Most upperclassmen have been there before: you’ve got an almost full schedule but you’re missing one class and every section taught this semester is full. What do you do?

Don’t worry. There are a few things that you can do to get into that class. HackCollege has you covered.

Email the Professor Directly

It can look a little something like this:

Dear Professor [insert last name here],

My name is [insert your name here] and I’m a student at [insert your college/university here]. I was really looking forward to taking your [insert course name here] course this semester until I realized that it’s full. Normally, I would just wait until it opens up, but it turns out that it’s a requirement for me to graduate and there are no other times that I can take it. Is there anything that you can do on your end to help get me into the class?

Looking forward to hearing back. 

[Insert your name here]

The message doesn’t have to be fancy or drawn out, nor do you need to write a sob story. Be up front and honest about why you want to take the class. It doesn’t hurt if you show that you’re genuinely interested in the course content to begin with. Professors want to help students who really want to learn the material they’re covering. You have to put yourself in their shoes.

Meet with the Dean of the Department/School

Sometimes all it takes is a good 15-minute meeting with the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (or whatever your area of study is; every school is different). Go to their office and try to set up a meeting so that you can get on their calendar. There’s a good chance that the Dean is very busy. Respect their time and get to the point. A few things that you can talk about include:

  • WHY you want to take the class/why you’re studying that particular content
  • WHAT you can do to be a better student
  • WHERE you want to donate your time as an undergraduate student—think student-run organizations and events
  • THE IMPORTANCE of getting on the roster for the course

You have to have a game plan so you can be ready to explain why you need to get into the class so urgently.

Wait It Out

There are many cases where students add a class and wait until the end of the first week to drop it. This is your time to shine—you have to be ready to jump once a spot opens. The best way to do this is to check early and often with all of your information ready. This way, someone else won’t beat you to it.

It also helps when you have already gathered the materials for the course, including the syllabus, so that you’re not behind on the work. This may require a little bit of creativity. You may have to reach out to someone in the class that you know (or don’t know) in order to obtain a syllabus, or you may be able to reach out to the professor directly.

Don’t Worry

Registering for a closed course isn’t as scary as it may seem. Knowing what you can do in the mean time can make all the difference.

Got any other tips? Let us know what has worked for you in the comments below!