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Plan your spring semester with Academic Planner

Every semester, UM students cull through thousands of academic courses that will be offered during the next semester, and choose four or five courses that have seats available, meet general education or major requirements, and don’t have time conflicts with each other.

It’s a tedious task that has been made easier with a homegrown web application called Academic Planner.

"We use Academic Planner for every student who comes in," says Beth Howard, director of UM’s Undergraduate Advising Center. "We have them pull it up and log in and we talk about how they can use it to look at various schedule scenarios."

Academic Planner provides multiple ways to search and filter UM’s course offerings, and allows students to build an unlimited number of alternate course schedules. The course listings for spring semester 2011 include up-to-the-minute information about how many seats are still available in each course.

Academic Planner was developed in 2008 and enhanced during the past year. Jon Adams, a programmer in UM’s IT web technologies group, says the biggest improvements were the addition of a student’s academic history and a better calendar. 

The planner now displays courses and general education requirements that a student has completed in past semesters as well as those that are in progress and proposed for future semesters. The calendar graphically displays course times in a schedule grid. And students can now hover over search results and see instantly how a course fits into their schedule.

"It’s particularly helpful for any student with special scheduling conditions," Howard says. "If you have work or child care or athletics considerations, you can use the tool to maximize your time."

You can find Academic Planner at The tool requires authentication using a UM NetID.

Spring semester pre-registration begins at the COT on Wednesday, Oct. 20, and on the mountain campus on Monday, Oct. 25. UM Registrar Ed Johnson reminds students that actual registration still takes place in CyberBear. He encourages students who have planned schedules in Academic Planner to recheck course availability when their registration time arrives.