Common Academic Questions

Check below for information on a variety of academic processes. If you have any questions, please email Michael ( or Diana (

Handbook Link Overview Where's the form, and when's it due? Who do I talk to?
Check In Students are required to complete the check- in process online at the opening of each term by the date designated in the academic calendar. Online at my.harvard. Ordinarily, no students will be allowed to register after 5pm on the Monday following the course registration deadline. Office of the Registrar
Register for Classes Prior to enrolling in courses, students must meet with their sophomore or concentration advisor. After the meeting, the advisor will release the advising hold. Online at my.harvard, usually due one week after the term begins. A student who fails to register for the minimum required course load (typically 16 credits) will incur a charge of $40 per week until the course registration is submitted. Sophomore or Concentration Advisor
Add/Drop Students may make changes to their course enrollment after Course Registration Day and before the 5th Monday of the term. Adding a class requires permission of the instructor. Online at my.harvard. The add/drop deadline is the 5th Monday of the term. There is no charge for adding or dropping by the 3rd Monday of the term. Office of the Registrar
Pass/Fail Any undergraduate may, with the permission of the instructor, enroll in a course on a Pass/ Fail basis. Independent Study is always graded PA/FL. Grading status can be changed on my.harvard with the approval of the course head, concentration/sophomore adviser, and resident dean. Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean
Withdraw Students may petition to withdraw from a course. When a petition to withdraw from a course has been approved, the student’s record will carry the notation WD for the course. The transcript states: “WD indicates permission to withdraw from the course without completing requirements and credit for the course.” Petitions must be submitted by the 11th MONDAY of the term. Office of the Registrar
6 Courses Students may take 6 courses with the permission of their Resident Dean. If students wish to take 7 or more courses, they need to petition the Administrative Board. Online at my.harvard Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean
Simultaneous Enrollment A student may not enroll in courses that meet at the same time or overlapping times unless an exception is granted by the Administrative Board. Exceptions will be considered only if the instructors in both overlapping courses agree and only in one or more of three specific circumstances detailed in the handbook. Speak with the Allston Burr Resident Dean about procedure. All Simultaneous Enrollment requests must be brought before the AdBoard no later than the Tuesday preceding the Add/Drop deadline (5th Monday). Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean
Independent Study Independent Study is designed to provide credit for field research, academic study not available in regular course work, or practice or performance in the arts. Any sophomore, junior, or senior whose previous record is satisfactory may petition to undertake Independent Study for non-letter-graded credit. On the website for the Office of Undergraduate Education. Student must first obtain professor/supervisor’s approval and signature. Due to the Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean by the Add/Drop deadline.

You can email oue@fas.har with any questions, or ask us in the Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean.

Cross- Registration Students who wish to enroll in courses offered by Harvard’s professional schools or MIT.

Online at my.harvard. Note that some schools have earlier deadlines; check with the relevant school. Also note that cross-registered classes do not ordinarily count towards your GPA, nor count for concentration credit. To apply for concentration credit submit Concentration Credit Petition to the Office of the Registrar by the Fifth Monday of the term.

Take a Leave of Absence Students who wish to interrupt their studies at any time before graduation will petition the AdBoard for a leave of absence. Speak with the Allston Burr Resident Dean about procedure. Students with satisfactory academic and disciplinary records, who have petitioned by the 7th Monday of the term, will normally be granted a “leave of absence.” Students who petition after the 7th Monday of the term will normally be granted a “leave of absence—late in the term.” Students who are not in good standing can be granted a “leave of absence—on probation.” The expectation for students who petition for a leave of absence after the 10th Monday of the term is that they will not return in the next consecutive academic term. No petitions for a leave of absence for any term will ordinarily be considered after the first day of Reading Period for that term. Office of the Allston Burr Resident Dean
Declare a Concentration or Fill out a Plan of Study All degree candidates must fulfill the requirements of one of the recognized fields of concentration, an approved joint concentration, or an approved special concentration. A student’s concentration is his or her commitment to a particular discipline, field, or specialization. Online at my.harvard. Students must submit a completed Declaration of Concentration near the end of their third term of study. The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar
Change a Concentration After submitting a Declaration of Concentration and Plan of Study, students may change concentrations or add or delete a field that forms part of a joint concentration by filing an approved Change of Field of Concentration petition with the Registrar via my.harvard. Online at my.harvard. Petitions may be submitted until the deadline for degree applications in a student’s final term in the College. After that a change of concentration will be granted only with the approval of the AdBoard. The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar
Declare a Secondary Secondary fields provide the opportunity for focused study outside of the primary area of concentration, but they are entirely optional and are not required for graduation. The successful completion of a secondary field will appear on a student’s transcript. No student may receive credit for more than one secondary field. Online at my.harvard. Students are responsible for submitting all electronic information to the Office of the Registrar no later than the deadline published in the Handbook, usually 2 months before graduation. The relevant department and the Office of the Registrar
Foreign Language Citation Advanced training in a foreign language. Noted on the transcript at the time degrees are voted, and included in the commencement program. Students will also receive printed citations along with their diplomas.

Paper, Foreign Language Citation Study Plan

Send PDF with all signatures to Resident Dean. Resident Dean’s office will send form to the Registrar. Due to the RO no later than the deadline for your degree application (during your final term in the College).
The Director of Undergraduate Studies for the relevant language department.