Office of the University Registrar

Course Fundamentals

Add & Drop Entry Codes

Entry codes are five-digit numbers issued to students by academic departments as authorization to add or drop in restricted course sections.

  • Entry codes are one time use codes
  • All courses require an add code in order to be added beginning the 8th calendar day of the quarter.

Add Codes

Some courses require Add Codes that are available through the department offering the course. Courses requiring add codes are designated with the symbol > to the left of the schedule line number (SLN) in the Time Schedule.

Additional Stipulations

  • Departments reserve the right to require entry codes whether the course is so designated in the Time Schedule or not.
  • Directions on where to obtain an entry code are in the comment section of the Time Schedule listing, either as a comment after the course section or following the title of the course.
  • Contact the department offering the course if the registration system advises an entry code is required and the location for obtaining one is not identified in the Time Schedule.
  • Instructors may issue Add (Entry) Codes to students when a course is full which will allow registrations or overloads above the limit set by the department.
  • Once an entry code has been used, the registration system removes it from the list of viable codes and will not accept it again. Dropped sections which require an entry code to be added will require another entry code from the department in order to re-add the section.

Drop Codes

Some courses require a Drop Code to remove a course from a student’s schedule. Students must obtain the drop code from the department offering the course.

Faculty Numbers

Independent study courses such as 499, 600, 700, or 800 require students to first obtain a Faculty Number from the instructor or department.

Change Fees

Students can expect to be assessed a Change of Registration Service Fee for any registration changes which take place beginning the second week of the quarter.

Course Capacity

For reasons of public safety and instructional quality, course enrollment in each section will be limited to the approved classroom capacity. The Office of the University Registrar monitors course enrollments throughout the quarter according to the following guidelines:

  1. Through the first seven calendar days of a quarter, a student may add a section without permission unless the course is full or requires permission; then an add code is required.
  2. Beginning the eighth calendar day, add codes are required to add any course. The registration system will accept course overloads up to 115% of classroom capacity to compensate for expected course drops.
  3. The registration system closes for course adds at the end of the Late Add Period.

Course Co-Requisites

To register for a course that requires a co-requisite course, first register for that co-requisite course before registering for the primary course. Courses with co-requisites are identified in the comment section of the course listing in the Time Schedule. Courses with co-requisites cannot be dropped until the co-requisite is dropped.

Course Pre-Requisites

Certain courses require prerequisites in order to add that course to a schedule. These courses are identified by the word “Prerequisite” in the title bar in the Time Schedule. Prerequisites may be one or more courses, a minimum placement test score, or a minimum grade in a prerequisite course.

A course section may be added without having completed the course prerequisite provided the student is currently registered for the prerequisite course. However, departments may elect to have the course that required the prerequisite dropped from a student’s schedule if the student does not satisfactorily complete the prerequisite course. Courses subject to cancellation are identified by “Prerequisites (cancellation in effect)” in the title bar in the Time Schedule. In this case, the course that required the prerequisite will be dropped from the student’s schedule no later than the third calendar day of the quarter.

Placement Tests

Some courses have placement tests as prerequisites. Many of these tests can be taken directly through the department. Undergraduate Advising offers information about placement testing.

Understanding Prerequisites

A prerequisite may consist of a single course, multiple courses, placement tests, or a choice of courses or placement tests.

Because of space restrictions, prerequisites are written in the most concise way possible. Certain conventions have been used for consistency and clarity.

Prerequisite Conventions

Basic prerequisites

The main division of prerequisites is the semicolon (;), which divides required courses or groups of courses.

Example 1
Course: SPAN 401 The Morphological Structure of Spanish (5)
Prerequisite: SPAN 303; SPAN 323.
Translation: A student must take SPAN 303 and SPAN 323 before taking SPAN 401.
Example 2
Course: CHEM 317 Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (3)
Prerequisite: Either CHEM 165 or CHEM 312; either CHEM 242 or CHEM 347
Translation: A student must fulfill each of two prerequisites before taking CHEM 317:

  1. either CHEM 165 or CHEM 312, and
  2. either CHEM 242 or CHEM 347

Sets of courses

A prerequisite may consist of two or more courses (or sets of courses) that a student may choose from. Such groups begin with the word “either” and have “or” before the last choice. Separate courses (or sets of courses) are divided by commas.

Example 1
Course: CHEM 237 Organic Chemistry (4)
Prerequisite: Either CHEM 155, CHEM 160, or CHEM 162
Translation: A student must take one of the following before taking CHEM 237: CHEM 155 or CHEM 160 or CHEM 162

More than one course

A prerequisite choice may consist of more than one course. These groups are defined by the use of “and”.

Example 1
Course: CHEM 152 General Chemistry (5)
Prerequisite: Either CHEM 140 and CHEM 141, CHEM 142, or CHEM 145
Translation: A student must take one of the following sets before taking CHEM 152:

  1. CHEM 140 and 141 or
  2. CHEM 142 or
  3. CHEM 145

Course combinations

A course may have a combination of groups of choices and several prerequisites.

Example 1
Course: CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry Laboratory (3)
Prerequisite: Either CHEM 155, CHEM 160 and CHEM 161, or CHEM 162; either CHEM 224, CHEM 238, or CHEM 336
Translation: A student must take one of the following sets before taking CHEM 241:

  1. CHEM 155, or
  2. CHEM 160 and 161, or
  3. CHEM 162

As well, a student must take one of the following before taking CHEM 241: CHEM 224 or 238 or 336.

Example 2
Course: ZOOL 438 Comparative Endocrinology (3)
Prerequisite: Either BIOL 202 or BIOL 102 with either ZOOL 301 or ZOOL 315
Translation: A student must take one of the following sets before taking ZOOL 438:

  1. BIOL 202, or
  2. BIOL 102 and ZOOL 301, or
  3. BIOL 102 and ZOOL 315

Placement tests and courses

A course may have a combination of placement tests and courses as a prerequisite.

Course: MATH 124 Calculus with Analytic Geometry I
Prerequisite: 2.5 in MATH 120, score of 68% on MATHPC placement test, score of 75% on MATHEC placement test, or score of 2 on AP test.
Translation: A student must take one of the following before registering for MATH 124:

  1. MATH 120 with a minimum grade of 2.5
  2. MATHPC placement test with a minimum score of 68%, or
  3. MATHEC placement test with a minimum score of 75%

Retaking a Course

Departments may restrict undergraduates from repeat registration into courses. Restrictions may include:

  • only allowing registration after Period I
  • only allowing registration after the quarter has begun, or
  • requiring an Entry Code for a repeat registration

Courses considered to have been taken once include any numerical grade or those with grades of I, CR/NC, or S/NS. Withdrawn or dropped courses and courses with X or no grade reported will not count as the first taking of a course. Students currently enrolled in a course, registration for the same course in the following quarter will be counted as a repeat registration.

A second repeat (taking a course for a third time [or more]) cannot be done using MyUW. A second repeat requires the department to register the student into the course. Grades in the third or subsequent takings will not be included in the student’s grade-point average (GPA).

Sequence Courses

Departments may establish a registration priority for students enrolled in sequence courses. For example, students enrolled in a foreign language 101 course may have priority to register in the next course sequence (102) for the succeeding quarter.

Special Course Fees

The amounts charged for tuition and fees normally cover University charges for course registration. Some courses, however, have extraordinary expenses associated with them and in such cases, the University may charge additional fees in amounts approximating the added instructional or laboratory costs. Some departments do not charge auditors these fees.

Most course fees will be included in the quarterly tuition bill. Dropping a course with a course fee after the first week of the quarter will not remove the fee from any balance owed. Any adjustment to course fees after the first week of the quarter must be handled by the academic department offering the course.

Variable Credit Courses

Some courses such as independent study, thesis, and dissertation credits are offered for a variable number of credits (whole credits only).

  • Faculty Codes & credits are obtained by contacting the department in order to register for the course on MyUW.
  • Beginning the third week of the quarter through the last day of instruction for the quarter, all variable credit changes require the signature of the instructor by completing the Changes in Variable Credits section of the Registration Transaction form [UoW 2127] and submitting to the Office of the University Registrar, either in person – 2nd floor in Schmitz Hall or via email to
  • Before the third week of the quarter, variable credit changes must be made by adding and dropping the course on MyUW.