Early Course Registration

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 returning students will enroll in the month before the term begins. See the Course Enrollment section in the Yale College Programs of Study for more information. 

Participation in early registration strongly increases a student’s chance of securing a seat in a class, an especially pressing consideration for such limited-enrollment courses as seminars, laboratories, and studio art courses. 

  • For fall-term courses, early registration takes place at the end of the previous spring term for returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors
  • For incoming students, early registration for fall-term courses takes place in the weeks before the fall term begins 
  • For spring-term courses, early registration for all students takes place at the end of the fall term

The Add/Drop Period

At the beginning of each term, students have the opportunity to visit classes, including courses that they did not initially register for during early registration, and make changes to their course schedule during roughly the first two weeks of each term. Students are encouraged to use this opportunity to confirm that they have appropriate preparation for a specific course and to confirm their interest in courses selected during early registration. Students who wish to add a new course must secure the permission of the instructor to enroll, which is customarily granted as long as the student is qualified to enroll and space is available.

Classes conducted during the Add/Drop Period are regular, full-fledged classes in which readings, homework, and, occasionally, quizzes or exams, are assigned, so students must be prepared to keep up with assignments and participate fully in each class that he or she may wish to visit.