Course Registration

Course registration for summer, fall and spring semesters is accomplished at several times and posted on the Office of the Registrar website. During the fall and spring semesters (in November and April), a two-week priority registration period is held for currently enrolled students to register for the subsequent semester; new transfer and readmitted students are permitted to register during the priority period, too.  An open registration period begins after the priority weeks and remains open through the last day to add a course for the semester. First-time undergraduate students, transient students, and participants in a college in high school program may register during the open period and typically register during a scheduled session or meeting with an advisor.

Course Status


The term course and class are used interchangeably at the university and is defined as learning for credit by a qualified instructor with regular and substantive student-instructor interaction. 

Class Hour:

The class hour is a weekly 50-minute class period and is the basic unit of instruction.

Semester Hour:

The term "semester hour" (s.h.) signifies one class hour a week carried for one full semester (or the equivalent in a part of term, summer term or flexibly-scheduled class). A semester hour of credit (also known as credit hour) is the amount of credit given for one semester hour successfully completed. Each semester hour of credit represents an average of three hours of study and instruction every week through the term. Alternatively, a web-based semester hour will be defined as the learning that takes place in at least 45 hours of learning activities, which include time in reviewing lectures or class meetings online, laboratories, examinations, presentations, tutorials, preparation, reading, studying, hands-on experiences, and other learning activities or a demonstration by the student of learning equivalent to that established as the expected product of such a period of study.

Enrollment Status

Current Student:

Enrollment is defined as consisting of three major components: admission to the university, course registration, and payment of all assessed tuition and fees. A currently enrolled undergraduate student is defined as one who is enrolled past the fourteenth day of the full-term or seventh day of an eight week or less part of term. Students who are considered current for a term, but do not register for the subsequent term, will still be notified about priority registration for two subsequent semesters.  A student is no longer considered current or active if they have not enrolled for three consecutive semesters.

Full-Time Student:

A full-time undergraduate student is defined as one who is registered for at least 12 semester credit hours during a semester.  Full-time enrollment for federal financial aid is always defined as 12 semester credit hours, including summer semester. Full-time tuition bulk rate is always defined as enrollment for 12 to 18 semester credit hours.

A full-time graduate student is defined as one who is registered for six or more semester credit hours during a semester. Graduate students who complete less than six hours per semester may lose eligibility for federal financial aid as a full-time student. Graduate students who wish to complete their program of study in a timely manner will likely need to enroll in nine or more hours per semester. Students are encouraged to discuss scheduling plans with their advisor. Assistantships/Fellowships and many scholarships require students to enroll in 9 or more semester hours during the Fall and Spring terms.

Enrollment Verification:

The National Student Clearinghouse serves as the university's authorized agent for enrollment and degree verification.  The clearinghouse receives data electronically from YSU and dispenses the information electronically to requesting lending institutions, prospective employers, background investigation firms, and credit granting agencies.  Students may also find that they need a letter from the university as proof of enrollment for things including but not limited to professional associations, licensure, insurance, and loans.  The Office of the Registrar is responsible for verifying student enrollment status and can provide students with an enrollment verification letter.  The office maintains both current and past records of enrollment, but cannot verify future enrollment.  Students may request a letter in the Penguin Portal.  The letter will be printed the next business day and will list the student's enrollment status (i.e., full-time) for the term requested, anticipated graduation date, and start and stop dates of the term.  An enrollment verification letter does not include courses taken or grades attained; an official transcript should be requested to verify this type of information.

Maximum Schedule:

The semester hours of credit a student carries per term depends on the degree sought and on the curriculum being followed. A minimum of 120 semester hours must be satisfactorily completed to earn a baccalaureate degree; a minimum of 60 semester hours for an associate degree. Students expecting to complete a bachelor's degree in four years or an associate degree in two years should average 16 semester credit hours per term. An undergraduate student may register for a course load maximum of 20 semester credit hours per term. Students interested in taking 21 credit hours or more per term must seek approval from the dean of their college.


All course registration takes place online through the Penguin Portal and students may not attend a course unless they have registered for that course. Course registration is defined as adding a class, dropping a class, or completely withdrawing from all classes. Initial course registration and schedule adjustments must be completed before the last day to add a course or the last day to withdraw deadlines for the term/part of term. Detailed instructions on registration, including how to use waitlist, add/drop courses, change a grade mode or variable credit hours, or complete withdrawal are available on the Penguin Service Center website.

In general, students should follow the steps listed below to complete the registration process each semester:

  • Run a program audit to review remaining course requirements and/or complete an academic advisement session, as necessary
  • Review the schedule of classes in the Penguin Portal
  • Register for classes in the Penguin Portal
  • Check financial aid requirements for eligibility and accept available aid in the Penguin Portal
  • View and pay charges in the Penguin Portal
  • Review course schedule in the Penguin Portal prior to first day of classes
  • Review and adhere to academic calendar deadlines on the Office of the Registrar’s website

Check Registration Status:

There are various reasons a student could have a hold on their record preventing them from completing registration. Students should check their registration status in the Penguin Portal prior to registration.  If there is a hold on the student’s account, it will indicate if it will prevent registration and a phone number of where to call to resolve the issue will be listed in the description. If an academic advisement hold is listed, students should make an appointment with their assigned advisor as promptly as possible. Each academic department or college has a procedure for assigning a student to a faculty or staff advisor. For advisement requirements, please review the advisement section of the catalog.

Pay Attention to Registration Error Messages: 

Some courses have prerequisites or requirements that students must meet in order to enroll in their courses.  If a student receives an error message while registering for a course, note the message and contact the academic department of the course or the Penguin Service Center for assistance; students will find that they may need an override to be placed on their account before completing the registration process.

Closed Classes:

Departments set limits to the number of students that can be accommodated in each section. During the registration period, many class sections become filled. These sections are labeled with a "C" in the schedule of classes and called "Closed," which means that no more students will be admitted to the course section. Students should use the waitlist option to obtain entry into the course; instructions on how to waitlist are available on the website. Only the department chair offering the course can admit a student to a closed class or reopen a closed class.

Variable Credit Hour Classes:

Certain courses have variable credit hours which is a range of credits for which the course can be taken. Students wishing to register for such a course may do so after consulting with the department offering the course to determine the number of hours for which to register.  The last day to add a class is also the last day to change a variable credit hour course's hours.

Change of Registration: 

It is recommended that students consult with their advisor prior to changing their schedules or completely withdrawing for the semester to review how those decisions may affect degree completion.  Students may add, drop, or withdraw through the Penguin Portal according to the semester’s published deadlines in the academic calendar.


Undergraduates Registering for Conference Courses:

Conference course work is available only in exceptional cases and if the academic advisor considers conference work essential. Students must obtain the required override approval(s) and complete the course registration through the portal. Conference courses have the following restrictions:

  1. Permission is limited to seniors with a grade-point average of 3.00 or above (exceptions to this must be approved by the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled).
  2. The course must be instructed by a full-time faculty member.
  3. A brief description of the plan of procedure must be given by the full-time faculty member.
  4. Student must have approval from the course's academic department and the dean of the college in which the course resides.

Undergraduates Registering for Graduate Level Courses:

Undergraduate students who do not have a bachelor’s degree may request permission to take a 5800 level or higher graduate course(s) for graduate credit from the College of Graduate Studies.  Before registering for  the course(s), the student must have the approval of the student's advisor in the program where the credit will be applied, the course instructor, and the dean of the College of Graduate Studies. The student’s advisor will complete a request form to be approved by the course instructor and College of Graduate Studies. Students must meet the following criteria in order to obtain permission to enroll:

  1. Senior standing with un-recalculated grade point average of 2.7 or above
  2. Graduate level course may not cause undergraduate schedule to exceed 15 semester credit hours
  3. Graduate level course may not be used for graduate credit until undergraduate student is admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and the credit is approved by the admitting program department
  4. Graduate level course credit total may not exceed 9 semester credit hours

The credit earned may be used for graduate credit in a YSU graduate level program only after the student is admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and the credit is accepted by the department in which the student continues graduate work. The maximum amount of such credit that will be accepted at Youngstown State University is 9 credit hours. Graduate level courses do not count toward the undergraduate GPA, but will count toward the graduate GPA. Please see the Academic Honors page of the catalog for more information on calculating GPA for graduation honors.

Undergraduates Registering for Over 20 Credit Hours in a Single Term:

Undergraduate students are limited to registering for a maximum of 20 semester credit hours each term. Students interested in registering for more than 20 semester credit hours must obtain approval from their academic college dean or their representative prior to registration.  The academic college will complete an approval form and submit it to the Office of the Registrar for processing; once processed, the student’s maximum hours will be adjusted and the student can register for the approved maximum beyond 20.

Undergraduates Obtaining Late Registration to a Course(s):

Obtaining admission to a course after the last day to add is only granted in certain circumstances. Students may petition to late register at the Penguin Service Center. If granted permission, the student must already be registered for other coursework, hold good academic standing status, have an account free from holds that prevent registration, and instructor approval.

Undergraduates Obtaining Late Withdrawal from a Course(s):

Course withdrawal after the last day to earn a "W" deadline or unofficial withdrawal is typically recorded as an "F" on the student’s transcript.  If that grade resulted from circumstances over which the student had no control, the student may file a petition for late withdrawal with the academic college of their major within one year from the time the grade in the course was recorded.

Undergraduates Obtaining Registration in a Closed Course(s):

Academic departments set limits to the number of students that can be accommodated in each course section. During the registration period or the period for adding courses, many course sections become filled. These classes are called "closed" in the schedule of classes, which means that no more students will be admitted to them. If a student has an extenuating need to register for a closed course, the student should appeal to the chair of the academic department for the course; the department is the only authority that may permit a student to enter a closed course or reopen a closed course.

Undergraduate Student Cancellation of Registration:

A student’s registration may be cancelled and withdrawn or administratively changed for any of the following reasons and are notified of the cancellation via email and/or letter:

  1. Academic suspension from the previous term
  2. Conditional Admission or Strong Start program dismissal
  3. Disciplinary action via Student Conduct
  4. Failure to meet admission or course prerequisite requirements
  5. Registering for more hours than permitted
  6. Failure to satisfy past-due financial obligations to the university
  7. Insufficient class enrollment (course section is cancelled)


Office:  Penguin Service Center
Location:  Meshel Hall
Website: and