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Registration Tips and Course Planning

When making plans for which courses to take in the next semester students should consult their plan of study, Degree Audit, and Academic Advisor.

Plan of Study

Students should be familiar with their department’s web page for the most up to date information about their major such as courses required for graduation, admission criteria for the major, faculty contact information, career information, and your plan of study. Your plan of study will map out what you need to take each semester in order to graduate.

Click here to see a complete list of web links to CSCC majors and programs.

Degree Audit Report DARS 

The Degree Audit will allow you to see what courses you have completed or are scheduled to complete, how they apply to a program or certificate, and what courses still remain for you to finish.

You will need to enter your Columbus State Community College user name and password and your Cougar ID to use the system.

Then, click on "Request a New Audit" and wait a minute or so to allow the audit report to be generated.

The "audit" displays all your academic records.

For most students, just reviewing or looking at their audit usually assists them in developing a plan or schedule. Please note that any course which has a "minus" (-) sign indicates that you need to take and successfully complete that course to complete the degree. There is a "Legend" at the bottom of the audit which explains all the symbols and abbreviations used.

You may run the audit as a "what if” to see a scenario of other majors.  Click on that selection within the audit program menu and select your choice from the drop-down menu. If you decide to change your major please do so officially with the college either on-line, in person and Records and Registration or over the phone by calling (614) 287-5353.

For additional assistance see the information about DARS listed below.

Number of Courses or Hours You Should Schedule

The number of courses you will want to schedule will vary depending on your personal circumstances (jobs, family responsibilities, your budget, etc.) as well as the pace of studies you wish to maintain. Many students need to take a certain number of hours to be considered "full-time status" for Financial Aid, insurance coverage, international status, athletic status or many other reasons. That definition may vary, and you will need to consult with the Financial Aid Office or the insurance carrier etc., for guidance in such areas.

In addition to personal circumstances such as jobs or family, be realistic on how many hours you can schedule and be able to complete successfully.  You should always consider your own academic strengths and weaknesses. You may be able to take a "bigger load" (more hours) if you are a very good student, are confident, and have proven you can handle more hours and courses. If you have been "away from school" for a while, have struggled in prior semesters, lack confidence for some reason etc., then you should be careful not to "over-schedule" courses. This may result in poor performance and/or you may have to "drop" one course or several. It is better to earn higher grades on fewer courses than to struggle and perhaps even fail by over-committing yourself.

After you have looked at this audit, contact your Academic Advisor if you are having difficulty deciding between courses, or if you wish your advisor’s input on the courses you are proposing to take. Be sure to include your proposed schedule for the semester with specific questions.


Many courses require "prerequisites" (a course or courses that you need to have successfully completed before being allowed to register for a course) which are listed in the course description.

Looking at Upcoming Semester Schedules

When you are looking at the semester schedules of courses and specific sections on the Columbus State website (days and times), you will note that some course sections may have few "seats" still available or may be filled altogether (zero or "0" seats will show) because of class size limitations. These criteria will also play a role in the courses that you select. It is always a good idea to register as early as possible.

Registration Instructions and Additional Information

Blank Semester to Semester Plan

Time Management Grid

Credit Hour Guide

DARS and Transferology Guide

DARS Quick Reference Guide

DARS Planned Classes Guide

Financial Aid Checklist

Financial Aid Considerations

Transient/Guest Students

Good luck with your future studies!