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Explanation of symbols and comments used in course descriptions

Year Course -- A year-long sequence (for example, German 100-200) whose first semester grade is a temporary one. Neither course in the sequence may be taken independently without special written permission. The final grade submitted at the end of the second semester of course work is recorded as the final grade for both semesters.

Fall -- Course is offered in the fall semester
Spr -- Course is offered in the spring semester
Sum--Course if offered in the summer session

Letters followed by a figure in parentheses, e.g. D(4) -- the letter designates the recitation group during which the activity meets and the figure designates the examination group assigned to the meeting (see Class Meeting Hours for complete explanation of times and dates).

S/NC -- This notation will appear as part of the course description for those courses which have been restricted by the instructor to the grade option of Satisfactory/No Credit. For all other courses, the student has the choice of option: A,B,C/NC or S/NC (see See Grading System. for explanation of grade options).

DVPS -- Designates a Diversity Perspectives course.

LILE -- Designates a Liberal Learning course. See See Liberal Learning Courses.

Arr. -- Arranged. This can be for either the recitation group or the final examination group. The intent is that a time is set which is mutually agreeable to the instructor and the students.

Written permission required -- Unless otherwise indicated, an override must be obtained from the instructor of the course.

Meeting Code -- This course code consisting of eighteen characters, including the CRN and a section number, is listed for each course component following the course description. It is to be used by students in registering for or changing course enrollments.

Students must register for all components of a course. Each course has at least a section; many include other types of meetings:

S01, S02, etc. -- Section. In general this involves grading units for the course and may include a division of the course enrollment into smaller numbers to facilitate opportunities for discussion. When registering for a course, a student must indicate a section number as part of the meeting code.

C01, C02, etc. -- Conference. Generally an auxiliary meeting such as a discussion group or problem-solving session. Attendance at conferences may be required.

F01, F02, etc. -- Film Screening.

L01, L02, etc. -- Laboratory. In addition to science labs, may be scheduled for other activities.


Registration Guidelines

All students are urged to note carefully the following course registration policies in order to assure eligibility for enrollment, proper registration in courses, and to avoid unnecessary payment of late registration and course change fees. Each student is responsible for his or her own course schedule and students are cautioned against giving their ID and password for online registration to anyone. During those occasions when paper course change forms are used, the Registrar's Office will not accept registration materials from one student on behalf of another. All registration materials (e.g., course change forms, and concentration forms) are official University documents.

Nota BeneTampering with an official university document is a serious violation of the academic code, and penalties for such violations are severe and have included Directed No Credit in the course(s) in question and permanent transcript entries of the offenses.. Cases of suspected alteration or falsification of registration documents are referred to the academic code committee for investigation. Each student is solely responsible for his or her own schedule of courses. The registrar will not permit one student to submit registration forms for another student.

Brown implemented the Banner online registration system beginning with pre-registration for the fall 2007 semester. All students register themselves and make changes to their course registration online with the exception of the following, who must register on paper in person at the Office of the Registrar: 1) all categories of special students; 2) Brown students taking courses at Rhode Island School of Design. Additionally, Brown medical students do not register themselves but are registered directly by the registration staff.

Cross-Registration at the Rhode Island School of Design

As a result of a cooperative arrangement, all students of Brown University (undergraduate, graduate, and medical) may elect certain courses at the Rhode Island School of Design. (Note: Brown-RISD Dual Degree students do not need to cross-register as their Brown record automatically reflects RISD academic credit). Registration is on a space-available basis and is subject to written permission of the RISD instructor and the RISD Registrar. Students register for such work under Brown course numbers with the prefix RISD. Fall, spring, and winter term courses may be taken under this arrangement. Because Brown does not have a winter term, winter term courses will appear on the student’s spring registration and will be counted as one of the five courses for which the student is eligible to register. Students wishing to take RISD courses in the summer should consult with a dean as it needs to be processed as transfer credit. A grade of C or better at RISD is required for degree credit at Brown.

Students must petition the Committee on Academic Standing for approval to study at RISD when they wish to complete more than four RISD courses that will be counted toward their Brown degree and when they wish to enroll in certain non-studio courses, including those that fall within RISD's liberal arts division.

Students who wish to register for a RISD course should take the following steps:
1. Pick up a cross-registration form from the Registrar's Office at Brown.
2. Select a course from the RISD catalog and select a grade option.
3. Attend the first class meeting and get written permission from the RISD instructor.
4. Visit the RISD Registrar's Office (20 Washington Place) and get written permission.
5. Visit the Brown Registrar's Office and, with the office staff, determine if this course requires a petition to the Committee on Academic Standing

When to Register

For students continuing in the University, registration for courses for Semester I will normally be carried out during the preceding April and, for Semester II, during the preceding November, in accordance with a schedule established by the Registrar. (See the Academic Calendar for a summary of registration-related deadlines.) Pre-registration is mandatory.  Students who do not register by the pre-registration deadline will have a hold placed on their accounts.  Those students must contact the Registrar’s Office to have the hold removed.  At that time a $15 late pre-registration fee will be assessed.  Any student adding courses during the third and fourth week of classes will be charged an additional fee of $15 per course. No course may be added after the end of the fourth week.

Students planning to readmit for a particular term may register online during the regular pre-registration periods, provided that they have notified the University by April 1 for the fall or October 15 for the spring of their intent to readmit and their readmission has been approved.

New undergraduate students (first-year and transfer students) will normally register for courses when they arrive on campus in accordance with a schedule established by the Registrar and the office of the Dean of the College. First-year undergraduates and sophomores must meet with their advisor first to discuss their course selection and to receive approval in the form of the advisor's PIN number. First-years and sophomores will not be able to register without the advisor's PIN.

In order to secure a place in the courses they want, it is to the advantage of students to register during the pre-registration period for courses for following semester.  Students who do not pre-register will have a $15 late pre-registration fee applied to their student account.   Students who are unsure of their plans for the following semester should register anyway. If it becomes certain later that they will not be returning, a formal withdrawal or request for a leave of absence must be submitted to an academic dean in the Office of the Dean of the College. Their registration will be rescinded without penalty.

Students who do not register and who have not officially withdrawn seriously disrupt University planning and impede service to other students. Failure to register also deprives the student of benefits received by virtue of enrollment status as a student, for example guaranteed loans, Veterans Administration benefits, and Social Security benefits.

Numbering of Courses

Courses numbered 1 to 999 are open only to undergraduates. Courses numbered 1000 to 1999 are open to undergraduates and graduate students. Courses numbered 2000 to 2999 are open to graduate students and, by special arrangement, to undergraduates. Courses numbered 3000 and above are open only to students in the Medical School.

In the Course Announcement, a dash between course numbers (for example, French 100-200) indicates a year course in which the grade at the end of the first semester is normally a temporary one. Neither semester may be elected independently without special permission. The final grade submitted at the end of the course covers the work of the entire year and is recorded as the final grade for both semesters. It is normally expected that the second half of a year course will be completed in the second semester of the same academic year in which the first half was taken. If the second half of the year course is not completed at the end of that academic year, the grade for the first semester will become a No Credit. If the student completes the second part of the year course during a later academic year, he or she may need to notify the registrar's office, Room 318, J. Walter Wilson Hall in order to reactivate the first part of the course.

In registering for the second half of a year course, students must register for credit if the first half was taken for credit. Similarly, if registered for audit in the first half, the second half of the course registration must also be as an audit. Exceptions must be approved by both the academic department and the Committee on Academic Standing.

Basic Steps

  1. Familiarize yourself with:
    1. registration-related dates (refer to the published Academic Calendar);
    2. the requirements for the degree you are pursuing, including concentration or field of study requirements
    3. potential limitations on enrollment in certain courses.  In order to ensure quality teaching and create a conducive learning environment, many courses have enrollments and/or other registration parameters.  When students attempt to enroll in a limited course, they will be allowed to register only if
      1. they meet all of the parameters and
      2. space is still available in the course. 
      If the enrollment limit in a course has been reached and the course is, therefore, closed to registration, the instructor may grant a registration override which will allow a student to register.  To override a registration restriction, the instructor must input the student’s Banner ID into the online override function before a student may register for the course.  Please note that the instructor’s application of an override does not register a student for the course.  Once the override is applied the student must still register for the course online by the registration deadline.  To remain in a limited enrollment course, a student must attend all of the first three class meetings.
    4. changes to course offerings.  Occasionally, circumstances require the University to make changes to the courses it offers in a given semester.  The most current information about course offerings is available at the Banner online schedule.
  2. Choose your courses:
    1. All students should avail themselves of the help their advisors can provide.  With your advisor, select courses for the upcoming term suitable to your academic program. Information about program requirements is available online through the Registrar’s Office. The final responsibility for the selection of courses and the proper completion of degree requirements rests with the student.  web site and through the academic departments.
    2. The total number of course registrations plus audits may not exceed five courses per semester, or two courses in the summer. 
    3. The Course List and other sources of information provide general assistance in selecting courses. Of particular use to entering students will be the Guide to Liberal Learning, which includes statements prepared by the academic departments regarding courses open to first-year students.  To ensure proper course planning, students should pay careful attention to prerequisites and to required courses that should be taken early in their careers, possibly in the first year.
    4. First-year undergraduates should take note of placement information and recommendations for initial enrollments. They should select both first-choice and alternative courses.
  3. Refer to the online Web Registration tutorial.  Students will use the online system during the pre-registration period and the add/drop period each semester.
  4. Register for your courses (including those requiring instructor overrides) online by the deadline published in the Academic Calendar.

    Please note that each student is solely responsible for his or her own schedule of courses.  Students should not give their Banner access information to anyone else.  Where paper registration forms area required (i.e., after the second week of classes) the Registrar’s Office will not accept registration forms from a third party.  Registration forms may not be mailed.
  5. Check your registration online to ensure proper registration in all courses.  

    Though not essential for completing your enrollment in courses, you should also contact the Registrar’s Office regarding:
    1. changes to your biographical information;
    2. questions you have concerning the listing of your directory information in the Brown University Directory;
    3. needs for certification of enrollment;
    4. your wish to submit a "statement of independence from parents."

Using Banner

After selecting the courses in which you would like to enroll, you will need to enter specific information for each course online at  "" as follows:

  1. Alternate PINs
    1. An incoming student must secure an alternate PIN in order to register.  He/she will be given the PIN while meeting with his/her advisor during orientation.
    2. All students with a current semester level of 01-04 are required to obtain an Alternate PIN from their advisor in order to register. It is recommended that appointments be made sufficiently in advance of the last day of the pre-registration period to ensure that the deadline is met. Students are urged to learn their advisor's office hours and plan accordingly. The late registration fee will apply to first-year students who have not registered by the last day of the pre-registration period.
  2. CRN: A five-digit Course Reference Number (CRN) is listed for each course offered in a given term.  Note that every course meeting, section, lab, conference, screening, etc. includes a unique CRN.  The CRN can be entered directly into the Add Classes Worksheet, accessed through the Add or Drop Courses link on the online registration menu.  If a student does not know the CRN, a course search can be performed using the Look Up Classes link.
  3. Grade Option: A student may elect to take a course for either the Satisfactory/No Credit or the standard ABC/No Credit grading option.  The registration will default to standard ABC/No Credit unless a course description includes the designation ‘S/NC’ in which case students who register will automatically be registered for the Satisfactory/No Credit option.  A student may change a grade option online simply by clicking the Class Change Options link in the online registration menu.  Grade options may not be changed, however, nor the Satisfactory/No Credit option selected, after the fourth week of class in each semester (please see the academic calendar for specific dates). 

After the second week of courses, paper course change forms will no longer be required to add courses.  Students will be able to register online after securing an instructor override.