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In October 2019, the Office of the University Registrar teamed up with Operational Excellence to investigate ways to improve the registration experience for undergraduate students at Carolina. The partnership quickly learned that while undergraduates face several challenges when registering for classes, how registration appointments were assigned was consistently cited by students as a point of confusion and frustration. Not only were the criteria used to assign registration appointments vague, it also adversely impacted certain populations of students, notably transfer and dual enrollment students. Furthermore, students noted that the speed at which registration appointments occurred created an overwhelming sense of urgency to register as soon as possible before the next appointment began. This sentiment was also shared by staff who support undergraduates throughout the registration process, and faculty who often noted students registering during classes or asking to be excused to register when their registration appointment began.

The Process

To tackle these challenges and come up with a viable solution, the Registrar and Operational Excellence:

  • Spoke with stakeholder groups across campus to better understand the challenges
  • Convened a design team that included diverse perspectives to deconstruct the current registration process, benchmark our current process against those of peer institutions, and create a new registration model
  • Shared the new registration model with various stakeholder groups to gather and integrate feedback and insight

How Registration is Changing for Undergraduate Students

The following changes have been made to registration for undergraduate students:

  1. Undergraduate students will register for classes in two distinct waves. During Wave 1 undergraduates will register for up to 12 credit hours. During Wave 2 undergraduates will register for up to 17 credit hours, including up to 4 waitlisted credit hours. Open enrollment will begin after Wave 2.
  2. Undergraduate students will have longer registration appointments. Registration appointments are 3-hours and begin at 7:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. with no more than 800 students in each appointment. Once a registration appointment starts, students can adjust their schedules until the end of the registration wave.
  3. How registration appointments are assigned to undergraduate students is changing. The day a student registers is determined by earned credit hours (excluding credits currently in progress and test credits). Students will be assigned a registration appointment time based on terms in residence.
    Calculate your Enrollment Appointment using Tarheel Tracker
    Students may use their Tarheel Tracker to calculate their credit hours used for registration. Under degree requirements is “Calculated Hours for Registration.” This section calculates the number of credit hours a student has that determines their day of registration. The hours here are different from the degree applicable hours.
    For the purpose of determining a student’s day of registration, hours are calculated as follows:

    • All hours completed while in residence at UNC
    • UNC-accepted transfer credit hours
    • Completed and posted study abroad credits
    • By-examination(BE) and placement (PL) credits are excluded
    • Current term and all in-progress hours are excluded

  4. The registration schedule for undergraduate students is changing.

  5. These changes are intended to increase transparency, alleviate feelings of being rushed and make access to classes more equitable. Registering in two waves should encourage students to prioritize registering for classes they need to graduate and ensure all students have a first pass at registering for classes before any student has the opportunity at a second pass or at hoarding classes. By creating a formula to assign registration appointments, these changes remove the guessing and enable students to see how and why they are assigned a specific appointment. Longer appointment times with a limited number of students is intended to alleviate the need to rush to register as soon as an appointment begins.

Several additional changes will impact specific populations of undergraduate students.

  • Students in groups approved by the Priority Registration Advisory Committee (PRAC) to receive priority registration will register on the first day of each wave. Registration appointments will be assigned based on terms in residence.
  • Members of Honors Carolina will be assigned the 7:00 a.m. registration appointment on the day they register, which is assigned based on earned credit hours.
  • Students will be able to add themselves to a class waitlist during Wave 2. Class waitlists will be updated hourly.

What’s Not Changing

There are several components of registration that will remain the same despite the other changes.

  1. The steps students take to register for classes in ConnectCarolina are not changing.Undergraduate students will register in ConnectCarolina the same way and should follow the same steps outlined on the Registration Quick Tips page.
  2. How graduate and professional students register for classes is not changing.
  3. How incoming first-year students register for classes is not changing.
  4. How non-degree seeking students register for classes is not changing.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Registration Changes

To do a side-by-side comparison of the registration changes view the Undergraduate Student Registration Improvements (PDF).

Spring 2022 Registration Schedule & Important Dates

The new undergraduate registration model will be implemented for Spring 2022 pre-registration, which occurs in Fall 2021. Please review the registration schedule and important dates below.

Please note that earned credit hour ranges displayed on the schedule are subject to change.

Wave 1 (Up to 12 credit hours)

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
October 25October 26October 27October 28October 29
Priority Registration≥112
credit hours
<112-105
credit hours
<105-90
credit hours
<90-75
credit hours
November 1November 2November 3November 4November 5
<75-60
credit hours
<60-45
credit hours
<45-30
credit hours
<30
credit hours
Wave 1 Closed
No Registration

Wave 2 (Up to 17 credit hours)

MondayTuesdayWednesday
ThursdayFriday
November 8November 9November 10November 11November 12
Priority Registration≥112
credit hours
<112-105
credit hours
<105-90
credit hours
<90-75
credit hours
November 15November 16November 17November 18November 19
<75-60
credit hours
<60-45
credit hours
<45-30
credit hours
<30
credit hours
Open Enrollment

Important Dates for Spring 2022 Registration

  • October 11, 2021 – Registration appointments are available in ConnectCarolina.
  • October 22, 2021 – Graduate and professional student registration begins.
  • October 25, 2021 – Wave 1 of undergraduate registration begins.
  • November 4, 2021 – Wave 1 of undergraduate registration closes. Students will not be able to register or make changes to their schedules until Wave 2.
  • November 8, 2021 – Wave 2 of undergraduate registration begins.
  • November 18, 2021 – Wave 2 of undergraduate registration closes at 11:59 p.m.
  • November 19, 2021 – Open enrollment for all students begins at 12:00 a.m.

Anticipated Impact of Registration Changes

It is anticipated that the new process for assigning registration appointments and the registration schedule will have the following impacts:

  1. Increased transparency. By creating a formula to assign registration appointments, these changes remove the guessing and enable students to see how and why they are assigned a specific appointment.
  2. Alleviate feeling of being rushed. Longer appointment times with a limited number of students is intended to reduce competition and the need to rush. 3-hour appointments with limited number of students give students ample opportunity to register outside of class, even if they have back-to-back classes.
  3. More equitable access to classes. Registering in two waves should encourage students to prioritize registering for classes they need to graduate and ensure all students have a first pass at registering for classes before any student has the opportunity at a second pass at classes.
  4. Improve progress towards degree for students bringing in transfer credits and dual enrollment students. Basing registration appointments on earned credit hours enables students bringing in transfer credits, transfer, and dual enrollment students to register for the classes they need so they can graduate faster.

Please review the Spring 2022 Registration FAQ for more information.