How Enrollment Works


Why do I need to sign up in advance for an IntroSem?

The IntroSem sign-up process communicates your interest in the seminar topic and allows the faculty member to begin to get to know you. One of the purposes of an IntroSem is to promote formulation of relationships between faculty and students around common intellectual interests.

To sign up for priority enrollment in Autumn IntroSems, Frosh, Sophomores, and new Transfers need to submit a statement of interest in the sign-up database, the IntroSems' VCA, by 8AM (PT) on Monday, August 30th, 2021 (deadline extended). Autumn instructors will assemble their classes from sign-ups and selected students will be priority enrolled by September 15th. Autumn IntroSems with Space Available will open to general enrollment in Axess starting September 16th.

How to Sign Up

1. Browse the IntroSems catalog on this site, ExploreIntroSems, select your seminars, and sign up for priority enrollment in three IntroSems each quarter. Check out Dates and Deadlines for the quarterly sign-up windows.

2. Go to the IntroSems' VCA to sign up. In a brief paragraph or two, respond to the following prompt. Written comments are REQUIRED for your first choice IntroSem each quarter. Statements of interest for your second and third choices are optional. The prompt--

Pick something in the seminar description and explain why it grabs your attention. Perhaps it reminds you of a prior experience, inspires you to tell a story about yourself, or unearths a curiosity you didn’t know you have. Don’t worry if the story doesn’t seem relevant to the IntroSem. The purpose is for the professor to learn more about you as they assemble the class.

PLEASE NOTE: Some IntroSems REQUIRE responses to additional seminar-specific questions. If a seminar has a question, you'll see it below the standard prompt when you sign up in the IntroSems' VCA. Answer any seminar-specific questions regardless of how you rank the IntroSem. These faculty want to know more about you than the standard question reveals.

How Enrollment Works

Students who sign up for and are placed into an IntroSem will be automatically enrolled. Units are pre-loaded on study lists before Axess opens for general course registration each quarter. You may be placed into more than one IntroSem each quarter depending on your choices.

When Axess opens, you may drop a pre-enrolled seminar yourself should your schedule change or you change your mind. In other words, you are not obligated to stay in your pre-enrolled seminar.

IntroSems that have spaces available after the online placement process will open for self-enrollment in Axess. Visit the Space Available page for the latest updates.

Insider Tips

Are IntroSems required?

Although enrollment in an IntroSem is not required, many IntroSems satisfy university breadth requirements (Ways of Thinking, Ways of Doing) and in some departments, an IntroSem can fulfill a major requirement. All IntroSems count toward the 180 units required for an undergraduate degree.

Why do IntroSems have a special sign-up procedure different from other departmental classes in Axess?

The sign-up process communicates your interest in the seminar topic and allows the faculty member to begin to get to know you. One of the purposes of an IntroSem is to promote formation of relationships between faculty and students around common intellectual interests.

Do all seminars fill to capacity during priority enrollment?

Most seminars do not fill completely, but about one-third of IntroSems generate more demand than space. High-demand subjects in the past have included computer science, law, economics, chemistry, and psychology. When there are more students than space, classes are assembled based on your written statements of interest. Most faculty choose a mix of students who bring different perspectives and levels of expertise. There are wait-lists for oversubscribed classes. TIP: Maximize your options by signing up for a variety of topics and disciplines.

Can Frosh sign up for Sophomore IntroSems? (or vice versa)

Faculty will typically prioritize sophomores over frosh for Sophomore IntroSems, while frosh receive preference for Frosh Seminars. Nevertheless, if a topic really interests you, do sign up as faculty are often open to enrolling either frosh or sophs in their classes. Faculty give priority to frosh and sophs in all IntroSems over juniors and seniors. TIP: Frosh IntroSems course numbers end in ‘N’ (e.g., BIO 12N). Sophomore IntroSems course numbers end in ‘Q’ (e.g., COMPLIT 11Q).

Please note that frosh are not eligible to sign up for priority enrollment in Sophomore WRITE 2 IntroSems, or IntroSems that fulfill the university's second-level writing requirement, Writing 2. Frosh are strongly encouraged to be mindful of this when making their quarterly selections in the IntroSems' VCA. There is one Frosh WRITE 2 IntroSem offered in Spring 2022 for which frosh who have completed Writing 1 (i.e., PWR 1, ESF, etc.) can sign up for priority enrollment, Russia in the Early Modern European Imagination.

Should I sign up now or later?

Spaces are NOT allocated first-come, first-served. Faculty consider all sign-ups after each quarterly deadline--August 30 for Autumn IntroSems, November 1 for Winter IntroSems, and February 14 for Spring IntroSems.

Use My Plan on this website to keep track of your favorites for the entire academic year (it's like your wishlist), then sign up in the IntroSems' VCA during the applicable quarterly sign-up window. While you can preview all 2021-22 IntroSems in the online catalog at ExploreIntroSemsplease note that the IntroSems’ VCA is only open for sign-ups one quarter at a time. Sign up for priority enrollment during the following windows, by 8AM (Pacific Time):

  • Autumn: August 2 to August 30

  • Winter: October 1 to November 1

  • Spring: January 14 to February 14