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  are 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 preregister by the pre-registration deadline will have a $15 late pre-registration fee assessed to their student account. 

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 early October. 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 Courses@Brown (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 Courses@Brown 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, 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.

    Winter Session @ RISD

    RISD winter session courses will appear on the student’s spring registration and will be counted as one of the five credits 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 credits 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.

    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.