Online Instructions

First Year Course Selection

Getting Started

The normal course load for students at the College is four courses, excluding labs. All first-year students will enroll in one Montserrat seminar and three additional courses each semester. Information on courses open to first-year students can be found here. All of the courses listed have either some space reserved for first-year students or are only open to first-year students.

Enrollments are limited at Holy Cross. We pride ourselves on small classes and the opportunity they provide for meaningful interaction between students and faculty in and out of the classroom. However, small classes can mean that you will not always obtain your first choice of courses. Therefore, we suggest that you have multiple alternate course options. As you make your choices, keep several things in mind. You should use your first year to explore the curriculum as a means of discovering where your interests lie. If you are interested in exploring a particular major or are interested in pursuing post-graduate options in the health professions, you will find suggestions for appropriate course options on the First-Year Courses section of this First-Year website. You can also use the College’s Common Area Requirements to guide you in your selection.

Montserrat Seminars

All first-year students participate in a year-long Montserrat seminar. You must select six seminars you would be interested in taking from the Montserrat offerings for 2021-2022. We strongly recommend that you select seminars from at least three clusters, if not more.  Remember, you are selecting individual seminars, not clusters.

Beginning June 16 through July 2, you can review the seminar descriptions here or through the Student Academic Records system (STAR). After you have read the course description for each seminar, you can decide whether or not to add it to your online list of preferred seminars. Once you have at least six seminars on your list, you can submit the list for processing. Be advised that you are not ranking seminars in any particular order, but are indicating an interest in all six courses. Please note that once you submit your seminar preferences, you will not be able to update your list.

You may wish to discuss your Montserrat plans with an academic advisor during your Academic Advising Meeting. You may also consult with director of Montserrat, Prof. Alison Ludden, at aludden@holycross.edu. You must submit your list of preferred seminars online by July 2.

Your yearlong Montserrat seminar counts for two courses toward your Holy Cross graduation requirement as well as one Common Area Requirement.

We encourage you to select Montserrat seminars that will allow you to explore new areas of the curriculum that are outside of your potential majors but still of interest to you.

Selecting Montserrat Seminars

To access the Montserrat seminars and create your list of preferred seminars, you will need to log in to STAR.  First, from the Holy Cross homepage, select "Current Students," which is located in the horizontal gray bar just below the top of the page. Second, click the "STAR - Student Academic Records" link, which is located under the list of "Frequently Used" links toward the top of the page.  Third, enter your network user ID (username) and network passphrase to log in to STAR.  [If you have not logged in to STAR in over a month, you may be asked to first log in using your Gsuite (Gmail) address and password as part of 2-factor authentication.] The pop-up blocker on your browser must be turned off. Finally, once in STAR on the for Students page, click on Student Center and choose 1st Year Preferences from the ‘go to...’ drop-down menu toward the top left of the page. You can then choose to go to the First-Year Questionnaire or to the Montserrat Seminar page. From the Montserrat page, you can view the entire list of seminars or choose to view the seminars by cluster or by Common Area Requirement.

To view the course description for each seminar, click on the Seminar ID, e.g., CORE 01. After reading the course description, return to the list of seminars and then select this seminar as a preference, if desired. After you have placed a minimum of six seminars on your preferred seminar list, you should select the link View My Preferred Seminars and click on Submit to submit your final list. We remind you that once you have submitted your list, you cannot change your preferences. You must submit your list by July 2.

Course Preference Form

In addition to selecting your Montserrat seminar preferences, you must complete the online First-Year Questionnaire and Course Preference Form. Using this form you will be able to give us information about your academic interests and your academic background. In addition, you are asked to identify six courses that you would like to enroll in during your first year at the College. One of these courses should be identified as your first choice, and a second should be identified as your second choice. The College will enroll you in either your first choice or your second choice before your enrollment period begins.

Beginning Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. (EDT), you must go to the Student Academic Records system (STAR) to enroll in two additional courses to complete your schedule. Detailed enrollment instructions can be found here. Before completing the Questionnaire and Course Preference Form, you should review the course descriptions on this site. You should complete the form after consulting with a faculty advisor during your Academic Advising Meeting. If you have any questions, you can also contact your Class Dean, Sarah Petty, at classdean2025@holycross.edu.

In either case, you can begin filling out the online First-Year Questionnaire and Course Preference Form on June 16, and you must complete it no later than July 2. You can access the First-Year Questionnaire and Course Preference Form using the following navigation: First, from the Holy Cross homepage, select "Current Students," which is located in the horizontal gray bar just below the top of the page. Second, click the "STAR - Student Academic Records" link, which is located under the list of "Frequently Used" links toward the top of the page. Third, enter your network user ID (username) and network passphrase to log in to STAR. [If you have not logged in to STAR in over a month, you may be asked to first log in using your Gsuite (Gmail) address and password as part of 2-factor authentication.] Finally, once in STAR on the for Students page, click on Student Center and choose 1st Year Preferences from the ‘go to...’ drop-down menu toward the top left of the page.

Preparing for Enrollment

We will enroll you in a Montserrat seminar and in either your first or second choice course before your enrollment period begins. As soon as we have completed placing you in two courses, you will be notified by the registrar that you can view your schedule. Once you’ve been notified you can view your schedule, and prior to July 2, you should access the Student Academic Records system (STAR) to review your Montserrat seminar and the other course in which you were enrolled. You can access this information by selecting Student Center and then My Class Schedule. After reviewing your schedule, you should then consider the other courses you listed on your Course Preference Form and, using the Search for Classes feature in STAR, determine which section of a particular course would fit best in your schedule.

To prepare for enrollment, you should add these particular classes to your Enrollment Backpack on STAR. Some courses will have required related classes (for example, required laboratories for science courses, or required practica for language courses). These related classes should be added to your Backpack as well. In addition, it is helpful if you enter alternative choices in your Enrollment Backpack in case your preferred classes fill before you can enroll in them. Detailed instructions for placing courses in your Enrollment Backpack and enrolling in courses from your Backpack can be found on the Office of the Registrar's website.

Enrolling in Fall Courses

The online enrollment process begins Aug. 3 at 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time) and continues through Aug. 8 at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). You must access the Student Academic Records System (STAR) and enroll in classes to complete your schedule during this time. You will not be automatically enrolled in the courses in your Enrollment Backpack. If you have any questions about selecting course preferences or enrolling in classes, you can contact your Class Dean, Sarah Petty, at 508-793-2532 or classdean2025@holycross.edu, or the registrar at 508-793-2511 or enrollmenthelp@holycross.edu. On Tuesday, Aug. 3, the first day of online enrollment, the registrar will have extended hours to assist you should you have questions or problems. Please feel free to call 508-793-2511 between 5:30 and 7 p.m. (EDT) on Aug. 3, or during regular business hours for the remainder of the enrollment period, Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Advising

Throughout your time at Holy Cross, your class dean and your academic advisor will assist you with your academic program and will be important resources for you as you adjust to college life. During the summer, you can address questions to your class dean at classdean2025@holycross.edu. At the end of the summer, you will be assigned an academic advisor. You’ll meet several times with your advisor during your first year. We will set up the first meeting with your advisor at the beginning of the semester so that you can introduce yourself and begin discussing issues of interest to you.