A Guide to Banner Enhanced Class Search
June 17, 2010

This document is a brief guide to the Banner registration system Enhanced Class Search screens as currently implemented at Northeastern University. This is the part of the system that allows a student or an advisor to search for courses and class sections.

Enhanced Class Search is a vast improvement over the class search facilities provided natively in Banner.

Enhanced Class Search can be reached directly from the web or via Self-Service Banner (SSB) after login to myNEU. It is much more convenient to access Enhanced Class Search directly from the web because then one can stay focused in the Add/Drop pane of SSB when doing course registration. In addition, from the web, it is possible to open multiple class search tabs.

Here is the link to go to Enhanced Class Search directly from the web:

Enhanced Class Search

Once you go to this page, you may wish to bookmark the link in your browser.

The first page that you reach when click the Enhanced Class Search link is a page where you must choose the academic term in a dropdown menu.

Class Search: Academic Term

Currently this dropdown contains academic terms for 3 different units at Northeastern:

A term that refers to the latter units will normally mention Law or CPS explictly. An exception to this rule is that CPS courses that run on the semester calendar currently use the same term selection as the undergraduate, Masters, and PhD programs.

As a user, your task on this page is to select the term in which you wish to find courses and then click Submit.

When you click Submit on the Search by Terms screen, you are directed to the following screen:

Class Search: Main Page

In Enhanced Class Search, this screen makes visible the 6 options that are used most frequently:

To see more specialized options, click on More Options.

If the CRN zone contains 1 to 5 digits, then the class search will look for all classes whose Course Reference Number contains that sequence of digits. All other options will be ignored in this case. This facility is primarily useful to an advisor who may be asked by a student to register them for a class with a given CRN and the advisor wants to see beforehand what the class is.

We will now explain how to use each of the other 5 zones to make selections and refine the class search.

The Subject, Attribute Type, and Course Level zones use a scrollable selection box that permits one or more items to be selected. These selection boxes work similarly.

The Course Number and Title zones use a simple text box. These text boxes may be empty, may have specific text to search for, or may use the symbol % one or more times to indicate a more sophisticated wildcard search.

Note that when you have made all of the selections needed to define your search, click the Submit button to perform the search.

Although we will explain many techniques below, keep in mind that the simplest of searches may be done by selecting one subject and clicking the Submit button to see all courses being taught in that subject. You should look into the more sophisticated techniques only on a need-to-know basis.

Both the Subject and Attribute Type zones contain an All option. You must make a more specific selection in at least one of these zones or the search software will refuse to proceed. This avoids downloading a vast number of classes that would strain the server and be impossible for you to easily view.

Task: To select one subject

Click anywhere in the Subject zone. Then quickly type the first few letters of the subject. You will either hit the subject or be very close to it. You may use the up or down arrow keys on the keyboard to adjust this selection to find the single subject that you are seeking.

To make the search results more specific, you may want to add constraints before clicking the Submit button.

  • The default selection is All which means that there are no constraints on the subject.
  • To select one subject, proceed as described above.
  • To make a contiguous selection of multiple subjects:
    Find and select the subject that begins the group to be selected. Using the scroll knob or the tiny arrows at the right of the Subject zone, scroll down to the subject that ends the group to be selected but do not click the mouse yet. Press the SHIFT key. Then click the mouse on the subject that ends the group. The whole group will be selected.
  • To select several subjects that do not happen to be contiguous:
    To do this, you will need to use the control key (CTRL) on a PC or the command key (cloverleaf) on a Macintosh. Let’s call this the special key. Then you proceed as follows. Select the first subject. Then use the scroll knob or the tiny arrows at the right of the Subject zone to find the second subject. Press the special key. Then click the second subject. Repeat as many times as desired to add as many subjects as you wish to the selection.

The same techniques for multiple selection apply to the Attribute Type and Course Level zones.

  • This zone may be empty in which case there are no constraints.
  • A specific 4-digit course number may be typed into the zone. In that case, only courses with that number will match.
  • If you type a sequence of less than 4 digits, the search will match courses whose numbers contain that sequence of digits anywhere in the number.
  • You may type the leading digits of a course number followed by the wildcard symbol %. For example:
    • If you type 2%, you will match all courses with numbers 2xxx.
    • If you type 25%, you will match all courses with numbers 25xx.
    • If you type 250%, you will match all courses with numbers 250x.

The match of text in the Title zone with course titles is case-insensitve. Furthermore, the match of a complete title requires a lot of typing and precision and so is not recommended.

  • This zone may be empty in which case there are no constraints.
  • If you type a sequence of alphabetic characters and possibly blanks, the search will match courses whose titles contain that sequence of characters anywhere in the title.
  • You may use the wildcard symbol % to control where the search process will match the text you have typed. For example:
    • If you type simply art, you will match courses with art anywhere in the title by virtue of the previous rule.
    • If you type art%, you will match courses that start with art in the title.
  • The default selection is All which means that there are no constraints on the Attribute Type.
  • There are currently 5 categories of Attribute Type that are listed in the following order.
    • NU Core: The Northeastern University Core for undergraduates entering in Fall 2007 or later.
    • CAS Core: The College of Arts & Sciences Core for undergraduates entering prior to Fall 2007. Note that other colleges besides Arts & Sciences used the requirements from this core in their programs prior to Fall 2007.
    • CPS: The core categories for the College of Professional Studies.
    • Full-time status.
    • Honors: The undergraduate honors courses.
  • Using the same techniques described above for Subject selection, you may select one or more Attribute Type settings to constrain the search to those courses with the desired attributes.

Let us give some examples of Attribute Type selection using the NU Core as the starting point. For convenience, you may see the list of NU Core categories by expanding the next section.

This table is in the order used in the Attribute Type selection box.

NU Core Category Abbreviation
Writing: First Year Writing NU Core 1st year Writing
Writing: Advanced Writing in the Disciplines NU Core Adv Writing in Discpln
Arts/Humanities Level 1 NU Core Arts/Humanities Lvl 1
Capstone NU Core Capstone
Comparative Study of Cultures NU Core Comp Stdy of Cultures
Experiential Learning NU Core Experiential Learning
Mathematical/Analytical Thinking Level 1 NU Core Math/Anly Think Lvl 1
Mathematical/Analytical Thinking Level 2 NU Core Math/Anly Think Lvl 2
Science/Technology Level 1 NU Core Science/Tech Lvl 1
Social Science Level 1 NU Core Social Science Lvl 1
Writing: Writing Intensive in the Major NU Core Writing Intsv in Major

Remember, to find all courses that match one or more Attribute Type selections, select All in the Subject zone.

Now let us give the examples.

  • To find one NU Core attribute such as NU Core Arts/Humanities Lvl 1, select this attribute.
  • A student in the sciences or engineering might wish to choose an NU Core elective outside their field by selecting the following 3 categories for the search:
    • NU Core Arts/Humanities Lvl 1
    • NU Core Social Science Lvl 1
    • NU Core Comp Stdy of Cultures
  • A student in the arts, humanities, or social sciences might wish to choose an NU Core elective outside their field by selecting the following 3 categories for the search:
    • NU Core Math/Anly Think Lvl 1
    • NU Core Science/Tech Lvl 1
    • NU Core Comp Stdy of Cultures

The Course Level zone is very simple because besides All there are only 6 options:

  • CPS - Continuing Education
  • CPS - Graduate
  • CPS - Undergraduate
  • Graduate
  • Law
  • Undergraduate

Normally, you can eliminate the return of courses you are not interested in by selecting one of these 6 options. In a few cases, you may wish to select both undergraduate and graduate listings.

Finally, there is one extremely important check box option:

Show only courses with seats available

This check box allows a student or advisor to hone in on sections that still have space for registration.

Let’s start with a general piece of advice. If you want to go back from the search results to the Enhanced Class Search screen, we recommend that you use the browser back button. This is the best way to return to the search context that you left.

In this section, we illustrate the kind of results delivered directly by Enhanced Class Search. For this search, we selected:

ENGL 1111 is the fundamental freshman writing course required for undergraduates. Therefore, this course has many sections and the search results page is lengthy. For illustration, we selected one section, 75, out of the long list of search results. This section happens to have some extra features that make it a good example.

English 1111 Main Result

The first line of these results has very important information:

The Type of Information The Specific Instance
The Course Title College Writing
The Honors Designation, if appropriate (HON)
The Course Reference Number (CRN) 11561
The Course Number ENGL 1111
The Section Number 75
The Campus (Boston, Main)
The Credits Credits 4

The Course Reference Number (CRN) is the code that is used to add this particular section to a student’s schedule and to later reference the section for rosters, grades, etc.

The first line is also a link to the catalog course description page. The linked page also repeats the information on levels and course attributes that is available on this screen.

The second line for this section begins with Please Note:. Most sections do not have such a line. If the unit offering the course or the Registrar’s Office has special information concerning the particular section, it will be displayed in such a line.

You can see that there are many additional facts about the section on this screen. We will summarize the most important information.

The Seats number represents the number of seats that are available within the capacity limit set by the unit offering the course. This number must be positive for a student to register for the course or for an advisor to register the student.

You will notice in the above example that the value of Seats is actually negative, -7. This can happen in one of two ways:

  1. The Registrar’s Office in seeding freshmen into the section has temporarily exceeded the capacity with the expectation that the problem created will be fixed later on.
  2. The unit offering the course has made an explicit decision to permit certain extra students into the course above the usual capacity.

The above screen snapshot was taken in mid-June for Fall semester so it is definitely the case that this is an instance of situation 1.

Let us comment on situation 2. In some cases, a unit will recognize special circumstances presented by a student and override the section capacity in order to admit the student into a section. This does not happen often. The best process is for a student who seeks an override to speak to or e-mail their advisor and have that advisor inquire on their behalf if the override may be granted. Note that an override may be impossible to grant simply because the actual number of students in the section has reached the room size.

Link to: A Guide to Banner Course Add/Drop

Prepared by the College of Computer & Information Science at Northeastern University. For comments or suggestions, send mail to: advising@ccs.neu.edu