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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 in the Exploring Academics section of the 1st Year Guide. You can also use the College’s common 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 2019-20.  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 3 and continuing through June 28, you can review the seminar descriptions here or through the STAR system. 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 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.

If you are attending Gateways Summer Orientation, you may not want to finalize your Montserrat requests until you meet with an academic advisor at Summer Gateways. You may also consult with Director of Montserrat, Prof. Alison Ludden, at (508) 793-3003 or In either case, you must submit your list of preferred seminars online by June 28.

Your year-long 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, use the following navigation: From the Holy Cross homepage, select current students at the top. Next, from the list of Log In links on the left, click on STAR–Student Academic Records. The pop-up blocker on your browser must be turned off. On the STAR for Students page, click on Student Center and then choose 1st Year Preferences from the ‘go to...’ drop down menu. 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 June 28.


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, a second should be identified as your second choice. The College will enroll you in either your first choice or your second choice in July.

Beginning August 6 at 5:30 p.m., you must go to Student Academic Records System (STAR) to enroll in two additional courses to complete your schedule. Detailed enrollment instructions can be found here (PDF). Before completing the questionnaire and course preference form you should review the course descriptions on this site. If you are attending Summer Gateways, you should complete the form after consulting with a faculty advisor at Gateways. If you are not attending Summer Gateways, you can contact your Class Dean, Matthew Eggemeier, at (508) 793-2532 or if you have any questions.

In either case, you can begin filling out the online First-Year Questionnaire and Course Preference Form on June 3 and you must complete it no later than June 28. You can access the First-Year Questionnaire and Course Preference Form using the following navigation: From the Holy Cross homepage select current students, which is located along the top of the page. Next, from the Log In links on the left, click on STAR–Student Academic Records and enter your User ID (username) and network password. On the STAR for Students page, click on Student Center and then choose 1st Year Preferences from the ‘go to...’ drop down menu. Then select First-Year Questionnaire. 


Preparing for Enrollment

We will enroll you in a Montserrat seminar and in one of your course choices during the month of July. As soon as we have completed enrollment, 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 August 6, you should access STAR to review the Montserrat seminar and other course in which you are 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 enter these particular classes in 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 entered in your Backpack as well. In addition, it is helpful if you enter alternative choices in your Enrollment Backpack. 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 or here.


Enrolling in Fall Courses

The online enrollment process begins August 6 at 5:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and continues through August 11 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. You must access 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, Matthew Eggemeier, at (508) 793-2532 or, or the Registrar at (508) 793-2511 or On Tuesday, August 6, the first day of online enrollment, the Registrar will have extended hours to assist you should you have questions or problems with STAR enrollment. Please feel free to call the above number between 5:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on August 6, or during regular business hours for the remainder of the enrollment period, Monday–Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.



Throughout your time at Holy Cross, your Class Dean and your academic advisor will assist you with your academic program and will  important resources for you as you adjust to college life. During the summer, you can address questions to your class dean at  At the end of the summer, you will be assigned an academic advisor and you will have your first meeting of several meetings with your advisor on Monday, September 2. The name of your advisor and the time and place of your advising appointment will be given to you upon your arrival on campus. This first meeting will allow you to introduce yourself to your advisor and begin discussing issues of interest to you.