Semester Information & Registration FAQ

Registration FAQ

Students are allowed to register for a maximum of 20 credits.  All students have a minimum requirement of 12 degree credits to be eligible for the Olin tuition scholarship. 

The maximum credits can be distributed between degree and non-degree activities. 

Degree activities are defined as counting toward graduation credit and course requirements (all students must have a minimum of 12 degree credits).  Examples of registered degree activities are standard courses, cross-registered courses, independent study and research for degree credit.  Consult the catalog for your specific degree requirements.

Non-degree activities are defined as not counting toward degree and subject requirements.  An example is a passionate pursuit.  Non-degree activities are not graded and appear on your transcript if you have met all of your objectives for the activity.  Remember these do not count in your minimum requirement of 12 degree credits but do count toward the 20 credit maximum.

Course overloads:  The normal maximum credits per semester is 20.  Requests to exceed 20 credits may be sent to They should include both a detailed explanation of the reason for the overload and approval from the academic adviser.  Requests should be sent as early as possible in the semester, but not later than the add deadline.

Use the registration information as a tool to assist you in preparation for advising discussions.  Meet with your adviser BEFORE your registration date.  Your adviser will “clear” you to register. If you are not cleared, you will not be permitted to register. 

YES!  Students in approved semester–away programs must register for a single course:  AWAY1000:  Study Away Program.  This course will allow Olin to certify you as a full-time student during the semester you are away.  Your approved course work will be transferred to your academic record upon receipt of a transcript from the host institution (provided you have received the minimum required grade).  Note:  All registrations will be cross-referenced with the Study Away Committee. 

Students can elect to take SCOPE or ADE to satisfy the Engineering Capstone requirement. Eligible students will receive a detailed questionnaire from the capstone directors early in the spring semester before the capstone activity begins. Based on this student information, students will be assigned to ADE or SCOPE, and will be pre-registered by the Registrar’s Office before the regular Fall registration. 

Students will not be able to schedule a course that has a time conflict with SCOPE or ADE. Any (rare) exception to this rule must be approved in advance by the corresponding program director. See the FAQ question below for further guidance on conflicts with SCOPE.   

Registering for SCOPE. SCOPE is taken as a fall-spring two-semester sequence. Students register for ENGR4190-01 at the time of fall registration in April. SCOPE teams are formed subsequently and the Registrar’s Office will re-register students into their team sections after the SCOPE office publishes the list of teams. Students register for the second semester of SCOPE using the section number assigned by the Registrar for the first semester.

Registering for ADE. ENGR4290 ADE Capstone may be taken as a fall-spring or a spring-fall two-semester sequence, normally with no intervening semester. Students must be at least 2nd semester juniors to begin their capstone experience. Students enrolled in ADE Capstone for the first time will be automatically enrolled for the second time in the subsequent semester. They will be notified by the Registrar’s Office prior to registering for their other classes. 

Students who registered for ADE Design Depth (ENGR3290) in or after their 6th semester and then wish to convert to ADE Capstone (ENGR4290), must petition the ADE Director. The Registrar’s Office will process the change. Students enrolled in ADE Design Depth prior to their 6th semester may not convert it to ADE Capstone. Students may take ADE for a total of three semesters: one semester as Design Depth (ENGR 3290) and two semesters as Capstone (ENGR 4290).

SCOPE Wednesday is an All Day Commitment:  SCOPE time was implemented several years into SCOPE to assure that teams had enough continuous time to work together on their projects. It is our experience that having this long time block has overall been successful at increasing the productive work done by SCOPE teams and has also created more of a community of SCOPE feeling between teams. It should be noted that if one team member is absent during this time, it affects the whole team and accommodations must be made to make up for that missed team and work time.

If a student has an unforeseen conflict with another course, they may petition the SCOPE Director for an exception.  Students must consider the following factors when considering an exception (for specific instructions, consult the documentation with the SCOPE office):

• You must be present during design reviews and liaison calls;

• Missing class time in the Fall semester may impact your placement on the team of your choice (you must notify us of your request before the team selection process begins);

• In choosing to submit a request for an exception, your reason should be particularly compelling and the time missed should be relatively short;

• Requests for exceptions in the spring semester must be made by the end of the fall semester;

• If you are granted an exception, you will need to work with your team and faculty advisor to develop a plan for making up time with your team. This must be submitted within the first week of the semester and must be accompanied by formal approval by your team and faculty advisor.

This policy is not meant to foreclose important opportunities in your educational experience. In particular, it is not meant to penalize people who are being proactive about their own educational paths or to privilege those who have not been as proactive. It is meant to ask you to think about how your actions will impact others and whether there are alternatives.

Independent study and research guidelines are here. Students interested in doing research and/or independent study must complete a Cover Sheet. All forms must be received by the full-semester Add Deadline for the current semester. There are no exceptions. 

Note: ISR activities are counted in your maximum 20 credit load each semester. When submitting your request make sure the ISR credits will not put you over the maximum. e.g., you are currently in 18 credits and want to do 4 credits of ISR -- this will get denied.

If you are interested in doing a Passionate Pursuit learn more about the proposal process here.

Proposals are due on the last day of the add period of any given semester.

The ‘EG’ grade represents an “Experimental Grade” designation, implemented in a small number of courses during a curricular experiment that began in 2009. Each student may undertake no more than one “EG” course per semester.  An ‘EG’ grade in a student’s transcript indicates that a student completed the course’s learning objectives and received instructor feedback based upon criteria that do not have direct mapping onto the ABCDF grading system. Students who do not complete the learning objectives will receive a “no credit” designation on their transcript (similar to the “no credit” option for pass/no credit courses).

Registration and descriptions for Co-Curriculars are released during the add period.  If students have a particular interest in a co-curricular that they would like to see offered, they are encouraged to seek out a “faculty/staff” sponsor before the semester begins and notify the Dean of Student Affairs. 

The semester list of co-curricular offerings is released during the first week of classes and students may register for them through

See Co-Curricular offerings here.

Registration is done online using


On-line registration takes place during the evening hours.  Information regarding the groups is available via your registration login

(Registration will be open to cleared and eligible students only.  A cleared student is one who has met with their adviser and has an updated learning plan.  An eligible student is one who does not have an outstanding financial balance with the college.) 

Waitlists are often available on most courses. These are indicated in 'semester supplement and offerings list' published each semester and available when you register via If a course is in waitlist status, it will show in the Course Catalog/Search on MyStAR. 

Course waitlists are managed by the registrar's office during the add period. If a seat becomes available, the registrar's office will notify the student via email. At no time will a seat be open to someone not on the waitlist.

The Add period* is the first 10 class days of the semester.   Add requests can be processed in person at the Registrar’s Office and on-line.  Add/Drop forms can be found at.

The Drop period begins on the first day of classes and ends on the 45th instructional day (for ½ session deadlines see chart).  During this time, students can alter their schedule as long as they remain in a minimum of 12 credits of degree activities.  A “drop” is removed from the student schedule and does not appear on transcripts. Drops and withdrawals after the add period ends require a hard copy form and must be processed by the Registrar’s Office.  There are no on-line drops after the add period ends.  The last day to withdraw from a course is the last day of instruction. 

*BBW drop deadlines may be earlier or later than Olin’s.  When cross-registering, you abide by the rules and deadlines established by the host school.  Read your confirmation email very carefully and save it for future reference.

Conversely, students wishing to participate in cross-registration will be allowed to alter their Olin schedule to accommodate cross-registration requests if the host school's add/drop period extends beyond Olin’s.  This will be done in the Registrar’s Office once the confirmation of the cross-registered request is received.  The reason for this is due to the variable times at which we can honor cross-registration requests depending on the host school’s registration times.

The Add, Drop and Course Withdrawal periods are prorated for half-semester courses.  See the Calendar with Academic Deadlines for each semester's exact dates.

All cross-registration requests begin in the cross-registration portlet in the Olin student portal. (See screenshots here.) You may put in your request before the other school opens their cross-registration period.  We will save it and transmit it at the proper time, but don’t forget to notify us if you change your mind!  Instructions for cross-registering to Babson and Wellesley are on the BOW Cross-Registration website.  Registration deadlines are on the BOW Academic Calendar and are also included (along with those for Brandeis) in Olin’s Supplement and Course Offerings List for each semester, found at the top of this page.  For cross-registration to Brandeis, file a request through the portal, but be sure to read the instructions on the Brandeis website.  

Note that all courses listed each semester are subject to cancellation due to insufficient enrollment.

Pursuant to the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008, information regarding required and recommended textbooks and supplemental course material may be viewed from the Olin’s internet course schedule via

Helpful Links for Cross-Registration

Instructions for using the Olin portal to Cross-Register


BOW Cross-Registration Website (with calendar)



List of Pre-Approved Courses by discipline






Course browser

Course browser

Course browser

Course catalog

Course catalog

Course catalog

See BOW site for dates


See BOW site for dates


Other Brandeis xreg info

Hollister Hall

121 Kutz Hall

1st floor, Schneider Center


Cross-Registration FAQ

No. Students are limited to one class per semester per school. In extreme circumstances, students may petition the Registrar to take two courses at one school. 

Olin students interested in Wellesley College studio art courses (ARTS course prefix) may enroll in any upper level course provided they have taken a 100 level ARTS course at Wellesley, an Olin arts course taught by Helen Donis-Keller, or a Babson arts course at an introductory level, as a prerequisite. Olin students will have to plan for this progression if they are interested in multiple opportunities within the Studio Art department.

You may only attend a class that you have been accepted into by the Registrar’s Office of the host school. You may NOT show up at the first class meeting in hopes of getting the instructor’s permission to register. Wellesley has changed their policy on this as of Fall 2021, because of very strict capacity rules for most classes. Please consider this policy to be in effect until such time as it is explicitly reversed. Babson’s policy is ALWAYS not to allowed unregistered visitors. Brandeis does have a “shopping” period, but it is of limited use to cross-registrants.

Because of the difference in calendars, there can be delays in getting confirmations. The Wellesley Registrar’s Office is responsive and helpful, but also very busy. Brandeis fall cross-registration doesn’t open till early August. If you are trying to take a 100-level course at Wellesley in a fall semester, you must be prepared to wait for confirmation until after the Wellesley incoming class has been registered, at the very end of the summer. There is no guarantee of admission. Some courses do fill up. The 100-level courses delay does not happen for spring registration.

If the Wellesley course you apply for is full, is a 100-level course, or requires instructor’s permission, you will receive an email from their Registrar with instructions on what to do if you want to pursue taking the course. Again, there is no guarantee that you will get in, but it is certainly worth a try to keep watching their course browser and/or contacting the instructor via email to obtain permission to register. Note, however, that in almost all cases, Wellesley will not be permitting enrollment to exceed the stated limits. The Wellesley Visiting Student Card is no longer being used; permissions are all being handled by email.

The main thing to know is that cross-registrants always abide by the deadlines of the host school.  The BOW website has a handy chart of dates and calendar links for Babson, Olin, and Wellesley. You may also consult the chart in each semester's Catalog Supplement, which includes Brandeis dates. Do check the academic calendar of any school you are cross-registering into to see how they have scheduled breaks, holidays, and “Olin Monday” equivalents. You also want to be clear on when their final day of classes and their exam period are.

Not exactly.

  • Babson students can be notified in real time if there is an opening in a class they want, and can register for it on the spot. This feature is unfortunately not available to Olin students trying to cross-register. If a class is full, you will get an email from the Babson Registrar saying so and that they will keep track of your request and register you if they are able to do so.
  • Wellesley also has a waitlist system for their students that cross-registrants can’t access. You may reach out to the instructor to let them know of your passionate interest in their course, but generally Wellesley students (appropriately) are first in line.
  • Brandeis has a waitlist system that cross-registrants can use once they have a Brandeis Workday account. Questions may be directed to the Brandeis Registrar’s Office and you may also reach out to the instructor.

Prereqs are important and the decision to waive them is entirely up to the instructor.

  • Sometimes Olin students have done coursework that can stand in for a stated prereq. If you do not have that prereq, you may contact the instructor to explain yourself and your background and ask if admission to the class is possible.
  • The Registrar’s Office at Babson may ask for email proof of instructor permission.
  • The Wellesley Registrar’s Office enforces course prereqs that are stated in the description in the course browser. They may ask you to forward a permission email from the faculty person before they will register you.
  • The Brandeis Registrar’s Office will ask you to get a permission code from the instructor if permission is needed to take a particular course.

You can have only one “live” request at a time per school, BUT if your first request is unsuccessful for any reason, you may submit a second one. If you get registered for your second choice and then find out that you can get into the first one after all, you may drop the second one and ask to be registered for the original one.

Basically, a time conflict cannot be scheduled. In very rare cases, permission may be granted; the Registrar’s Office must receive permission emails from the instructor(s) whose class you would be missing part of, acknowledging that you will be regularly missing part of class and indicating their acceptance of that.

Wellesley - You may elect to take a Wellesley course credit/noncredit by contacting the Wellesley Registrar’s Office before the deadline listed in the email you receive from them when they confirm your enrollment. 

Babson - Babson offers Pass/Fail on a course-by-course basis.  You can check with an instructor prior to enrolling to see if a course will be offered Pass/Fail.  If you are already enrolled in a Babson class, check the Workday page for the class to see if it has grading options. 

Brandeis - Brandeis does not permit cross-registered students to take classes Pass/Fail.

A course must be dropped with the Registrar’s Office of the host institution no later than their deadline and the Olin Registrar’s Office must also be informed.  Dropping the course from your Olin schedule via will not inform the host school and you will still be considered registered for the course.  If you do not drop the course with the host school in a timely manner, you may end up with a “W” or an “F” on your transcript.  If you have any questions regarding this process, please email Deadlines vary by school and may be much earlier than Olin deadlines! See the question above about calendar for more information.

Olin welcomes students from Babson, Brandeis and Wellesley to register for Olin courses with the permission of the Olin faculty member.  BBW students should send a request for a course through their Registrar’s Office to the Olin Registrar’s Office.  Cross-registration request forms can be found at the home institution.  Visit for more information.

Most Olin courses above the 1000 level assume a prerequisite or certain academic background. If you have any doubts about your level of preparedness, you may consult the course instructor.