New students will register for classes on campus on Tuesday, February 19. When you arrive, you will meet your faculty advisor and peer mentor, who will help you prepare your registration. In addition, a member of the Academic Services staff will contact you in January to schedule a phone appointment. This appointment will serve as an introduction to the academic services at Bennington and will provide an opportunity for us to answer questions you may have about the registration and plan processes. If possible, we will also begin to pre-register you for classes.
As you review the curriculum and imagine what you would like to enroll in, one of the most important things to remember is that you will have several years to take classes. (For transfer students, obviously the timeframe is shorter.) For your first term at Bennington, you should explore as widely as possible. Never thought you could dance? Take a movement class. Math phobia? Now is the time to get over it: Take a class. Always wondered what those scientists do in their labs? Find out in biology or chemistry. Do you see yourself traveling abroad at some point? Start or continue a foreign language. Wondering how you’ll make friends? Take a theater class, work on a show, and have fun. Have you read most of the books in your high school library? Read other authors here. The idea is to take advantage of all the possibilities at Bennington. Develop your current passions, certainly, but risk exploring others.
Some Specific Information
A regular full-time course load is 16 credits. All incoming students can sign up for no more than 18 credits in the first term. In future terms, you will be able to take additional classes at no charge, but we insist that most new students take no more than 18 credits. Transfer students may be able to take more credits. Although this will seem like a light schedule at first, once you realize the amount and level of work required, you will understand why we impose this limit and why most students in later terms hold to it. Can you take fewer credits? On occasion (and with written permission from the Dean's Office) students can take as few as 12 credits in a particular term. Credits not taken in any given term will need to be earned in future terms.
Read the entire curriculum. Yes, the entire curriculum. Get a highlighter, get Post-it Notes. Note all the possible courses you are interested in for which you might be qualified. Check to see if the class has a prerequisite. Check the number of credits. Check the days and times. Use the blank course schedule worksheet we’ve provided. Use a pencil to write out several possible schedules.
We ask students to consider many choices because we know that not everyone will get into their first choices, so flexibility will be necessary as you begin to arrange your program. Every year we hear students say, “I ended up taking science, history, music, or whatever class because the one I really wanted was full. And it couldn’t have worked out better—I just didn’t know it at the time.” We swear it’s true.
If you would like to discuss your registration with staff in the Dean’s Office, please call 802-440-4400 to schedule an appointment. If you are a transfer student, you are strongly encouraged to call to arrange a phone appointment, since your registration needs are different from those of entering first-year students.