College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Computer Science & Software Engineering

Scheduling Classes

This page describes how to schedule classes, and gives a bit of advice for incoming freshmen on what courses to take.

Steps for Registration

Before you begin, make sure you are admitted to Butler and have removed all holds on your registration (such as for late payment or incomplete medical forms).

To schedule your classes, you must do the following:

  1. Pick up a copy of the Schedule of Day and Evening Classes. These are normally published about half-way through the preceding semester. You can find course information on the Registration and Records website.
  2. You can also look up courses through the Registration and Records Course Search web page.
  3. Make an appointment to see your advisor. Advisors will post sign-up sheets on their doors; simply write your name in the time slot most convenient for you, but after your earliest approved registration time.
  4. The very first time you register, the Learning Resource Center normally makes these arrangements for you. After the first semester, you will receive a notice from Registration and Records in email giving your earliest registration time. Note that advisors are happy to discuss your schedule and your progress at any time, and not just during registration.
  5. Work out a schedule on your own before seeing your advisor. Use the information on this web site to help you figure out what courses would be good to take. You might also seek the advice of other students in the department. We've given some advice below.
  6. See your advisor. If your advisor uses PeopleSoft, and none of your classes were full, this is your last step. If not, you will have forms to turn in to Registration and Records.
  7. If you want to make changes to your schedule after you have registered, see your advisor for a drop/add form. You need to fill in this form, have your advisor sign the form (possibly your instructor and Dean too, depending on the date), and then turn it in to Registration and Records.

Be careful to note the deadlines for drop/add and so forth in the Schedule.

Forms

Drop/Add Form: This form is required to make changes after the last date for dropping or adding a course. You may need the instructor's signature, your advisor's signature, and the dean's signature. If adding a full or unpublished class, you may also need a blue card.

Blue Card: This magical form gets you into closed or unpublished courses like internships and independent study. They require the signatures of your advisor and the department head for the course you are adding. Note that department heads only sign blue cards if they feel they can squeeze you in; much of the time this is not possible.

After all signatures are obtained, all forms are turned in to the Registration and Records office.

Responsibility

Remember that you are entirely responsible for your schedule. Advisors and friends can help you make choices, but only you will take the courses and do the work in the classes on your schedule. If a mix-up is made in choosing courses, you are the only one who might have to stay in school an extra semester.

Plan Ahead!

With that in mind, it is a good idea to plan your courses for all four years (or five for EDDP students). You will probably deviate from such a plan, but it is the best way to guarantee that every graduation requirement is satisfied. To help with this, we have a suggested 4-Year Course Plan for completing the CS major, and a summary of all graduation requirements.

Advice for Freshmen

Most new students will want to take an English course, a Foreign Language course (these are easier the less you've forgotten), and a Math course in addition to computer science courses.

Math Placement

The choice of mathematics and computer science courses will be determined by your score on the Math placement exam. If your ACT or SAT score in mathematics is high enough, you may be exempt from this exam.

  • If you do well on the exam, or are exempt, you should take CS151, the standard first CS course, and MA106 Calculus 1. (If you wish, MA106 can safely be postponed to the Spring semester.)
  • If you did not do well on the exam, you should take MA102, and postpone CS151 and MA106 until the Spring.

Programming

If you have little or no programming background, you might also want to take CS142. If you know any programming language up through loops, arrays, and functions, you do not need this course. CS142 and CS151 can be taken concurrently. CS142 does require proficiency in algebra; if your Math placement score is very low and you must take MA101, enroll in MA102 instead of MA101, but postpone CS142 until the Spring semester.

English

For English, you might take EN101 if you are a non-native English speaker or need some review; you will also be enrolled in CC101. Based upon test scores in English, you might skip to CC102.

Foreign Language

The language course you would take depends on how well you did on the placement exam. Most students are able to test out of at least one semester.

Other Courses

To round out your schedule, you may want one or two more courses. Typically, you should either pick courses that fulfill Core requirements, or courses in a second major or minor you are interested in. Many students who major in computer science like to add a minor in Business; if this is the case for you, you might take MG111, AC103, and/or MS165.

Many students ask if they should take speech (SH198) and/or PE (PE101, PE102) in their first semester. The answer is that these courses need to be completed by the time you graduate, but there is no rush. However, if you are a student-athlete you should definitely take PE102 (there is a section for intercollegiate athletes and marching band members).

If you are a dual-degree engineering student, then your courses are already mapped out for you for the most part, making your decisions easier.