Enrolling In A Class

As an EAP student, you are required to take classes at UCSD. Probably your visa requires you to take at least 12 units every quarter, which usually means three classes as most of them count for 4 units.

You are supposed to take mostly undergraduate classes even if UCSD allows you to take graduate classes to if you have the instructor's approval.

Adding a class

The period of the year in which you're allowed to enroll in classes depends on the "kind" of student you are. Approximatively you should start adding your classes as soon as the previous quarter is finishing. They usually allow older students to enroll first, and even international students usually are allowed to enroll from the beginning. Before international students there are usually only graduate students and students involved in campus sports.
If you can enroll before other students, do it. Enroll in all the classes you are interested in, especially the undergraduate classes, because as soon as all the students are allowed to enroll they get full in few days.

The main tool to enroll in a class is by adding it on Tritonlink, where you can also check the enrolling period. For EAP students it is very unlikely that the systems allows you to enroll without complaining. There are the following reason why you can receive an error message when trying to add a class:

  • Prerequisites not fulfilled
  • Incorrect status
  • Enrolling limit

Here some details follows.

Prerequisites not fulfilled

The automated system doesn't store any information about your past studies, even if you attached some kind of list when applying to UCSD. This means that according to the system you cannot enroll in any class which has any prerequisite.

This can be usually fixed by your department. You have to write to, or meet, the Undergraduate Advisor of your department, and you can usually find who he or she is from the department website or in the Department and Program Undergraduate Advisors List.

Sometimes they can ask you to send your list of past exams, sometimes not. What they have to do (and they usually do quite quickly and kindly) is to waive the prerequisite for you in the automated system, then once they tell you that the problem is fixed you can enroll via Tritonlink. Remember to specify in your email or in your talk your exact situation, that is that you are an EAP student, you took that course in your home university and so on.

Incorrect status

You cannot add a graduate class if you are an EAP student (that is, an undergraduate student). If you want to take a grad class, you have to add that class manually, using an ADD/CHANGE/DROP card. You can find this forms in your college academic advising office or in the Registrar office. You need the approval of the Instructor to add a graduate class.

This is not a formality, you have to actually meet the professor and convince him that you can take that class. The professor can usually ask to see your previous academic history, or to talk with you. The best thing to do is write a formal email to him expressing your intention to take his or her class and wait for the instructor's reply. In any case you have to meet him or her,m because you need the instructor's signature on the ADD/CHANGE/DROP card.

Once you have the signed form, you have to go with that card to the Registrar office and they add the class for you. All the prerequisites are automatically waived if you have professor's signature. Enrolling limit is not waived, though (see next section). Sometimes they require the department stamp together with the professor signature. It's a good idea to go to the department undergraduate advising office to have your card stamped once you already have the instructor's signature, it takes five minutes.

Enrolling limit

If the number of people enrolled in a class reaches the maximum allowed value, you are wait listed for the class if you try to add it. This means that you are not in the class, but if anyone drops you can enter the class (it happens automatically). There is no easy way to bypass this limit. If you are really interested in a class, add the class as soon as possible. If it's you first quarter at UCSD, you should think about adding your classes before getting there, especially for the undergraduate classes as you don't need the professor's signature.
Actually if the professor asks the department, they can rise the enrolling limit, but you shouldn't rely on that, especially because sometimes the limit is given by the maximum capacity of the room.

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