Registration and Advising
Registration is a process by which students become officially enrolled
in classes for a given term. Students who attend classes must complete
registration and pay their assessed fees. Registration is not complete
until all fees are paid, including board and room fees for those
living in residence halls.
The registration process starts with an advising period, which
begins two to five days prior to the first day of registration.
Advisers provide important information to students that allow them
to register for classes.
Dates for advising and registration are published in the university
calendar on the Web at www.iastate.edu/~registrar/calendar, the
ISU Directory, and the Iowa State Daily. The dates also are posted
on departmental bulletin boards.
Continuing students register for the following term during the
middle of the current term. For example, registration for spring
term begins the middle of fall term; registration for summer session
is completed during the previous spring at the same time as registration
for fall semester.
The registration process includes advising, enrollment in courses,
and schedule changes. This process involves the student, the student's
adviser, and the student services staff of the student's college,
and in some cases, the dean of the college. Each is responsible
for knowing and following the academic policies and procedures.
The student is responsible for knowing and adhering to university
policies and procedures that apply to registration and schedule
changes; checking the accuracy of his/her schedule on AccessPlus,
including schedule adjustments (i.e., adds, drops, section changes);
knowing the degree requirements of his or her major and/or curriculum;
planning course schedules to meet those requirements; and monitoring
the accuracy of the advisement/degree audit.
The adviser is responsible for consulting with advisees
during the advising/registration period; providing information about
student's major and curriculum requirements; providing guidance
in the student's course selection; assisting in monitoring the advisement/degree
audit for accuracy; and for notifying the college student services
office with corrections to the advisement/degree audit.
The college student services staff is responsible for assisting
new and reentering students with the registration process; resolving
unusual scheduling problems; and updating the advisement/degree
audit or solving problems concerning the advisement/degree audit.
The dean is responsible for making decisions with respect
to requests for deviations from university policies, deadlines,
etc. Students and staff should check with the college office to
find out who is authorized to grant approvals or exceptions on behalf
of the dean.
To register for classes, students need the following materials and
o Registration Worksheet, available for download at www.iastate.edu/~registrar.
o A RAN (registration access number) if required by their college.
o Course information from the Online Schedule of Classes at www.adp.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/class;
or the Courses and Programs catalog, available on the Web or for
a fee from campus bookstores.
o Other departmental information applicable to their curriculum,
available from their adviser.
Students are expected to do the following in the advising and
1. Meet with their adviser, who will provide the following:
a. advisement/degree audit
b. guidance in course selection
c. Registration Worksheet signature
d. Registration Authorization Card, if applicable.
2. Choose specific sections of each course. Students are responsible
for choosing their course sections. In most cases advisers will
not be involved in selecting meeting times.
3. Review their registration start date/time information and any
registration hold information on AccessPlus, under Current Information.
Students in those colleges which require a four-digit registration
access number (RAN) should meet with their adviser to obtain their
Registration Authorization Card on which the RAN is printed.
a. assigned date and time to register
b. registration access number
c. registration holds (prevents registration)
4. Register for courses using the AccessPlus registration system.
Instructions are available at www.iastate.edu/~registrar/registration.
Registration Start Dates. Students
are assigned a registration start date and time, which is the first
day and time they can use the registration system. Registration
start dates are assigned based on projected year in school classification
(computed by combining total credits, current term credits, and
current term test out credits). Then specific start dates within
projected year in school are established by using the sum of total
credits and current term test out credits. Students may choose to
delay their registration until a later date, but courses will begin
to fill on the first day of registration and any delay may reduce
their course selection. A list of start dates (e.g., juniors) is
available at www.iastate.edu/~registrar/registration.
AccessPlus Registration System. Students
enter the system via AccessPlus
by using university or social security number and university PIN.
If required by their college, they also need to enter a registration
access number (RAN).
The registration system provides messages after each entry indicating
whether each request has been processed. Students also may review
their current schedules at any time during registration. Students
are held accountable for all changes made to their schedules.
All students are encouraged to register for courses through the
AccessPlus registration system. However, students who are unable
to use the system may register in person by processing their signed
Registration Worksheet in the Registrar's Student Scheduling Office,
10 Alumni Hall.
Schedule Changes. Through the
fifth day of classes, students may add courses or make other schedule
changes using the registration system. For more information, see
Index, Making Schedule Changes.
Classrooms are listed for each course in the Online Schedule of
Classes at www.adp.iastate.edu/cgi-bin/class.
All changes processed before the first day of classes will be reflected
on beginning class lists for instructors.
Registration holds. Students with holds
on their registration will not have access to registration until
the initiating offices have released the holds. Those who attempt
to register before the holds have been released will receive a message
indicating which offices have placed holds on their registration.
Prior to their registration, students may check for holds on AccessPlus.
Credit limits. For fall and spring
semesters, the credit limit is 18 credits for undergraduates and
15 credits for graduate students. For summer session, the limits
are 12 credits for undergraduates and 10 credits for graduate students.
Add requests beyond a student's credit limit will be denied. A student
must drop credits before they may add another course. In some cases,
the college dean may approve a higher or lower credit limit for
individual students. Students may request a change in their credit
limit by contacting their adviser. Advisers should notify the student's
college student services office if the credit limit needs to be
Restricted courses/sections. Some
courses or sections are restricted to students who meet specified
criteria including curriculum/major, college, and/or year in school.
In addition, some sections may be restricted to new students to
ensure that sufficient spaces are available when new students register
during summer orientation. A department may waive a restriction
for a student who has extenuating circumstances. The student must
obtain the authorization from the department on a Schedule Change/Restriction
Waiver form. The form is processed in the Registrar's Student Scheduling
Office, 10 Alumni Hall.
Permission Required courses/sections. To register for these
sections, students must obtain authorization on a Schedule Change/Restriction
Waiver form and process the approved form in the Registrar's Student
Scheduling Office, 10 Alumni Hall.
Cancelled courses/sections. In some
cases, courses or sections may be cancelled due to low enrollment
or departmental staffing considerations. Students who are registered
for a cancelled course or section will be notified by the Office
of the Registrar, the department, and/or on their AccessPlus schedule.
Registration for disabled students. Disabled students who
need assistance with any phase of registration should contact Disability
Resources. (See Index, Disability Resources.)
The Receivables Office bills students for tuition, room and board,
and various other university charges. A fee statement is mailed
on the first of each month to each student's in-session or interim
address. Students also may view their account status on AccessPlus
at accessplus.iastate.edu/. It is the student's responsibility to
ensure that the Office of the Registrar has a correct billing address.
A student who does not receive a billing statement before the term
begins should go to the Receivables Office to learn the amount of
the account balance due. Failure to receive a billing statement
will not exempt students from late penalties or from having a hold
placed on their registration. Also see Index, Fees and Expenses.
Students generally use AccessPlus
to register for classes. Using the AccessPlus registration system
is a privilege, which may be revoked if abuse is detected. Abuse
includes, but is not limited to, creating and using an automated
program to search for course openings and/or enrolling in a section
with the intent of reserving space in that particular section for
another student. The Office of the Registrar, college office, and/or
advisers have the right to determine abuse and revoke privileges
for any type of registration system abuse.
A late registration fee is assessed for registration initiated
on or after the first day of classes for fall and spring terms.
This fee is not charged for the summer term. If registration is
not completed by the end of the fifth day of classes, students must
obtain written permission from their advisers, the instructors for
the courses they plan to take, as well as approval from the dean
of the college in which they are registered. During the summer session,
these approvals must be obtained in order to register after the
third day of classes.
Registration is closed after the tenth day of classes for fall
and spring semesters, and after the fifth day of classes for summer
Students may not enroll in courses with time conflicts without
the approval of the departments concerned.
Students who participate in off-campus experiences for which
they receive Iowa State University credit must register for that
credit during the term when the experience is taking place, whether
or not they are taking courses on campus during that time.
To validate their enrollment in each course at the beginning of
the semester, students must attend the first or second meeting (first
meeting if the class meets only once a week). Students who add a
course after the term begins must attend the next class meeting.
The instructor has the option to offer a registered place in the
course to another student when a registered student fails to attend
and also to obtain prior approval of the instructor. Those students
must drop the course or they will receive an F grade.
Making Schedule Changes
Procedures for schedule changes vary by the time period of the semester.
The effective date of a schedule change is the date on which the
change is entered into the registration system. Schedule change
periods are as follows:
Period 1 ends on the fifth day of classes of the full semester.
Schedule changes during period 1 are free and do not require adviser
signatures. Instructor or departmental approval may be required
for adds or section changes in some courses during period 1. Course
drops during this period do not count toward a student's ISU course
drop limit, and will not appear on a student's grade slip or permanent
record. Schedule changes during period 1 may be processed through
the AccessPlus registration system or by presenting a Schedule Change/Restriction
Waiver form to the Registrar's Student Scheduling Office, 10 Alumni
Period 2 ends the third Friday of classes after the day
midterm grades are due. During this period, schedule changes require
signatures of adviser and instructor and are processed on a Schedule
Change/Restriction Waiver form. A fee per visit is assessed for
adds, drops, and section changes during this period. Course drops
after period 1 count toward a student's ISU drop limit and appear
as an X on the grade slip and permanent record. A section change
does not require a drop.
Drops, including R courses (required courses) and other schedule
changes that are judged to be beyond the student's control may be
processed as administrative actions if approved by the college dean.
There is no fee for administrative schedule changes. Administrative
drops do not count toward a student's ISU drop limit and do not
appear as an X on the grade slip and permanent record. The effective
date of an administrative action is the date it is approved by the
Period 3 follows period 2. Schedule changes during this
period are permitted only for extenuating circumstances beyond the
student's control, require a written statement of support from both
the instructor and the adviser, and must be approved by the dean
of the student's college.
Specific deadlines for adding and dropping half-semester courses
are published in the university calendar. Appropriate adjustments
to add and drop deadlines are made for other partial term courses.
For partial term course deadlines, contact the Registrar's Student
Scheduling Office, 10 Alumni Hall.
Students are limited in the number of courses they may drop during
their academic career. (This refers to drops processed after the fifth
day of classes of each semester.) Students who entered Iowa State
University as freshmen are allowed to drop a maximum of five courses
during their undergraduate career. If they entered at a level above
freshman classification or in the College of Veterinary Medicine,
they are allowed to drop a maximum of four courses. Courses dropped
during their first term at Iowa State are not included in this limit,
nor does the summer count as a first term for this purpose. Students
who enroll at Iowa State University as undergraduates after receiving
a bachelor's degree are permitted two drops.
Exceptions may be made for courses that must be dropped for reasons
beyond the student's control. These exceptions are granted only
by the dean or other authorized person on the dean's behalf in the
The number of drops students have left is indicated on their grade
report (available on AccessPlus) each term. Students are responsible
for not exceeding their limit. Students who attempt to drop a course
beyond the limit without special permission by the dean of the student's
college will continue to be enrolled in the course and will receive
a grade at the end of the term.
A prerequisite indicates the specific academic background or general
academic maturity considered necessary for the student to be ready
to undertake the course. Since an instructor has the prerogative
to direct a student who lacks a stated prerequisite to drop the
course, students are advised not to enroll in a course for which
they lack a stated prerequisite without checking first with the
course instructor. Permission of the instructor is understood to
be an alternate to the stated prerequisites in all courses.
It is university policy that the instructor shall inform the students
at the beginning of each course if students who have not met the
prerequisite requirements must drop the course.
Course prerequisites are listed in the Online
Schedule of Classes as well as in the Courses
and Programs section of this publication.