How to Sign Up

Scheduling Process

  • The Course Sign Up Period begins in March.
  • Freshmen and sophomores are assigned to an Academic Advisor who will guide them through the course sign-up process.
  • Juniors sign up for classes at a meeting with their College Counselor. As rising seniors, juniors have an additional requirement: they must thoroughly complete a “Junior Questionnaire” available on SCOIR. Rising seniors will not be allowed to sign up for classes if this is not completed. Later, we use it as the basis of an “interview” with our counselees and to prepare counselor letters of recommendation for students.

How are the schedules made?

First, the School’s registrar inputs all course requests.

The entire school schedule is worked out to minimize conflicts based on the collective preferences of the student body.

The College Counselors then look at every individual schedule to maximize the fulfillment of requests.

The Registrar manages a series of waitlists and provisional lists, which can offer admittance into courses if spaces open or student eligibility changes.

Although the scheduling algorithm makes every effort to maximize the fulfillment of student requests, scheduling conflicts do occur. For example, because of “singleton” classes that meet only during one block, students often find that two or three courses they requested all meet at the same time. In such a situation, students should meet with their College Counselor to work out the best alternative. While students cannot be guaranteed to get every course they request, the School makes an intensive effort to give each student the best possible schedule.

The Role of Parents

We encourage parents and students to discuss schedule options, read through course offerings together, and draft a potential schedule in advance of course sign-up meetings. Since a parent must sign all course request forms, there is a formal role for parents to play in their student’s scheduling process. The College Counselors are happy to discuss scheduling options with parents; however, the actual scheduling meetings are for students and their College Counselor or school administrator only. We also encourage the parents of rising seniors to discuss the Junior Questionnaire with their students.


  • In order to maintain optimal student/teacher ratios, Menlo caps the size of most classes.
  • The Registrar keeps waitlists for students hoping to add courses that are full.
  • Students should follow the instructions provided to email the Registrar about being added to a waitlist.
  • When spots open up, the registrar will enter the names on the waitlist into a lottery-based system from which students will then be randomly chosen until all spots are again filled. This ensures that students are placed into classes off the waitlist not on a first-come, first-serve basis, but, rather, as equitably as possible. Once offered a spot, students get 24 hours to make a decision.

Changing Schedules

  • Rising Seniors: Rising seniors get their schedules in early June. The Registrar will be available during a senior priority period in June. 
  • Please note that the priority scheduling period for rising seniors is on those dates in June. During this time, only rising seniors can claim open spaces in classes and get on waitlists for classes that are full; this is the best time for rising seniors to make changes. After this period, other students will be scheduled into electives and our offices close for all schedule changes until mid-August.
  • Rising Sophomores and Juniors: Rising sophomore and junior schedules will be emailed home in early August. Complete directions to request changes will be sent with the schedules.
  • If requested changes are not possible, students will be added to waitlists.

Adding/Dropping Classes During the Semester

There is a schedule change window at the start of each semester.
Students can add a course in the first two weeks of school.
Students can drop a course without any notation on the transcript in the first five weeks.

Please note: changing levels of a course (for example, moving from Honors Algebra II to Algebra II) may not be easy to schedule. We determine our staffing and number of sections based on student preferences at course sign-up time, so it’s entirely possible that a student looking to switch into another level of a course will not find this to be simple. It is also possible that the only way to change a course is to change teachers and sections in several of their other courses, which students often find undesirable. For these reasons, students should not expect to change levels at will. Students must plan carefully before signing up for courses: the courses they sign up for in the spring are the courses the School staffs for and expects students to take.

When a student requests a level or course change after the add date, that request goes to a committee of the College Counselors, Registrar, and Upper School Director for review. This committee also reviews student requests to drop a class after the drop date; these types of late changes can result in the student having to “withdraw” from a course and having this noted on his or her transcript.