Registration Requirements and Terms

General Requirements for First-Year Student Registration

Five Courses and Moreau Each Semester 

An undergraduate degree-seeking student must be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours in a given semester to be classified as a full-time student. However, First Year Advising requires almost all first-year students to register for five courses each semester of their first year. Each course must be worth at least three credits, resulting in a minimum of 15 credits each semester (plus the one-credit Moreau First Year Experience course). This requirement supports a four-year graduation timeline.

All first-year students must also register for the one-credit Moreau First Year Experience course each semester. In the Fall semester, students must choose a section of Moreau that corresponds to their campus neighborhood / residence hall assignment (information about choosing an appropriate section will be shared prior to first-year fall course registration). In the Spring semester, students may choose any Moreau section they would like. 

Moreau, music lessons and ensembles, ROTC, Center for Social Concerns seminars, research, and other voluntary one-credit and two-credit courses are not counted toward the five-course requirement.

In some cases, students taking calculus and two lab sciences may elect to take four courses instead of five. To learn more about exceptions to the typical “five courses plus Moreau” schedule, explore your intended major on the Sample First-Year Student Schedules page and talk to your first-year advisor.

Credit-Hour Limit

Since most first-year students must register for five courses (worth three or more credits each) and Moreau (one credit), most first-year students will register for 16-19 credits in their first semester. In special circumstances, students may take up to a maximum of 21 credits. If you wish to register for more than 19 credit hours because of music lessons or ensembles, ROTC, etc., please speak with your first-year advisor. At least 26 credits must be taken at Notre Dame by the end of your first year.

First-Year Course Requirements and Recommendations

All students must take the Moreau course (two semesters), a University Seminar (one semester), and Writing and Rhetoric (one semester) in their first year. Students who have Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) credit equivalent to WR 13100: Writing and Rhetoric do not have to take Writing and Rhetoric and will take a writing-intensive course instead. The writing-intensive course does not have to be completed in the first year. To learn more about these courses, explore the First-Year Requirements page. 

First-year students should also consider the appropriate courses required or recommended for their intended major or college/school. To learn more, explore the College Requirements and Major Requirements pages. 

General Registration Terms

Attributes: A course attribute indicates which degree requirements are fulfilled by taking the course (for example, a Core requirement, a college requirement, a major requirement, a minor requirement, etc.).

First-year students often take Core (or “Ways of Knowing”) courses. The Core attribute codes are WKxx. For example, WKFT is the attribute for "Way of Knowing Foundational Theology." To find courses that fulfill specific Core requirements, select the attribute you want to search for in the “Any Core Requirements” dropdown menu in Advanced Search in For more information, review Step Four on the How to use PATH Class Search page. 

Banner: The University’s student information system used to maintain student records and track enrollment

Classification: Student status based on the number of semesters in attendance and number of credits earned (first year, sophomore, etc.). Also known as PATH Class Search, this software is used to search for classes and build a plan for upcoming registration.

Core Course: A course that fulfills a Core Curriculum requirement

Corequisite: Some courses, such as lab sciences and calculus, have required labs, tutorials, or discussion sections that you must register for in addition to the main (lecture) part of the course. Learn more about corequisites on the First Year Guide to PATH Class Search: Corequisites tutorial video.

CRN (Course Reference Number): This 5-digit number is used to identify a specific course for registration. Each course has its own unique CRN. A course's CRN is listed in For a screenshot of how to find a course's CRN, review "Create Your Plan in Path: Step One" on the How to use Path Class Search page. 

Crosslisted Course: Some courses are listed under two or more course numbers, usually to make the course available to students in different majors, minors, or academic years. If you are interested in a course but it is full or you do not meet the restrictions, check for a "Crosslisted" section as part of the course's details on to see if the course is listed under another course number. 

Departmental Approval (and Overrides): A restriction on a course that limits who is able to register for it. This restriction requires a student to contact the academic department offering the course to be granted approval to register. If you believe you should be able to access a course that requires departmental approval, contact your First Year Advisor, who may connect you with the appropriate department.

DUS (Director of Undergraduate Studies): The faculty member in a department to contact for more information about a major/minor. DUS's may serve as advisors to majors in their departments.

Hold: A restriction placed on a student’s Banner record that prevents them from registering for classes. Check for holds under "Registration Status and Holds" in NOVO.

NOVO: This software system is used to add and drop classes. To learn more about using NOVO, visit the How to Register using NOVO page.

Overload: When a student is approved to register for more credits than is allowed by default. For most first-year students, this default maximum is 19 credits.

Prerequisite: Some courses are only open to students who are taking or who have successfully completed another course. Prerequisites are most common for math, science, and language courses. For instance, you cannot register for Calculus II unless you are taking Calculus I or have AP or IB credit for it. 

Restrictions: Many courses are restricted to students in certain groups, such as year (first-year, sophomore, etc.), major, minor, or college. You can only register for a course if you meet these restrictions. For example, if you see “Must have the following Classifications: Freshman (01)” as a restriction, only students classified as first-year are allowed to register for that course. As another example, PHIL 10111 (God and the Good Life) is open only to first-year students. PHIL 20111 (God and the Good Life, the same class) is open only to students with sophomore status or higher.

Seat Allocations: The maximum number of seats available for a select population (first-year students, for example) in a particular class

Time Conflict: Occurs when two courses take place at the same time. You cannot register for two courses with a time conflict

Time Ticket: The date and time a student’s registration period begins. This Time Ticket is found in the NOVO registration system under "Registration Status and Holds."

Ways of Knowing: This name is given to most categories of Core requirements. It is often abbreviated “WK.” For example, WKFT stands for "Way of Knowing Foundational Theology."