Amherst College has a three-step registration process: pre-registration, roster management, and add/drop.

The complete four-week registration timeline is as follows; specific dates for this timeline are available on the website of the Office of the Registrar:

  • Advising Week: Students should meet with advisors to discuss academic goals and selection of courses for upcoming terms during this week. Advisors approve course selections with students during this time. Approval for course registration  is given via Workday.

Practical Advice: We encourage Advisors who observe that students have struggled academically in past semesters  to direct students to take or not take specific classes or course loads when they believe it is best. Overload should almost always be avoided and additional support may be appropriate for students via Class Deans and advisors for Pre-Med/Pre-Law, etc.

  • Pre-Registration Week One: Students submit their advisor approved course selections in Workday.
  • Roster Management Week: Instructors with an over-enrolled capped course following pre-registration are asked to cut their class rosters to a number greater than or equal to their approved cap by the fourth business day following pre-registration. While faculty are not required to reduce class rosters, students remaining on the roster at the end of the second registration period are guaranteed enrollment (subject to meeting prerequisites and attendance during the first day of class).
  • Second Round Registration Week: Advisor course approvals remain in place from pre-registration, but advisors may need to approve additional substitute courses so that students can complete the registration process if they have changed course selections or been removed from courses after roster management week.
    • Capped courses at or below their cap following pre-registration have their caps enforced automatically by the registration system in the second round. Nevertheless, an instructor can always add students beyond the cap by contacting the registrar’s office to change the course to require instructor permission.
    • A student remaining on a roster at the end of the second registration period is guaranteed enrollment in the course (barring unforeseen circumstances such as lack of available classroom space or equipment), provided the student attends the first class during add/drop and has satisfied any pre-requisites or grade requirements for the course.
  • Add/Drop Period: At the start of each semester, students can make further changes to their course registration as necessary. Faculty may also permit students to join their courses during this time (room capacity permitting). All students must be registered for a full course load, normally four full-credit courses by the end of the add/drop period. For exceptions see rules governing half credits and RCLs (Reduced Course Loads) below.
  • Five College Registration: Five-College students participate in the pre-registration process based on their home institution’s registration dates. Following the second round of registration, Five-College students remaining on the roster are not guaranteed enrollment.