Key Processes

Check below for information on a variety of academic processes. Remember, you can always stop by to talk to Brigitte or Abby if you have questions!

Handbook Link

Overview

(Follow the Handbook Link for more complete information!)

Where’s the form, and when’s it due?

Who do I talk to?

Check In

Students are required to complete the check-in process online at the opening of each term by the date designated in the academic calendar.

Online at my.harvard. Instructions are here. Ordinarily, no students will be allowed to register after 5pm on the Monday following the course registration deadline.

Office of the Registrar

Register for Classes

Prior to enrolling in courses, students must meet with their sophomore or concentration advisor. After the meeting, the advisor will release the advising hold.

Online at my.harvard, usually due one week after the term begins. Instructions are here. A student who fails to register for the minimum required course load (typically 16 credits) will incur a charge of $40 per week until the course registration is submitted.

Sophomore or Concentration Advisor

Add/Drop

Students may make changes to their course enrollment after Course Registration Day and before the 5th Monday of the term. Adding a class requires permission of the instructor.

 

Online at my.harvard. Instructions are here. The add/drop deadline is the 5th Monday of the term. There is no charge for adding or dropping by the 3rd Monday of the term. All students pay a $10 fee for adding or dropping courses after the 3rd Monday but by the 5th Monday of the term.

Office of the Registrar

Pass/Fail

Any undergraduate may, with the permission of the instructor, enroll in a course on a Pass/ Fail basis. Independent Study is always graded PA/FL.

Available for download in the documents section of my.harvard. Due to the Registrar by 5pm on the 5th Monday of the term.

Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean

Withdraw

Students may petition to withdraw from a course. When a petition to withdraw from a course has been approved, the student’s record will carry the notation WD for the course. The transcript states: “WD indicates permission to withdraw from the course without completing requirements and credit for the course.”

Available for download at the Registrar’s website. Petitions must be submitted by the 7th Monday of a term. All students pay a $10 fee for withdrawal petitions filed by the 7th Monday of the term.

Office of the Registrar

Independent Study

Independent Study is designed to provide credit for field research, academic study not available in regular course work, or practice or performance in the arts. Any sophomore, junior, or senior whose previous record is satisfactory may petition to undertake Independent Study for non-letter-graded credit.

On the website of the Office of Undergraduate Education. Due to the Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean by the Add/Drop deadline.

You can email oue@fas.harvard.edu with any questions, or ask us in the Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean .

Cross Registration

(visit this link as well)

Students who wish to enroll in courses offered by Harvard’s professional schools or MIT may petition online. Under special conditions it may be possible for a student to earn degree credit for courses taken at another local institution provided that those courses contribute to a compelling academic plan tied to his or her concentration and not otherwise available at the College.

Visit the Cross Registration website for petition instructions. Petitions are due the Friday before the free Add/Drop deadline. Note that some schools have earlier deadlines; check with the relevant school.

Questions about cross-registration may be sent to coursecatalog@harvard.edu.

Simultaneous Enrollment

A student may not enroll in courses that meet at the same time or overlapping times unless an exception is granted by the Administrative Board. Exceptions will be considered only if the instructors in both overlapping courses agree and only in one or more of three specific circumstances detailed in the handbook.

Speak with the Allston Burr Assistant Dean about procedure. All Simultaneous Enrollment requests must be brought before the AdBoard no later than the Tuesday preceding the Add/Drop deadline (5th Monday).

Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean

Take a Leave of Absence

Students who wish to interrupt their studies at any time before graduation will petition the AdBoard for a leave of absence.

Speak with the Allston Burr Assistant Dean n about procedure. Students with satsifactory academic and disciplinary records, who have petitioned by the 7th Monday of the term, will normally be granted a “leave of absence.” Students who petition after the 7th Monday of the term will normally be granted a “leave of absence—late in the term.” Students who are not in good standing can be granted a “leave of absence—on probation.” The expectation for students who petition for a leave of absence after the 10th Monday of the term is that they will not return in the next consecutive academic term. No petitions for a leave of absence for any term will ordinarily be considered after the first day of Reading Period for that term. 

Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean

Declare a Concentration or Fill out a Plan of Study

All degree candidates must fulfill the requirements of one of the recognized fields of concentration, an approved joint concentration, or an approved special concentration. A student’s concentration is his or her commitment to a particular discipline, field, or specialization.

Online at my.harvard. Instructions are here.  Students must submit a completed Declaration of Concentration near the end of their third term of study.

The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar

Change a Concentration

After submitting a Declaration of Concentration and Plan of Study, students may change concentrations or add or delete a field that forms part of a joint concentration by filing an approved Change of Field of Concentration petition with the Registrar via my.harvard.

Online at my.harvard. Instructions are here. Petitions may be submitted until the deadline for degree applications in a student’s final term in the College. After that a change of concentration will be granted only with the approval of the AdBoard.

The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar

Declare a Secondary

Secondary fields provide the opportunity for focused study outside of the primary area of concentration, but they are entirely optional and are not required for graduation. The successful completion of a secondary field will appear on a student’s transcript. No student may receive credit for more than one secondary field.

Online at my.harvard. Instructions are here. Students are responsible for submitting all electronic information to the Office of the Registrar no later than the deadline published in the Handbook, usually 2 months before graduation.

The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar

Foreign Language Citation

Advanced training in a foreign language.  Noted on the transcript at the time degrees are voted, and included in the commencement program. Students will also receive printed citations along with their diplomas.

Paper, available in the House Office. Due to the Registrar no later than the deadline for your degree application (during your final term in the College).

The Director of Undergraduate Studies for the relevant language department.

Divide a Full Course (with or without credit) or Suspend/Combine

For year-long courses, completion of the fall term is a prerequisite for enrolling in the spring term. Any alteration to a year-long course requires consultation with the Allston Burr Assistant Dean.

Speak with the Allston Burr Assistant Dean about procedure.

Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean

Letters of RecommendationCollect letters of recommendation to keep on file in the House. Letters can then be sent out upon request.Visit the Pfoho Dossier Page.Office of the Allston Burr Assistant Dean