Registration Information

Registration Holds

Acad​emic -- Students on either academic probation or academic warning will have a hold put on their registration. In order to remove the hold, students will need to both perform an academic self-assessment (in AccessPlus) and meet with their advisor. Their advisor will then need to request that the hold be removed.

Financial -- Students will not be allowed to register for classes if they owe money to the University.  This is known as an accounts receivable hold. Students with an Accounts Receivable Hold should contact the Accounts Receivable office in 0880 Beardshear Hall.

Health -- Students who do not meet the Iowa State University immunization requirements will have a Health Center Hold on their records which will prohibit course registration until it is removed. To remove the hold students have the option of getting their immunizations done at the Student Health Center or providing their immunization record from their personal physician. Students who have a Health Center hold should contact the Theilen Student Health Center.

RAN Numbers

RAN stands for Registration Access Number. In CALS, students receive a new and different RAN every semester. CALS students may only obtain their RAN from their academic advisor. This number is considered to be confidential information.

Late Registration

Students are not required to register for their classes at their given registration time, however it is recommended as class seats fill quickly. A late registration fee is assessed after the first day of spring and fall classes, but not for the summer. After the fifth day of classes (third day for summer), students must use an Add / Drop Slip and obtain signatures from their advisor, the instructors of the classes they wish to take, and the CALS Student Services Office.

Dropping / Adding Procedures

Period 1 -- Classes may be dropped and added free of penalty (counting toward their drop limit) and fee through AccessPlus through the first 5 days of the spring and fall semester and the first 3 days for summer session.

Period ​2 -- After the first 5 / 3 days of the semester students need an add / drop slip signed by their advisor and their class instructor and drops will count toward the students’ drop limits. These slips must be taken to 10 Enrollment Services. A fee is assessed. With appropriate permissions, classes may be added or dropped until approximately the end of the tenth week (2 weeks after midterm grades come out).

Period 3 -- After the drop deadline, classes may only be dropped for extenuating circumstances (e.g., medical absences, active duty, family emergencies) and must be approved by the CALS Student Services Office. A fee is assessed.

Permission Required Course Sections

Some courses require the instructor’s permission for enrollment. For these classes, the student needs to obtain a Request for Schedule Change (Add / Drop slip) with the instructor’s signature. The form should be returned to 10 Enrollment Services.

Restricted Courses

Some courses are restricted for students who meet a certain criteria (major, college, year in school, etc.). On occasion the restriction might be waived for extenuating circumstances. A Schedule Change or Restriction Waiver (Add / Drop Form) must be filled out and have the class’s departmental signature. Return to 10 Enrollment Services.

Auditing Courses

Auditing refers to enrolling in a course without receiving a grade or credit for it. It provides a way for students to explore subject matter unrelated to their major course of study before attempting the course for a grade. Also, it allows students to continue attending a course in which they are doing poorly without receiving a grade. All course fees and tuition will still apply. Requests to audit a course are honored only if space is available at the conclusion of the four-week registration period.

The audited course is not recorded in the student’s permanent record unless the student fills out the Undergraduate Request for Audit to Appear on Transcript form and obtains the proper signatures.

To change from credit to audit status a student must drop a course for credit and then add it as an audit. If it is past the first five days of classes it goes against the student’s drop limit, the advisor and instructor must approve of the change, and there is a $12 fee. Changing from audit to credit status must be done within the first five days of classes.

Students need to be aware that auditing courses can affect their full-time student status.

Cancelled Sections/Courses

Sections and courses may be cancelled due to low enrollments or problems with departmental staffing. Students enrolled in such a section will be notified by the Registrar’s Office, by the department in which the course is offered, and / or on their printed schedule.

Cancellation of Registration

Cancelling registration means dropping all of your classes before the first day of the term (if not done by the first day, the student must then go through the withdrawal process). A student must cancel their registration at least one day prior to the first meeting date of your earliest course to avoid tuition assessment. To cancel their registration a student must fill out a cancelation form and follow the instructions; go to 0460 Beardshear Hall or call (515) 294-1889.

The tuition adjustment form gives the last day to cancel registration and receive a 100% refund. It can be found at

Students need to be sure to check with other offices for their procedures (if applicable):  Office of Financial Aid, Department of Residence, CyCash, textbook purchases, meal and dining plans.

Special Course Fees

Some courses have expenses above the cost of tuition that enhance the instruction. These fees may include the cost of field trips, use of equipment, materials or supplies, or professional support. Special courses fees are placed on the student’s U-bill when the bill with their tuition.

Summer Registration

Summer registration is done at the same time as fall registration. The same RAN number is used for both fall and summer. The registration start date is the same as for the fall semester. However, students have only until the third day of classes to drop / add classes free of charge - after three days, an add / drop slip needs to be filled out

Time Conflicts

Students may not enroll in courses with time conflicts without approval from the involved instructors and / or departments. AccessPlus gives a warning if there is a time conflict.

Wait List

When a course is full, a wait list is created. Students should attempt to register for a course when it is already full in order to document demand. Students should also continue trying to register for a previously closed course in case new sections are opened or other students drop the class. Students need to notify their advisor and the course departmental office stating they need to register for the particular course that term.


Students who decide not to attend classes beginning the first day of class or later must process a withdrawal form.

A request for withdrawal during period 3, (i.e., after the last day to drop a course without extenuating circumstances) will not be approved except for circumstances that are beyond the student's control.

Students who are on academic probation (P) and withdraw during period 3 will not be permitted to enroll the following term, except under extenuating circumstances.

The University may order involuntary withdrawal of a student if it is determined that the student is suffering from a mental disorder as defined by the current American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic Manual such that the disorder causes, or threatens to cause, the student to engage in behavior which poses a significant danger of causing imminent harm to the student, to others, or to substantial property rights, or renders the student unable to engage in basic required activities necessary to obtain an education.

If the medical evaluation supports medical withdrawal, a hearing will be scheduled before the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Health and a member of the Student Counseling staff. The student will have at least 48 hours to independently review the psychological or psychiatric evaluation prior to the hearing.

Tuition refunds / reductions are based on the date of withdrawal. Deadlines can be found at

Financial aid may also be affected -- students should contact the financial aid office prior to student withdrawal to determine the impact on their status.