Fall 2024 Registration:
Undergraduate Students

How to Register

Rice undergraduate students use ESTHER to select their desired slate of classes for the upcoming semester.

Registration is a two-part process:

  1. Submit your requested course selections via ESTHER during the Course Request Period
  2. Perform "Adds" and "Drops" via ESTHER during the Add/Drop Period

All undergraduate students are placed in one of four registration priority groups, based on their matriculation term and their entry status to Rice as either new-first-time or a transfer student. In both the initial registration process, as well as with the opening of the Add/Drop Period, registration priority will be given to students based on their assigned registration group.

Registration Group A B C D
New/First-Time UG Students 4+ yrs 3 yrs 2 yrs 1 yrs
...that matriculated Before Fall 2022 Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 Fall 2024
Transfer UG Students 3+ yrs 2 yrs 1 yrs N/A
...that matriculated Before Fall 2023 Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 Fall 2024 N/A

NOTE: Visiting exchange students are part of Registration Group D.

When to Register

Course Request Period (Part 1 of 2)

The Course Request Period will open on Friday, March 22, 2024 and will remain open and available through 5:00 PM Friday, April 5, 2024.

After the 5:00 PM deadline, all courses submitted during the Course Request Period will be locked. On Monday, April 8, 2024, ESTHER will systematically make course selections and populate student schedules via a randomized process, during which CRNs (Course Registration Numbers) are selected randomly and then processed in random order by registration group, beginning with A through D.

NOTE: In March 2022, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee of the Faculty Senate approved a modification to the registration process. Beginning with Fall 2022 Registration, and specifically for the Course Request Period only, the Registration Priority Groups will be amended, with student-athletes separated into a sub-group within each Registration Group. The goal is to allow student-athletes a "head start" of 10 credit hours and process registration requests for them prior to other students in their priority group. Student-athletes within Registration Group A will be re-tagged as “A1”, those within Registration Group B will become “B1," etc. Following this adjustment, “rising senior” student-athletes (A1) will receive priority registration for their randomized CRN selections for up to a maximum of 10 credit hours of registered courses. Afterwards, all students in Registration Group A (both non-student-athletes and student-athletes) will receive registration priority for their randomized CRN selections. After all of Group A has been processed, the process then shifts to “rising juniors” (B1, and then B), then “rising sophomores” (C1, and then C), and so on. Please note: this piloted amendment to the Registration Priority Groups is only for the processing of student-selected CRN selections within the Course Request Period only, and does not extend to the Add/Drop Period. The provost's office April 2022 announcement to the student community on this amendment to the registration process can be found here.

The registration results from the Course Request Period will be emailed to students by noon on Monday, April 8, 2024, once all the undergraduate course requests have been processed.

Add/Drop Registration Period (Part 2 of 2)

Undergraduate students can begin adding, dropping, or adding themselves to wait-list via ESTHER beginning at 7:00 AM on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. At this time registration is opened to undergraduate students in 15 minute increments based on the four (4) assigned registration groups (A, B, C, and D). (Please note that student-athletes do not receive priority during this period and are assigned a group solely based on their matriculation term and original student type.) Each registration group will have 15 minutes to complete their changes. After 15 minutes, registration is closed for the current group to allow access for the next registration group. Students who are unable to complete their changes within their 15 minute window must wait until 8:00 AM to log back into ESTHER to complete their registration.

After 8:00 AM, students no longer need a Registration PIN to log into ESTHER and make changes to their schedules.

PLEASE NOTE: A Registration PIN will be required during the initial drop/add period from 7:00 AM to 7:59 AM on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. This Registration PIN is the last six digits of your ID number as it displays in ESTHER.

Registration Group A B C D
Add/Drop Begins: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 7:00 AM 7:15 AM 7:30 AM 7:45 AM

Please Note: Students are strongly encouraged to seek academic advising between receiving their initial posted schedule and beginning Add/Drop on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

Why does Rice use the Course Request Period?

For many years, registration activity was prioritized based on a student's total number of hours in academic history, which often included significant amounts of AP credit. In response to student concerns and registration feedback, the Rice registration process was adjusted to be prioritized based on matriculation year rather than total hours. This allows for a more fair and equitable registration process for all undergraduate students. Students within a cohort or class register at the same time as their peers.

Additionally, introducing the Course Request Period allows students more time and flexibility to receive academic advising throughout the process of creating a proposed schedule, including alternate course choices, prior to that initial "moment" of registration. Students can add, drop, and change their selected courses throughout the Course Request Period from March 22 - April 5, 2024. After the initial registration results are displayed on Monday, November 13, 2023, students then have additional time to reconsider course options and seek additional advising before the add/drop period begins on Wednesday, April 10, 2024.

Ultimately, a goal for this two-part registration is to make the process of registration less stressful, and more equitable for all.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Please visit the link to ESTHER Registration Course Request Process for the step-by-step screen shots on how to use the Course Request system.

Use of Scripts and Automated Processes by Students for Registration

Students should not use scripts or other developed automated processes to register for classes. Doing so often utilizes a large amount of system resources and also reduces the fairness built into the current registration processes. A student who is found to be using scripts or automated processes may be restricted from registration activity by OTR for a period of time and/or be required to make all future registration transactions in person rather than online.

Registration - Overloads Petition Process

Most undergraduate students maintain a course load of 12 to 18 credit hours per semester during their time at Rice. A student is considered to have full-time enrollment status when they are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours. In rare and exceptional circumstances, a student may request and petition to overload and register for more than 18 semester credit hours.

The Office of Academic Advising manages the registration overload petition process to take more than 18 credit in any semester. Information on the registration overload petition process can be found on the Office of Academic Advising Overloads webpage.

Registration - Reduced Course Load Requests

Rice undergraduate students are considered to have full-time enrollment status when they are enrolled in 12 or more credit hours. Sometimes circumstances warrant going below 12 credit hours (also known as a “reduced course load”, which equates to part-time enrollment status). Approval of reduced course loads is not automatic, to do so requires the student to formally seek university approval.

The Office of Academic Advising manages the approval process of reduced course load requests for undergraduate students. Information on the registration overload petition process can be found on the Office of Academic Advising Reduced Course Load Requests webpage.

Please note the need for timely submission and approval of reduced course loads. For additional information on the calculation of part-time tuition and fees, please reference the Tuition and Fees section of the General Announcements.

Student-athletes who anticipate completing their final semester at part-time status (enrolled in less than 12 hours) must contact the Office of Academic Advising (for Athletics) for information regarding the completion of the electronic Final Semester Exception to NCAA Full Time Enrollment form.

Concurrent Enrollment Petition Process

Students must secure written approval from the Office of Academic Advising before concurrently enrolling at another university while enrolled at Rice. Students should note that the hours for courses concurrently taken at another academic institution are added to the currently enrolled hours for courses taken at Rice. The combined number of hours must not exceed the maximum number of hours allowed, usually a total of 18 hours. If the total numbers of hours for all registered courses exceeds the maximum, a registration overload petition must also be submitted for approval.

The Office of Academic Advising manages the concurrent enrollment process for undergraduate students. Information on this can be found on the Office of Academic Advising Concurrent Enrollment Process webpage.