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Posted 4:06 pm
January 30, 2013

INFOGRAPHIC: Swiftly filled classes turn students to extraordinary options

While some students race around campus trying to add classes during the first week of school, third-year biology major Susan Hoang has given up that path.

Hoang, like many disgruntled students, has had problems enrolling in many of her core courses. The issue has been an ongoing problem for nearly two years.

“I had to drop to part-time status this semester because I was only able to register for two of my classes,” Hoang said.

Instead of attempting to crash classes this semester, Hoang plans to enroll in courses at City College of San Francisco. SF State students have the option of completing required core courses at an approved community college if the classes are not available or are at capacity.

“I have been trying to enroll in BIO 240 for the last four semesters,” Hoang said. “So I’m just going to have to take it at CCSF instead.”

Although there are classes that are currently open, students like Aubrey Ocampo, second-year international relations major, says most of the open classes will not count towards her degree.

“It’s not about trying to get into any class, it’s about getting the classes that actually count towards something,” Ocampo said.

For those who wish to graduate within the standard four years, www.assist.org is a tool students can use to find out what courses at community colleges or other post-secondary institutions are transferable to SF State by major and/or department.

And then there are those students who will stop at nothing to get the classes they need.

“I have never failed to successfully crash a class,” Shannon Goh, SF State senior and international student majoring in marketing, said. “I crashed a marketing class for three weeks before the professor enrolled me. Eventually, I just became the master of crashing (classes).”

Both the marketing and biology programs are heavily impacted, along with many other departments. According to Dr. Anoshua Chaudhuri of the economics department, there are a number of factors that determine the amount of classes and sections offered per semester.

“The number of classes and sections offered each semester is determined by the department budget,” Chaudhuri said. “If there are classes and/or sections with consistent underenrollment, those classes will be cut.”

Class availability may also be limited due to the lack of specialized class facilities, according to Jo Volkert, interim vice president of Student Affairs/Enrollment Management.

According to Volkert, however, the number of sections and classes offered this semester is higher compared to Spring 2012, with a total of 130,184 seats as of Jan. 28, 2013.

Yet, with fewer sections in some departments, the number of students crashing classes is double the amount of students enrolled, Chaudhuri adds.

For those who share Goh’s academic persistence, make sure you are well prepared beforehand to fully participate in the class.

“Those who are absolutely prepared for the class will be given higher priority than those who are not,” Chaudhuri said.

The last day to add classes with a permit number is Friday, Feb. 8.


To help you with your search of crashing classes, Xpress has created this infographic, listing available courses. Courses are listed by major and bulletin course number. Click on course bulletin number and move cursor over graphic to see how many seats are left.



Data compiled from the SF State online class schedule Jan. 29, 2013, by Maegan Tingling. Infographic by Adrian Rodriguez.