Planning Your Schedule

When planning for your fall classes, think about creating a balanced schedule by choosing courses from various subject areas rather than focusing your choices in any one area or in any one type of course. Taking several courses in a single discipline or combining several courses that are all, for example, math-focused or will require a lot of reading can be overwhelming. Try to balance your schedule by selecting courses across general education requirements, major exploratory classes, and electives.

There are three (3) steps to registration for first-year students: Pre-Registration, Preparing for Self-Registration, and Self-Registration. The details for each step are outlined below. If you have any questions about planning your schedule, please contact your Peer Academic Advisor, your Summer Advisor, or a staff member in the AARC.

Step 1: Pre-Registration

Beginning mid-June through early-July

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  • Familiarize yourself with BannerWeb

    You will have access to the fall course listings in Banner on May 15, so feel free to log in and take a look around. This is where you will go to plan your schedule and eventually register for classes, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the system.

    Need some help navigating Banner? Here are some helpful resources:

    First-Year Pre-Registration Guide

    GradTracker User Guide

  • Speak with your Peer Academic Advisor

    Every new Spider is assigned a Peer Academic Advisor (PA) who will be there to help you throughout the summer registration process. You can expect to hear from your PA beginning in mid-June. So, during the pre-registration period, your PA will be there to help you create your preference plans and answer any early questions you may about about life on campus.

  • Plan your Preferences

    Deadline: June 30

    Using the "Plan Ahead" feature in Banner’s Registration Self-Service system, please create two (2) comprehensive plans: one plan for your top 20 First Year Seminar (FYS) choices, and a second plan with 20 other classes you would like to take. 

    Be sure your plans include the Course Registration Numbers (CRN) so that we know which sections you are interested in. 

    Please name your FYS preference plan, "FYS Plan" and your second preference plan with the other classes, "Plan 2" and mark this plan "Preferred."

    Do you want to rank your preferences? You can do that! Here’s how:

    1. After selecting courses and adding them to your plan, click on the yellow Note icon to assign it a ranking.
    2. In the notes, type "1" next to the course you are most interested in taking, then type "2" for the next course, and so on. DO NOT ADD ANY OTHER TEXT TO YOUR NOTES, keep it simple and only use numerical digits to rank. 
    3. You may rank as many courses as you like. (Hint: the more information you can provide us about your preferences, the better!) 
    4. When you are done adding and ranking courses, finish by clicking the "Save Plan" button for each plan.

    Not sure how to create a plan in Banner? Ask your PA or review the Registrar’s First-Year Pre-Registration Guide.

  • Your First Year Seminar

    First Year Seminars (FYS) provide first-year students with a hands-on introduction to academic inquiry. First Year Seminars offer the opportunity to explore varied interests in small class settings with close faculty contact. Every first-year student takes an FYS in the fall and spring of their first year.

    FYS courses are limited to 16 students (no overrides, no exceptions). For this reason, it will be important that you include several different FYS courses in your FYS preference plan (remember to name this plan, "FYS Plan"). Please choose 20 First Year Seminars that you find interesting then rank them in order from 1 to 20 using the "Notes" funtion in the plan (see previous checklist item for details).

    Want to know more about an FYS? As you’re browsing for classes in Banner, you can read the FYS course descriptions in the class detail listing for each section, or check out the FYS webpage.

  • Your Second Plan for Pre-Registration

    The second plan you create for pre-registration should include a variety of courses you find interesting. This could include a language course, a course that fulfills a general education requirement or major requirement, or a course that simply caught your eye while you were browsing.

    When putting this preference list together, don’t limit yourself to just one discipline or focus. The more options you give us, the better chances you have of getting into one of your preferred classes.

    Important: name this plan "Plan 2" and please check the "Make Preferred" box once you have saved it.

    Need help narrowing down your course preferences for Plan 2? Check out these resources:

    Recommended Courses for Fall 2023

    General Education Curriculum

    Exploring Major/Minor Options

    Recommended First Courses for Majors/Minors

    The Language Requirement


  • Do you have any AP/IB credits?

    Once we receive your AP/IB scores, we will add any credits you earn to your record and you can see them reflected as such in GradTracker.

    When planning your schedule, remember to account for units you may earn through Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores. If you received credit for a course with a passing AP/IB score, do NOT select that course in your second plan.

    Be sure to have any necessary scores or transcripts sent to the university, so that the credit can be applied to your academic record. 

    Learn more about AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment Credits

  • Are you an NCAA Student-Athlete, Bonner Scholar, Oliver Hill Scholar, or Richmond Scholar?

    If so, you have priority registration and will be pre-registered for a full schedule (4/4.5 units + WELL 100) using the "FYS Plan" and "Plan 2" preference plans.

    Your FYS Plan should only include 20 sections of FYS 100 courses (ranked), and your Plan 2 should include a variety of courses you would like to take. Please be sure to include some sections of WELL 100 on your Plan 2, and rank as many of these courses as you would like.

    You may want to consider the following when building your Plan 2:


    For help, contact your Peer Advisor or the AARC!

Step 2: Prepare for Self-Registration

From mid-July to early-August

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  • Plan your remaining courses

    Once again, you will use the "Plan Ahead" feature in Banner’s Registration Self-Service system to plan for your remaining courses. When you log into Banner this time, however, you will see the courses you were pre-registered for so you can plan around them. Your final plan should only include the one or two additional units you need for the fall (do not add the courses you were pre-registered for).

    Need help with Banner? Check out these helpful resources from the Registrar’s website:
    Banner 9 Student Registration Instructions
    Banner 9 Registration Tutorial
    Registration FAQs

    We strongly recommend that all students take 4 units their first semester (4.5 units if you are adding a 0.5 unit music lesson/ensemble or business class). Not surprisingly, you may experience a feeling of transition during your first semester at college—living away from home, making new friends, adjusting to college-level classes and work—so taking 4 units will help ensure that you are successful. That usually means taking four courses, unless you’re taking a two-unit language course, in which case you would take three courses totaling four units.

    Please note, to be considered a full-time student, you must be enrolled in at least 3.5 units. During the summer registration period you will be limited to registering for 4.5 units. Students interested in taking 5 or more units should register for 4 or 4.5 units during the summer registration period, then talk with their academic advisor during New Spider Orientation about adding another unit at that time.

  • Things to consider

    For your remaining courses, consider taking:

    Note that first-year students typically take 100 or 200 level classes. 300 and 400 level classes are usually for upperclass students.

    Since there are limited seats available in most courses, having several alternatives in mind when registration opens is wise. Courses fill quickly on the day of registration, so being able to move easily from a course that fills to finding a seat in one of your alternate courses can reduce anxiety and stress. Having a prepared list of back up classes is the best way for students to have a successful registration.

  • Speak with your Summer Advisor

    In addition to having the help of a Peer Advisor, new Spiders are also assigned a faculty or staff Summer Advisor. Your Summer Advisor will contact you in mid-July to make a virtual/remote advising appointment to discuss your plans for the self-registration period. Please be prepared for this meeting by creating at least one more plan in BannerWeb with one or two more classes you would like to take in the fall.

    Your Summer Advisor will check your plan for balance (i.e., what types of classes are you taking?), rigor (i.e., are your classes appropriate for a first-year student?), and availability (i.e., will there be open seats when you go to register in August?).

    Your Summer Advisor can answer just about any question you have, so don’t be shy. Tell them a little bit about yourself and share your academic (or career) goals with them so they can help you get started on the path toward achieving them!

  • What about your AP/IB credits?

    When planning for registration, remember to account for any units you may have earned through Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) scores. If you earned credit for an AP/IB exam, you will see them reflected in GradTracker. We do not recommend you register for a course for which you already received credit with a passing AP/IB score.

    Don’t see your AP/IB credits in GradTracker? First, check the Credit by Exam Policy to see if your score is applicable. If your score earned you credit, make sure you had the scores or transcripts sent to the university. 

    Learn more about AP, IB, and Dual Enrollment Credits

  • Second Language Requirement and Placement

    If you wish to study a second language, consider your placement in that language before registering for a course.

    Note that French, Italian, and Spanish have "intensive" course options (7 hours of class time per week) that are worth 2 units. If you take a 2-unit intensive language course, you will only have room in your schedule for one other course. 

  • WELL 100 Course

    In addition to the 3.5-4.5 units you will register for, all students must complete WELL 100: Introduction to College Life at the University of Richmond during their first semester at UR. This course is a non-credit graduation requirement that meets once per week for 75 minutes.

    Students should register for a WELL 100 section that fits within their schedule. If you do not register for a WELL 100 section, you will be assigned to one after registration closes. 

  • Utilize Your Resources!

    Do you have questions? Ask your Peer Advisor or your Summer Advisor - they are here to help you! You may also find the New Spider Summer Series webinars helpful. You’ll find the schedule of upcoming webinars here, and if you missed a session, you will find the recordings here

    Learn more about advising

Step 3: Self-Registration

August 9, 2023 beginning at 9:00 a.m. (ET)