Frequently Asked Questions


Q: I need to register for a class, but it's closed. What do I do?

A: If you need to get into a class that is currently closed, please keep an eye on its enrollment until the start of the quarter. It is very common for the enrollment to fluctuate before the quarter begins, and if you see an opening, you should be able to add yourself to the class (provided you meet the prerequisites).

Q: The quarter is about to start and I still haven't been able to add the class I need to take. What do I do?

A: Please attend the first week of the class you wish to add, talk with the instructor and sign the attendance sheet he/she provides. Some spaces may open at the end of this period, but this is not guaranteed. Please note that if you have not regularly attended class during this period, you will not be added even if there are available spots.

Q: The Time Schedule says the class is open, and I meet all the prerequisites. Why can't I enroll?

A: In all likelihood, the class is probably full. The main Time Schedule page is only updated once a day, and often does not accurately reflect the current number of students enrolled. For the most up-to-date information, you can either click on the SLN number of the course, or click on the Enrollment Summary link at the top of the Time Schedule page. Either option will show you the accurate enrollment numbers.

Waiting Lists

Q: Do you keep waiting lists for your classes?

A: Waiting lists are handled directly by the instructors. If you are trying to get into a closed course, please keep an eye on its enrollment as an opening may become available suddenly. Contact the instructor and attend the first week of class.

Add Codes

Q: Do I need an add code to get into your classes?

A: Add codes are only required for sections that have special designations, such as FIG sections. Most of our classes do not require an add code, and you should be able to register yourself during Period 1 or Period 2 provided you meet the prerequisites, if any, and there is space in the course/section you are trying to add.

Q: The class I want to take is full, will you give me an add code?

A: Normally, add codes are handled directly by the instructor. However, you should watch the enrollment summary until the start of the quarter and/or attend the first day of class to be considered for any spots.

Fig Sections

Q: What does an "FIG section" mean?

A: If a class is designated as FIG section, it means that only students who are part of a Freshman Interest Group may enroll in that section. If you are not a FIG student, you will need to register for another section.

Q: I'm a FIG student. How do I get into the FIG section?

A: Entry into the FIG sections is by add code only. If you have difficulties registering, please send an e-mail message to

Honors Program

Q: What special classes do I need to take in the Honors Program?

A: AES 496, Honors Thesis, is the only course specifically designated for the Honors Program. The two additional courses (10 credits) students must take to comply with the Honors requirements are currently offered on an ad hoc basis.

Q: What is an AES ad hoc Honors course?

A: Except for AES 496, all Honors courses are currently offered on an ad hoc basis. Most, but not all, upper-division courses in the AES concentration area constitute the list of approved courses. However, final approval must be secured from the instructor and the AES Honors adviser. Students must contract with the instructor before taking an upper-division course for Honors credit.

Q: How should I schedule my Honors classes and research?

A: You should apply to the honors program in winter quarter of your junior year. Applications must be filed with the AES Academic Adviser by 1 Feb. This will give you plenty of time to choose the two additional upper-division courses (beyond the regular major requirements) you wish to apply to the Honors program. You should enroll in AES 496 in spring of your senior year. Your thesis should be finished and approved by the end of the academic year. Extensions to the normal completion of the Honors program should be unusual. If required, your petition for an extension must be endorsed in writing by your thesis director and approved by the Honors adviser.

Q: How do I choose a topic of my Honors project?

A: The possibilities are endless. Most students have only a general idea about the topic they want to research when they decide to pursue this option. Usually, however, their interest is awakened in a course that introduces a given topic without exploring it in depth. A good point of departure, therefore, is to consult with the instructor of that course, or with another instructor whose expertise is on the same general area. In turn, the instructor may or may not become the prospective thesis adviser. The key is to choose a theme that you find exciting, one that will motivate you to explore the subject in depth and with intensity.

Q: How do I select a thesis adviser?

A: The adviser must be a full-time, research AES Faculty member or someone on the current list of AES Adjunct Faculty. As a general rule, you should choose a professor with whom you have taken a class before—perhaps the course that inspired you to select your thesis topic. On the other hand, that specific instructor may not be available at the time you need to proceed with your project. In this case, you should identify another faculty member with some expertise in the field you wish to explore, and one with whom you feel comfortable working.

Q: How do I go about writing an Honors thesis?

A: In most cases, the Honors thesis involves the completion of a 30+ page thesis. However, projects such as video productions, dramatic plays, or other suitable endeavors may be accepted upon the endorsement of the thesis adviser. As noted above, students must first identify a faculty person willing to act as sponsor, file the AES Honors Program Application, and then sign up for AES 496. The writing option requires the preparation of a manuscript at least 30-pages long, double-spaced, single sided, one inch all-round margins with a 11pt serif font (such as Arial or Times New Roman), including page numbers, an abstract and title page including your name and your adviser's name. A number of excellent manuals and other resources are available to help you with the details. One that is broadly recommended is How to Write a Better Thesis by David Evans and Paul Gruba. Your adviser should be able to make other suggestions.

Q: How can I get more information?

A: Speak with Lorna Hamill (B-504 Padelford Hall,, the AES Academic Adviser. She can answer your questions, or direct you to the Honors adviser or other relevant faculty as necessary.

Courses: 496 Honors Thesis

Q:How do I go about signing up to write an Honors Thesis?

A: This option is only for students that have been admitted to the AES Honors Program. The pertinent application form is available at the academic adviser’s office. Please notice that students must hold at least a 3.5 overall GPA and a minimum of 3.7 GPA in AES courses in order to be eligible for this option. For more information on this matter, see the section on Honors here [link here to AES Honors Thesis]

498s & 499s

Q: How many 498 (Special Topics) courses can I take?

A: A maximum of 15 credits (three 5-credit courses) can count for your degree completion, whether you take them all in one or more than one concentration (AES, AAS, AA/PIA, CHST)

Q: How many 499 (Independent Study) courses can I take?

A: A maximum of 10 credits (typically, two 5-credit courses) can be applied toward the major

Foreign Languages

Q: Do the Swahili or Tagalog courses count toward the fulfillment of the AES major?

A: No. The Swahili and Tagalog language courses do not fulfill AES requirements. However, they can be used to satisfy the University’s foreign language requirement, or can be applied to the “elective” courses category.

Repeating Courses

Q: I want to retake a class I already have credit for. What do I do?

A: If you wish to repeat a course you have taken already, you should talk with the academic adviser first. Priority is given to students who have not previously taken the class; so we are often not able to accommodate students trying to repeat. In any case, you will need to attend the first three days of class and sign the attendance sheet provided by the instructor.

Q: Will I receive credit if I repeat a course?

A: No credit is given for repeated courses. If you are repeating a course, you may want to contact the Financial Aid Office to find out if and/or how a repeated course will affect the aid you receive.

Non-matriculated Students

Q: I'm a non-matriculated student. How do I get into a class?

A: Please visit to read about becoming a non-matriculated student at the UW. To enroll in an AES class during the academic year, you will need to attend the first week of class, making sure to sign the attendance sheet provided by the instructor. Please note that matriculated UW undergraduates have priority for any open spaces. During Summer Quarter, non-matriculated students may enroll in our classes during Period 2 registration.

Transfer Credits

Q: I need to transfer credits I took at another institution. How do I go about it?

A: We regularly accept transfer coursework from other universities and community colleges. The UW Office of Admissions provides information to help you plan your transfer: http//

If you are transferring from a local college, you can access the UW Equivalency Guide to view how specific courses from your college will automatically transfer to your AES degree: http//

If you have coursework that does not automatically transfer, make an appointment with the AES academic adviser. Bring copies of all relevant transcripts (official or unofficial) and course syllabi.

Campus Writing Resources

UW Center for Learning and Undergraduate Enrichment (CLUE) offers drop-in tutoring, discussion sessions led by graduate and senior undergraduate students, and a writing center. For more information, visit their website at Other UW and on-line resources are available,