Course selection tips for new students Six pieces of advice for selecting courses this year


New to UW and feeling overwhelmed by the upcoming course selection period? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips to make your course selection a breeze. 

  1. Make sure you’re aware of all the important dates. Be sure to mark down the upcoming course selection period for new students, which occurs on July 4 to 11. Key course registration dates (as well as other helpful info for new students) can be found here. The registrar’s office also provides a detailed calendar with important dates for the whole school year including term start dates, add/drop periods (which allow you to make modifications to your course load), final exam periods, and tuition fee deadlines.
  2. Check the correct websites when researching courses. The undergraduate schedule of classes website lists all of the available courses per term, and organizes courses by subject. The undergraduate course descriptions website gives a brief summary of what each course is about. It’s a good idea to bookmark these pages for future access.
    1. Make sure you’re viewing the correct term when looking at course availability! On the undergraduate schedule of classes website, ensure that you’ve selected the fall 2023 term before clicking on the subject you want to explore.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the add/drop/swap period. Running from July 20 to 25, this period allows you to edit your course schedule after the initial course selection period.  Unlike the initial course selection, this period operates on a first-come first-serve basis, so it’s important to log onto Quest as soon as your appointment comes up. Prior to this period, each student will receive an appointment time where they can log on to make these edits. Be sure to check your appointment time and course schedule on July 19, so that you know when you can add, drop, or swap any of your classes. 
  4. Think about what time you want your classes to be — maybe don’t go for the 8:30 a.m. lecture if you’re not a morning person, or don’t go for the 7:00 p.m. lab if you’re living off-campus and have a lengthier commute time. Additionally, consider the travel time between your classes. You’ll want to have enough time to travel from one class to another, so be careful if you’re considering taking lectures that begin and end only 10 minutes apart.
  5. Remember the add period. This open enrollment period begins July 26 and runs until the last day to add classes in September. If you missed out on adding a course during the add/drop/swap period, you’ll want to keep these dates in mind.


  1. Be aware of the support available. There are lots of resources to help you during course selection. The Quest Help page provides in-depth tutorials and FAQs about the Quest system. The webpage on course selection from the registrar’s office can walk you through the phases of course selection, answer FAQs, and direct you to all kinds of additional support. Finally, be sure to contact your academic advisor if you need additional help.


Keep all these tips in mind, and you won’t have to sweat course selection. Best of luck!