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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.

Registration Guidelines

Admission to Courses

Instructors are not required to hold spaces for students who do not attend the first class meeting and may refuse admission to students seeking to add courses who have not attended the first class meeting.

Course Program/Minimum Semester Course Load

The normal course program (course load) for traditional students is 16 credits per semester over eight semesters of enrollment. Traditional students may not drop below a 12 credit program, which is the minimum allowed in any semester. Students may not use their free drop if it results in dropping below the minimum 12-credit program. Seniors are expected to enroll in the minimum 12-credit program whether or not the credits are needed for graduation.

Ada Comstock Scholars can enroll in a minimum of 8 credits each semester but must be enrolled in 12 credits if they are in campus housing.

Enrollment in Five College courses: Traditional students are required to take at least half their credits (8 credits) on campus; Adas are required to take half of their total credits on Smith campus. Traditional students enrolled in a reduced course program are still required to take at least 8 credits on campus.

A student who fails to remain registered in 12 credits will be required to withdraw the following semester. Students who wish to return the semester following dropping below 12 credits, must petition the Administrative Board.

A student may carry no more than 24 credits per semester, unless approved by the Administrative Board. A student studying on a Smith Programs Abroad (Florence, Geneva, Hamburg, or Paris) may earn no more than 40 credits for the academic year.


Registration changes cannot be made by the student, adviser, or registrar if there are outstanding financial or health holds. Students should contact the office that has placed the hold to resolve it before attempting to regsiter or make registration changes.

Maximum Credits During Registration

Fall 2020/Interterm 2021

During August registration, students may register for up to 19 credits in the fall semester and up to 4 credits during interterm. These credit caps will be raised during the add/drop period to allow students to register for up to 24 credits in fall and 6 credits in interterm. Students may not exceed a combined total of 24 credits in fall 2020 and interterm 2021.

Students are encouraged to register for only those classes that they fully intend to complete.
Students may not register for classes that conflict with other classes on their schedule. Sixteen (16) credits is considered the maximum load for students on academic probation, unless approved by the class dean and academic adviser.

Online Add/Drop Period

Students may add and drop courses online for the first ten days of classes only. Students may add or drop a course through the third week of classes, with approval of the instructor, as well as their faculty adviser and class dean.

Permission Courses

Courses that require the instructor's permission are indicated in the schedule of classes below the course title as "instructor permission." During the first week of the registration periods in November and April, students should register for the course on BannerWeb which will place them in  "registration pending" status for the course. Students should contact the instructor to express their interest in the course. During the second week of registration the instructor will confirm with the registrar's office students who have been accepted into the course.

Students wishing to add a permission course during the second week of registration or during  the add/drop period must submit an approved "Waiver of Restrictions" form to the registrar's office by the end of add/drop. Instructors are not required to hold spaces for students who do not attend the first class meeting.


A student who has not completed the prerequisite for a course may elect it only with the permission of the instructor and department chair. If admitted, students must submit an approved "Waiver of Restrictions" form to the registrar's office by the end of add/drop.

The registrar's office does not enforce online checking of all course prerequisites. Students are informed that they may enroll in courses without the stated prerequisites only by permission of the instructor and department chair. Instructors should verify at the first class meeting that students have met the stated prerequisites.

Registration While on Leave

Students who are away from campus for off-campus study or personal leave are permitted to register during the November and April registration periods for the semester in which they plan to return. A registration code is not required to register but a code is needed during add/drop once back on campus.

Consultation with the adviser upon return to campus to review course selections is suggested. It is the responsibility of both the student and adviser to plan a course program that will lead to successful completion of all degree requirements.

Information on registration for students on leave will be sent prior to the November and April registration periods.


Open by permission to juniors, seniors and graduate students only. First years and sophomores may not enroll except by permission of the administrative board. Registration for seminars requires the permission of the instructor.

Special Studies/Advanced Studies

For the Fall 2020 semester the signature of the department chair is not required to apply for a special studies.

A special studies is a course you design with a member of the Smith or Five College faculty* and is open by instructor permission to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.

*Five College special studies also require submission of a Five College request on BannerWeb.

Registration requires the approval of the instructor and department chair. Submit an approved Special/Advanced Studies form to the registrar's office by the end of the fifth day of classes.


A special studies form must be typed and printed for signatures before submitting to the registrar's office. Hand written forms are not accepted.

Credit Rules

Each department has different options for the number of credits available for a special studies. Credits should be determined in consultation with the instructor based on work to be completed. The number of credits in a special studies cannot be changed once it has begun. You may earn up to 16 special studies credits during your time at Smith.

Grading Option

You may use the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) option for a special studies if the instructor approves. The S/U option must be declared with the change of grading option form before the S/U deadline.


If a course is closed, a student may add their name to the waitlist during the November and April registration periods. Waitlists are used by instructors to fill open spaces at the start of the semester; students are not automatically registered as spaces become available. Students may not add their names to the waitlist during the add/drop period.

During the add/drop period at the start of the semester, instructors will admit students according to their selected criteria. Waitlisted students and those planning to enroll in a limited course must attend the first class meeting; otherwise they will not be guaranteed a place in the course. Students on the waitlist or those who want to add a limited course, must obtain the instructor's permission and submit an approved "Waiver of Restrictions" form to the registrar's office by the end of add/drop.

Instructors of limited courses may view their waitlists online via BannerWeb. Waitlists are not final until entering students have completed registration just before the semester begins. Students are not permitted to add their names to waitlists once classes begin. Waitlists are for the information of the instructor. The instructor determines how they will accept students from the waitlist for admission to the course. The instructor will determine what criteria are appropriate for selecting students for the course. Instructors of limited courses who wish to deny enrollment or to drop students for failure to attend should contact the registrar's office.

Waiver of Restrictions Form

The waiver of restrictions form is used during Add/Drop for the following reasons:

  1. To be enrolled in a course from the waitlist or enter a course that is full (limited)
  2. To be enrolled in a course that requires permission
  3. To waive restrictions for class year or major (restrictions for special studies and seminars must be reviewed by petition to the administrative board)

An electronic waiver form is available on the forms page.