The pre-registration system allows you to prioritize your course requests from 1st through 7th.

Continuing students may list a primary request and an alternate.  The pre-registration system will read alternate courses only if it cannot satisfy the associated primary request.

Download PDF copy of Course Ranking Strategies.


Use higher priority spaces (1- 3) for the courses you want most, or that are most likely to close.  The How Courses Close Report shows how courses have filled in prior semesters and may be used to gauge how likely a course is to fill.  This report is available via MyAccess and can be accessed by (1) clicking the “Search Historical Course Information” link from the Pre-registration screen; and (2) clicking the “Historical Information” link next to a course search result.

Use lowest priorities for courses that will be processed manually and without regard to ranking. Restricted Registration (By Permission) Courses include clinics, professor-permission courses, any first-year course in which you are required to be enrolled (e.g., Criminal Justice and Property for 2Es), and the Spring section of a year-long course.

NOTE: Restricted Registration Courses are added to your schedule first and will prevent enrollment in a conflicting course, even if you gave that course a higher priority.

TIP: Although not required, we recommend that you add restricted registration courses with your pre-registration requests.  This way, the system will be able to inform you of potential registration errors and/or requirements (e.g., time conflicts, prerequisites, etc.).


The Office of the Registrar recommends that you list the same course as your 1st Alternate and 2nd Primary requests.  This allows the pre-registration system to give a 1st choice preference to a 2nd choice course if it is unable to satisfy the 1st Primary request (e.g., if Primary Request #1 is unavailable, Alternate Request #1 will be processed as if it were Primary Request #1, and so on).

NOTE: Once you are enrolled in your alternate section, any lower ranked course in day/time conflict will be skipped.  Carefully consider whether you want to use this option if there is a lower ranked course you are eager to take.


This strategy is useful for students who want to be enrolled in any section of a course regardless of professor or time.  For the 1st Primary request, a student will select a specific section of a course.  In the 1st Alternate request, you should select a second section of the same course and then also choose the “Any Section” flag.  The pre-registration system will attempt first to schedule you in the section you request, and if it cannot, you will then be scheduled in a section that does not conflict in time with any of your other primary requests of a higher ranking.

NOTE: Once you are enrolled in your alternate/”Any Section” course, any lower ranked course in day/time conflict will be skipped.  Carefully consider whether you want to use this option if there is a lower ranked course you are eager to take.


This strategy is used if you want Course A or Course B, which meet at the same time or are mutually exclusive.  You may request the same course or mutually exclusive courses on both the Fall and Spring registrations and hold both sections until the end of the Fall Add/Drop Period.  However, if you are still enrolled in the Fall course by the end of the Fall Add/Drop Period, the Spring course that is mutually exclusive will be dropped from your schedule.

NOTE: While you may request courses with time conflicts or that are mutually exclusive, once you are enrolled in a course, you will not be enrolled in any lower ranked course(s) with a time conflict or a mutually exclusive course within the same semester.

How Course Requests Are Processed

The course scheduling system admits students into courses up to the maximum enrollment allowed in the course.  If the course has more requests than space, the system will admit students using the registration algorithm summarized below.

Within the two categories described below, students are prioritized according to their class year and ranking of the course.  For course requests by students with the same status and course ranking, the pre-registration system will select between those students randomly.

BY COURSE SUBJECT (Program/Department Type)

  • LAWJ (J.D.) → admits all J.D. students before any LL.M. or other Graduate students are admitted.
  • LAWG (Grad/LL.M.) → admits all Graduate and LL.M. students before any J.D. students are admitted.
  • LAWD (Distance) → admits only distance students in the Executive LL.M. in Taxation, the Executive LL.M. in Securities & Financial Regulation, and the MSL and distance-certificate programs.

NOTE: If the course is cross-listed (i.e., it also has a LAWJ, LAWG, or LAWD section), you should submit your request for the correct Course Subject based on your degree program.

BY COURSE SECTION (J.D. Day & Evening Program)

  • LAWJ courses with §§ 01 through 04 will admit all J.D. Day Program students before any J.D. Evening Program students are admitted.
  • LAWJ courses with §§ 07, 17, 27, and 97 will admit all J.D. Evening Program students before any J.D. Day Program students are admitted.