Registrar

Online Registration FAQ

Where can I access the online registration system?
How does Pre-Registration work?
How do students currently abroad Pre-Register? 
What is the online Course Scheduler?
How to I register for my First Year Seminar?
How do I add Senior Honors or Special Topics courses to my Preferred Courses list?
What happens during advisor meetings?
How do I request entrance to a course that requires instructor permission?
Is Pre-Registration first-come, first-served?
Can I register for any course, regardless of the list my advisor approved?
Why are old course numbers still listed?
What is a co-requisite?
How does the system handle pre-requisites?
What are advising comments?
Can I use the new online registration system to Pre-Register for Five College courses?
What is a registration hold?
What does a red Error Message mean?

Where can I access the online registration system?

Online registration is built into ACDATA (http://acdata.amherst.edu). For students, it appears on the Student menu as a link labelled Registration. Advisors will find functions concerning online registration when they access the Advising link on the Faculty menu, while instructors who teach courses that require permission will find a new Permission Requests link on the Faculty menu.

How does Pre-Registration work?

Students and their advisors agree upon a schedule of courses on the student's Preferred Courses page in ACDATA; advisors then approve the student for registration. 

Students alone are responsible for registering. Students must check ACDATA to see that they have fulfilled their registration requirements and to learn their registration time slot. They also use ACDATA to request admittance to courses that require instructor permission. Faculty who teach such courses use ACDATA to reply to such requests.

Finally, during their designated time slot, students submit their courses for registration. The system either confirms the registration or reports any problems with registering the student for the indicated course. 

How do students currently abroad Pre-register?

Because the system is web-based, students currently abroad who will be on campus next semester use the online registration system just like all other students. The only difference is that the advising meeting will instead be an email exchange or perhaps a Skype call. Once approved for registration, such students will register in their approved time slot. Note that registration times are U.S. Eastern time, so students in other time zones must adjust accordingly.

What is the online Course Scheduler?

The online Course Scheduler is the best tool for putting together a schedule of non-conflicting courses. The recommendation is that students create a schedule in the Course Scheduler and copy it to their Preferred Courses page in ACDATA before their advising meeting.

Although building a schedule from scratch is possible in ACDATA, the tools to do so are more rudimentary than the Course Scheduler. 

How do I register for my First Year Seminar?

You don't. First year students are automatically registered for their assigned First Year Seminar. Thus, you only need to register for three more courses. Just be sure you don't try to register for a course that conflicts with your First Year Seminar.

How do I add Senior Honors or Special Topics courses to my Preferred Courses list?

The Course Scheduler lets you add courses such as Senior Honors and Special Topics that do not have a set meeting time.

How do I request entrance to a course that requires instructor permission?

Check the Instructor Permissions page in ACDATA to see if any of the courses on your Preferred Courses page require instructor permission. If so, you must contact the instructor and state your case for getting into the course. Once you've talked to the instructor you can return to the Instructor Permissions page and put in the electronic request. 

Ideally, you should do this before your advising meeting so you'll know by the time of the meeting whether you can get into the course. 

Is Pre-Registration first-come, first-served?

No. All students who pre-register for a limited-enrollment course will get into the course.  Instructors will determine either shortly before the semester begins or during Add/Drop who stays and who gets dropped from such courses.

The sole purpose of staggered registration times is to "load balance" the online system. Students who have earlier registration time slots have no advantage over students with later time slots.

Can I register for any course, regardless of what is on the list that my advisor approved?

To provide maximum flexibility, the system lets students alter their Preferred Courses page after receiving advisor approval. However, registering for a course not approved by your advisor may be construed as a violation of the honor code. Moreover, the system provides advisors with several visual checks and a post-registration report that details discrepancies between what he/she/they approved and what you registered for. If your advisor gives you the freedom to make changes to your Preferred Courses list after your advising meeting, be sure to ask your advisor to record that agreement in your Advising Comments.

Why are old course numbers still listed?

For various technical reasons--not the least of which is that some departments were running low on course numbers--the switch to online registration required course numbers with three digits. For the near future, both the Course Scheduler and ACDATA will list both the new and the old course numbers to help the transition to the newer numbering system.

What is a co-requisite?

Some courses have multiple components. For example, a chemistry course may include a lecture, lab, and discussion group. In the past, when you registered for a particular lecture section you were placed in the corresponding lab and discussion group. With online registration you choose each course component separately, which gives you greater flexibility in designing your schedule. The lab, lecture, and discussion components are co-requisites; you must submit them together when you register for the course. If you don't, you will receive an error when you try to register.

How does the system handle pre-requisites?

Course pre-requisites are noted in the course catalog; they are not yet electronically enforced.  However, you are expected to abide by them.  If you have questions regarding eligibility for a course, contact the instructor.

What are Advising Comments? 

Advising Comments provide an online audit trail for advising and registration. Available to both students and their advisors, it automatically records the schedule of courses approved by advisors and also records the courses a student submits for registration. Note that any discrepancy between what was approved and what the student submitted for registration will be obvious to the advisor. 

In addition, Advising Comments lets students and advisors document discussions concerning the student's academic plans. Such optional comments can either be shared (i.e., readable by the student and all advisors), or private, in which case the comment is readable ONLY by the person who created it.

Can I use the online registration system to pre-register for Five College courses?

No. The system does not integrate the catalogs of the other Five Colleges. However, if you plan to take a Five College course you will have to submit a "placeholder" for that course when you register online. You can add the placeholder in the Course Scheduler and then copy it into ACDATA with the rest of your courses or you can add it directly onto your Preferred Courses page. Once your registration is finalized with the home institution, the Registrar's office will replace the placeholder with the actual course.

What is a Registration Hold?

A Registration Hold is a condition (such as an outstanding balance with Student Accounts, or unfinished paperwork with Financial Aid) that prevents you from registering for your courses. Registration Holds are only applied during Add/Drop: They are ignored during pre-registraion.

 

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