Student Systems Help Center

September 23, 2015

MyPlan Advanced Search Guide

View PDF

Find Courses Page Overview

On the Find Courses page you can search for courses by selecting either of two options:
1. Text Search — Search for courses using course titles, course prefixes, curriculum full names or keywords.
2. General Education Requirements —Search for specific general education requirements, such as Individuals and Societies (I&S), Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Diversity (DIV), Natural World (NW), Writing (W), English Composition (C) and Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning (QSR).


You can narrow your search results by selecting the quarter you would like and unchecking the campuses. Campus selections will remain until you end your session.

Find Courses Page – Filters

Select Campus and Quarter
Select the drop-down Search Filters to expand the filters section. You can use this section to narrow down your search results.
Search Filters

You will notice that the options under “Search Filters” are greyed out. To use the search filters you have to select a quarter.

Once you have selected a quarter you can use the following filter options to narrow down your search results.

Find Courses Page – Open Sections Filters

Open sections only
“Open section” search reduces the number of returned search results by excluding:

  1. Sections with “closed” status.
  2. Sections that are withdrawn or suspended.

And by including:

  1. Sections that have “open” status.
  2. Sections that require add codes.
  3. Sections that require faculty codes.

Example: In the example below we searched for the term “Biology” with the “Open sections only” box unchecked, which yielded 659 results.

224 search results returned when "open sections only" filters is not used
If we check the “open section only” check box, the results are reduced to 249.
Using the "open sections only" filters reduces the search results to 200
Meeting Times and Meeting Days
Select the times and the days when you want the class to meet.

How Text Search Works

If you search for a word, in this case “Chemistry”, the search engine first checks if the word is mapped to a course prefix, in this case “CHEM”. If it finds a match, then it returns all the courses under the prefix “CHEM” (see the first 8 results below).

Search results for searching the term "Chemistry"

Next the search engine searches for the word in the curriculum full name. For this example we will search for the word “Marine”. Marine is not a department prefix, so the search engine searches for “Marine” in the curriculum full name. In this case, the first match is SMEA 103, where SMEA stands for “School of Marine and Environmental Affairs”. Marine appears in the full name of the curriculum even though it is not the curriculum prefix.

Search engine looks for the term "Marine" in curriculum full name

Next the search engine looks for the search term in the course titles and descriptions. For this
example we will consider the word “Botany”.

The search returns the first two results (FHL 440 and BIOL 445) because these courses have
the keyword “Botany” in their titles.

Search for the term "botany"

The third result is returned in the search results because “Botany” is present in the catalog description for SEFS 515.

Detailed course description for SEFS 515 which has Botany in the catalog description

General Education Requirement Search

For more information on General Education Search, please refer to the Gen Education Search quick guide available here.

Auto Suggest Feature

This feature aids in completing search queries by suggesting search terms based on curriculum prefixes and full names.

Highlighted search text field

Auto-suggest begins when you type the first letter in the search text field and displays up to 11 search results.

Example 1: In the figure below we entered the letter “C”. The search looks for “C” in all the course prefixes and curriculum full names starting alphabetically.

Entering alphabet "c" in the search text field

Example 2: In the figure below we entered the letters “Ch”. Now the search looks for the course prefixes and curriculum full names that start with “Ch” and discards the previous entries (C
ENV, C LIT from the previous figure.)

Entering letters "ch" in the search text field

Note: In the above figure you will notice that the search suggestions return the following courses:

Highlighting the bottom 5 results

The above suggestions are returned because after the search looks through the course prefixes and curriculum full names starting with the letters “ch”, it will start displaying those
prefixes and curriculum full names that have the letters “ch” in any part of the phrase. For example

Once you have found the course you are looking for, select the course to populate the text search field, and then select the Search button.

Select "Search" button after populating the text search field

Once you select the search button, the search results will populate below the search box. You can further narrow your search results by using the filters to the left of your screen.

Filters on the left side of the screen can be used to further narrow down search results