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Civil Engineering The Hidden Curriculum, Episode 1 | Class of 2025

Welcome to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute!

We are so excited to welcome you to the Rensselaer community. The School of Engineering First-Year Advising Hub will be your main resource when it comes to understanding your academic requirements..

As part of Student Orientation, we have developed this Registration Guide to support you with your first selection of college courses! We understand that you are each coming into Rensselaer at a different place based upon the credits you are bringing in. We want to ensure that you have a good understanding of your first-year curriculum and that you feel confident with the courses you select for the Fall semester.

This guide covers:

  • The SoE Hub and your Hub Advisor
  • Curriculum Planning for the Fall Semester
  • The Major Template (4-Year Plan)
  • Transferring AP, IB, and other credits to Rensselaer
  • An Overview for Course Registration
  • Upcoming Video Chats presented by the SoE Hub (major specific)
  • Online Academic Resources

This Registration Guide is Episode 1 of our series called The Hidden Curriculum. Beginning with your first registration and ending as you wrap up your first year of college, follow The Hidden Curriculum series over the next year, with the support of your SoE Hub Advisor. Each episode will include the knowledge and requirements that you need to be aware of. It is your responsibility to become informed – starting now!

Review this entire Registration Guide before developing your schedule! You will find important information and tips throughout each section.

And remember, the SoE Hub is here to support you!

Who is your SoE Hub Advisor?

The SoE Hub and your Advisor

Turn up the volume or click the CC button to meet your SoE Hub Advisor, Karen Lewis!

The School of Engineering (SoE) Advising Hub is your primary resource for academic and curriculum planning support for your first year at Rensselaer. When you declared Civil Engineering, you were assigned to one of our Hub Advisors, Karen Lewis. She will walk you through each step of developing your Fall schedule with this guide and upcoming webinars.

Contact Information for Karen Lewis: phelak@rpi.edu
On to your curriculum!

Curriculum Planning

For this Student Orientation Guide, we are focusing on your first semester at Rensselaer. We'll worry about the rest later!

Let's start with...

  1. Major Template
  2. Your Schedule for Fall 2021
  3. AP, IB, and other Transfer Credits
  4. The Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (HASS) Core
Curriculum Planning - one step at a time!

1. Major Template

What is a Major Template...?

It is a semester-by-semester guide of your required curriculum.You will follow that specific Major Template for your cohort, the Class of 2025. A template can change annually, so you want to ensure you are always looking at the correct guide. For your cohort, there should always be a date ending with “2021” at the bottom (for example: 8/19/2021).

P.S.: Even if you are ahead in credits, and might graduate early, you will always be part of the Class of 2025 cohort as you started at Rensselaer in the 2021-2022 Academic Year.

All courses listed on the Major Template are required for degree completion and to graduate as a Civil Engineer. You can certainly add to your curriculum in ways such as declaring a minor but you must take all courses listed on your Civil Engineering Template.

Pro-tip: Never use Google to search for your Major Template! You may end up taking the wrong courses by following a plan meant for another cohort, and you could delay your graduation.

In thinking about your first semester, it is important to understand that each student may start in a different place on the Major Template. If you have AP, IB, or other transfer credits, this will allow you to take courses that are listed in the second, or even third, semester, even as an incoming college student. It is common to be 'off template'. The key to curriculum planning is understanding the sequence of classes (prerequisites and corequisites), and which courses would not be ideal to take together in the same semester. With this understanding, you can move upper-level courses to earlier semesters (if needed).

Quick Definitions:

  • Prerequisites: Courses that must be completed before you can take the next course in the sequence. For example, Calculus 1 is a prerequisite for Calculus 2.
  • Corequisites: Courses that must taken during the same semester, or before you take the next course in the sequence. For example, Physics 2 is a corequisite for Introduction to Engineering Design.

As mentioned earlier in this guide, you should also utilize The Catalog to find each major's requirements, and to understand the sequence (prerequisites/corequisites) of required courses. In The Catalog, you will also find...”

  • Major options and requirements (Major Template)
  • Course descriptions
  • Prerequisites and corequisites
  • Minor options and requirements
  • Concentrations within certain majors
  • and more!

Turn up the volume or click the CC button! We will walk you through navigating your Major Template.

The Materials Engineering Major Template is used an example in this video. You will dive deeper into your Civil template a little further into the guide!

Save your Major Template (below) in a safe place!

Updated June 2021 | Cohort 2025
Ready to think about your first semester of college?

2. Your Schedule for Fall 2021

As mentioned, we are going to focus this Registration Guide on your upcoming Fall semester. Later, you will meet with your SoE Hub Advisor to talk about your spring semester and your 4-Year Plan.

In the fall semester, as a Civil Engineer, you will take:

  • 1-Credit ENGR Course | CIVL 1200, or ENGR 1200
  • 4-Credit ENGR Course | ENGR 1100
  • 4-Credit MATH Course | MATH 1010, 1020, or 2400
  • 4-Credit Science Course | CHEM 1100, or PHYS 1100
  • 4-Credit HASS Course

= a total of 16 or 17 Credits

In the video below, your Hub Advisor Karen, will walk you through your first semester and the above mentioned courses. Don't forget to turn up the volume or click the CC button!

What if you are bringing college credits with you?

3. AP, IB, and other Transfer Credits

Are you planning to use AP, IB, or other transfer credits?

Yup! -- Click the button for your next steps!

Nope! -- Skip to Section 4) Your Humanities, Arts, and Social Science (HASS) Core.

HASS = Your General Education Requirements

4. Your Humanities, Arts and Social Science (HASS) Core

Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences - Your General Education!

Turn up the volume or click the CC button! We will explain your requirements in the following video.

  • During your first year you will take an Interdisciplinary HASS course (IHSS), as mentioned in the video above.
  • You are also required to take one Communication Intensive (CI) HASS course within your first three semesters.

When you go to register, you will see which IHSS courses are Communication Intensive. You can also visit the link below for a comprehensive list of courses that meet the Communication Intensive requirements. It is important to think about what pathway you may want when deciding your course options, so make sure to check those out as well!

  • Type Ctrl+F to search for 'Integrative Pathways' after clicking the button above.

Questions about HASS courses or the HASS Core itself? Unsure what to register for, or what your AP, IB or other transfer credits will satisfy? You are always invited to reach out to the HASS Hub. Visit their website (button below) for contact information.

We are hosting a Webinar to chat about your HASS Requirements! We will ensure that you can make a decision about your first HASS course with confidence.

Please add the following day and time to your calendar:

  • When: July 13th, 2021
  • Time: 7:00 to 7:45 pm EST

Email Hub Advisor Kristin, bergek@rpi.edu to receive a formal invitation for this webinar, or if you have questions.

Step 1) course selection, Step 2) registration!

How to Register

Now that we've touched upon what classes you should be taking, let's discuss how you will actually register for them. There are 5 main steps in registering for your fall semester courses, and seeing your first college schedule!

  1. Set up your Student Information System (SIS)
  2. Determine your Registration Date/Time
  3. Create a Mock Schedule in QuACS
  4. Clear your Financial Agreement Hold
  5. Register for Courses with SIS

This first registration period during July is the only time you will complete Step 1! Once you set up your SIS account, you will be good for each registration in the future. However, you will need to repeat Step 2 through Step 5 each semester, including the removal of your Financial Agreement Hold.

When will you register for your fall classes?

Summer registration for the Fall semester will start on July 19th and end on July 30th, 2021. More information on how to find the day and time that you will sit down to register will be found in Step 2 below.

You can always find more information on the Registrar's website.

Throughout the registration process, you can always email The Registrar's Office for support. Their email during your first registration period is: newstudentreg@rpi.edu

Step 1) Set up your Student Information System (SIS)

You will be given your Rensselaer Identification Number (RIN) from the Office of First Year Experience (FYE) ~6 days after you submit your deposit. In other words, you will have this number well before it is time for you to register for your fall courses. You will always use your RIN to log into the Student Information System (SIS).

The first time you log into SIS, you will use your birthday as the password (MMDDYY), and you will be immediately prompted to change your password. Keep all this information in a safe place!

If you need a SIS password reset, email newstudentreg@rpi.edu

If you are having issues with establishing a VPN connection, or with setting up your RCSID, you will want to submit a service request with DotCIO by clicking the button below.

Important note: Faculty and staff will commonly ask for your RIN, so always have this identification number on hand. You can find it on your Rensselaer ID card, and on your SIS account. It's useful to include in your emails to faculty and staff on campus so we are able to quickly pull up your information.

Step 2) Find your Registration Time Ticket

As mentioned, registration for the Fall 2021 semester will start on July 19th and end on July 30th. How do you know exactly what time you are supposed to register for your classes? The Registrar's Office will assign you a Time Ticket for your personal registration period.

SoE Hub Pro-Tip! The second your registration period begins (based on your Time Ticket) you should register for courses! During registration, hundreds of Rensselaer students are given access to register for their courses at the start of each hour. By delaying your personal registration you might miss the sections and courses you want to register for. Most first year students are planning to take the same courses, such as calculus and HASS. Do not wait to register for your courses, register immediately!

How do you find your Time Ticket?

Once you log into SIS, first select the Student Menu option, then View My Registration Status. Your time ticket is in United States Eastern Standard Time (EST) and is displayed in military/24 hour time. You may register any time after your assigned time slot during the registration period.

Special note: If you are unfamiliar with military time representation, times of 0000-1200 are equivalent to AM times. For times between 1201 and 2359, subtract 12 to get the equivalent PM time - for example a time of 1600 equates to 4:00 pm, a time of 1930 equates to 7:30 pm).

Be sure that you check your SIS account during the week of July 6th to find your Time Ticket information. Once you see the day/time that you will be registering for courses, put a notification on your calendar and block that time from other events.

If you know that you may have trouble accessing your SIS account to register for courses at the day/time listed on your Time Ticket, you may reach out to your Hub Advisor for support. Registering for your Fall 2021 courses should be made a priority!

In future semesters, your time ticket will be based on the number of credits you have earned.

Step 3) Create a Mock Schedule in QuACS

CRN = Course Registration Number

Turn up the volume or click the CC button! We will walk you through this crucial tool.

Important Note! QuACS pulls all course information from SIS; however, there is a delay in the information being transferred from SIS to QuACS. This means that the number of seats shown in QuACS is most likely inaccurate when registration is open as changes are occurring every second to the number of available seats. QuACS is unable to keep up!

Always confirm the number of seats left through SIS so you are not surprised if a section is closed. It's important to always have a Plan A, Plan B, and maybe even a Plan C when you are registering for courses.

Our advice is to have SIS and QuACS open at the same time, even side-by-side, when you are registering for courses (see image below).

SIS on left and QuACS on right

Step 4) Clear Financial Agreement Hold

You will have to remove your Financial Agreement Hold every semester before you are able to register for courses.

What are holds? Holds are Rensselaer's way of keeping you on track. If you have requirements from the Bursar, Registrar, Health Center, or other offices on campus that have not been fulfilled, you will have a hold on your account. Holds will prevent you from registering for courses once you are on campus. You should check SIS regularly for holds, especially in the weeks leading up to your future registration time tickets.

Step 5) Register for Courses with SIS

SIS = Student Information System

Turn up the volume or click the CC button! We will walk you through how to register for courses with SIS.

Prioritize one of the upcoming video chats!

Registration Guide Video Chats

Continued support from The School of Engineering Advising Hub, and your Hub Advisor!

The SoE Hub will host important, major-specific, 45-minute registration video chats from July 6th through July 16th. Karen Lewis, your advisor, will walk through the Civil Engineering Major Template and your fall semester registration. There will only be one Video Chat for each major, so you should be sure to attend!

She will review...

  • What courses you should take this fall
  • Resources to inform your decisions
  • The tools you will use to register: SIS and QuACS
  • And, she will leave plenty of time to answer all your questions!

What dates and times will the Video Chats happen?

Special note: All times listed are EST.

Pay attention to your new Rensselaer email! Karen will reach out to you with more information. These video chats will be recorded to support our friends around the world who are in different time zones.

Always remember, we are here to help!
Congratulations and welcome to RPI! - Your SoE Hub Team

School of Engineering First-Year Advising Hub

3306 Ansell Lounge, Jonsson Engineering Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

All photos within this Registration Guide were taken on the Rensselaer campus by SoE Hub Advisor Kristin Bergene, during her lunchtime walks. We hope you enjoyed a brief look at our gorgeous campus.

Created By
Kristin Bergene
Appreciate