Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Your Personal Guide to SIS

Anyone who's ever tried to navigate the labyrinth that is SIS (UVa's Student Information System) knows how overwhelming it can be at first. In places with spotty wifi, certain pages might not load, links to desired pages often seem hard to find, and there's so much information on the site it's hard to understand what's important and what isn't as useful. To help you out, here are a few tips on how to use SIS to your advantage.

What requirements must you fulfill?

This link is located under the "Academics" banner on the homepage of SIS. Clicking "My Academics" will take you to to a page that gives you access to your course information, number of credits (either transfer credits from high school or those you'll need to earn a degree from UVa), and unofficial transcript. For first year students, your Academic Requirements are probably most important. To view what courses you've taken (or credits transferred from high school) and those you need to take, click "View My Advisement Report" next to Academic Requirements (in bold at the top of the first box).

Where can you find courses to fulfill those requirements? 

Class selection is often a very stressful process for incoming students, but it doesn't have to be. Although SIS does have a database of offered courses, most if not all students will use an alternative site, Lou's List, to find and select courses they wish to take in the upcoming semester. Lou's List make the course selection process very simple, categorizing courses based on major as well as area requirements in the respective schools.

How do you enroll once you've chosen your courses?

For the first several weeks of the enrollment periods, SIS will only allow you to register for a maximum of 15 credits. If you'd like to take more credits in a semester, you can register for those extra courses once the waiting period ends and additional enrollment opens up. In the mean time,
you can add courses to your "Enrollment Requests Shopping Cart" by clicking the tab that says "Enroll" on the homepage of SIS and selecting the appropriate semester in which you'd like to take those courses. Once you select a term, you'll be able to add as many courses as you'd like (no 15 credit limit here) to your "Shopping Cart." To add a course, simply type the 5 digit number (underlined and in blue) to the left of the course description on Lou's List. Adding courses to your shopping cart does not mean you are committing to a course nor does it mean you will be guaranteed access into that course. In order to enroll, you must click the white box next to the course in your shopping cart and then select "enroll" in the green box to the bottom right of the screen.

If you're wait-listed for a course, but want to enroll in 15 credits while you wait to get into the wait listed course, you can select "swap" under the "Enroll" tab on the "My Academics" page. With the "swap" option, you can choose a course to drop should you get into that wait listed course. The course you've just been granted access to will then take the place of the course you chose to swap out.

SIS can certainly be confusing, but don't stress! Spend a little time browsing the site and becoming familiar with the different tabs and links. Until then, this short guide should help you select and enroll in the classes you want to take!

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