Advising numbers are distributed to academic departments 3-4 weeks prior to the Priority Registration period. Advising procedures and distribution of advising numbers vary widely among academic departments. At a minimum, the advising session should cover:
- Student’s assessment of their coursework: are they enjoying and performing well in their current courses, or are there additional support services they might need?
- Major - is it a good fit and might a minor or second major be appropriate?
- Timeline for graduation (especially important if the student is taking fewer than 15 credits per semester, has extensive remedial needs, or has a pattern of dropping/repeating classes).
- Progress towards degree completion (major requirements, GERs, Upper Division credits and general electives to meet the 120 credit requirement).
- Plans following graduation (professional mentorship), internships, scholarships, other academic enrichment opportunities.
Priority registration is the two-week period during which students can first register for the following fall or spring semester. Registration for spring semester courses typically takes place in late October/early November; registration for autumn courses usually happens in early April. The timetable is set by the Registrar’s Office and published on their website. Points to remember:
- Priority sequence: students with disabilities, graduate students, Post Baccalaureate/Seniors, Four Bear/Athletes/Veterans, Juniors, Sophomores and Freshmen.
- Priority codes (DSSS, ATHL, BEAR, VET) appear in Banner on the UADVISE screen.
- Credits in progress (exclusive of remedial credits) are included in the determination of class year standing.
- Students may register during and after their designated time period.
- Incoming transfer students typically do not begin registration until after the priority period ends, although they may register during the priority period if they can connect with an advisor in their major department.
- Students are eligible to register for up to 21 credits without an advisor’s authorization. In order to register for 22 or more credits, a Maximum Credit Override Form signed by the advisor is required. These forms are available at the Registrar's Office. The advisor and student need to be realistic about what can reasonably be accomplished.
Before the First Instructional Day
Registration override forms may only override a full or closed course prior to the first day if:
- The Dean of the college or school has made an exception. In most cases, the student will need to join the waitlist for the course as exceptions are RARELY made.
- The course is a 500 or 600 level graduate course.
First 15 instructional days of the term
- Mountain Campus students intending to take course(s) on the Missoula College campus (and vice versa) will need to obtain a “College Restriction Override” form (see Appendix J) and garner the appropriate approvals. This also applies to online courses. Additional restrictions apply to Distance Learners.
- The “Registration Override” form (see Appendix K) is used for Major Restrictions, Class and Level Restrictions, Consent of Instructors and Consent of Honors/Cohort Restrictions until the 15th instructional day of the semester.
- Changes to or from “Audit” must be completed by the 15th class day.
- Students may not drop their last course online. If a student intends to do a complete withdrawal for the semester, they should be directed to the Registrar's Office.
- Has the student read the “Policies and Procedures” info on the back of the form, and are there any questions?
- If it is a late add, has the student been attending the class and is it reasonable for the student to be able to complete missed work?
- Courses dropped will result in a grade of “W.” If students receive Financial Aid or scholarships, or participate in a program with credit requirements (e.g., Pell Grants, WUE, Veterans Benefits or Vocational Rehabilitation support, NCAA athletes, international students), they should be directed to the relevant office to make sure the drop will not jeopardize their aid or program status.
- How will the registration change alter the student’s academic plans? If it is a foundational course for the major, will it affect the anticipated graduation date? If the student plans to retake the course at a later date, are there additional campus resources available to the student?
- Courses dropped after the 15th instructional day do not generate a refund. This is especially important for students registered for fewer than 12 credits who may think adding and dropping the same number of credits will be a financial wash. It will instead result in additional charges for the added course with no associated refund for the dropped course since both courses remain on the transcript.
After the 45th day
- The last day to drop a class or change grade option is the last day of classes (Friday before Finals Week), unless the instructor has designated an earlier deadline.
- Course changes cannot be processed if the student has one or more registration holds in effect. Students can view their holds in CyberBear (advisors can view them in Banner on the SOAHOLD screen).
- Could the decision have been made earlier in the semester? If so, this may indicate a broader range of academic issues.
- Similarly to drops initiated between the 15th and 45th instructional day, students who receive Financial Aid, scholarships, or participate in a program with credit requirements (e.g., Pell Grants, WUE, Veterans Benefits or Vocational Rehabilitation support, NCAA athletes, and International students), should be directed to the relevant office to make sure the drop will not jeopardize their status.
- How will the registration change alter the student’s academic plans? If it is a foundational course for the major, will it impact their anticipated graduation date? If the student plans to retake the course at a later date, are there additional campus resources available to the student?
Any change in registration is an opportunity for a discussion between the advisor and the student.
A student may apply a maximum of 18 “CR” credits towards the 120 credits needed for graduation. Some graduate and professional programs view courses taken on a CR/NCR basis differently from those taken for a traditional letter grade.
- Encourage student to have a solid back-up plan in place in case a space does not become available. It should not be a random “space-filler.”
- Waitlisted courses are not included in a student’s registration. Students on one or more waitlists should register for an alternative course if they need to maintain a minimum number of credits for program eligibility.
- Students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for a course (prerequisite, college or major restriction) may not add themselves to a waitlist.
- Students on a waitlist should attend class on the first day and bring a Registration Override form.
- If there are multiple sections of the course, check the waitlist (SFAWLPR form in Banner) for each. Often the first section listed will have a long list, but later sections will only have one or two students.
- Additional information about waitlisting is available on the Registrar’s Office website.
- An override form, even with the instructor’s signature, will not bypass a waitlist until the first instructional day.
- How has the student demonstrated the necessary knowledge base? He or she may need to document this to receive a waiver.
- Transfer credits, particularly if the student started before Common Course Numbering took effect, often have the most prerequisite issues. Encourage the student to bring a copy of an unofficial transcript (or the grade report for the prior school if the credits are not yet posted to the UM transcript) when speaking with the department or instructor.
Additional information is available at the Registrar's Office prerequisite site.
After their initial matriculation to UM, students change majors by way of the Change of Major Form (see Appendix O). Students can obtain a Change of Major form from either the Registrar's Office or the Undergraduate Advising Center in Lommasson Center room 269. Students should fill out the appropriate information as indicated on the Change of Major form, and then get the required signatures from departmental representatives of the major they are declaring AND from the major they are changing out of. Once required signatures are on the form, students should return the form to the Registrar's Office.
Alternately, the Registrar’s Office can accept a request from the Dean, Department Chair or Designee’s UM email account requesting the add, change, or drop by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The student making the request, as well as the designees of the departments the student is dropping AND adding must also be copied on the email request. The form can also be returned to the Registrar's Office via email to email@example.com with the completed signatures or dropped off at their office in the Lommasson Center.
Major/Minor/Option Changes will be effective for the current semester only if submitted during the first 15 days of instruction, otherwise they will be effective for the next semester.
If a student is a non-degree student, apply for admission through the Admissions Office to declare a Major.
If a student is transferring between the UM Mountain Campus & Missoula College, use the Intra-Campus File transfer form instead.
In many cases, a student can salvage at least a portion of their coursework for a semester instead of a complete withdrawal. Could individual courses be dropped and/or grade options changed in one or more courses? Are there campus resources available such as tutoring that could provide the extra support necessary for a student to be successful? Withdrawal should be viewed as a last resort option in all cases.
If a student intends to do a complete withdrawal for the semester, they should be directed to the Registrar's Office. If the student receives Financial Aid, they will be referred to a representative in Business Services. If the student does not receive financial aid, they will be referred to a representative in the UM Financial Education Program. For more information, see the Semester Withdrawal Form (see Appendix P).
Hardship petitions, medical withdrawals, and retroactive withdrawals are all important options for students with appropriate situations. For more information on these processes, contact the Registrar's Office.