Zoe Berg, Photo Editor

Course registration for the fall 2022 semester is set to kick off this Friday, as students balance attention to their current course loads with considerations for the coming semester.

The University Registrar’s Office wrote to the College community on March 11 with information about dates and deadlines for the fall 2022 course registration process. The enrollment process for spring 2022 courses included notable changes from previous semesters, which will return for fall registration. Dean of Yale College Marvin Chun told the News that the new system is designed to “accommodate student interest.”

“I think the system is in pretty good shape, but we’re still having transitional challenges in that everyone is still getting used to the system,” Chun said.

Last semester’s changes included mandatory simultaneous enrollment in the discussion sections and labs that accompany some lectures, a single round of preference selection rankings and the addition of waitlists for discussion sections on Yale Course Search. Those changes were the result of an “extensive review” of the fall 2021 enrollment process, according to Chun, who said the Yale College Dean’s Office and the registrar’s office collaborated on the endeavor.

According to the registrar’s email, the 2022-23 edition of the Yale College Programs of Study will publish at 9 a.m. on Friday. At that time, Yale Course Search will also open for classes held in the upcoming academic year, and Canvas sites for courses offered in the fall will open.

Preference selection will open on Monday morning, April 4, at 9:00 a.m. According to an Oct. 29 email from the registrar regarding spring 2022 course enrollment policies, the preference selection period is only for departments that offer courses with multiple sections or courses with corresponding discussion or lab sections. Preference selection will close at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6. 

Registration worksheets will open in YCS at 8:00 a.m. on April 13. At that time, students can begin adding courses to their worksheets — for some courses, enrollment is first-come, first-serve, while for others, students must request the instructor’s permission in order to enroll. 

Chun said that one benefit of accelerating the registration process is the additional time it affords the College to adjust staffing for courses based on student interest. Particularly popular lectures, for example, benefit from having extra time to hire graduate students to serve as teaching fellows for discussion sections, he said. 

Students must submit applications for courses that require instructor permission by 5 p.m. on April 18. Chun said that he has asked instructors to primarily base their admissions decisions off factors already captured in the YCS system, like class year and major, instead of asking students to submit their grade point averages or written statements of interest. Preparing such statements is often “burdensome” for students, Chun said.

Chun noted that for some departments, written applications might be “pedagogically necessary” — in creative writing courses, for example. Still, he expressed his belief that for most courses, application essays are “not that helpful” and “not necessarily inclusive.”

“I just keep reminding faculty that course registration is a burden for students and we need to make it as easy as possible for them,” Chun said. 

Yale College Council Academic Policy Director Iris Li ’24 wrote in a statement to the News that making the course application process easier for students is a “joint goal” of the YCC and the administration.

The “published deadline” for faculty to make admissions decisions about such courses is April 22 at 5 p.m., according to the registrar’s email. Last fall, however, a “truly record” volume of applications to the English department’s spring creative writing courses led to a five-day extension in the deliberations period.

Another benefit of the redesigned system is that it gives students a “better sense” of what their schedule will ultimately look like earlier in the process, Chun said.

“In the old shopping period days, even up until the second week of registration, we had many students who didn’t know if they were in a seminar or not,” Chun said. “And that just kind of gummed up their whole registration schedule.”

Li wrote that during the spring course registration period last fall, she heard from many students with concerns that the timeline “overlapped with much of midterm season and other commitments.” The issue is a recurring one, Li said, yet having registration take place over summer or winter recess is not “administratively viable” because faculty members are not available to manage enrollment or advise students.

Li told the News that she, YCC President Bayan Galal ’23 and Vice President Zoe Hsu ’24 met with Chun and Dean of Academic Programs George Levesque to discuss the fall 2022 enrollment process. One of Li’s takeaways from the meeting was that College administrators are working to standardize the registration timeline so there is more consistency between semesters.

“The problem does seem to be that this requires identifying a period of time where students will have the mental bandwidth to look for new courses all while balancing their current academic load, extracurricular commitments, and other activities,” Li said. “And given that Yale students are so busy, that’s no easy feat.” 

The initial registration period will be three weeks long, and students’ registration worksheets will lock at 5 p.m. on May 4. Registration activities will be dormant for much of the summer, resuming in mid-August, when preference selection opens on Aug. 9 at 8 a.m. for discussion sections and lab sections in the chemistry department. That period closes at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15.

First-year students and other students new to the College in the fall of 2022 will have the opportunity to begin registering for classes in the late summer before returning students’ worksheets unlock, Chun said. He noted that while some limited-enrollment courses might reach capacity this spring before new students have the opportunity to register, most course rosters will experience some degree of attrition, and professors are free to reserve spaces during the initial registration period for anticipated new-student interest. First-year seminars are designed to ensure that students can still have a seminar experience their first year at Yale, Chun added.

“I would just say that preregistration in April for classes that won’t start until September – about five months before – definitely puts extra stress on students to decide their future plans without being prepared and takes away the opportunity to participate in great courses for those who don’t meet this deadline and decide they want to take a class in the normal registration period,” Carigan McGuinn ’25 said. “Many first years in particular have expressed that they are not receiving consistent communication from their academic advisors and are thus left confused and unprepared to begin crafting their schedule for next year.”

McGuinn said she believes clearer communication and more flexibility in course registration would benefit students moving forward.

The add/drop period for the fall semester will begin on Aug. 29 at 8:30 a.m., two days before classes officially kick off. At that time, registration worksheets will unlock to allow students to make changes to their schedules. The add/drop period will end and registration worksheets will again lock on Sep. 7 at 5:00 p.m., one week into the semester. 

Because Labor Day falls on the first Monday of the term, classes typically held on Mondays will likely meet the previous Friday, as has been the case in previous years. Consequently, students will not have the opportunity to attend a meeting of any classes held only on Fridays before the add/drop period concludes.

“I think we’ll meet in a good place at some point and every semester it’s getting a little better,” Chun said.

The University Registrar’s Office is located at 246 Church St.

Olivia Tucker covered student policy & affairs as a beat reporter in 2021-22. She previously served as an associate editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine and covered gender equity and diversity. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is a senior in Davenport College majoring in English.