Registration Process for Fall 2022 - Important Dates and FAQ

*Updated on August 9, 2022, to reflect changes made to registration deadlines.*

April 1, 2022

[Summary: This message outlines important information on course registration for fall 2022 and provides a timeline of what instructors should do and by what date. It also provides answers to frequently asked questions.]

To: FAS Faculty and all other faculty teaching in Yale College
cc: FAS Steering; Yale College Dean’s Office Staff; FAS Dean’s Office Staff; GSAS Dean’s Office Staff; University Registrar’s Office; Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning; FAS Department Lead Administrators, Operations Managers, Chairs’ Assistants, and Undergraduate Registrars

Dear colleagues,

We continue to be grateful for your assistance, patience, and feedback as we implement and improve a new registration system and timeline. We are working closely with the University Registrar’s Office and ITS to make the process as smooth as possible for students and faculty. Below, you will find a timeline and answers to frequently asked questions regarding registration for fall 2022.


April 1: Yale Course Search (YCS) opens for students to begin browsing courses for 2022-23, and Canvas course sites open for fall 2022 courses.

April 4-11: Application period for courses in departments that use the URO’s Preference Selection tool.

April 8: Deadline for instructors to post expanded course descriptions in Canvas. Each course has a template to follow on the “Syllabus” section, which provides basic course information to students. By this date, instructors should also confirm with their department registrar whether permission of the instructor is required to enroll. All courses, whether lectures or seminars, that might exceed their enrollment capacity should be tagged as requiring instructor permission. Additional information about managing enrollment in your course may be found on the URO registration website and in the FAQs below.

April 13, 8 am: Registration for FA22 courses opens for first-year students, sophomores, and juniors planning to enroll in FA22.

April 18, 5 pm: Deadline for students to request permission within YCS to enroll in limited-enrollment courses that require instructor permission. Requests may be submitted after this deadline and may be considered by the instructor but should receive lower priority than requests received on time.

April 22, 5 pm: Deadline for instructors to respond to student requests to enroll in limited-enrollment courses within YCS. Information about how to review and approve permission requests may be found on the URO registration website and in the FAQs below.

May 4, 5 pm: Registration closes. At this time, instructors should set maximum enrollment in their courses based on student demand and what their departmental resources can accommodate. See FAQ section below for more.

August 29, 3:00 - 5:00 PM: Registration opens for new first-year, transfer, and Eli Whitney students, and for returning reinstated students. See FAQ section below for guidance about reserving seats in courses for these students if desired.

August 31, 8:30 am: Add/Drop begins for all students. During this period, students may adjust their schedule, but they may add a course only if there is room in it.

August 31: Classes begin.

September 7, 5 pm: Add/Drop ends.

Please note that this registration timeline is designed to provide students with an opportunity to claim a spot and to provide instructors an early indication of the maximum enrollment. During the Add/Drop period, students may join your course only as space becomes available within the numbers set by your maximum enrollment limit. Details by course type are provided below. Additional guidance may be found on the URO registration website, which can be filtered to provide information specifically for faculty before and during registration.

Frequently Asked Questions

For all course types

How should I interpret the enrollment demand at the close of the registration period?

It should be viewed as an upper limit. Students can carry 5.5 credits on their schedule through the end of the Add/Drop period, but the average student enrollment is only 4.5 credits, so there is on average roughly 20% inflation in enrollment data from the initial registration period, allowing for some movement during the Add/Drop period, separate from spots you may wish to save for new students or graduate students.

Is there a way to reserve seats for students by class year, such as seniors or incoming first-year students?

Yes. The registration system can designate a predetermined number of seats by class year in CourseLeaf, and your department registrar should know how to do that. An instructor who wishes to give priority to seniors—or who wishes to reserve seats for new first-year students—may allocate seats accordingly.

What is the difference between a “Student” and a “Visitor” in my Canvas roster?

Students have two course schedule worksheets: one is their official “Registration Worksheet,” limited to 5.5 credits; the other is an informal “Canvas” worksheet, which allows students to identify up to 5 additional courses that they are still exploring. Students who have a registered course in their registration worksheet appear as a “Student” in Canvas, whereas students who have a course in the Canvas worksheet appear as a “Visitor.” Students with visitor status have access to the course’s Canvas site throughout Add/Drop period so that they can keep up with assignments if they wish.

What do the Course Demand Statistics (CDS) tell me?

CDS provides students and faculty real-time information on how many students are enrolled as “students” and how many are simply “visitors.” The default view shows how many students are officially enrolled, but users can toggle the menu to see visitors and combined numbers.

What about graduate and professional school students who want to enroll in my undergraduate course?

Students in the graduate and professional schools do not use the YCS system to enroll in courses. If you wish to reserve some seats in a limited-enrollment undergraduate course for these students, your department registrar can modify the enrollment cap in CourseLeaf accordingly. For example, for an 18-person seminar that typically enrolls two or three graduate or professional school students, you could set the enrollment cap at 15 and receive requests to enroll by email. Note that graduate and professional school students still use the former OCS system and will appear only as “Visitors” in Canvas until the end of the Add/Drop period. Beginning in the fall of 2022, course registration for students in the Graduate School will be integrated into the YCS system for spring 2023 courses.

For small limited-enrollment courses (e.g., seminars, labs, studio courses)

How do I set my maximum enrollment?

The size of seminars depends on departmental custom for the course type. In most departments, the department registrar enters the standard number.

Should I require instruction permission to enroll?

That depends on the course. If you think maximum enrollment could exceed capacity, or if you want to ensure that only qualified students are permitted to enroll, you should ask your department registrar to add this requirement to your course in CourseLeaf by April 11. Otherwise, you do not need to do so.

How do I see and respond to student requests to enroll in YCS?

Within YCS, go to “Courses I Manage” and click the “Manage Instructor Permission” button. You will see the list of students who requested permission. You may admit or reject a request (a green check or red X will appear next to the student’s name, accordingly), or you may leave it open as a pending request. After you grant admission, each student still needs to confirm enrollment (indicated by a gray check), so you may want to set a deadline after which you may revoke permission. Additional information about reviewing permission requests in your course may be found here.

I received more requests from students to enroll than I can accept. How do I decide whom to admit?

You may prioritize students based on major and class year, which are provided within the YCS registration system. You may also consider prior coursework, which you can ask students to list when they request permission. However, please don’t ask for the student’s GPA, which is not an inclusive practice. And, unless pedagogically necessary (e.g., creative writing courses), please refrain from asking for essays, which are burdensome for students and not an inclusive practice. When the number of qualified students exceeds the number of spots in your class, random selection is the most equitable. 

If spaces become available during Add/Drop, may I admit students at that time?

Yes. And if the course does not require instructor permission, students may simply add the course to their registration worksheet.

Several students requested permission to enroll in one of my seminars, and I granted permission. Why don’t they appear as a “Student” in my Canvas roster?

After students receive permission, they must formally enroll (indicated by a gray check). Instructors have the right to revoke permission to enroll if a student does not respond after a reasonable amount of time, so you are welcome to set a deadline of 24 or 48 hours to confirm so that you know if you can offer the spot to another student. 

The course I teach uses the Preference Selection system to admit students. How does that integrate with course registration system?

For courses that use Preference Selection (e.g., first-year seminars, and introductory English, Math, and language courses), the system places the course directly on the admitted student’s registration worksheet prior to the opening of registration. Subsequent requests to enroll in the course are managed within YCS.

For lecture courses

How do I set my estimated maximum enrollment before the registration period opens?

Before registration opens, your departmental registrar will have distributed teaching fellow resources, typically based on past enrollment and availability as detailed in your department’s allocation memo. At the close of registration, student demand, plus spots you wish to save for new students or graduate and professional school students (to be filled in August), coupled with what your program can accommodate, will determine your estimated maximum enrollment, which should be updated by your department registrar in CourseLeaf. After the maximum enrollment has been set at the close of registration, it should be considered final. Any questions regarding adjustments to your estimated maximum enrollment, whether before, during, or after the registration period, should be directed to Dean Pam Schirmeister at When the Add/Drop period opens, students may use the discussion section waitlist feature to indicate their interest in the course, but they may enroll only if spaces become available within the set maximum enrollment number.

Will there be waitlists for discussion sections?

Yes. An automatic waitlisting feature has been added for all discussion and lab sections. Additional information on how it works can be found on the URO registration website.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and for all that you do for our students.

Best wishes,

Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Marvin Chun
Dean, Yale College

Lynn Cooley
Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences