Michelle Li / Sun Contributor

Students will pre-enroll in spring classes later in December. Like the fall semester, they will choose between multiple course modalities.

December 4, 2020

Pre-Enrollment for Spring Returns to Normal Format, Although Later than Past Years

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The Cornell University Registrar released the course roster for the spring 2021 semester on Thursday, more than a month later than last year’s spring roster. 

Although the date is atypical, pre-enroll has returned to a more common structure, changing its tune from the fall semester’s iteration.

Fall 2020 saw a new two-round enrollment process, where students — in descending timetables depending on seniority — were limited to six credits the first round, and then were able to enroll in their remaining classes during a second round. By contrast, pre-enrollment for the spring will feature a single enrollment round beginning Dec. 9 and ending Dec.15. 

For freshmen who only know the two-round enrollment system of the fall, the spring 2021 change is an unexpected one. Parvati Kodendera ’24 expressed concern about getting the classes needed for her major.

“While I haven’t experienced only one round of enrollment, I feel like I would prefer two rounds in order to ensure that I could enroll in my most important classes,” Kodendera said.

According to University Registrar Rhonda Kitch, course modalities will remain largely consistent compared to fall 2020, with a combination of hybrid, online and in-person courses to be offered across departments. 

Students taking courses from the Ithaca area will have the option of enrolling in a variety of course modalities, given they have met all of the University’s health standards. Because students will leave campus in late May, in-person classes will not transition to being entirely online as was the case this semester. 

According to Kitch, comparisons of modalities between the fall and spring will be tabulated in late December or early January. However, the newly released roster shows that many departments did not drastically change how they deliver courses from the fall to the spring.

For example, the government department offered 15 in-person and four hybrid classes in the fall. In spring 2021, they will be offering 17 in-person classes with no hybrid option. 

STEM departments also largely followed this pattern. However, the chemistry department saw an uptake in the number of in-person courses offered, increasing from 14 in the fall to 20 in the spring.

After a bumpy start to enrollment in the fall, Kitch is optimistic about the process enacted for this spring, and encouraged students to refer to the Guide to Spring 2021 Enrollment document for more information.

“Despite all of the Fall 2020 semester challenges, we have heard from students they are eager to pre-enroll in Spring 2021 classes this semester,” Kitch wrote to The Sun. “College advising offices, faculty advisors, college registrar offices and the Office of the University Registrar are ready to provide support as students navigate pre-enrollment”