Building a Schedule

Texas A&M University has introduced new Registration tools on the Howdy Portal.

With registration for both summer and fall semesters now in full swing, students are working to create their “perfect” schedule.


Online pre-registration opened on April 2 and will close on April 17, and open registration will begin on April 20. Many students have already made their schedule or are preparing to by using a variety of online resources and personal objectives to determine which courses will work best for them. 


Students are now able to use the new registration worksheet feature, which was added to the Howdy portal within the past year. Kristi Wolff, an academic advisor in the College of Geosciences, said it functions similarly to Aggie Scheduler.


“[It’s] a great service the university has provided that will allow [students] to map out their schedule and get an idea of how their courses will all work together,” Wolff said. “It’s very similar to what was online with Aggie Scheduler, but this one is provided by the university. It’s going to have more real-time benefits because it will show if a class is full.”


Many factors influence which classes and sections students choose. Two elements in particular tend to take precedence: the time of the class and the professor. 


Online resources like Rate My Professor help students choose which class to take. Psychology sophomore Rebecca Hill said she prioritizes the professor teaching the class.


“First, I look at the professor and their past records of how well students have done in their class,” Hill said. “If they have a section at a time I can take, then that’s great. If they don’t, then I keep going by professor and then time.”


Marketing senior Ceci Salas makes meeting time the determining factor in how she chooses classes due to the lack of information on the professors for each course.


“I go by [the] time first, and then I check the professor,” Salas said. “But nine times out of 10, [marketing classes] aren’t going to be on Rate My Professor, so it’s kind of like you’re shooting in the dark.”


Other websites, such as Aggie Scheduler, assist students in building their schedule days or weeks before their pre-registration time slot. Hill said she uses these common online resources, but does so with caution.


“I use Rate My Professor, but I take what they say with a grain of salt because sometimes people say things like ‘I never went to class, and I made a C,’” Hill said. “I use Aggie Scheduler as well, and I like it because, for most of the professors, it has their grade point average next to their class.”


The very definition of what makes a schedule “perfect” varies from person to person. Political science junior Ashley Buckner said her ideal would be a consistent schedule throughout the week, beginning in the late morning each day.


“[I would want to] start midday and then have a couple of classes with only a short break in between them,” Buckner said. “Probably still have classes every day of the week because I like having a little more consistency in my schedule.”


However, even using resources online and planning out schedules days or weeks in advance does not guarantee that students end up with what they would consider a perfect schedule. Wolff said students should not make creating a perfect schedule their sole focus.


“Students should be more focused on getting the courses they need to complete their degree,” Wolff said. “What I always tell my students is that they may not always get the professor they want, but when they get out into the real world, they’re not always going to get the perfect boss or the perfect coworker. They’re going to have to learn to work through different personalities all the way through, no matter what.”


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