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Coursicle aids in class registration

| Thursday, December 1, 2016

Class registration is a struggle college students must face every year, but this past year Notre Dame students have had access to Coursicle, a website designed to make designing a course schedule and registering for classes easier.

The service was founded by Joe Puccio, who graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 2016, and Tara Aida, who graduated from Harvard University in the same year. It allows students to browse classes, make sample schedules and receive a text when a class opens up. 

Puccio said in an email interview that the idea for Coursicle came from his own struggles with registering for classes. 

“When I was an incoming first-year at UNC, I spent several hours trying to plan out my class schedule, and then when I finally went to register for my classes, I got into only one of the five I needed to take,” Puccio said. “So that night, I started working on a program that would text me when a class I wanted had an available seat.”

Puccio said a friend thought he should open it up to other students, and the service soon grew by word of mouth. By the next semester, 1800 students had signed up for

“A few months later, [Aida] suggested we try to solve the other side of registration: the arduous process of figuring out what classes to take and trying to fit them all into a non-overlapping schedule,” he said. “Part of the reason this task is so arduous is because the software the university provides to search for classes is usually very outdated and tedious to use. So, Coursicle really came out of a pain that we, as well as our friends, were experiencing while we were students.”

When Coursicle was initially launched in 2013, it was only available at UNC. Puccio and Aida then expanded to three other schools: the University of Pennsylvania, Appalachian State University and the University of Notre Dame.

They chose those schools because “we wanted to launch at schools that were academically strong and had a mid-size to large undergraduate population,” Aida said. “I also had a few high school friends who went to Notre Dame, and when I showed them Coursicle, they really liked it and said it would be useful. It was the same situation for Penn and Appalachian State.”

Now, the app has dozens of schools to choose from. Coursicle has also expanded the services it offers since it launched. In the summer of 2014, the founders added the schedule view, allowing students to see the classes they are considering laid out in a calendar. Later, they introduced the ability for students to log in with Facebook to see what classes their friends are considering, as well as the ability to save multiple schedules.

“All of these features have been in response to user requests, which we typically use to guide our development,” said Aida.

Puccio said they have other ideas for improving Coursicle, such as allowing students in the same class to chat with each other and create collaborative study guides. Also in the works is a feature for providing recommendations for classes based on what classes a student has already taken.

Puccio believes Coursicle can be a valuable tool for helping students get into the classes they want while minimizing the stress of the registration process.

“Coursicle is useful because it helps college students plan and get into their perfect class schedules,” he said. “By doing so, Coursicle helps relieve some of the stress and tedium involved with the course registration process. This is important because registration can be extremely stressful and has rather important consequences.”

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About Andrew Cameron

Andrew is a senior from Orange County, California. He is an associate news editor at the Observer, and is majoring in Biological Sciences and English. While he has greatly enjoyed his time at Notre Dame, during the winter months he often wonders why he ever left the perennial warmth of Southern California.

Contact Andrew