E. Course Enrollment
Students may enroll in courses only by entering courses onto their registration worksheet in Yale Course Search during the registration period, or during the add/drop period, according to the dates listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. Class attendance does not constitute enrollment. The course schedule is an important record of a student’s enrollment plans, and students are responsible for the timely and accurate entering and maintaining of course schedule information during the registration and add/drop periods. The course elections that a student indicates on a course schedule or course change notice will appear on the student’s transcript unless the student formally withdraws from a course before the relevant deadline, as listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. See section F, Withdrawal from Courses.
The following rules govern students’ enrollment in courses during the fall and spring terms of the academic year:
- Registration period For both fall and spring terms, all students must enroll in at least three course credits before the published deadline listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. Continuing students will enroll in the prior term; new and reinstated students will be notified of their registration dates for the fall term and will enroll for the spring term with continuing students. (Updated June 2023 to remove late registration fees.)
- Add/drop period At, or near, the beginning of each term, the registration system opens for all students to adjust their course enrollment. Final course selections and adjustments must be completed by the published deadline listed in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines. It is the student's responsibility to obtain all necessary permissions before the deadline.
- Addition of a new course after the add/drop period The addition of a new course after the add/drop period will not be permitted save by exceptional action of the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. Students who seek an exception should consult immediately with their residential college dean. Permission to elect a new course after the add/drop period must be requested by completing a course change notice that includes a petition and the written approval of the course instructor. The petition should explain in detail why the course is necessary to the student’s schedule and why the student was unable to elect the course by the end of the add/drop period. Timeliness is an essential feature of any request to add a course to the course schedule; a delay in consulting with the dean or in submitting a complete petition will normally be grounds for denial. A fee of $20 will be charged for the processing of an approved course change notice on which the election of a new course is requested. A student may not elect a new course after midterm, as published in the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines, unless such election is made to correct a clerical error on the course schedule. A change of level in courses in which the subject is taught in an ordered progression, as for example in languages or in mathematics, is not considered the addition of a new course. Such a change may be made with the approval of the instructors involved (and, if necessary, with the added permission of the director of undergraduate studies in the subject). Similarly, a change of section in the same course is not considered the addition of a new course.
- Fines for clerical errors were eliminated in June 2023.
- Overlapping meeting times A student may not elect courses with meeting times that overlap. If, for good cause, a student is obliged to elect two courses which overlap in meeting times, the student must supply the residential college dean at the beginning of the term with the written permission of both instructors, along with confirmation that the scheduled final exams as given in Yale Course Search do not themselves overlap. The student must also petition the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing, through their college dean's office, explaining why the student must enroll in both courses in the current term and how the student will meet all the requirements for both courses. No more than two courses may overlap, and the length of the overlap permitted depends on the course format as described below:
(a) Two synchronous courses may have a small and insignificant overlap in meeting times (i.e., no more than 15 minutes once per week, including travel time), with permission from the instructors of both courses, via petition to the residential college dean, so long as the final exams do not overlap.
(b) One asynchronous course may overlap with one synchronous course, including for the full class meeting time, with the permission of both instructors, via petition to the residential college dean, so long as the final exams do not overlap.
(c) Two asynchronous courses may overlap with each other, including for the full class meeting time, with the permission of both instructors, via petition to the residential college dean, so long as the final exams do not overlap.
Failure to file a complete and timely petition may result in the loss of credit for both courses.
- Courses requiring permission Some courses require permission of the instructor to enroll; others require permission of the director of undergraduate studies. It is the responsibility of the student to secure the appropriate permission before they can be registered in a course.
- Courses that do not require permission Courses that do not require permission for enrollment may nevertheless be limited in their enrollment (i.e., “capped”) at the beginning of the term, depending upon, for example, the number of teaching assistants available, the size of the appropriate meeting space, or other instructional needs.
- Prerequisites Students are expected to have met the prerequisites published in course descriptions. If a student wishes to elect a course for which prerequisites are indicated but has not met those prerequisites, it is the student’s responsibility to secure the permission of the instructor and, where appropriate, the director of undergraduate studies before enrolling. The registrar may drop the student from the class if the student has not met the prerequisites for enrollment.
- Teaching evaluations For the advancement of teaching in Yale College, anonymous teaching evaluations are made available through the Yale Student Information System (SIS). Students are expected to participate in this evaluation process for any eligible Yale College course in which they are enrolled. Students who withdraw from a course after midterm are invited but not required to participate.
- Selection of a less advanced course in the same subject In certain subjects, such as mathematics, languages, and the sciences, knowledge of the subject is acquired in an ordered progression. That is, the concepts and skills introduced in one course are necessary, or prerequisite, for mastery of the material in subsequent courses in that field. Occasionally a student, having completed an intermediate or advanced course in a subject, may take a less advanced one in that same subject. In such a case, although the student cannot receive course credit for both courses, each course will appear on the student’s transcript with the grades earned; however, the student will receive course credit only for the more advanced course. A student may sometimes be permitted to complete an intermediate or advanced course without having first completed a less advanced course in a subject; in such a case, the student does not receive course credit for the less advanced course by virtue of having completed the more advanced course.
- Repeated enrollment in the same course Courses may not be repeated for credit, except for courses marked “May be taken more than once” or “May be repeated for credit.” In such cases, the repeated course earns no additional distributional credit. On rare occasions, a student may take the same course over again, or may take a course with the same content as another course the student has already passed. In such cases, the student receives credit for the course only once. Should a student take the same or an equivalent course twice, each course with its grade appears on the transcript. The student receives course credit for the higher grade if one is earned; in such an event, course credit is not given for the lower grade. Note, however, that both grades are included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average (GPA) and in the calculation for General Honors.
- Academic credit and paid positions Students may not receive academic course credit for paid research assignments; they may not be paid for any work performed to meet academic requirements or that carries academic course credit.
- Placement in language courses Students placed by a language program or by their score on the Advanced Placement examination into a particular level of a language may not earn course credit for the completion of a course in that language at a level lower than the placement. For example, a student placed into the third term (L3) of a language earns no course credit for the completion of an L1 or L2 course in that language. Should a student complete a language course at a level lower than the placement, the lower-level course with its grade appears on the transcript but earns no credit toward graduation.
- Use of vertebrate animals If the satisfactory completion of a course will require the use of vertebrate animals in experiments, the student must be notified of that requirement at the first meeting of the course. If a student objects on ethical grounds to participating in the animal usage in question, it is the student’s responsibility to discuss the matter with the faculty member in charge and not to enroll in the course if no alternative acceptable to the faculty member can be arranged.
- Field trips If the satisfactory completion of a course will require participation in a field trip, students should understand that there are inherent risks, including the risks of travel, involved in such an activity. If a student objects to assuming these risks, it is the student’s responsibility to discuss the matter with the faculty member in charge and not to enroll in the course if no alternative acceptable to the faculty member can be arranged. Yale College’s policies regarding field trips can be found at the Yale College Academic Field Trip Policies website.
- Fieldwork If a student is conducting fieldwork away from the Yale campus, under the supervision of a faculty member, he or she should discuss the inherent risks of such work and pre-departure guidelines with the supervising faculty member or director of undergraduate studies.