Registrar  /  Current Students  /  SP 2019-20 Term Information

SP 2019-20 Term Information

MBS, Caltech's online bookstore, is now open for Spring term: https://bncvirtual.com/caltech. While MBS guarantees stock and competitive prices, you are free to purchase books from any vendor you like. If you do order from another vendor, please make sure that the ISBNs and editions are the same as the ones listed.

You can find a textbook list for Spring classes here, under Textbooks.

Please know that this term the Library is only able to offer e-reserves. To understand what's available to support your studies please consult Moodle and/or your instructor, the course syllabus, and the Library catalog, TIND.

SP 2019-20 Term Important Dates

3/23 to 3/26 - Online advising period for students and advisers.
3/27 - REGIS opens at 8:00 AM (Pacific) for all students.
3/30 - Spring term officially begins, but required work and activity is deferred one week. Courses open in Moodle (students log in to discuss course procedures and expectations, and to obtain syllabus).
4/6 - Regular class meetings begin.
4/9 - Last day to submit WI 2019-20 TQFR surveys.
4/10 - WI 2019-20 grades due; WI 2019-20 TQFR reports available.
4/17 - Add Day.
5/20 - Drop Day.

Registration Information for Students

Due to remote operations, registration changes will be handled differently this term for all parties. Please see below for the process and expectations. If the guidelines are followed, registration changes should be a smooth process that will allow students and faculty to focus on settling into the new learning environment.

Changes to Spring Course Offerings

Students must make registration changes in REGIS and not by email. Adding and dropping in REGIS will not require approvals of the instructor and advisor for each change. Students may only use alternative methods of registration to enroll in classes with course conflicts, cases of over enrollment in a limited seating class, and to overload. Please see below for processes for such exceptions.

Registration Timeline

Updated Course offerings are in REGIS and updated on the schedule of classes. Outstanding PE requirements are waived for graduating seniors, but several PE courses will continue to be offered remotely. Seniors enrolled in PE courses may choose to take them for the additional units, but they will not be required for their Core requirements.

  1. Monday, March 23 - Go onto REGIS and review your schedule for any changes such as cancellations or changes to meeting times. TBD can indicate no regular meeting times. Please see the syllabi for further information.
  2. Monday, March 23 - Thursday, March 26 - Advising Period (see below for expectations)
  3. Friday, March 27 - REGIS will reopen at 8:00AM (Pacific Time) for all students. Deadlines to add, drop, and select pass/fail grading remain the same.
  4. Monday, March 30 - Courses open online in Moodle, but regular class meetings are deferred one week.
  5. Monday, April 6 - Regular class meetings begin.
  6. Friday, April 17 - Add Day
  7. Wednesday, May 20 - Drop Day, deadline to exercise pass/fail option and change sections.

Advising Expectations

Students are expected to discuss any desired schedule changes with their advisors before making them in REGIS. Advisors will still need to approve final schedules. Students are being trusted to make their own changes in REGIS, and the success of a smooth term will rely heavily on students following advising guidelines. Students should submit their schedules to their advisor as changes are completed in REGIS, to enable advisors to review and approve.

Adding and Dropping Classes

Starting this Friday, students may go into REGIS and make add or drop changes as desired, except in cases of course conflicts, over enrollment requests, and any courses that would put them into overload. Most courses will have lectures on their published meeting day and time. See the schedule of classes for the most up-to-date meeting time information.

Submitting Schedules

Students must submit their schedules for approval after each day a change is made. This is so that the advisor can see the schedule, even if in progress. Students may continue to make changes during the new registration period. To do so, they recall the schedule in REGIS, make the next change, and resubmit the schedule to the advisor.

Course Conflicts

If a student wishes to register for courses with conflicting meeting times, they will need the approval of both instructors and their advisors. Requests should be made through this form. It contains detailed instructions, but students are starting a workflow request. The student will have the opportunity to write out any comments for the faculty and will be notified by email as it is approved, denied, or processed.

Enrollment in Limited Seating Courses That Are Full

For courses that are limited seating and at capacity, students will need to have the instructor email their approval to regis@caltech.edu. Please note that we will not process any requests if there are course conflicts. If you are registering for over enrollment with course conflicts, use the form above and note in the comments that you are requesting approval for both types of exceptions.

Pass/Fail Grading

For this third term only, students are permitted to take any course they wish for pass/fail grading. All courses taken for pass/fail can be used towards Core and option requirements that are typically letter grade only. Students do not need to obtain faculty or advisor permission to take a spring course for pass/fail. The deadline to opt to pass/fail is May 20 (Drop Day). Pass/fail grading should be selected by students in REGIS through the usual drop-down. NOTE: A warning message will be presented in REGIS if a student elects more than 2 pass-fail grading schemes. Students can simply hit ‘SAVE' again to by-pass the warning, which is not being enforced this spring term.

PE Courses

Seniors have had their remaining PE requirement waived. They are not required to take courses but may if they like.

  • PE courses will be offered in a combination of live instruction and individualized check-in, logs and journaling, as well as regular assignments, these will be worked out with the instructors.
  • Meeting times are 9a, 12n, 4pm PST to offer students natural breaks during their academic day and to accommodate for multiple time zones in a way that makes sense. Once Athletics see enrollment information, instructors and their classes may adapt as needed.

Overall Registration Expectations

Although Add Day has not changed, students are expected to register for all of their courses by the first week so that they be eligible to access the virtual classes.

  • Registering for courses will put you on the faculty's roster and approve you for access to the class's online learning environment and materials.
  • Depending on their timeline and attendance expectations, courses added after the first week by the student may result in the faculty asking the Registrar's Office to drop them. Because registration is readily available to all students, the expectation is that all students will register for their courses early in the term.
  • Full-time status is still required for all students who are not approved to be on an approved underload through their dean's office. Undergraduate Underload Petition
  • Overloads still need to be pre-approved before the student can add the additional units. Undergraduate Overload Petition
  • Underload and Overload petitions can be submitted without a student's signature if received from their Caltech email. Advisors can sign with Adobe if capable, or they may email their support separately to the deans (or registrar for senior underloads).

Registration Information for Faculty

The "Registration Information for Students" section above explains the registration process developed to allow remote changes to occur with minimal disruption to the parties involved. Due to circumstances such as offering changes, course cancellations, and grading scheme change opportunities, we anticipate many adjustments to occur. Due to the high volumes expected, we will not accept email requests for registration changes from faculty or students. Students should make changes in REGIS when possible. If requesting a course conflict or over enrollment, the processes outlined above should be followed. They are designed to minimize faculty and staff workload.

Faculty and advisors will not need to sign off on each change except in cases of course conflict or over enrollment. Because of this, communication and remote advising will be integral to the process.

Advising Expectations

Students were told to have remote discussions with advisors prior to making their changes in REGIS. There will be a three-day window for advising before REGIS re-opens. Advising discussions may occur after Friday as needed. However, we hope most discussions happen this week so that students can start accessing their online classes.

Classes start becoming accessible by Monday, March 30, but regular class meetings do not begin until April 6. Because students must be registered for courses before gaining access to the virtual environment, we expect that they will make all of their course additions earlier than usual.

Faculty may advise against poor choices related to the unusual circumstances of the term. You may view their schedule through REGIS. You may also request an advising hold be placed on their account if you wish to halt further registration until they speak with you.

The pass/fail grading option may lead to a slight increase in requests for students to move into demanding or rigorous courses simply to be able to take advantage of the pass/fail grading option. If you feel that your advisee may be putting themselves into a risky situation, please reach out to them and feel empowered to ask for them to drop the class.

Thank you for your assistance in these temporary processes. We hope that their efficiencies have minimal disruption to everyone's start of term.

Course Conflict Approvals - New Online Process

We are implementing an online approval workflow process to handle student requests to enroll in courses that have a time conflict. Please note that this is intended to be a temporary process and that it was built in a very short period of time using technology we had at hand. As such, we beg your patience and understanding with any shortcomings the system may have.

In a nutshell, the workflow proceeds as follows:

  1. Student submits a request using an online form, providing details about the conflicting courses.
  2. The faculty email addresses provided by the student are verified against a list of actual instructors and advisers.
  3. If the addresses are valid, approval emails are sent to faculty in parallel to conserve time.
  4. Instructors and advisers use buttons in the email to either approve or deny the request.
  5. If all approvals are given, the request is forwarded to the Registrar's office.
  6. The Registrar processes the request after verifying that it does not violate any other academic policies.

In order to minimize the number of emails sent to you as an instructor or adviser, you will only receive a single approval email per request. You will not be notified whether the request is ultimately approved or denied.

When you press either the Approve or Deny button in the email, this message will appear in your default web browser (with your selected response):

Thank you! Your response "Approve" has been successfully registered.

If, by some mistake, you try to press one of the buttons again, you may receive one of two messages. This one will appear if you try to select a different option:

An error occurred while recording your response. Please try again later!

And this will appear if you select the same option or if the workflow has ended:

The workflow is not in 'Running' state. It was completed or cancelled.

Unfortunately, we are not able to modify these system messages.

It is possible for you to forward the approval emails to someone else and have that person perform the approvals; the system will only record the first response posted.

If you have any questions or comments, please email them to Debi Tuttle at debit@caltech.edu. Feedback that we receive about this temporary process will be very useful should we eventually develop a more robust process in REGIS at some time in the future.