Choosing Courses

A group of friends smile at the camera.
Table of Contents
  • Essential dates for the academic year
  • BIOL 101-102 and 103-104 Advising FAQs
  • English and ENGL 114-130
  • Freshman Seminars
  • Math Department FAQs for calculus advising and preregistration
  • ROTC: Air Force and Naval ROTC
  • Science and QR courses without prerequisites
  • Where to find information on courses
  • Course selection (“shopping”) period
  • Thoughts on sophomore year and beyond
Essential dates for the academic year

The single most useful tool for finding essential dates for the academic year is the Yale College Calendar with Pertinent Deadlines.  

Other useful sources of dates for the academic year are the Calendar of the Opening Days of College (especially for dates and events falling between late-August and mid-September) and the Yale College Academic Calendar (for registration, vacation, and final examination dates throughout the academic year).

Please pay careful attention to

  • the first day of classes in the fall and spring terms
  • the date your course schedule is due in our residential college dean’s office (the time is the same from year to year: no later than 5:00 p.m.)

BIOL 101-102 and 103-104 Advising FAQs 

[the 2017-2018 FAQ sheet is coming soon!]


 Introductory English courses (ENGL 114 through 130) are offered in two categories:

  1. English for First-years
  2. English for First-years and Sophomores

English for First-years (ENGL 114 and 115) is designed for the majority of first-year students to help them develop their skills as writers of college-level prose or as insightful readers.

English for First-years and Sophomores (ENGL 120 through 130) is designed for sophomores who have taken English for First-years and for first-year students who already feel confident doing intensive, college-level course work in literature and writing.

English introductory course section availability 

Updated daily during course selection period.

Freshman Seminars

Updated daily during course selection period.


 FAQs for calculus advising and pre-registration (including placement information and lottery information)

  • Air Force ROTC (AFROTC)
    • Scholarships are open to both first-years and sophomores who excel in academics and display leadership potential.

  • Naval ROTC (NROTC)
    • First-year students may apply for enrollment in the non-scholarship College Program and then compete for scholarships at the completion of their first year.  If selected for the Scholarship Program students receive full tuition, academic fees, a stipend for textbooks, and a monthly subsistence allowance that increases annually.

Science (Sc) and QR Courses without Prerequisites
  1. List of Science (Sc) courses without prerequisites
  2. List of QR courses without prerequisites

Course Selection Period (“Shopping Period”)

Online course selection is available at the Registrar’s Office Web site.

Reminder: Classes conducted during the first two weeks of the term are regular classes with readings and homework. Be prepared to complete assignments and to participate in each class that you “shop.”

Be courteous during course selection period. Don’t enter or leave a classroom after class has started or before it has ended. If you must do either, it is polite to discuss your need at the beginning of class with the instructor.

Where to Find Information about Courses

In addition to the information in Yale College Programs of Study, updated course information and many course syllabi are accessible through Yale BlueBook and the Online Course Information (OCI) system. Once you begin choosing courses, you will be able to look at course evaluations for some of the classes you are considering.

Thoughts on Sophomore Year and Beyond
  • “Sophomore year is the last time to really explore. As a sophomore you can just enjoy your classes and at the same time think about which direction you might want to go in life.”
  • “It’s OK if you don’t have your entire life planned by now. Most will change their minds anyway.”
  • “Look ahead to junior and senior years because there are some provisions like studying abroad and class load in senior year that should be taken into account.”
  • “Every year plot out a schedule for the next year.”