Course Registration and Course Preview Period

Harvard students using laptops


  • Harvard College students and students in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences will register for courses via Course registration deadlines appear in the Academic Calendar.
  • Registration is not complete until students have enrolled in their minimum required course load – typically 16 credits (equivalent to four Harvard 4-credit courses) – and any required petitions for cross-registration or Independent Study have been approved. Students need to submit their petitions after receiving approval to enroll in courses; the final step belongs to the student.
  • A student is only considered enrolled in the courses listed under "My Classes" on for the current term. Students are not considered enrolled in courses shown as “pending”. It is the responsibility of students to confirm their course enrollment for that term.
  • Some courses have enrollment limits; check course Canvas sites and my.harvard course descriptions for details and individual course deadlines.
  • Students enrolling after the course registration deadline must obtain instructor permission.
  • After the fifth Monday of the term, Harvard College students will also be required to obtain the Administrative Board's approval to register for courses. The deadline to change the grading basis of a course to Pass/Fail or back to Letter Grade is the fifth Monday of the term.

Enrolling in Courses

Students can begin enrolling in courses on Monday, August 16, 2021. The deadline to complete enrollment is Thursday, August 26, 2021. Classes begin on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

View course registration instructions

Harvard College Advising Conversations

Prior to registering for courses, Harvard College students must meet with their first-year, sophomore, or concentration advisor. After the meeting, your advisor will release your electronic advising hold, acknowledging that you have had an advising conversation. To finish the process, you must click the “Finish Enrolling” button in my.harvard.

Non-Resident Registration for GSAS Students

GSAS students planning on being non-resident in lieu of the Check-in and Registration defined above must complete an application. The three non-resident statuses are Traveling Scholar, Leave of Absence, and Studying at Another Harvard School. Deadlines to file the application are listed in the Timeline of Non-Resident Process

Course Preview Period

Fall 2021 Course Preview Dates: August 23, 2021–August 26, 2021

To allow students to begin browsing courses early, course websites are expected to go live and advising holds can be lifted on August 16. Students should register for courses by the end of the day on August 26. Learn about choosing courses.

View the Course Preview Period Guide

Associated Fees

Fees for late check-in, late course registration, and change-of-course petitions are waived only when the University is responsible for the difficulty or when the situation involves a serious illness of the student (usually including hospitalization) or a death in the student’s immediate family. Any student who fails to register for courses on or before the deadline will incur a late fee of $40 per week until enrollment is submitted. Failure to complete the course registration process may subject the student to disciplinary action and an involuntary leave of absence.

Any student adding/dropping/withdrawing from a course will be charged according to the following schedule. Students are not charged for any drop/add submissions completed by the third Monday of the term. All students pay a $10 fee for drop/add submissions between the third Monday and the fifth Monday of the term. After the fifth Monday, drop/add petitions may no longer be filed. Withdrawal submissions filed between the fifth Monday and the eleventh Monday also cost $10. A notation of WD will be permanently recorded on the student’s transcript. Withdrawal petitions may not be filed after the eleventh Monday of the term. There is no charge for changing the grade status of a course.

Changes to a student's schedule after the deadlines require approval by the Administrative Board and will incur an additional fee of $25 plus the $10 change-of-course fee.

An overdue Declaration of Concentration will make the student liable for a late fee of $25 for the first week, $50 thereafter, and for disciplinary action, including requirement to withdraw. 

Registration Holds

Course registration may be held for a variety of reasons, such as unpaid term bills, immunization, required training, or meeting with adviser. Failure to clear the hold by the course registration deadline is not a legitimate reason for a late fee waiver. Students should visit my.harvard to see what holds may exist on their student account that may prevent them from registering for courses. Financial holds indicate that students must clear their accounts with the Student Financial Services Office before being allowed to register. A medical hold usually requires the submission of further immunization documentation to Medical Records at Harvard University Health Services. The International Office may also place a hold on the registration of a foreign student if the proper credentials have not yet been presented to that office. Holds may also be placed if a student has a disciplinary case pending before the Administrative Board, or for other reasons as indicated in my.harvard. Students should contact the appropriate office and make arrangements to clear the hold.

College Registration

August 12, 2021

  • Crimson Carts open

August 16, 2021

  • Course Registration begins

August 26, 2021

  • Course Registration deadline

GSAS Registration

August 2, 2021

  • Crimson Carts open

August 16, 2021

  • Course Registration begins

August 26, 2021

  • Course Registration deadline