Choosing Courses

A group of friends smile at the camera.
Table of Contents
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.)
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 Course information 

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


 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.

Environmental Humanities

Yale offers dozens of courses each year approaching environmental issues from diverse humanities perspectives, including history, literature, religious studies, film and media studies, anthropology, and other programs. Some courses are entirely focused on the environment and the humanities; others approach the environmental humanities as one of several integrated themes.

The Yale Environmental Humanities Newsletter also circulates every Monday to help students and faculty learn about public events happening across the campus. Undergraduates interested in finding out about Yale events in environmental history, politics, ethics, culture and the arts can sign up for the weekly newsletter here.


First-Year Seminars

Updated daily during course selection period.


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

science (sc) and qr courses without prerequisites
  1. Science (Sc) courses without prerequisites
  2. QR courses without prerequisites
  • 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.
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.”
Waitlists & Your Course Schedule

In case you are on a waitlist or your schedule is due before you have the opportunity to shop a Friday course, please remember the following points:

  1. Always submit your schedule by the deadline as stated in the YCPS.
  2. Your schedule should only include those courses in which you’ve been fully accepted.* It may be helpful to think of the schedule as a snapshot of reality as it exists right now. Students who are on a waitlist for a course cannot include that course on their schedule at all (even if the instructor promises to add new sections). And if you select a course that has a section component but don’t yet have a seat in that section, you must remove that course and select another one on your schedule. 
  3. If you are still on a waitlist but won’t find out until after your schedule is due, you must alert the dean beforesubmitting your schedule.
  4. If your schedule is due before you a Friday course meets, you must treat that course as you would a course in which you are waitlisted, unless you have already been accepted into and intend to take this Friday course. That is: students who are unsure about whether they will be accepted into a Friday class should seal and submit their course schedule without listing that course. And, as with all waitlisted courses, they should inform the dean in writing that even though they didn’t list the Friday course on their schedule, they plan to shop it on Friday.
  5. Once you learn you have been accepted off of a waitlist and into a course, let the dean know immediately by emailing a request to add that course late and then complete a Course Change Notice form in my office.