Holds & problems registering

Having trouble registering?

There are a few common reasons you might not be able to register for classes. Find out what they are—and what you need to do to fix them.

Holds on your account

You won’t be able to register for classes if there’s a hold on your account. Before you register, check your record holds to make sure you’re in the clear.

Here are some of the reasons you might have a hold:

If there’s a hold on your account, you’ll see the reason, the department that issued it, and what you need to do next. Holds are usually released 24 hours after you take action. Once all holds are cleared, you’ll be allowed to register.

Find out if you have a hold

Missing prerequisites

In some cases, you’re expected to complete a course or get an appropriate score on a placement test before being allowed to enroll in a higher-level course. Prerequisites are usually listed as a class note in the schedule of classes. For example, “P: ENG-W 131” would indicate that you must complete ENG-W 131 or its equivalent before you can enroll in the course in question.

What happens if you try to enroll in a course with a prerequisite?

  • If you’ve met the prerequisite requirement, you’ll be able to enroll in the course as normal.
  • If you’re eligible due to your current enrollment in the prerequisite, you’ll be able to enroll in the course. The department offering the course will verify after the current term that you passed the prerequisite.
  • If you haven’t met the prerequisite requirement and aren’t currently enrolled in the prerequisite, you’ll get an error message saying you’re not eligible to enroll in the course. Contact your academic advisor for more information.

Prerequisite screening issues

There are some prerequisites that the registration system doesn’t screen for. Departments reserve the right to review class rosters after registration to make sure all students are eligible. If you turn out to not be eligible for a course you’ve enrolled in, you may be asked to drop the course, or you may be administratively withdrawn. This is also true for any course with the note “Consent/Permission of Instructor Required.”

Permission problems

During registration, any class that requires specific approval for a student to enroll will be denoted with “PERM.” Contact the department to find out if you’re eligible to take the class.

Classes are sometimes restricted to students who are enrolled in the school offering the course. If you’re not enrolled in the school but want to take the class, you’ll need to contact the school or department to find out if you’re eligible.

In some cases, departments require students to have a certain class standing (e.g., sophomore, junior) in order to enroll in a course. If you don’t meet this requirement, contact the department to find out if you’re eligible.

Because class standing is determined by the number of credit hours you’ve passed at IU, visiting students and graduate nondegree students won’t automatically meet class standing requirements.

Learn about class standing

Undergraduate students can’t register in graduate-level courses without specific permission from the department.

If a department or school grants permission for you to enroll, the registration system will then allow you to register for the class. Note that the granting of permission does not guarantee you a seat in the class—it means you’ll be able to enroll if a seat is available.

Check your permissions

A course I need isn't available!

If you discover that a course you need isn't available in the semester you need it, you may be able to take it at another IU campus (online or in-person), at Ivy Tech Richmond, Lawrenceburg, or Madison, or even Earlham College. 

First, talk with your advisor about your options. They may ask you to work with:

  • the Admissions office to determine whether the class you take elsewhere will transfer back to IU East,
  • the Office of Financial Aid to help you file something called a consortium agreement that allows you to use your financial aid at the campus hosting you (applicable only when taking classes at other IU campuses or Ivy Tech Richmond, Lawrenceburg, or Madison),
  • and/or the Office of the Registrar to complete a course exchange application (applicable only when taking classes at Earlham College; see application for eligibility details and instructions).

The consortium agreement and course exchange stipulate that you must be a degree seeking student at IU East, and that the course you take at another campus is required for your degree and is unavailable at IU East during the semester you need to take it. Other limitations may apply; talk to the office responsible for the application if you have any questions.

Earlham students: You can take classes at IU East through the course exchange. See the course exchange application for eligibility details and instructions, and be sure to talk to your advisor to ensure the course will fulfill the requirements you need.

I want to register for more than the maximum # of credit hours!

If you want to register for more than the maximum number of credit hours (18 credits for Fall & Spring semesters; 9 for the Summer semester), you'll need to request permission before you can register for the additional courses by completing the following form and emailing it as an attachment to your academic advisor.

Download the Request to exceed maximum credit hours form

Have questions about holds or other registration problems?

Contact the registrar