Class registration for the fall semester has been pushed back to June 1, UNC announced in a campuswide email on March 5.
Since 2013, registration for the upcoming fall semester has occurred throughout April.
The University said the date change will give faculty the maximum amount of time to plan for the fall semester, as the University expects a return to in-person instruction. While some students have reacted with skepticism, others welcome the additional time to choose courses.
University Registrar Lauren DiGrazia said in statement that moving class registration was necessary to facilitate a successful fall semester.
“Due to the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we wanted to give departments enough time to plan for the semester as we prepare for a return to a more typical academic experience this fall,” DiGrazia said. “Simultaneously, we thought it critical to give extra time for students to gain an accurate picture of fall class offerings while also avoiding the stresses of having to navigate class registration in the middle of exams.”
In the Faculty Council meeting on March 19, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said he is working closely with infectious disease and public health faculty as they plan for the fall semester.
The University plans to start classes, with a full return to in-person instruction, on August 18.
“But, certainly if the variant should show up here in a way that forces us to think about a modification, then absolutely we will be working closely with them,” Guskiewicz said. “But, I don't plan on setting a date right now by which way we would pivot in any direction. We're gonna take it a week at a time, a month at a time.”
Some students welcomed the announcement of a late registration, including junior computer science major Casey Mook.
“I find school to be stressful enough, so not having to worry about registering until this semester is over is nice,” Mook said.
Like Mook, junior computer science major Luc Garabrant also liked the registration change, because he said there will be less worry surrounding school when registering.
For others, late registration was not met with enthusiasm. Laurenne Losier, a sophomore exercise and sport science major, said she will be stressed not knowing her class schedule until June.
“I think that having registration during summer will add unnecessary stress, as many students will be taking the time off to relax and rejuvenate from a stressful year," Losier said.
Eric Weir, a junior majoring in journalism, said he believes University administration means well, but the date change is not the best idea. To account for the shift, he said he wants the University to be more flexible with online registration this year.
“I feel that a lot of people are going to be on vacation or otherwise busy at that point," Weir said. “If they wanted to give students more time to plan, I feel a more flexible registration idea would be better for students worried about safety protocols and getting the vaccine.”
Blake Hartley, a junior majoring in communication studies, said he thinks the registration date change will be difficult for students who are out of the country. Hartley said he originally thought he would be in Chapel Hill when he registered for classes.
“The pushed back registration date is less fortunate for students like me, who are going to be out of the country during that time,” Hartley said. “Dealing with a difference in time zone as well as the possibility of technical difficulty both make the due date less than ideal.”
DiGrazia said the registrar's office wants to offer support for students registering for classes.
“We understand the challenges a delay can provide, but we’re here to help students with any class registration questions they may have,” DiGrazia said in the statement.
Students can view fall 2021 class listings on ConnectCarolina starting April 26.
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