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How to register for courses as a new transfer student

Click on the headings below for information about completing the registration process.

Where Do I Start?
Start by reviewing your Transfer Credit Assessment. The assessment will detail what requirements you've already completed through transfer coursework and what you still have outstanding.

Next, review the Graduation Requirements so you are familiar with the requirements and understand the expectations to earn your degree at Colgate before choosing your courses.

Transfer students register for 4 full-credit courses, plus accompanying labs if applicable, for a maximum of 4.50 credits. Incoming transfer students are strongly discouraged from taking more than 4.50 credits in the first semester. If there is a critical educational reason for taking more than 4.50, the possibility should be discussed with your academic adviser during drop/add at the start of the term.

Please review the Course Offerings to begin planning your schedule. Be sure to check the Restrictions, Prerequisites, and Notes columns before you make your course selections. Course descriptions are available by clicking on the course in the course offerings.

Choosing Courses:
Begin by compiling a list of courses that interest you, then narrow those down to four preferred courses. Be sure to check the days and times (“starts” and “ends” columns) of your four preferred courses to ensure they do not conflict. The Colgate day/time schedule is available here to assist you in mapping out your schedule.

Alternate Choices:
Choose your alternate course selections from the remaining courses on your list. Do not worry about time conflicts among alternate course selections. You must fill in all alternate choices. An alternate course should be a different course title, not the same course offered at a different time (i.e., different section).
Creating a Balanced Schedule
Compiling a good schedule can often be confusing. Colgate University prides itself on being a liberal arts institution. This means that students must take a wide array of courses to earn a degree. Your first semester is the best time to explore what Colgate has to offer while fulfilling graduation requirements along the way. Think about this as you choose your courses.

Our staff has over 30 years of combined experience in registering first-year students and helping them create a balanced schedule. We’ve seen that students who load their schedule with courses from one division have less success in their first semester than those who choose courses from across the curriculum. Give your schedule some balance.

Use the guidelines below to help plan a balanced schedule:

CORE: You should refer to your Transfer Credit Assessment to see how many CORE courses you are required to take. You should plan to take one course with the subject code of "CORE" in your first semester.

Other courses: You should choose three other courses of interest. We recommend that you try to take one course from each division (Arts and Humanities, Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and Social Sciences). If you have a particular major in mind, we encourage you to select a course in that department/program. Consult the University Catalogue for degree requirements for specific majors/minors. Otherwise, choose courses that appeal to you, keeping in mind what area of inquiry they may count toward.

Students who are required to take a writing and/or a foreign language course will be informed of their status on their Transfer Credit Assessment. If you must fulfill one or both of these requirements it will be one of your four courses, not a fifth course.

Students who are interested in the health sciences (or pre-med) are encouraged to contact Dr. Julie Chanatry (, the chair of the Health Sciences Advisory Committee, to discuss how best to meet graduate school pre-requisites at Colgate.

Alternates: We make every effort to register you for your preferred courses but many factors complicate our ability to accommodate every primary choice. Therefore, the nine required alternates gives us enough information about your interests to allow us to create a balanced schedule. If you are having trouble finding enough alternates, this is the time to start exploring courses that you might not have previously considered. You can begin by reviewing course descriptions (some courses may surprise you); use the filters available on the course offerings to find courses that fit in a time slot you have available or to search by areas of inquiry; think about opportunities that may require pre-requisites that you can start now (e.g., the study group to China requires a year of language study). If you continue to struggle, you can reach out to Day Butcher ( or 315-228-6493).
Guidelines for completing the registration form
You will need the CRN (5-digit course reference number - available in the course offerings) of each primary and alternate choice in order to complete the registration form. See below for more specific information about CRNs.

List your first choices on the “Preferred” lines of the registration form. Refer to the  day/time schedule grid to ensure that your preferred courses (and their accompanying laboratory sections, if applicable) do not conflict.

List your alternate courses on the “Alternate” lines of the registration form. We make every effort to register you for your preferred courses but many factors complicate our ability to accommodate every primary choice. Therefore, the nine required alternates gives us enough information about your interests to allow us to create a balanced schedule.

For courses with multiple sections (e.g., CORE 151, CHEM 101, ECON 151), the registrar’s office staff will first try to register you for the section indicated on your registration form. If that section is closed or conflicts with another of your courses, or if we need to assure an even distribution of students among the sections, we may place you in another section. Please do not provide alternate courses that are different sections (same course offered on different days/times) of your preferred course.

CRN: Every course section has a unique numeric identifier called the Course Reference Number, or CRN for short. You can find the CRN for each course section in the Course Offerings. We will use the CRN to register you for your courses and that is what you will enter in the registration form. After you enter in a valid CRN, the rest of the course information will auto-fill for you. It's easy to transpose numbers when entering the CRN so it's important that you double check the auto-filled information to ensure it is the course you are expecting. Once you enter a CRN, the box will turn green. You'll be permitted to submit your form once all CRN boxes are green.

Courses with labs: A number of courses (particularly in the natural sciences) have required laboratory sections. The labs are designated by the course number followed by an L (e.g., CHEM 101L is the required lab associated with CHEM 101) and, in most cases, carry 0.25 course credits. If you want to register for a course with a lab, enter the lecture CRN first. Then select your preferred lab section from the drop down box title "Select Lab" on the same line. Labs should not be entered on their own line. The normal, required course load for first-year students is 4.00-4.50 course credits. 

The registration form: You can save your registration form if you need to take a break or do more research before submitting. If you would like to give us information or guidance when we are registering you, please use the Notes box at the bottom of the form. As stated above, all CRN boxes must be green before you will be permitted to submit your form.

Once you submit your form, the registrar's office will receive your selections. If you've submitted your form and need to substantially amend your selections, you can resubmit your form with the edits. In this case, you should indicate "Revised Copy" in the Notes section so that we can ensure it is used in place of your original submission. If you have a minor change, you can email If you aren't sure if your changes are substantial enough to require a resubmit, please email or call and Day will help determine the best course of action.
Submit your registration form
Incoming transfer students will not register on the portal for the fall term (no registration time ticket needed). Please submit the registration form (submit button below) and the registrar's office will begin registering students after the deadline.

If you have already submitted your registration form and need to submit an updated copy, please indicate "Revised Copy" in the Notes section so that we can ensure it is used in place of your original submission.