Add-Drop Period Survival Guide

Woman with head in her hands looks stressed while staring at computer screen
How I feel trying to pick classes at the crack of dawn every semester

If you’re anything like me, course selection is a perfect storm of stress and chaos. It’s at the crack of dawn for some reason, TigerHub feels like it was designed on Microsoft Word, and you are making decisions that have a direct impact on your future. And sometimes it all goes wrong. Seeing that big red X on a course you really wanted to join may be disheartening, but it is not the end of the world! I am here to offer some advice for surviving the magical solution to all your course selection woes: add-drop period.

Everyone has weathered at least one of these already, but maybe there are some novel tips and tricks in this article for even the most seasoned course selection veterans. First off, if you haven’t already used it, TigerSnatch is your best friend. It is an app specifically designed to help you get a seat in the class of your dreams. Once add-drop opens up, there will be a flurry of people dropping in and out of classes. When you log in to TigerSnatch, you can pick courses to “subscribe” to, including specific precepts/labs, and if someone drops that course, TigerSnatch will send you a notification that there is a spot open. Make sure to let TigerSnatch send alerts directly to your phone or computer to increase your chances of being the first to the spot. 

Though TigerSnatch is a great tool, it is a bit of a gamble. If you are seeking more concrete entry into a class, you can always do so the old fashioned way by emailing a professor. I would introduce yourself, explain your situation, and maybe tell them why you are interested in the course. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, they will let in a few extra people who ask nicely and persuasively. Your chances also go up if you are in need of a certain class for your major. If you are an underclassman trying to figure out what you want to study, feel free to include that to plead your case. 

Sadly, sometimes classes simply have too many people who want to take them and too few seats. It can be disheartening to not get into classes you really want, especially if you had a preventative issue during course selection. Still, all is not lost! You can generally take a course in a different semester, though some are offered in a specific fall-spring order. Also, keep in mind that each year you progress you move further up the order of people choosing classes. If you don’t get a class early on, sometimes you can get a spot much easier as an upperclassman. Things tend to work out, and sometimes that second choice backup class you forgot you even signed up for ends up being one of your favorites.

Virginia Cobbs, Natural Sciences Correspondent