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As Penn’s newest crop of Quakers, you’re probably looking forward to four years of fun and excitement. But first, you need to make sure you know how to choose the right classes. Here are some tips that will help.

Penn InTouch:

Penn InTouch is the multipurpose web platform on which you will manage your course registration, grades, billing and student information for the next four years. You can search for classes and enroll in the ones that interest you. The mock schedules tool allows you to see what your hypothetical course schedule will look like, and the academic planning worksheet keeps track of your progress with majors, minors or general requirements.

The server of Penn InTouch is known to become unreliable if too many students are trying to log on the system at the same time, so try your best to avoid last minute changes and get things done early.

Separate, but usually used along with Penn InTouch, is Penn Course Review, which offers student ratings of classes and professors. It can be a helpful reference for deciding which classes to take and which professors you don’t want to miss.


Upon your admission to Penn, you are assigned to a pre-major advisor, who will be the go-to person when you have questions about academic planning. Every semester, you need to let your pre-major advisor know which classes you plan to take. If you don’t, you will be put on registration hold, which means that you cannot register for classes on Penn InTouch. So make sure to make an appointment with your advisor before Advanced Registration starts.

After you officially declare a major, which normally happens by the end of your sophomore year, talking to your advisor before registration will no longer be required, but it is still strongly recommended that you continue to discuss your academic plans with the advisor assigned to you.

Advanced Registration:

As the name suggests, advance registration period usually happens shortly before the semester you’re choosing classes. For incoming freshmen, advanced registration will happen during the summer before school starts. You will use the Penn InTouch system to search and register for classes.

Advanced registration usually lasts for two to three weeks, so keep the time frame in mind while finalizing your choices. Also, advanced registration is not rolling-based, so there is no advantage for anyone who registers early. As long as you meet the deadline, your choices will be considered, though there is no guarantee that Penn’s algorithm will place you in all the classes you request.

Course Selection Period:

There is a second chance if you weren’t given all the courses you wanted during advanced registration. After advanced registration, you can still add a class if someone drops the class and leaves a vacant space.

Besides advance registration, classes are filled up as students enroll during course selection period, so timing is important. One good tool to take advantage of is PennCourseNotify, which will send you an email once there is a vacancy for a class you signed up for.

Dropping and Withdrawing:

You can drop a class until the end of the Add/Drop period, which falls approximately five weeks into the semester, and this class will no longer appear on your transcript.

You can also withdraw from a class with the permission of the instructor roughly between the fifth and tenth week of the semester, but this withdrawal will be reflected on your transcript.

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