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Northwestern University

Registration and Enrollment

Various registration-related topics are explained below. For general information on registration, including dates and policies, see the Office of the Registrar's Registration webpage.


Pre-Registration begins the week before registration and lasts four days. It is an opportunity for students who have declared certain majors and minors to register for up to two classes. Not all departments participate in pre-registration. Review a list of participating departments.

Approximately one week prior to pre-registration, the Registrar’s Office will send out a reminder about pre-reg with instructions for controlling enrollment in your classes, as well as maintaining any necessary majors/minors lists and student groups.

Permission numbers

Class Permission Numbers may be given to a student by an instructor or department administrator.  A Class Permission Number can override closed classes, requisites not met, and consent requirements. They can be student specific or general. Download instructions for generating permission numbers.

Class rosters

You can view your class rosters in CAESAR, which offers a variety of display options (including viewing photos). Rosters can also be printed or downloaded into Excel. See instructions for working with class rosters in CAESAR.

Course "overloads" and "underloads"

Students in Weinberg College typically take four 1-unit courses each quarter; although students sometimes enroll for more than 4 units in a quarter. A common example is taking four 1-unit courses plus a course worth less than a unit, such as a .5-unit music ensemble.

Special considerations apply to students who take more than 4.99 units in a quarter (sometimes called an overload) or less than 3 units (an underload). Read policies related to overloads and underloads.

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