Registration Guidelines

All enrolled students are required to register for courses in order to maintain their standing as actively enrolled students at the University. Failure to pre-register and/or register by the appropriate deadlines will result in late fees and may affect you standing with the institution. 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.

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 non-degree or visiting students 2) Brown students taking courses at Rhode Island School of Design. 

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. 

Nota Bene:  Tampering with an official university document and/or information systems is a serious violation of the academic code, and penalties for such violations are severe. Cases of suspected alteration or falsification of registration documents/systems are referred to the academic code committee for investigation.

On this page:

When to Register & Late Fees

Fall & Spring Semesters

For continuing undergraduate & graduate students, pre-registration for courses for Semester I  is 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.  

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.

New Student Registration occurs the late afternoon/evening prior to the first day of classes in alignment with orientation. 

Medical students enrolled in the Alpert Medical School do not register their own courses. this is coordinated in AMS and transmitted to the Office of the Registrar so that it appears on the official University academic record.

Add/Drop Period

The first two weeks of the semester allows students to freely add/drop courses without a fee assuming they meet all course enrollment criteria. 

Late Course Add

All students adding courses during the third and fourth week of classes will be charged an additional fee of $15 per course. No courses may be added after the end of the fourth week of classes after the 5 p.m. deadline as indicated on the Academic Calendar.

Grade Options & Deadline

Students are allowed to select course grade options on the A,B,C, No Credit basis or the Satisfactory/No Credit basis except when a course is approved as a mandatory S/NC course. In all cases, grade options MUST be changed online via Banner Web by the 5 p.m. deadline at the end of the 4th week of classes as indicated in the Academic Calendar.

Dropping Courses

Students may drop courses up until the last day of classes as stated in the Academic Calendar. Courses dropped after the second week of classes remain on the student's Internal Academic Record.

Summer Session

Registration for the 7 week for credit Summer session begins in early-April and continues until the start of the actual session in June. Please consult the Academic Calendar for relevant dates and deadlines.

Winter Session

Registration opens in November.  For more information please visit: https://www.brown.edu/academics/college/special-programs/wintersession/brown-wintersession

Basic Steps 

 All students should familiarize yourself with:

    • registration-related dates (refer to the Academic Calendar on this site);
    • the requirements for the degree you are pursuing, including concentration or field of study requirements
    • The maximum number of credits a student may register is 5 in the fall/spring; 2 in the summer; 1 in winter. This includes any audits that the student may be registered for.
    • 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 restricted course, they will be allowed to register only if they meet all of the parameters and space is still available in the course. If not, the instructor may grant an Instructor Override which will allow a student to register.  Please note that the instructor’s granting of an override does not register a student for the course.  Once the override is granted the student must still register for the course online by the registration deadlines.  To remain in a limited enrollment course, a student must attend all of the first three class meetings.
    • 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 in [email protected] (https://cab.brown.edu
    • Refer to the online Web Registration tutorials for changing grade options or dropping classes.  A tutorial is available at  brown.edu/go/courseshelp for using the [email protected] application.  Students will use the online system during the pre-registration period and the add/drop period each semester.

    Cross-Registration at the Rhode Island School of Design

    As a result of a cooperative arrangement, students of Brown University may elect certain courses at the Rhode Island School of Design.  RISD students may also elect certain courses at Brown. (Note: Brown-RISD Dual Degree students do not need to cross-register as their Brown record automatically reflects RISD academic credit). Registration at either school is on a space-available basis and is subject to permission of the course instructor and the host-school’s Registrar.

    For the 2021-2022 Academic Year

    • The cross-registration process will be managed remotely via electronic forms 
    • Brown students may cross register at RISD in fall, winter, and/or spring. Note: as a result of the pandemic, in the fall semester although most courses are taught ‘in-person’, there are still some courses taught as ‘hybrid’ or ‘online’. Students may cross-register at RISD for any modality course (in-person, hybrid, or online) as long as the instructor so approves.  RISD anticipates returning to normal instruction for January 1. Unless changes occur, courses taught in Wintersession and Spring will return to in-person instruction.

    Brown students who wish to cross-register at RISD should take the following steps:

    1. Access RISD’s catalog of courses: https://ss.risd.edu/student/courses. Use the advanced search to search by ‘term’ (ie: Fall 2021). The modality of the course is listed, as well as instructor email. Note: as a result of the pandemic, in the fall semester although most courses are taught ‘in-person’, there are still some courses taught as ‘hybrid’ or ‘online’. Brown students may cross-register at RISD for any modality course (in-person, hybrid, or online) as long as the instructor so approves. Select ‘View Available Sections’ to see days/times/location/available seats. Instructor contact information can be found by clicking into the ‘Section Details’ (the course title hyperlink).
    2. The Brown student indicates interest by contacting the RISD instructor via email.
    3. The Brown student fills out RISD’s electronic cross-registration form available here (form available first day of RISD term). NOTE: the electronic add form will not be available until RISD’s first day of classes (09/08/21) for the semester and will close on the last day of the RISD add/drop period (09/15/21).  Brown students may authenticate into the form using Google (using @brown.edu email).
    4. Once the form is submitted, the form will be routed electronically through the permission process.  Once all approvals have been secured, the RISD Registrar’s Office will work with the Brown Registrar’s Office to get the student registered for the course.

    RISD students who wish to cross-register at Brown should take the following steps:

    1. Use [email protected] (cab.brown.edu) to find the course you wish to take.  Note, although some courses at Brown are designated as ‘accessible to remote students’, RISD students are expected to attend Brown courses in-person. 
    2. RISD student completes RISD’s ‘Prior Approval for Brown University Credit’ electronic form https://etcentral.risd.edu/#/form/58 to receive pre-approval from the RISD Division Dean or Department Head, as appropriate, to secure permission to take the Brown course.  This form will be available the first day of the term.
    3. Reach out to the Brown instructor via email for permission to take the Brown course.
    4. Once permission has been secured on the RISD pre-approval and by the Brown instructor, then (and only then), complete the form here: https://forms.gle/hKPqvPS8oDPLFeQ78

          This form will be available starting on the first day of the Brown term (9/8/2021 and will close at the end of RISD’s add/drop (9/15/2021)

    • When the form is completed, the Brown Registrar’s Office will confirm the permissions with the RISD Registrar and the Brown instructor.  Once they have been confirmed, the Brown Registrar’s office will work with the RISD Registrar’s office to get the student registered for the course.

    Visitors to Brown Classes

    Attending classes is generally restricted to Brown students or officially enrolled non-degree students who are registered participants. A student who has requested and been granted the instructor's permission for "vagabond" status in a course is an exception. With permission/invitation from the instructor, a visitor can attend class with a Brown affiliate, a current student or faculty member. Any other visitors to the campus who would like to sit in on a class must register with the Office of Admissions in advance and seek permission from the individual instructor. This permission is granted at the discretion of the instructor.