The first week of each semester is a "shopping period" in which students may attend a variety of courses before finalizing their schedules. Students must attend the first (and all subsequent) meetings of any limited enrollment course in order to secure the spot awarded through the lottery. Beyond that,student approaches to shopping week vary tremendously. The following represent some common scenarios.
- A student who has retained a seat in all the classes she preregistered for may choose to attend only those classes. Perhaps she knows she needs all those classes, or perhaps she is already familiar with the professors and their teaching style, or perhaps she prefers knowing what her schedule is from the first day of the semester.
- Another student who has retained a seat in all the classes she preregistered for may choose instead to attend not just those classes but one, two or three other classes, just to keep her options open. These will usually be open courses, but may occasionally include a closed class. This student may choose to stay with her original schedule or may decide to make a schedule change.
- A student who has been lotteried out of one or more classes will attend the alternatives she identified and decide which ones are the most appropriate for her.
- A student who has changed her mind about one or more courses that she preregistered for will attend the alternatives she identified after preregistering and decide which ones are the most appropriate for her.
The excitement of shopping week does sometimes cross over into anxiety and stress. If you are struggling, please consult your dean.