Reading courses may be arranged on materials, subjects, and concerns not included in the courses being offered, or may have a narrower focus than those courses. Reading courses require at least as much work as other courses. They may not normally be taken during a student’s first year in YDS. Exceptions are made for S.T.M. students and may be made for M.A.R. students who have done exceptional work in their first term. Only one reading course may be taken in any term or (for part-time students) any block of four consecutive courses. Reading courses may count toward distributional requirements across areas of the curriculum but may not be counted as fulfilling particular requirements within the area. Only full-time faculty at Yale University may offer reading courses.
A student desiring to work with a faculty member on a reading course will submit to the instructor a written proposal on a form provided by the registrar’s office that includes the following: a brief description of the topic or area of interest, a tentative bibliography, an indication of the way in which the work will be evaluated, and a suggested schedule of meetings with the instructor. After the instructor approves the proposal, it will be submitted to the academic dean for review prior to course registration. No reading course may be approved for any course currently available in the YDS curriculum.
Students on probation or otherwise in academic difficulty may not take reading courses. Reading courses will normally not be approved after the date specified in the academic calendar.