Panic-inducing for some, euphoric for others and a rollercoaster for all, course registration manages to simultaneously overwhelm and reassure students. Recent updates to MyAccess, the platform that Georgetown University uses to conduct course registration, have made the process more streamlined and convenient. Nevertheless, problems in the system persist that must be addressed to ensure a smooth and accessible process for all students.
The perennial issue for students during registration is the timing of their slots, as they traditionally occur at times when many classes occur. Additionally, many classes required for certain majors, particularly within the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) departments, overlap and cause scheduling complications for students trying to fulfill their degree requirements.
The Editorial Board calls on Georgetown to continue revamping the course registration process to ensure it is more accessible and transparent for all students.
On Sept. 12, Georgetown launched MyAccess 9, an upgraded version of the student portal, in response to challenges students reported with MyAccess 8. MyAccess 9 features several updates aimed at making the system more accessible and functional for students. For example, the new “Plan Ahead” feature allows students to save schedules ahead of registration. Despite these changes, multiple barriers remain that prevent a smooth and accessible course registration.
The scheduled timing of registration, which traditionally runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, overlaps directly with common times for classes. Students often either skip class for registration, register during class and miss part of instruction or register late. For students who choose not to skip class for their registration slot, this delay means they run the risk of missing out on classes they are interested in taking, or even required to take for their degree.
The university chooses this registration window because advisers and registrar staff are on call to assist students with any issues, according to a university spokesperson.
“The registration window remains open from that time through the add/drop period. The morning time before the first group at 11 a.m. is generally used to address remaining requests and inquiries from the previous day’s enrollment group,” the spokesperson wrote to The Hoya.
While we recognize the university’s efforts to be accessible to students during the registration process, we urge the university to make a more conscious effort to select time slots that interfere with the fewest number of classes possible.
The university must also improve its interdepartmental communication and coordination to ensure all students can register for classes necessary for their degrees. Specifically, those pursuing degrees within STEM disciplines often struggle to enroll in all of their requirements because of overlap in class times and classes filling up too quickly.
For example, according to Georgetown’s department websites, students pursuing either chemistry or biochemistry degrees must take physics, which has a mandatory lab course in addition to the lecture, in their sophomore year. Most of the labs offered for physics conflict with other courses required for the degrees, or are already full by the time underclassmen have the chance to enroll, human science major Makenzie Thomas (SOH ’24) said.
“I had to register for biochem which isn’t required for human science but is for pre-med,” Thomas wrote to The Hoya. “It conflicted with some human science electives that I could have taken.”
The issue appears to be a common one for many Georgetown students pursuing STEM-related majors.
Ajay Nathan (SFS ’25), a science, technology and international affairs major on a pre-med track, had similar issues.
“Registering for science classes can be extremely trying due to the various components of the class — lecture, lab, recitation, sometimes even additional review sessions — along with the complexities of regular registration,” Nathan wrote to The Hoya.
These difficulties are indicative of the problems within the larger course registration process, which often overlooks student needs and places the burden of making a class schedule that will ensure a timely graduation on undergraduates. Georgetown must require more direct, specific coordination between academic departments to ensure that classes required for all majors can feasibly fit into students’ schedules.
Even if a student manages to maneuver through the labyrinthine lead-up to registration, some courses may still be unavailable because of poor interdepartmental coordination causing overlap in classes required for students’ majors.
The Editorial Board urges Georgetown’s administration to build off their work in revamping MyAccess and continue to remake the registration system to improve its accessibility. Registration should be an exciting opportunity — instead of the burden that it is currently — for all students.
The Hoya’s Editorial Board is composed of six students and is chaired by the opinion editors. Editorials reflect only the beliefs of a majority of the board and are not representative of The Hoya or any individual member of the board.