Maneuvering Add/Drop and a Major Change


Shannon Dobranski, PhD
Director of the Center for Academic Success

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Entering Georgia Tech marks a period of growth and change for our first-year students — and some of those changes may come the first week of class. Students who were dissatisfied with their schedules at FASET may use the days leading up to and during the first week of the semester to change their classes. This period is typically called “add/drop” or “phase two,” and it allows students to adjust their class lineup to accommodate changing priorities or to take advantage of new course offerings.

Add/drop is useful, too, for classes such as English composition, which all share identical learning outcomes but focus on widely varying topics. Students who discover they have registered for a section that does not suit them may be able to choose another section that better corresponds to their interests. Students should be careful to attend classes they are considering adding as well as those for which they are registered, as it’s important not to fall behind by even a day early in the semester. They should stay on top of all reading assignments and homework, because they are accountable for all course requirements, even if they add the course after classes begin.

Students who are having difficulty identifying appropriate courses or registering should communicate with their academic advisors, who will know about the best sequence of courses and possible alternatives. Advisors will remind students, for example, that they are required to complete the Core Area A requirements of English composition and the first required math course within their first 30 hours. The registrar’s website also has valuable information about registration and the process for requesting permits and overloads. Click here to learn more.

Finally, students should not abuse the add/drop period by occupying classes unnecessarily. Registering for seven classes only to drop two on the first Friday prevents other students from taking classes they might need.

Some students may anticipate bigger changes in their future, such as a change of major. Students who decide to pursue a different major after FASET should contact the academic advisor of their intended major as soon as possible. Typically, advisors will not approve changes of major during busy registration periods, but first-year students share a fairly common curriculum, so changing mid-semester rarely poses a hardship.

Students who do decide to change majors after classes begin have a number of resources to help them. They should certainly consult both their former and intended major advisors. Not only will these professionals sign the necessary forms, they can also tell students about likely careers in their chosen field and about other students’ experiences. Students who are uncertain about their future career or how it might relate to major selection can visit Career Services for counseling. Career Services is also hosting a Majors Fair on October 22 in collaboration with academic advisors and alumni to help students who might be uncertain about their path.

First-year students may encounter all sorts of change in their first semester at Georgia Tech, but with some guidance from their academic advisors and other campus resources, they can approach that change proactively and take control of their education.

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  • Created By: Rachael Pocklington
  • Workflow Status: Draft
  • Created On: Aug 5, 2013 - 7:25am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:14pm