Course registration tips

2 minute read

This article discusses some CIS-specific tips for Advance and Regular Registration. For an overview of registering for courses at Penn, see this helpful page from the College.

Before Advance Registration

Before we talk about what courses you should take and how to navigate the registration process, in order to register for courses you will need to get your advisor hold on Path@Penn released. Before the end of Advance Registration, you will need to talk with your faculty advisor about your academic plans, adn they can then release your hold. Without this, you will be unable to participate in Advance Registration. Please also see the article on scheduling a meeting with your advisor. Note that your CU limit typically cannot increase beyond 5.5 CUs for Advance Registration.

During Advance Registration

The courses you can advance register for differ based on whether you are solely an undergraduate student (CSCI, ASCS, NETS, DMD or CMPE degrees), or are both an undergraduate and an Accelerated Master’s student (CIS/MSE, MCIT, CGGT, DATS, SCMP degrees).


Undergraduates can register for courses numbered 4990 and below. Undergraduates cannot register for graduate-level courses (5000 and above) during Advance Registration.

However, if a course is cross-listed at both the undergraduate and graduate level (e.g., CIS 4210formerly CIS 421/5210formerly CIS 521), you can and should use the undergraduate section (e.g., CIS 4210formerly CIS 421) during Advance Registration. If you get into the undergraduate section but want to be in the graduate section instead, email the CIS Advising staff and we can switch you to the graduate section once the semester begins.

Accelerated Master’s students

If Path@Penn lists your graduate degree at the time that Advance Registration begins, then you can advance register for graduate-level courses.

Otherwise, even if you are in the process of applying for a graduate degree, you cannot advance register for graduate classes. Instead, follow the advice for undergraduate students, above.

During regular registration

For some CIS/CIT/NETS courses, and depending on your major, the only way to get into the course is by signing up for the CIS waitlist.


As an undergraduate student, you can directly register via Path@Penn for undergraduate courses that don’t use the CIS Waitlist.

Undergraduate students always require permission to register for a graduate class. To register for a graduate class as an undergraduate, join the CIS waitlist for the class.

Accelerated Master’s students

If Path@Penn lists your graduate degree at the time regular registration begins, then you can register directly via Path@Penn for graduate courses that don’t use the CIS Waitlist.