Step 4:  Build your Schedule

Based on the advice in Steps 2 and 3, you should know what your required courses are, have some idea what your minor might be, and likely have a few ideas as to what electives you’d like to register for.  Be sure to explore all your options, though.  Click here for suggestions regarding how to explore all the course options that are available to you.

Based on all this research, you should now be ready with a set of required courses, and a list of possible elective courses, with back-ups if your first choices don’t work out.  Now it is time to begin building your schedule.  If you haven’t done so already, consult Acadia’s timetableBe sure you’ve chosen the proper “Session” (i.e., the upcoming academic year).  Search the timetable, and jot down which of the courses you’re interested in are still open, which are offered in the Fall vs. Winter terms, and (especially for courses with only one or a few sections) when the courses are offered.  It might be helpful to note down both the time/days (e.g. 8:30-9:30 MWF) and the “slot number” (e.g., “1”).  Don’t forget to include the timeslots for labs, for courses that have them. If there are plenty of different sections of a course or lab still open, it might be enough at this point to jot down “lots available”, and go back to choose a section that fits in best after your other courses have been scheduled.

If you’re not able to register yet (and even if you are, but have a spotty internet connection or prefer working with paper):  Print out several copies of Acadia’s timeslot sheet, available here.  This sheet lays out all of the “slots” during which courses are offered, noted by numbers.  For example, Slot 1 is 8:30-9:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.  Note that classes actually end 10 minutes before the indicated time (i.e., Slot 1 really goes 8:30-9:20), and the campus is small, so it is generally not a problem to have back-to-back classes. 

Start by penciling in the courses you are really interested in taking that only have one section open, as there’s little flexibility there. Then begin filling in the other courses, being sure to fit in your required courses, trying to fit in your most-desired electives, and substituting as necessary, until you have built a workable schedule with five courses in the fall term and five in the winter term, including your required courses.

If you are able to register, and you prefer playing around with options electronically:  Proceed to the next step, Registering, and try entering your most-desired courses into your electronic “Backpack”.  The system will let you know if a course/section is full, if you don’t have the pre-requisite, or if there is a time conflict between two courses.  You can then substitute in a different course or section to replace the problematic one. It will show you previews of your schedule each term so far, so you can see where you have open spaces.  Note you could then search for available courses that fit into those time periods.

For either option: Note that you will likely have to play around a bit to find a schedule that works well. For example, you might initially try the morning section of Intro Psyc in the fall term, but then find it conflicts with a Comparative Religion course that looked very interesting to you.  Try switching the Intro Psyc to the afternoon section, and see if that works.  But, Intro Psyc may then conflict with the only open section of Spanish, which you really wanted to take.  You have to take Intro Psyc one time or the other, so at this point something else has to change.  You might decide to change Comparative Religion to your back-up course of Women and Gender Studies, or change Spanish to its back-up course of French.  Play around, experimenting with different time slots and different elective courses, until you get a schedule you’re satisfied with.  If you’re registering early, you might even be able to play around to build a schedule that fits your preferred time of day (e.g., not many morning classes; not many late classes), but be aware that’s not always possible.

If you’re really stuck (e.g., you just can’t seem to fit in an open section of a course you really want or need, no matter how you shuffle things around), see troubleshooting for suggestions. 

Once you’ve got a tentative schedule you’re satisfied with, you’re ready to move on to actually registering.