Phase II unit cap raised to 17.5 units

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After implementing a 16-unit cap for Phase II registration this summer, the Council of Undergraduate Deans at UC Berkeley approved increasing the cap to 17.5 units for spring registration.

After the implementation of the initial 16-unit cap, there was lower enrollment in language classes and several STEM students complained they felt limited in the number of classes they could enroll in, according to campus spokesperson Adam Ratliff. These concerns, Ratliff said in an email, motivated the increase.

“The campus established these limits to more fairly allocate seats, to improve availability of seats for all students and to increase utilization of those seats,” Ratliff said in an email.

The unit cap applies only to undergraduates and will go into effect starting spring 2017.

CalCentral limits students to signing up for 10.5 units during Phase I and previously allowed students to add up to 5.5 units during Phase II for a total of 16 units. Students have said the cap often forced them to drop classes they really wanted to take or prevented them from securing seats in required classes.

Students have been vocal about the 16-unit cap on social media, especially in various Facebook groups for the campus community. Mehrdad Niknami, an EECS graduate student, conducted a Facebook poll in August asking whether students preferred the new CalCentral system to its predecessor, TeleBEARS. More than 270 students responded that they were dissatisfied with the new system.

Niknami said in an email that there are professors on campus who could help find solutions to these scheduling problems, but they are not being utilized by UC Berkeley administration.

“The only problem seems to be that the powers-to-be sadly do not care to actually look into (solutions),” Niknami said in an email. “This really bothers me: why isn’t the university emailing its own faculty who do research on these kinds of questions to ask for technical advice?”

Contact Revati Thatte at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @revati_thatte.