How to Build a Class Schedule

Fall class registration for freshmen accepted for fall semester will be June 6-10. Students can find their assigned registration date under the Register link in MyMAPPlease note: matriculated students, including new summer admits, have registration dates earlier in the year based on their “Priority Registration” classification (determined by their total earned credits).

Attend Jumpstart: Class Registration
The Office of First-Year Experience invites all students to participate in online Jumpstart: Class Registration webinars May 31-June3, the week prior to registration. If your student is away (e.g., on a mission), and you’ll be helping him/her with registration, we welcome you to join us as well. These webinars will instruct students on how to use MyMAP, BYU’s course registration system. Recordings are posted for students who are not able to attend the live sessions.

Take Advantage of Reserved Seats via First-Year Mentoring
Remind your student to register for seats in Core courses such as First-Year Writing (WRTG 150) and American Heritage (A HTG 100) through the Mentored Course button in MyMAP. First-Year Mentoring reserves seats in these and other high demand courses, but the only way to access those seats is through that Mentored Course button (otherwise, the classes may appear full). A full list of these mentored course options can be found on the First-Year Mentored Course website.

Decide How Many Credits to Take
What’s in a credit hour? Most BYU classes are 2-3 credit hours. This typically indicates the number of hours spent in class each week. For example, a 3-hour biology class usually meets for 1 hour, MWF. Therefore, a 15-credit schedule = 15 hours in class. Most students take 12-16 credits/semester.

BYU expects students to spend at least 2 hours doing work outside of class for every hour in class. That 3-hour Biology class just became 9 hours of work each week (3 hours in class + 6 hours of homework). A 15-credit hour schedule would mean the student should be doing 30 hours of work outside of class on homework. That adds up to a 45-hour “work week.” Students should view school like a full-time job.

Some other considerations:
On-campus housing                9 credits minimum
Full-time status                      12 credits minimum
Scholarship eligibility              14 credits minimum
Graduate in 4 years 15 credits average (depending on program requirements)

WARNING: Many of your students are eager to take as many as 18 credit hours because they are accustomed to being challenged. This is NOT a challenge we recommend for the first semester. Your student’s Academic Advisement Center will be happy to counsel with your student about this.

Decide on Which Classes to Take
Students have two areas from which they can choose classes: General Education/Religion(CORE) classes and Major classes. Students should consult the Major Academic Plan (MAP) for their major to see (1) which courses are suggested or required, and (2) what order is recommended for those courses. To find a specific major’s MAP, visit This site provides links to all of the BYU majors, minors, their requirements, and their MAPs.

Another great resource for class selection is consulting an Academic  Advisement Center. At BYU, all similar majors are “collected” into colleges, and each college has an advisement center for its majors. For instance, the College of Fine Arts & Communications has majors in music, art, public relations, etc. Students who are undecided or “open” are assigned to the University Advisement Center . About 1/3 of our admitted students are undeclared, so don’t worry if your student isn’t sure; he/she is in good company!

Find 1-2 More Credits
Because most courses are 3 credits, it can be difficult to find a class that is just 1 or 2 credits to balance out the schedule. We recommend Student Development courses (STDEV), many majors have seminars, or perhaps a Student Activity (STAC, BYU’s version of “PE”) or Dance class would work. We’ve compiled many of these options on our First-Year Experience website.

Decide When to Take Classes
BYU offers classes at on various days at various times, so remind your student to select classes when they will be most likely to attend and be alert. If your student is concerned about being on time for an 8:00 a.m. class, they may want to look for classes at a different time (8:00 doesn’t sound so bad right now, but a few weeks into the semester—it’s a different story). Likewise, an evening class at 6:00 p.m. doesn’t sound so bad until you’ve been busy all day, go home for a snack, and then have to work up the motivation to trek back to campus.

Many students wonder if they should plan classes back to back. Is the 10-minute break enough time to get across campus? Yes! (Unless you are going from swimming or some other class that will require a change of clothes.)  

Work a Job Into Your Schedule
Students who plan to work on campus should try to block their classes together either in the morning (for an afternoon job) or the afternoon (for a morning job). Most campus job shifts are 8:00 a.m.-Noon or 1:00-5:00 p.m. However, there are many other job options with early morning or evening shifts as well. (By the way, studies show that students who work 10-20 hours/week while they are in school tend to do better in their classes because they have to be disciplined and manage their time.)

Class Search
Is your student wondering if there is a 1.0 credit class, held on Wednesday, at 3:00 p.m. in the McKay Building? Students can use the Class Schedule Search  to find class offerings by course, day & time, credit hours, building, etc.

Feeling Unsatisfied
Keep in mind your student’s class registration date is just the first day of his/her class registration, so your student shouldn’t worry if he/she doesn’t get an ideal schedule immediately. Students can add/drop classes on their schedule through the 6th day of class (or add/drop deadline). We don’t recommend waiting until that last day to add or drop a class because it can be really difficult to get caught up in a class that was added 5 days into the semester.

BYU also has a “waitlist” system that allows students to get “in line” to add a class. When a student drops a class, the next person on the waitlist is automatically added to that class and an email is sent to notify the student.

Finally, the reality is freshmen are the last to register. Therefore, their options are limited (hence, the reason First-Year Mentoring reserves seats!). Students should be prepared with a Plan B or C for their courses.