Department of Chemistry

Laboratory Enrollment FAQ

Fall 2012 Update:
  •     There will be NO waiting lists for fall semester.
  •     Deadline for enrolling and resolving issues: Thursday, May 31, 2012.

Important Highlights

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Information & Dates How Lab Enrollment Is Managed Details About SIS Permissions What if...? Other Questions

Fall 2012 Update:
  •     There will be NO waiting lists for fall semester.
  •     Deadline for enrolling and resolving issues: Thursday, May 31, 2012.

General Information & Dates

  • Q. When does undergraduate registration begin?
    A. Please see the Registration Information page from the Registrar's Office, particularly the Appointment Dates. We encourage you to register as soon as possible.

  • Q. What is the procedure for enrolling when a course has SIS flags (e.g. Requisites Not Met or Time Conflict)?
    A. Please see the SIS Student FAQ and User Guides for step-by-step instructions on how to make a request. Permission must be granted to override or allow any of the following SIS flags: Instructor Consent, Closed Class, Requisites Not Met, Time Conflict, or Career Restriction.

  • Q. Which courses use a waiting list?
    A. For Fall 2012 registration, waiting lists will NOT be implemented. All labs will use standard enrollment. Please register ASAP on your appointment date, and contact us if there are any problems. [Previously we used waiting lists for CHEM 233/234, CHEM 304, and CHEM 305/332]

  • Q. When does registration end?
    A. We ask that you resolve all outstanding issues and enroll by the date listed near the top of the page in red. This will be listed in SIS as well. This extra time will help us ensure a smooth enrollment. The absolute last day to register for any course (without special approval from a Dean) is 2 weeks after the start of classes (the "Drop-Add Period"), as listed on the Academic Calendar, but our lab courses will certainly be full before then.

How Lab Enrollment Is Managed

  • Q. How does the department determine seniority?
    A. We go by the "admit term" and "expected graduation term" fields in SIS. Please make sure these are correct and up-to-date through Undergraduate Studies, especially if you are a graduating senior.

  • Q. Why are there only a limited number of enrollment seats?
    A. Our teaching laboratories are among the most expensive and resourse-intensive courses at the university. We are constrained by limits in budget, physical space, instrumentation, lab drawers, glassware, TAs, technical staff, safety protocol, and the availability of instructors. Whereas a lecture course can move to a larger room, the labs are of a fixed size. Therefore, there must be enrollment caps. However, we understand that labs are a core part of many science majors, so we strive to accomodate all students. It is very rare that we turn away any student completely.

  • Q. There seem to be a different number of seats that I expected. Why is that?
    A. We deliberately keep some of the seats, because inevitably some seniors will enroll late due to financial holds, transfer credits, and other outside factors. It is unfortunate, but we have little alternative. We reserve the right to change the number of seats at any time, if needed, though we do not expect such changes to be major. Seniors, please enroll right away; we cannot guarantee that any reserved seats will not be used.

Details About SIS Permissions

  • Q. Can I enroll in one section, but request another?
    A. Please try to avoid this, as it clutters SIS and makes our work more difficult. You should be scheduling your lecture classes around the labs, and enrolling for what is open. See also the answer for switching sections.

  • Q. Which checkboxes should I mark on a request?
    A. The Registrar's Permissions page explains what each box means. Please choose them carefully so that you do not omit necessary permissions or accidentally mark extra ones. Incorrect requests can delay your enrollment!

  • Q. When will my permission be granted?
    A. That depends upon the request. These are exemptions, and require time for instructor or department review. An override for Requisites Not Met may be granted if you have passed another course that covers the same material (please contact us ahead of time and provide your schedule and previous syllabi as appropriate). Permission for a Time Conflict will probably NOT be granted, simply because it's impossible to attend two courses at once. Since there are so many possibilities, we have to review permissions individually, and therefore we can't provide a single time estimate.

  • Q. How will I know when someone responds to my request?
    A. SIS sends you an automatic email when your request is granted, denied, or revoked.

What if...?

  • Q. What if SIS says the course is open? May I just take one of the seats right away?
    A. If there are no flags preventing you from enrolling, go right ahead!

  • Q. What if I cannot enroll due to a financial hold?
    A. The Registrar's Office will not allow you to enroll if you have outstanding financial obligations to the university. Please take care of this before registration if at all possible. If you expect it to affect you after registration opens, please contact the department right away.

  • Q. What if my preferred section is closed?
    A. Sometimes one particular lab section is in greater demand by seniors (or even juniors), and there is no space left for underclassmen. Unfortunately, there is not much we can do. We suggest you enroll in any open section, even if it means changing your schedule. Please see also switching sections and last chance enrollment.

  • Q. What if all sections fill up before I can enroll?
    A. In that case, we strongly enourage you to take the course in a later semester, when you have greater seniority (and therefore an earlier enrollment appointment). Please also note that CHEM 233 and 234 are generally offered in the summer, with no waiting list. The summer sessions are more intensive (an entire semester is packed into 4 or 5 weeks), but past students have generally indicated a positive experience.

  • Q. What if I am enrolled, but I want to switch sections. Should I immediately drop my current section?
    A. NO! We cannot guarantee that will work. Another student might take your seat in the meantime. We suggest you remain in your currect section or find another open one, even if it means changing your schedule. Then if you like, you could attempt to trade sections with another willing student (both of you should contact us for assistance). Please also see last chance enrollment.

  • Q. What if I am a graduate, transfer, or non-degree student?
    A. You must speak with Undergraduate Admissions and Undergraduate Studies offices to confirm your eligibility to enroll. You will likely get an appointment to register with the undergraduate seniors, if not sooner. Please also contact us ASAP to clarify your status; otherwise, we may assume your lack of graduation date makes you a 1st year undergrad!

  • Q. What if I am permanently leaving the university before my senior year?
    A. Please notify us of the semester you are planning to leave. We can work with you individually to find a seat in the lab.

  • Q. What if I wait until after the deadline to notify the department of an issue?
    A. After the May 31 deadline, all further issues will be postponed until the week before classes begin (starting Monday, August 20).

Other Questions

  • Q. What is Last Chance Enrollment?
    A. Oddly enough, a small percentage of students enroll but do not show up for the lab on the first week of classes. If you attend check-in instead, you may be able to take one of their empty seats. We're calling this "last chance". Ask the instructor to mark down your name on the attendance sheet, and we can issue you a permission override so you can enroll thereafter. However, this only works if there are empty seats, so we can offer no guarantees of placement. Please do not rely on this method! If in doubt, attend class.

  • Q. Can I just email or call someone? Why do I have to use SIS?
    A. Please help us avoid unecessary calls and emails, by checking for answers through the Registrar's Office first. As policy, all permission requests must be made through SIS, since it can be difficult to gather the relevant information via email. For other issues, please see below.

  • Q. Who can I contact?
    A. If your concerns were not addressed elsewhere on the page, please call or email Brian Brauchler (chemistry undergrad affairs), or in his absence, John Hays (lab manager). Please only contact the instructor if it is appropriate; they generally do not oversee enrollment for CHEM 233, 234, 304, 305, or 332.

Fall 2012 Update:
  •     There will be NO waiting lists for fall semester.
  •     Deadline for enrolling and resolving issues: Thursday, May 31, 2012.