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To be honest, scheduling is hard. If you’re going into your first semester of college, it’s likely that you’ve never had this kind of freedom. Hopkins offers hundreds of courses every semester, and all those options can feel overwhelming, but I’m here to help! Here’s an inside look at how I put together my schedule for last semester, complete with screenshots of my process.

  1. Log into SIS and open the course catalog. Scroll through every single course being taught next semester — nothing is off limits. Add every course you’re even vaguely interested in to your cart. For courses with multiple sections, add several of them. I usually end up with upwards of 30 classes to choose from.
  2. Step away from your computer and think about what you want from your schedule. Do morning classes appeal to you? How about evening classes? Will you need breaks for meals?
  3. Go through your cart and narrow it down based on those considerations. If you’re opposed to taking a 9 a.m. class, delete that 9 a.m. elective!
  4. Now here’s the fun part. Open your SIS cart in one tab, and in a separate tab go to semester.ly. Semesterly is a service that enables you to toggle through every course listed on SIS and arrange them into multiple potential schedules. Start by searching for your favorite classes from your SIS cart, then go wild!

This is the first schedule I made. As you can see, I acted as though I had no constraints. This schedule would be impossible to manage and it’s way above the credit limit.

This is the second schedule I made. It’s still above the credit limit, but more doable.

My final schedule. I ended up taking these courses last semester and loving it!

Once you have your dream schedule picked out, make sure to keep backup sections in your cart in case you’re unable to register in your first choice. Take a few deep breaths and remember that everything will be fine. Registration is stressful, but it’s only your first semester at Hop! You’ll have plenty of time to take wonderful and engaging courses.

Happy scheduling!