FAQs on course registration

Why must I choose a primary field of study?
Incoming exchange students must choose a primary field of study so they are properly registered at NC State. A primary field of study is also a requirement for your DS-2019 (a document required to receive your J-1 visa).

Students may still take courses outside their primary field of study, but the majority of their courses should be within the primary field.

Where do I find courses?
See course information provided by Registration and Records to get an idea of the courses offered. Use this to help with your course preferences on your Study Abroad application. Please note that all courses listed in the course catalog are offered every semester or even once a year. To get an idea of which courses will be offered during your time at NC State, search the “Schedule of Courses” from previous semesters.

The finalized list of available courses for a given semester will be available online (called MyPack Portal) in March for Fall courses and October for Spring courses. You should consult this list to make any final course selections after your acceptance.

What is a credit hour?
For each credit hour you are expected to spend 1 hour in class per week plus 2 hours studying per week. So, for the standard course of 3 credit hours, you should expect to spend 3 hours in class plus 6 hours studying per week for a total of 9 hours/week spent on that course.

Which courses am I allowed to take?
You are responsible for working with your department at your home university to find out which course requirements you need to fulfill, or are able to fulfill, while at NC State. Based on the courses listed in your application, you will be registered in the appropriate department determined by the NC State Study Abroad Office.

Some courses in your department may be restricted by major or by class (such as SR-for senior/4th year students). In some cases, we may be able to register you for a restricted course. However, degree-seeking NC State students have priority, and we cannot guarantee you will be registered for restricted courses.

What is a “full” or “restricted” course?
If a course is full or has restrictions, we cannot automatically add you into these courses. Full courses are unavailable and should not be listed in course selections. Restricted courses usually require pre-requisites, and the Study Abroad Office must consult with various academic departments to determine your eligibility. We cannot guarantee your acceptance into any course that is restricted.

*Occasionally full courses open up during the first week of classes. If you are interested in a full course, keep checking for availability during orientation week and during the first week of class. MyPack Portal is updated nightly at midnight. If you are not able to get into a course through the waitlist, you may speak with the professor to see if there is other space available in the class.

What are course numbers?
Courses numbered 100 – 400 are at the undergraduate level, and courses 500 and above are at the graduate level. Additionally, as course numbers increase, the level of difficulty of study increases as well. Please see Graduate Students for information regarding difference between an undergraduate and graduate student.

All exchange students registered at the undergraduate level are classified as ‘UN’ and are required to take at least 12 credit hours per semester. Undergraduate students should choose courses numbered 100-499. All exchange students registered at the graduate level are classified as ‘GR’ and are required to take at least 9 credit hours per semester. Graduate students should choose courses numbered 500 and above, but may be permitted to take undergraduate classes as well.

Can I make changes to my course schedule?
Yes. You will meet with an academic advisor during orientation week, and will be able to finalize your schedule at that time. You may wish to attend the first meeting of a course in order to get the syllabus and decide whether the course is appropriate for you. You may change your course schedule until approximately 2 weeks into the semester.

Can I take a Distance Education (DE) course?
Distance educations courses are usually taught online. Currently, a student visa allows one (1) distance education course per semester. However, distance education courses are not covered by your exchange student tuition waiver. You would be required to pay out-of-state tuition. Tuition for a normal 3 credit Distance education course will be around $1,300.

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