Dear Members of Class of 2027,

Today, we write to share some thoughts on selecting your courses, both for the fall semester and in general. But first, please review the important dates and deadlines listed here and at the end of this message, including:

Preparing for course selection does not need to be complicated. These are some important things to consider in the coming weeks:

  • Nearly all first-years will take a course that uses the Preference Selection process. Between August 8-14, you may rank your preferences for courses and meeting times for many of the introductory courses commonly taken by first-year students, including biology, chemistry, English, math, language courses, and first-year seminars. You may enter your preferences, or change them, at any time between August 8-14, and the time of submission is not a factor in the selection process.
  • You will then have the opportunity to adjust your schedule when registration opens on August 28 and during the subsequent add/drop period. But it is to your advantage to secure preferred courses and meeting times through Preference Selection.
  • Remote advising with peer advisers is available seven days a week through August 18. Nearly a third of the incoming class has met with a peer adviser. If you have not met with a peer adviser yet, use this link to sign up for a one-on-one appointment.

A few considerations may help you think about course selection itself. Yale College offers nearly 2,000 courses each year in many dozens of subjects (for ex., American Sign Language, astronomy, anthropology — and those are just some of the A’s). Some you studied in high school — and you may wish to expand your knowledge by pursuing them further; others may be new to you, perhaps “dream” subjects. We encourage you to take at least one course per semester that genuinely sparks your intellectual curiosity and pulls you out of your comfort zone. You will benefit from the stretch.

Yale courses come in two basic formats, lectures and seminars. Many introductory courses that first-years gravitate to are offered in lecture format, while others, particularly language and writing courses, are offered as seminars. We encourage you to select fall courses in both formats, but also to be sure to take at least one seminar or small course. Similarly, it is helpful to select courses with different types of assignments (papers, problem sets, quizzes or exams, etc.) to vary your workload. Additional advice and course selection principles are available here.

While these and other practical considerations (such as first-year distributional requirementschoosing courses at the proper level, or preparing for a major) may partly guide your course selection, we urge you to think of coursework as more than navigating requirements. The courses you choose now will also shape your experience of the world, and every discipline brings its own perspective. Use your time at Yale to broaden yours. 


The Office of Undergraduate Education


This week’s important dates and reminders include:

*Note: The First-Year Biographical Questionnaire is a brief survey in which you share your high school accomplishments, academic and extracurricular interests, and demographic information with alumni who support everyone's Yale experience through the Office of Development.