Preparing for Registration

This tutorial was created to assist you with preparing to register for your first semester at Columbia.  Most students begin registering for courses before New Student Orientation, but you might be registering on your own as a student-at-large or because you are starting classes in the summer. Either way, the resources on this site should help your registration experience be extremely productive, informative and easy.

To keep this simple, we have organized this tutorial into five steps to help you prepare to register.  If you're coming to Orientation, we expect you to be prepared—and that's what this website is all about. Good luck!

Step 1: Accessing your OASIS Account
  • OASIS is the online portal to your account at Columbia College Chicago
  • OASIS is used to access your academic record, your online “Advising Guide” and your student financial services information, and where you register for courses!
  • To log onto your OASIS account, you will need your Columbia student ID # and your Oasis password. By default, your password is your six-digit birthday in this format: mmddyy
  • HOMEWORK – Successfully log into your account at If you have trouble logging in, contact OASIS User Support at 312 369 7788.
    (Once you have verified that you can log into your account, continue to Step 2.)
Step 2: Determining your Placement Scores
  • Before you can register for courses, you will need to know your placement in English and mathematics. If you have not yet taken the New Student Placement, you should do so as soon as possible.
  • Transfer students who have already completed college-level English Writing & Rhetoric courses and mathematics, please skip to Step 3.
  • All incoming students without transfer credit in English Composition are required to complete The Write Class (TWC) to determine their English placement scores. More info here.
  • If you have completed the New Student Assessment at Columbia College Chicago, your placement scores for mathematics are located in your Oasis account under “Exams.”
  • If you completed the ACT or SAT Exam and you submitted your scores to Columbia, you can also use these test scores to determine your placement levels in mathematics.
  • HOMEWORK – Look up your placement scores on your Oasis account by selecting your exams record. (Once you log in, click on the word "Student" on the top right for a list of links.) There will be a breakdown of placement scores and your personal scores will be listed at the bottom. Write down the English and mathematics courses you placed into. Also note whether you need to take a College Reading Course.
Step 3: Transfer Credits & Evaluation
  • If you are not transferring credits from another institution, please skip to Step 4.
  • Once your transcripts have been received and evaluated, you will receive a “green evaluation sheet" from Columbia College Chicago.
  • The evaluation will indicate how many credits were accepted at Columbia and whether or not your transfer courses will fulfill Liberal Arts & Sciences (LAS Core) requirements.
  • If you wish to have your transfer credits fulfill requirements in your major, you will need approval from your major department.
  • HOMEWORK – Verify that your transfer credits have been accepted at Columbia by viewing your Academic Record on Oasis. If your credits have not been evaluated and accepted, you should visit the Office of Degree Evaluation website for more information.
Step 4: Graduation Requirements & Suggested Major Courses
  • During Orientation, we will review your degree requirements and answer your questions. However, we suggest that you arrive with a basic understanding of your requirements. If you are a student-at-large or beginning in the summer, you might not be attending Orientation; if that's the case, get in touch with us to learn more about your requirements.
  • HOMEWORK # 1– Look at your “Advising Guide” on Oasis.  This advising guide will give you an unofficial evaluation of your degree requirements, including your LAS Core and major requirements. 
  • HOMEWORK # 2 – View the requirements and various degree pathways for your major in the most recent catalog.  Write down the suggested courses and their course numbers.
Step 5: Prepare Your First Semester Schedule
  • Log into your Oasis account and view the course schedule for the upcoming semester. Use the table below to guide you in selecting your first-semester courses.
  • HOMEWORK - Create your list of first-semester courses before you arrive at Orientation—or register on your own.  As students register for courses, the course schedule will change (and classes will close as they fill up). Keep checking the course schedule as you get closer to your registration date.

(Photography Major)
English Placement 52-1151 Writing & Rhetoric
2nd COURSE First Semester Experience 48-1*** (Topic of your choice)
Introductory Major Course 23-1111-Foundations of Photo 1
4th COURSE Introductory Major Course 22-1105 Intro to Visual Culture
5th COURSE LAS Core, College-Wide Elective or Major Course 56-1720 College Mathematics

(Public Relations Major)
Introductory Major Course                               54-1600 Intro to Advertising
Introductory Major Course                 54-1700 Intro to Public Relations
LAS Core Course 56-1450 Introduction to Ecology (SC)
LAS Core Course 50-1511 Race & Ethnic Relations (S#)
LAS Core, Major or Elective Course 54-1701 PR Writing

Develop Your Course Schedule
(with a few back-up plans)

Course Name Course Number Section Number Days & Times