Course Selection

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Photo by Luis Zúñiga, Tecnológico de Monterrey Liaison Officer at Yale University


Interpreting Course Numbers

In some departments, courses are numbered in ascending order from introductory to intermediate to advanced. In others, courses are grouped primarily by subject matter and thus the number of a course (usually with the exception of the 400 range) bears no particular relation to its level of difficulty. More precise indications about the level of a course may be found in the introduction to each department’s entry in the Yale College Programs of Study  and sometimes in subheads (“Introductory,” “Intermediate,” “Advanced”, etc.) in the course listings.

Course Selection Period

Students register for classes during early registration. Course selection opens back up during add/drop usually in the first two weeks of courses. Students must enroll in a total of four or five courses. Students can browse course offerings in the Yale College Programs of Study  and Yale Course Search. Students can view updated course information on  and many course syllabi on Canvas once they activate their NetID. Advising on course selection will be provided during the mandatory Pre-Departure Briefing. We'll discuss add/drop in more detail during the mandatory Y-VISP Orientation. 

Reading Period

Reading period lasts about a week and comes between the end of classes and the beginning of final examinations.
During this time, students prepare for final examinations. Most courses do not meet during reading period, identified in the course listings by the abbreviation “RP” at the end of the course description. Some courses do meet during reading period, identified by a phrase such as “Meets RP” or “Meets during reading period." Even if “RP” does not appear in the Yale College Programs of Study listing, the course instructor may still set review sessions or schedule extra classes during reading period.

Final Exams and Term Papers

Courses typically end with a final examination or a term paper. Some instructors elect a final test, a take‐home examination, or some other substitute for the final examination. Individual course records in Course Search indicate whether the instructor plans to schedule a final examination.

Note for Yale-NUS Seniors

For students participating in Y-VISP during their senior year, even if Yale-NUS requires that they take only three credits, Y-VISP requires that you take a minimum of four. The options are as follows:

  • Take a fourth course Credit/D/Fail.
  • Work with a Yale professor to do your capstone/thesis as an independent study or senior essay course.
    • There is an application process for this which varies by department. Check the departmental page or with the DUS for more information.
    • You will need an adviser at Yale. See if your Yale-NUS adviser can help connect you. Otherwise, you'll need to reach out to professors and explain your situation.
  • Audit a fourth course (not advised).