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Friday, April 19, 2024 — Houston, TX

Over 4,400 students register for spring courses

Hai-Van Hoang / Thresher

By Arman Saxena     11/28/23 11:22pm

4,407 undergraduate students participated in the course request process for the Spring 2024 semester, according to the Office of the Registrar. This number is an increase from the Spring 2022 and 2023 semesters, when 4,269 and 4,103 students registered, respectively. 

With 1,127 freshmen matriculating in the fall, Rice student enrollment has grown, and as a result, a greater number of students are now involved in the course registration and add/drop process.

“We were confident that the current process works well enough at scale to handle Rice’s current population, and the results [from this course registration period] confirmed that,” deputy registrar Justin Schilke wrote in an email to the Thresher.

According to the office of the registrar, after the initial course requests were processed, students received, on average, 12.89 credit hours. Almost 71% of students were enrolled in 12 or more credit hours after the course requests were processed, and for those with less than 12 credit hours, almost 20% had 9-11 credit hours. 

“[This data] is on par with previous years,” Schilke wrote. “Given the increase in students participating, departments increased offerings and available seats to meet the initial demand.”

Additionally, for Spring 2024, over 28% of first-year students received all of their requested courses. This number is up from Spring 2022 and 2023, where 22% and 23% received them, respectively. Current first-year students averaged 13.08 credit hours, and 72% of them were at 12 or more credit hours after the course requests were processed. Currently, over 98% of first-year students are registered for 12 or more credit hours.

Shivani Kulkarni, who has been a peer academic advisor since the spring semester of her freshman year, said that she believes there have been changes to class sizes over time. 

“There have been some restrictions put on certain classes, like you have to be a declared major or a declared minor to take a specific class and I’ve seen more of those over the years,” Kulkarni, a Lovett College senior, said. 

For McMurtry senior Clara Ursic, changes in the course registration process have been minimal.

“It hasn’t really changed since I was a freshman. The interface is identical, add/drop is identical, the special registration process is identical,” Ursic said.

While many freshmen received the majority of the courses they requested, Will Rice College freshman Desiree Duron said that the morning of add/drop is still a source of anxiety.

“Most of the freshmen I know were in the same predicament as myself: not getting into a few courses we wanted or needed,” Duron said. “I would prefer for add/drop to be at a later time in the day.”

The hands-off approach many college advising teams implement for spring course registration, compared to O-Week, can be a shock for freshmen as well, Indrani Maitra, a Sid Richardson College peer academic advisor, said.

“I like how structured add/drop is during O-Week. That guided process can make it more manageable … so if you [could] have that support system around you [during spring registration], I feel like that’d be nice,” Maitra, a sophomore, said.

While there were 1,783 undergraduate courses offered for the Spring 2024 semester, up from 1,729 in the Spring semester of 2023, a sizable amount of these are only offered in spring semesters and not in the fall.

“Many classes are offered either in the fall or only in the spring, which can make it easy to get behind in your major or not be able to pursue a minor or double major unless you plan very thoroughly,” Ursic said. “I wish more classes would be offered in both semesters.”

Schilke said those who weren’t as lucky during the course registration and add/drop period still have options.

“Something to remember is that there is still much time left in the Add period, which runs through the end of Week 2 of the Spring 2024 semester,” Schilke wrote. “Students should attempt to get on a waitlist, if one exists, or talk to the instructor of the course, if the course is needed to continue higher levels of study or required for a major, minor or certificate.”

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