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Online registration pilots

Class registration is stepping into the 21st century. This year, students majoring in courses 4, 14, 15, 16, 18, 21W, and 24 will take part in an online registration pilot program, which will eventually replace the current paper mechanism for class registration. This program is one of the first steps of MIT’s three-year “Education Systems Roadmap,” which aims to digitize, streamline, and centralize operations at MIT.

The new registration is entirely online. First, students will log into the system and will be presented with their online registration forms populated with pre-registration data. At any point in the registration process prior to advisor approval, students can make additions, deletions, or reset their selections to the ones they originally pre-registered for.

After making changes to their schedule as necessary, students submit the form to their advisors, who will look over the form and confirm the student’s selections. Upon confirmation, a notification and second confirmation will be sent to the student. When the student accepts the second confirmation, the subject selections will be locked.

Online registration aims to eliminate paper from the registration process while accomplishing the same goals with increased efficiency. Students and advisors are still expected to meet face-to-face to discuss subject selection; online registration facilitates the paperwork but not at the intended expense of cutting down in-person student-advisor interaction.

Students pursuing a double major with at least one major or program within the pilot courses are eligible to register online with that department. But if a student’s home department is not part of the pilot, they might have to submit a paper registration with that department (and should check with their home department to find out). All other students must register with the traditional paper process with their advisors.

Additionally, online registration will be accessible from iPhones, Androids, and Blackberry smartphones, displaying pages formatted specifically for the device. Academic advisors and registration officers will be able to view and approve their advisees’ registration forms, and students will have the option of reviewing subject selections and completing registration. Currently, the mobile version does not allow modification of subject selections.

Following this pilot, the Registrar’s Office and Information Services & Technology (IS&T) will determine the next steps necessary to further implement the online registration system. If all goes well, all students will eventually be on the new system.

—Anne Cai