November 13, 2014

Course Schedule Planner: How to Ride the Unicorn

Now that we’ve covered the when and the what of registration, we’d like you to turn your attention to the how. It may seem intuitive, but there’s danger in assuming that you know exactly how to use our online tools – danger that can cause frustration and delay on registration night.

Dean Frosh has seen the registration process at Rutgers grow from an in-person process with hours-long lines, to registration by telephone (the ones with cords attached to walls), to the dawn of a new age with an online system (Web Registration) and partner site to create possible schedules (Course Schedule Planner). A program that does all the work of registration for you sounds a bit like a technological unicorn, right? Well, it is.

You, our current students, have more information available to you than any previous generation of Rutgers scholar. And yet, it is still possible to make uninformed choices or get stuck in common registration blunders. We’re here to minimize those chances!

The Course Schedule Planner (or CSP) can be accessed via the Academics tab on MyRutgers, or directly at

Once you’re in the system, the search for classes begins!

But not so fast! Before moving forward to the next tab, make sure you have the prerequisite(s) to take the course! The CSP won’t check this for you and it will let you select classes you’re not actually able to take

Now that you have a list of courses that total between 12 and 16 credits, it’s time to look more closely at your options. On the Select Sections tab, you have three levels of work to do, and level two is especially critical to your registration success!

Level One: preference setting


  Level Two: section eligibility review

The CSP does not check your college affiliation, class year, or other identifiers.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to research the sections for each course that you intend to take. If there are sections for which you are ineligible, de-select them to avoid frustration when your “perfect schedule” turns out to be unattainable! Trust Dean Frosh, these scheduling blunders are disappointing if discovered early, but can truly feel soul-crushing when discovered at 10:05 on registration night!

Level Three: section theme/topic review

Special note about Byrne Seminars (090:101)

Now that you’ve done your research and tidied up your section selections, it’s time to browse the different schedule possibilities!

On your evening to register, go to your Saved Schedule tab; find your first choice schedule, likely named something like, “THIS ONE!”

Keep in mind that the five-digit index number (NOT the course number/title/etc.) is the code that the computer uses to register you.
Course availability shifts quickly on registration night. You’ll want to have fast access to the index numbers from your other ranked schedules in the case something closes quickly and you need another option. Remaining flexible, having a general sense of your backup plans, and thinking quickly (rather than wallowing) are the keys to a productive first registration night.

Remember, this is a weeks-long process for everyone. We want you to be in at least 12 workable (if not ideal) credits within 24 hours. However the shape and content of that initial schedule may change throughout December and January as students’ academic plans change, final grades are reported, and space becomes available.

#RUPrepared - You’re one step closer to answering yes!