Chemistry Registration FAQs

A number of common registration issues encountered by chemistry students are addressed below, including who you should contact.  When you contact us, it is helpful if you tell us exactly what error you are getting from the registration system. Simply saying you need an "override" is not that helpful and will delay the resolution of the issue. We need to know the specific error you are receiving so to properly address it.

  • What do you do if you get a prerequisite error?

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    This means that the registration system does not see that you have completed the required courses.

    Prerequisites are routinely enforced for Chemistry Department courses. The goal of prerequisites is to ensure that students have the proper background to succeed in a course. The prerequisites for a course can be found in the catalog.

    If you have completed them, and they have not yet transferred or proper equivalencies have not been established for your transferred courses, you should contact the course coordinator and s/he can verify that you have the proper prerequisites and arrange to have a prerequisite waiver entered into the computer. 

    If you have not completed the required prerequisite(s), then you need to contact the course coordinator or the instructor of your section and ask to have it waived, but these requests are rarely approved.

  • What do you do if you get a corequisite error? Expand dropdown
    In many Chemistry courses, there is a lab that must be taken concurrently with the lecture. So, you must register for them both simultaneously. To do this, ordinarily you need to go to the add/drop screen instead of choosing to lookup classes. Click on add classes and then type the CRN number for both the desired lecture and lab sections into the boxes at the bottom of the screen. 
  • Do you need to take the lab with the lecture? Expand dropdown

    If the course has a lab, generally the answer is yes. There are some exceptions:

    In the following courses, the lab does not need to be taken with the lecture and can be taken later (but NOT earlier): Chemistry and Society (115/116), Organic Chemistry (270/271 and 372/373), Biochemistry (452/453), and Physical Chemistry (361/462). For these courses, the registration system will allow you to register for the lecture without the lab.

    For CHEM 117/118, CHEM 121/122,  CHEM 123/124 and CHEM 283/284, the lab and lecture are corequisites. However, if you passed the lab but need to retake the lecture, or passed the lecture but need to retake the lab, you are allowed to retake one without retaking the other. In that case you will need to request a corequisite override using this form, which can also be found under "Course Overrides" on the Student Resources page. Note that for CHEM 121/122, you must receive at least a C- in the course you are not retaking.

    If you are a guest student and do not need the lab for your program of study, you can appeal to the instructor of your section to see if they will waive the lab corequisite.  This is not normally allowed, but exceptions have been made in certain circumstances.

  • What do you do if you get a restriction error? Expand dropdown

    There are three common reasons for restriction errors:

    • You do not have the minimum grade in the prerequisite course.  If you still want to take the course, you need to appeal to the instructor of the section for which you are attempting to register. The course coordinator is unlikely to override this restriction.
    • You are a post-baccalaureate (post-bac or graduate) student attempting to register for a 100- or 200-level course. Unless this course is in your program of study, it is not eligible for federal financial aid. Since the registration system does not know if you are receiving financial aid, it defaults to assuming that you are receiving it and will not let you register. This restriction can be waived by the department head or the course coordinator. You simply need to contact him/her and verify that you are not receiving financial aid or that the course is on your program of study.
    • There are a very few chemistry courses that are restricted to students with specific majors. These are usually for education majors and the course title should indicate that this is the case. You should choose a different course, unless you have decided to pursue an education major, in which case you should update your major in my.emich.
  • What if the class is full? Can I get an override? Expand dropdown

    Registration limits are set by pedagogical, space, staff, and equipment considerations. Only the instructor of a section can override the enrollment limit. In many cases, the course capacity equals the room capacity and s/he cannot give any overrides. If you desire an override, contact your instructor as soon as possible (if no instructor is assigned yet, then you cannot get an override). If there is an electronic waitlist, add your name to the waitlist. If you are having trouble getting on an existing electronic waitlist, contact the department office (487-0106) for assistance. For a few courses (most often analytical chemistry), electronic waitlists do not work well and so the department office keeps a paper waitlist.  For multi-section courses, waitlists are not routinely started until all (or most) of the sections are full.

    Note that a waitlist is not a promise. It may be used by the instructor to fill slots created by withdrawals and no-shows after classes start, or to notify you if by some miracle a new section is opened. For a closed section where there is no waitlist, keep checking to see if an opening appears. It is not unusual for students to drop courses and create openings at any time. The first person to find the opening and register for it will get it. If you are waiting for an opening, make sure that you have resolved any prerequisite, corequisite, or restriction errors in advance. Otherwise, someone else might register for the opening while you are resolving the error.

    If all else fails. You should show up for the first day of class. Depending upon the number of students present, the room capacity, and pedagogical considerations, the instructor might allow some students into the class. (Some, but not all, instructors give preference to students who have contacted them in advance.) If you are closed out of a lab, maybe you can take advantage of our “First-Lab Rule”.

  • How do you register for undergraduate research (297, 397, 398, 497, 498, 499)? Expand dropdown

    This is described on our research opportunities page.

  • How do you register for Co-op (387, 388, 389, 487, 488, 489)? Expand dropdown

    This is described on our co-op page.

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