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Registration Process

All students will register themselves using Penn InTouch.  Advance Registration for spring terms will open in the preceding October and for fall terms in preceding March.

Advance Registration

Students request courses for the upcoming semester during the Advance Registration period. For incoming freshmen, Advance Registration takes place over a four-week period in the summer before they arrive.

During Advance Registration, students submit their preferred courses, as well as alternative courses, using Penn InTouch, the online registration system. Students can submit their course requests at any time during this period. All course requests are processed at the conclusion of the Advance Registration period, regardless of when the request was submitted. There is no advantage to registering early and no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all their requested courses.

It is very important to take part in Advance Registration. Students who do not advance register may find themselves closed out of the courses they wish to take.

Course Selection Period

The Course Selection Period opens once schedules from Advance Registration are released and runs until approximately two and half weeks into the semester. 

Unlike Advance Registration, during the Course Selection Period registration is live and courses are filled as students register for them. So timing is important and students will know immediately if they are enrolled.

The Course Selection Period allows students to visit classes before finalizing their schedules, but students are expected to attend all courses they may wish to add in order to keep up with assignments and material. During this period, some instructors have their departments impose restrictions on their courses and authorize entry only to students who have been attending regularly.

Summer Registration

Summer semester courses do not participate in the Advance Registration process. Summer semester courses are first come first serve and work the same as the process during the Course Selection Period. The course selection period for summer terms opens in the preceding mid March. 
Dropping a Course
Undergraduate Students may drop a class before the end of the first five weeks of the semester by using Penn InTouch. Failure to attend a course does not automatically result in being dropped from the course. Courses that are dropped will no longer appear on a student’s transcript.
Withdrawal from a Course

Students may withdraw from a course with the instructor’s permission between the 5th and the 10th week of the semester. Students will need to complete the withdrawal form in order to be removed form a course.

Students considering either a drop or a withdrawal should speak with an advisor before taking any action and should be aware of the risks of being enrolled in fewer than 4 c.u.

Withdrawal Form

Registration Tips
Watch the Tutorial

The Registration Tutorial provides an excellent overview of the Advance Registration process

Understand the System

During Advance Registration students submit their preferred courses, as well as alternate courses, usingPenn InTouch, the online registration system. Course requests can be submitted at any time during this period. All course requests are processed at the conclusion of the Advance Registration period, regardless of when the request was submitted. There is no advantage to registering early and no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all their requested courses.

Two weeks after Advance Registration, the system will open again for the Course Selection period. During this period, students can add and drop courses in real time until the end of the second week of the semester, and they can drop courses until the end of the fifth week of the semester.

Use Outside Resources

Penn Course Review and PennCourseNotify are excellent tools to assist in course selection. Penn Course Review offers student reviews of particular courses, which can provide insight into a particular course or instructor, and can also indicate whether or not a particular course or section may be in high demand. PennCourseNotify is a service that emails students when a closed course opens up during the Course Selection period.

Remember to Register

Mock schedules are helpful when planning logistics BUT should not be confused with actually requesting courses which can be done by selecting Register for Courses under. Registration & Planning in the Penn InTouch menu.

No “Submit” Button

Penn InTouch has no “submit” button to finalize a schedule during Advance Registration. The courses in the system when the Advance Registration deadline hits are what the system will use to create the schedule. Make sure to check the Register for Courses screen before the deadline!


Rank High Need or High Demand Courses FIRST

Smaller courses, courses in high demand or those students’ particularly need should be listed at or near the top of the list of requested courses. Certain clinical sections, in particular, can be difficult to get into.

Always Select an Alternate.

The system moves through a student’s selection list by sifting through primary and alternate requests. Students can be strategic with their choices to better their chances of getting the courses they prefer. Selecting an alternate for every course provides the system with more opportunities to accommodate requests.

 For Clinical Courses, List the Clinical and Lab Before the Lecture

Clinical and lab sections, particularly those in more popular time sites, can be harder to get into than the large, associated lecture. A good approach is to rank the clinical or lab higher on the priority list in order to increase the chances of getting the preferred section. Students should not forget to register for the lecture!

If a student does not get into the lecture portion of the course, it’s wise to check back when the system reopens. Space very often opens up during the Course Selection period.

 Things to Remember

There Are No Guarantees

Strategically selecting and prioritizing courses increases the likelihood of receiving a favorable schedule, but there is no guarantee that students will be enrolled in all of their requested courses.

Advance Registration Is Not Final Registration

Course selection starts about two weeks after Advance Registration ends and lasts approximately two and a half weeks. During the Course Selection Period, students move in and out of courses by adding and dropping on Penn InTouch. Students who still want a course they did not receive during Advance Registration should check back during the Course Selection period to see if room in the class has opened. Until they are sure they can’t get into the class, it is wise for students to attend the course so they do not miss any important material.

Ask for Help!

Advisors are available to help students navigate their life at Penn, including course selection. All students are encouraged to reach out for advice on how to register for classes. For quick questions, email the advisors in the Office of Student Services at

Penn in Touch Help
Penn InTouch is the University’s student registration and information system. Students can also use it to update addresses, view their bill and track progress toward fulfillment of degree requirements.

Students can use Penn InTouch to access the following:

  • Course Search and Mock Schedule
  • Online course registration
  • Course schedules 
  • Transcript (both for viewing and for ordering official transcripts)
  • Academic Planning Worksheet for checking progress toward graduation
  • Course Absence Reports
  • Billing information
  • Financial aid application status and awards
  • Student loan application status, disbursements and loan history
  • Updating address information
  • Student Health Information
  • Privacy settings for release of academic and financial information to parents and others.

Penn InTouch is available 24 hours a day except for 3:00 AM - 6:00 AM on Mondays to allow for system maintenance. In addition, some functions within Penn InTouch may be unavailable for brief periods during nightly processing.