Chemistry and Biochemistry

Class Enrollment FAQs

Common questions from students trying to enroll in Chemistry or Biochemistry courses:

When can I enroll for my classes?

Enrollment can only be done on or after your assigned registration appointment day and time:

  • Registration appointments can be found on your Portal and are assigned based on the number of units completed.  There are exceptions for first-semester freshman, disabled students, veterans, and athletes.
  • During the “registration by appointment” period, students are limited to 17 units total.  Graduating seniors may enroll in a maximum of 19 units during all registration periods.
  • Repeating a course:  If you’re repeating a course or a component of a course (e.g., just a lab or a lecture), you will not be able to enroll until after the “Nonrestrictive Registration” period is complete or about four weeks before the semester begins.  This is true for students at all academic levels and regardless of registration appointment date.

How do I enroll in a class that has prerequisites? Or corequisites?

Enrolling in classes with prerequisites and corequisites/component classes (such as those that include a lecture, discussion and lab):

  • Prerequisites: A course or requirement (e.g., class, preliminary test, test score, prior grade, etc.) that must be completed or met BEFORE enrolling in a course.
  • Corequisite/component: A course that must be taken CONCURRENTLY (at the same time) with another course.

Using CHEM 101 as an example:  From your Portal, seek out the Lecture class you wish to enroll in.  Once you locate the section number for the class and identify that it is open for enrollment (green dot=seats available, blue square=class full/closed), you will then be given a choice of two options for your weekly Discussion meeting.  You must select one and will be responsible for attending that discussion on a weekly basis in addition to the Lecture and Lab.  Once you have both the Lecture and Discussion selected and in your “shopping cart”, you can then enter the section number for the Lab of your choice.  This can be any CHEM 101 Lab that accommodates your schedule and has seats available.  Once you find the Lab that works for your schedule and does not time conflict with any of the other classes you’re currently enrolled in or planning to simultaneously enroll in, you can add the class to your cart and finish enrolling.

  • Error messages (Read them carefully!): You must have all components of a course in your “shopping cart” or you will not be able to enroll!  This will result in an error message about not meeting class requisites (in this case, corequisites).  Other reasons for receiving an error message are:
    • You did not fulfill or meet the prerequisites (Example: you must get a “C” or better in CHEM 100 taken at CSUN only to enroll in CHEM 101/101L.  A grade of “C-“or lower is not acceptable.  If you took the Chemistry Placement Test/CPT in place of CHEM 100, you must have scored at least a 40 or better out of 60)
    • Prerequisites taken at another institution did not transfer/articulate
    • You are attempting to enroll in too many units
    • There is a time conflict between classes in your schedule
    • Department consent is required to enroll in the course (e.g., independent studies courses like CHEM 495, select upper division courses with limited seats like CHEM 411, etc., or graduate-level courses)
    • One of the components of a class you’re attempting to enroll in is full (you cannot enroll in components of a class separately and no partial enrollment is permitted!)
    • You have a hold on your account, such as an advisement hold, or an accounting hold


What are Permission Numbers and how do they work?

Permission numbers:  Permit enrollment in a class if the Portal doesn’t recognize prerequisites or for independent studies or Department Consent Only courses where enrollment can only be done with the approval of a supervising faculty member or the Department Chairs.

  • Permission numbers are only issued in person in the Department office with the written or expressed approval by the Department Chair or Associate Chair
  • Professors or instructors are not able to issue permission numbers until after the semester has formally begun and will only do so at their discretion and if class space permits

The class I need shows no available seats on my registration date. What can I do?

We know full classes are a source of much frustration for students.  There are several things you can do in this situation:

  • Watch the Portal every day for vacancies.  There are often adds and drops during the few weeks prior to and after the beginning of a new semester
  • Consider taking a different class.  If you need help selecting an alternate class, please come to the department’s advising hours (to check on advising hours for the current semester, call the Chemistry Office at 818-677-3381
  • Contact the Chemistry Office to add to a general waitlist.  These waitlists allow the department to judge demand.  If additional sections open, the office will contact students on the waitlists before opening up the section to general enrollment
  • “Crash the class.”  Go to the first three weeks of the class and ask the instructor about adding

How do SOLAR Waitlists work? Why can’t I waitlist for my chemistry class?

Students cannot wait list for courses with required corequisites!

  • The Portal does not permit wait listing for classes with multiple required components or corequisites, which includes most Chemistry and Biochemistry courses that have mandatory labs that must be taken in addition to their corresponding lecture course.  In other words, don’t bother signing up for the course waitlist if your class has multiple components; it won’t work.

I need to repeat a class. How do I do this?

  • You can only repeat a class in which you obtained a C- or lower grade.
  • Repeat enrollment is only permitted during the Nonrestrictive Registration period each semester (which is available after Registration-by-Appointment has ended).  See university registration calendar for the first day of Nonrestrictive Registration:
  • Students can take a course and/or lab up to three times (the first time, and up to two repeats)
  • The Portal will allow you to split co-requisites if you had previously passed one of the co-requisites of a multi-component course, but only on or after the Nonrestrictive Registration period has begun (Example: getting a passing grade in CHEM 101 Lecture/Discussion, but failing the corequisite Lab or vice versa; in this case you only need to retake the Lab)
  • Repeating a course and/or lab for a third (and final) time requires you to complete the following form and obtain approval from the Associate Dean of your major (follow instructions closely):

SOLAR says a class is “Department Consent Only”. What does this mean?

Classes and/or labs that have Department consent restrictions require permission numbers to enroll, which are only provided by the Department office and given to students on a priority basis as determined after careful review by the Department Chairs (factors considered: number of units completed, proximity to graduation, is the class required by major or is it only being used for elective purposes, etc.).  To be considered for enrollment for these courses and/or labs, you will want to add to the wait lists that are kept for them in the Department office (located in EH2102) as early as possible and well before your enrollment date. 

I need a form. Where can I find it?

Most of the forms you may need are available on the CSUN home page (look for “Student Forms”).  A few of the more common ones are below: