fall 2013 is continuously updated. Check the Course Finder side of Bearings and the Schedule of Course Offerings regularly for the most current course information.
  • Use a weekly calendar worksheet to help you plan your schedule.

Tips for Preventing Problems with Registration:

  • Meeting with your Advisor: You must have your advisor's signature on your registration card when you turn it in. Plan early in the process to meet with your advisor. Do not wait until the last few days of registration to seek out your advisor, as s/he may not be on campus then.
  • Course-Load Limits: Enrollment is limited to four full-credit courses (and as many half-credit courses as you wish) prior to the start of the semester. Additional full-credit courses may be added during the add/drop period only.
  • Course Meeting Times: Check the Schedule of Course Offerings or the Course Finder side of Bearings to be sure the meeting times of your preferred courses do not conflict with one another. Remember to include the meeting times of labs, film viewings, etc. in your plans. Every semester we receive registration cards that list two or more top-choice courses that meet at the same time! Use a weekly calendar worksheet to help you plan.
  • Course Prerequisites: Check the Course Finder side of Bearings for course prerequisites. (Click on the symbol next to "Rules" in the course listing.) If you do not have the Bowdoin prerequisite for a course in your academic record, you will not be allowed to register for the course that requires it. If an instructor agrees to waive a course prerequisite, be sure to obtain his/her signature in the appropriate course block on your registration card. If you believe you meet a prerequisite with a course you took during off-campus study or through International Baccalaureate study, have the instructor sign the course block to override the prerequisite. The registration system has no way of determining that a course you took elsewhere is equivalent to a Bowdoin course. Keep in mind that any faculty permission you receive is good for one specific course and one specific semester only. Any time you want a course you took off campus to count for a prerequisite, you will need the instructor's permission to register for the course that requires it--regardless of any previous permissions you may have received.
  • Enrollment Restrictions: If a course has enrollment restrictions (such as first years only, declared majors/minors only, etc.), they are listed in the course comments in the Course Finder side of Bearings and in the far-right column of the Schedule of Course Offerings.
  • Exclusions restrict a student from taking a course if s/he has previously taken a specific course. Exclusions appear in the Course Finder side of Bearings. Click on the symbol next to "Rules" in the course listing.
  • Independent Study or Honors Project: Obtain a project director's signature in the appropriate course block in order to be enrolled in an independent study or honors project.
  • Permission-Only Course: Obtain the instructor's signature in the appropriate course block.
  • Alternate Courses: Choose alternate courses for your four top-choice courses. Alternates help ensure that you receive a course in your schedule in the event that you do not receive a top-choice course.
  • An instructor's signature will grant enrollment permission for permission-only courses and in cases where the instructor is willing to waive a course prerequisite. An instructor's signature to waive a course prerequisite will not guarantee enrollment nor grant preferential treatment; it simply makes the system view a student as equally qualified to enroll as other students who have the prerequisite in their academic records. An instructor signature will not override enrollment limits or enrollment restrictions (first years only, majors/minors only, as examples) during Phase I and Phase II registration.
  • Write legibly and proofread your registration card before turning it in. If you write in the wrong course or lab number, we may not know what you really intended, and you certainly don't want the wrong request to be entered into the system because we could not read your handwriting.

Filling in the Course Registration Card:

  1. Indicate your four preferred courses in blocks 1, 2, 3, and 4.
    • Write the department, course number, and section letter (if there is one) in the course block. (Note that a single uppercase letter indicates a course section. Lowercase letters indicate divisions; these do not have to be written on the registration card.)
    • If the course has labs, write in your choices for a lab--the number of your first choice lab, the number of your second choice lab, etc. You will only be registered for a lab course if you can also be registered for one of its labs. Therefore, we recommend that you list multiple choices for labs on your registration card. (Lab assignments cannot be guaranteed. Instructors may need to adjust lab assignments at the start of the semester.)
    • If you wish to take the course with the Credit/D/F grading option, put a check mark on the appropriate line. You may change the grading option through the sixth week of classes. Please review the Credit/D/Fail grading policy to ensure you are eligible to take a course with this grading option. In particular, note that you must carry a minimum of 4.0 credits in your schedule in order to be eligible to choose this grading option for one of your courses.
    • Write in the course title and the instructor's last name.
    • Have the instructor or project director sign the course block if necessary. (A signature is necessary when registering for an independent study or honors project, when the instructor has agreed to waive a course prerequisite, and when the course is a permission-only course.)
  2. For each preferred course, list up to two alternates. Courses 1A and 1B are alternates for 1, courses 2A and 2B are alternates for 2, etc.
  3. Put information about additional course choices (especially half-credit courses) in the course blocks on the right side of the form. The system will limit your enrollment to four full-credit courses (and as many half-credit courses as you wish) until the add/drop period.
  4. Complete the information about YOU--ID number, class, name--and put the date in the top right corner.
  5. Meet with your advisor to discuss your course choices. Have your advisor sign your card.
  6. Turn in your Course Registration Card to the Office of the Registrar on the first floor of Moulton Union no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, 25 April 2013. Cards that are turned in late will not be processed. In that event, your first opportunity to register for courses would be during Phase II registration.

Other Information about Phase I:

  • It is recommended that you complete your division and distribution requirements by the end of your sophomore year. Remember that you may not meet these requirements with transfer credit from another institution.
  • Use a Degree Progress Review Form to help you track your completion of college requirements.
  • If you have questions about your progress with completing the requirements of a major or minor, see the particular academic department.
  • We really appreciate you turning in your registration card as early as possible in the process. Since the data from your card must be hand-entered in our system, everything moves more smoothly if the data-entry process is spread out over time. Turning in your card early will NOT improve your chances for getting into your top-choice courses, however. The program that applies rules to the registration process is not even run until all registration data is entered.

Viewing Your Schedule

Your Fall 2013 course schedule will be available in the Student Information side of Bearings sometime after noon on Tuesday, 30 pril 2013. If you do not get into four full-credit courses or wish to adjust your schedule, you may participate in Phase II of the registration process.


Phase II Registration

  • Begins Wednesday, 1 May at 7:30 a.m., and ends at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, 3 May 2013.
  • Staff in the Office of the Registrar (first floor of Moulton Union) will work with students to adjust course schedules on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Any student who did not register for courses during Phase I may participate in Phase II registration if s/he brings a completed registration card (including the advisor's signature).
  • Instructor signatures are still required during Phase II for students to enroll in permission-only courses and in cases where the instructor is willing to waive a course prerequisite. An instructor signature will not override enrollment limits nor enrollment restrictions (first years only, majors/minors only, as examples) during Phase II.
  • As always, further adjustments may be made to course schedules during the add/drop period at the beginning of the semester.